Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NZ Comics: The 2011 Christchurch Earthquake Response

Above: A Pink Noise art appeal piece by Michel Mulipola featuring Spider-Man.

It's been almost one week since the city of Christchurch was devastated by the largest aftershock yet, following last September's original earthquake. Heartbreakingly, this quake struck in the middle of a busy Tuesday afternoon, destroying highly populated buildings in the city's CBD, taking many lives with it. Today the death toll stands at 155, but sadly that figure is expected to rise. Financial and emotional support for the affected people of Christchurch continues to flood in, from both national and international relief efforts. In these uncertain times it's difficult to register an appropriate response to this scale of devastation, particularly from a distance.

Above: Page one of Roses for Christchurch by Sarah Laing. Copyright Sarah Lieng 2011.

During this past weekend, Auckland writer/designer/cartoonist Sarah Laing produced a touching and beautifully understated 3-page comic strip Roses for Christchurch, which for me (and many others I imagine) perfectly captures that feeling of detached sorrow, watching this tragedy from a distance, and just how very fragile our civilisation really is.

The cartoon image of the Christchurch Cathedral with 'invisible dashes' (a favourite visual shorthand in the language of comics) to complete it's fractured facade, is by itself an incredibly powerful image.

You can read the complete story on Sarah's blog HERE, and please be sure to visit the Roses for Christchurch Facebook page to make a donation HERE.

Above: The Funtime Comics Collective logo ((RAHG!)).

One cartoonist who has experienced the earthquakes firsthand is Isaac Freeman, editor of the Christchurch comics collective Funtime. In response to the latest earthquake, Funtime will be releasing a special Earthquake Relief issue, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.

They would like to get a really wide selection of New Zealand and international artists on board for this, so if this sounds like you
, no matter what your level of experience or how far removed you feel from events, now is the time to get involved!

So now I'll turn thinks over to Issac for the
submission guidelines:

• Submissions are due 21 March 2011.
• Comics should in some way address the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, even if peripherally. Original work would be preferred.
• We'd prefer each piece to be 1-4 pages long, so we can fit in plenty of artists. This is flexible if the work demands it, but longer pieces will be harder to fit in.
• Funtime is published in an A5 portrait format (148 mm wide, 210 mm high) format. We can take submissions in other sizes and shapes, but they'll be shrunk to fit this size. Be careful that your lettering will still be readable at this size - people hate having to use a magnifying glass to read their comics.
• Black and white only. We won't have time for close control of tones, so it's best if your artwork have plenty of contrast.
• For digital submissions, make sure the file names include numbers to show their order. Scan to at least 600dpi. We can handle most bitmap formats, and PDF or Adobe Illustrator CS3 or earlier. Email to:
• For paper submissions, write your name on the back of each page as well as a page number if your contribution is longer than one page, so we don't get the order wrong. Post to 15B Lothian Street, Ilam, Christchurch 8041. At the time of writing the postal service isn't operating in Christchurch, but we expect it to be back soon. Please don't use our PO box, as it's inside the security cordon and we can't access it.
• Please try not to send any work that might get us arrested. Nudity and adult themes are acceptable within reason. We usually aim to be suitable for mature teenagers and older.
• Include contact details, and biographical information with your submission. A small self-portrait is also handy.
• Submission of artwork is taken to imply that the contributor gives permission for their work to be published, and that short excerpts may be used for the promotion of the anthology as the editor sees fit. If you have specific requirements for how your work should be used, please let us know.


Funtime Comics is a loose non-profit collective of artists. We're based in Christchurch, New Zealand, with contributors from around the world. We've been publishing the Funtime Comics Anthology on a semi-regular basis for twenty years. We gather for monthly workshops, where we drink tea, draw comics and make somewhat civilised conversation. We publish work from people of all ages and levels of comics-making experience, and we make lots of shared jam comics.

Ōtautahi/Christchurch in New Zealand's second largest city. On 22 February 2011 it was hit by a devastating earthquake, causing massive damage and many deaths. At the time of writing, large parts of the city are without drinking water, power or sewerage outflow. Military, police and aid agencies from around the world are assisting with relief and rescue efforts.

-Isaac Freeman
Funtime Comics

For more information, visit the Facebook page HERE.

Above: A Pink Noise art appeal piece by Ant Sang, featuring The Monk Who Doubts.

Auckland non-profit art community Pink Noise have also mounted their own artistic response effort, organising an online art auction on Trade Me. Featuring diverse artworks from the group's members for sale, with all proceeds from the auction will be going to the Christchurch Red Cross. Amongst the great artworks on offer is a print by Michel Mulipola featuring Spider-Man swinging from the Christchurch Cathedral (see the picture at the top of this post), and an inked original of 'The Monk Who Doubts' by Ant Sang from his bestselling graphic novel Shaolin Burning! So check out these auctions and get some great artwork for your wall while donating to a very worthy cause!

These life changing events are never easy to deal with; but perhaps you'll find something in this report that helps you express how you feel about it in a creative way, or inspire you to aid others by purchasing some of that creativity yourself.


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