Saturday, December 21, 2013

Coming Attractions: NZ Comics to watch out for in 2014

Above: The cover of Incomplete Works by Dylan Horrocks. Copyright Dylan Horrocks 2013.

It's been another banner year for local comics publishing, and the future continues to look brighter with a very promising line-up of titles already announced for next year!

Recently Victoria University Press announced that in March they will be releasing Incomplete Works, a collection of short stories by Dylan Horrocks. Assembled together for the first time, these stories span the length of Horrocks' career, from early contributions to Fox Comics like 'Little Death (1986)', to rare Pickle gems - 'Letter from Catwoman (1991)', and other memorable stories like 'There Are No Words In My Mouth' (2000), 'The Physics Engine' (2006) and many more. It will come in at 192 pages, for an RRP of $35.00.

Horrocks' other major project, The Magic Pen (which you can read online for free HERE), is also nearing completion, with an eye to publish later next year.

Above: Morgan Goes to Nowhere, by Richard Fairgray, Terry Jones & Tara Black. Copyright Richard Fairgray, Terry Jones & Tara Black 2013.

Blastosaurus creator Richard Fairgray and his team of collaborators have recently turned their attention to publishing picture books, with their well received first effort, Morgan, the Moreporks and the Moon currently out now. Co-written by Fairgray, Tara Black and Terry Jones, Morgan's night-time adventure will surely be a hit with any child who enjoyed the picture books of the late Maurice Sandak (In the Night Kitchen would be a good comparison here). Morgan's next adventure, Morgan Goes to Nowhere, is due out in April.

Above: Moa #4, by James Davidson. Copyright James Davidson 2013.

Over at Pikitia Press publisher/blogger Matt Emery has just announced an exciting line-up of forthcoming NZ comics for 2014. This includes a new issue of James Davidson's Moa and Sarah Laing's Let Me Be Frank; a collection of Tim Bollinger's Wellington Stories, Barry Linton's Lucky Aki, MVH's webcomic Die Popular, and Bob McMahon's Claire Melody.

Above: The New Supreme #2, by Harry Bennett (1940s). Copyright the Harry Bennett Estate 2013.

For NZ comics history buffs there will also be The Art of Harry Bennett, by Tim Bollinger, Geoff Harrison and Matt Emery, which will finally piece together the story behind one of NZ's most enigmatic cartoonists; and New Zealand Reprint Comics, a survey and catalogue of New Zealand's rich history of reprinting foreign material from the 1940's - 1970's, compiled by comics historian and collector Geoff Harrison.

There's still plenty more titles to look forward to in the New Year, but we are clearly already off to a great start.

- AK!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Goblin Quest marches forward!

Above: Goblin Quest panel 1, by James Davidson. Copyright James Davidson 2013.

So what do cartoonists do to keep themselves busy over the summer holidays? Moa comic creator James Davidson was itching to start a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' comic, in the style of the classic Fighting Fantasy books by Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone (which this author spent many and afternoon reading in the early nineties).

Above: Various books from the Fighting Fantasy series, by Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone. Copyright Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone 2013.

After receiving an enthusiastic response to the idea on the New Zealand Comics Facebook page, Davidson has set up a Goblin Quest Facebook page, and kicked this jam comic off with Page 1, introducing readers to our disgruntled protagonist, an unnamed Goblin recently banished from his village on a quest for riches:

Above: Goblin Quest page 1, by James Davidson. Copyright James Davidson 2013.

There will be a new comic creator picking up the story from where the last page left off, with upcoming creators including: Michel Mulipola (page 2), Cory Mathis (page 3), Matt Emery (page 4), Sean Lewis (page 5), Stuart Hallam (page 6), and I'll be contributing page 7 - with more artists to follow. Expect lots of twists and surprises as the story evolves and a great variety of art styles!

If you would like to follow - or even contribute to the story! - join the Goblin Quest Facebook page HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

EVENT: From Earth's End Annual Xmas Drinks 2013!

Above: A previous Xmas drinks attended by Auckland cartoonists.

To celebrate the end of yet another successful year of New Zealand Comics, From Earth's End will be hosting Xmas drinks in Auckland at Brooklyn Bar, 332 Queen Street (or 57 Lorne Street, just opposite the Central Library) on Thursday night, 12th of December from 7pm!

This will be a great chance to talk about some of the fine New Zealand comics and graphic novels that have been released this year and generally catch-up with other Auckland cartoonists to 'talk shop' and discuss the year that was. Everyone is welcome, so if you're a casual visitor to this site now is the perfect opportunity to meet some of Auckland's local cartoonist in person and share a couple of brews to celebrate!

See you there, or you can officially join the Facebook event HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

EVENT: 'Baltimore Vol.3: A Passing Stranger and Other Stories' Book signing!

Above: Baltimore Vol.3: A Passing Stranger and Other Stories HC, cover by Mike Mignola. Copyright Mike Mignola 2013.

Ben Stenbeck is one of the few local cartoonists to break through to 'mainstream' comics publishing, with his ongoing collaboration with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and writer Christopher Golden on Baltimore. A gothic horror in the classic tradition, it follows Lord Henry Baltimore on his quest of revenge - to destroy the dreaded vampire, Haigus.

This is the third collection in the series, following The Plague Ships (2010) and The Curse Bells (2011). 
In this volume a demented surgeon attempts to cure vampirism by creating greater horrors, and a perverse inquisitor reveals his own dark secrets, as Baltimore pursues the scarred vampire that he blames for all of it.

The collection is out now, and Ben will be signing copies of the new hardcover at Heroes For Sale (582 Karangahape Road, Auckland), Wednesday 4th of December, from 6pm-8pm. There will also be live music, with performances from punk band The Parents and indie-pop musician, Princess Chelsea!

Here's a five page preview from the collection to give you an idea of what you're in for:

You can find out more about Ben at his website HERE and join the Facebook signing event HERE.

- AK!