Thursday, February 12, 2015

UPCOMING EVENTS: Family Portraits Book Launch & Everything and Everyone Market!

After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign and tour of the USA, Sam Orchard is officially launching his comic series, Family Portraits this coming Wednesday, February 18th at The Woman's Bookstop at 105 Ponsonby Road, from 6pm.

Family Portraits tells the stories of a group of unique individuals, and explores the awesomeness of their sexual orientations and/or gender identities. These stories celebrate the differences and diversity in our communities. They look at how our ages, histories, genders, beliefs and ethnicities shape our experiences of ourselves, and how we live in the world.

Sam Orchard has created these stories based on real New Zealanders, exploring a range of topics including; what it was like to be in a gay relationship before Homosexual law reform in New Zealand, and what it’s like to be a first-generation queer from a migrant background. The comics can be used as a way to educate, breakdown barriers, and help people to understand more about our communities.

Above: The cover of Family Portraits #1 by Sam Orchard. Copyright Sam Orchard 2015.

The event kicks off at The Woman's Bookshop at 6pm, with entry via gold coin donation. You can also RSVP for the event on Facebook HERE. So if you are in Auckland next week, come out and support the launch of this important landmark comic series! 

For more information on Sam you can check out his website HERE, along with his regular webcomic Rooster Tails - an autobiographical series about his life and relationship as a queer transgender guy.

It's actually a very busy week for Sam, as well as launching Family Portraits, he's also the organiser of the Everything and Everyone Market, taking place on Saturday 21st of February, from 12 - 3pm at Alleluya Cafe in St Kevin's Arcade, 183 Karangahape Rd.

Now in its second year, Everything and Everyone celebrates diversity in our community during the Auckland Pride Festival with an art and craft market that has a particularly queer flavour - featuring: DIY arts, crafts, comics and self-publishing. This is an event for people wanting to buy or sell goods exploring queerness, transness, sexuality, gender, poly, kink, leather, feminism, geekery, and everything in between. In short, it is an art and craft market for Everything and Everyone!

Stallholders exhibiting and selling goods at the event include: Rooster Tails, Fight X Back, Zigtoons, Tricia, Square Planet, Jack Remiel Cottrell, Table of Temptation: Book Crossing, Rainbow T-Towel Love, with more to be announced.

For more information and updates on this great upcoming event, you can visit the Everything and Everyone website HERE.

- AK!

Friday, February 6, 2015

First Look: Faction Presents: High Water

Above: The cover for Faction Presents: High Water by Tim Gibson. Artwork copyright Tim Gibson 2015.

Since launching Faction in 2012, editors Damon Keen & Amie Maxwell have been raising the bar for local comics anthologies, attracting top talent creators and presenting beautiful collections with high quality production values. After three successful collections, Keen is spearheading Faction's first spin-off special edition, High Water.

Above: A final printed copy of Faction Presents: High Water. Copyright Faction Comics 2015.

Keen has been teasing photos of the recently arrived advance copies at the Faction Comics Facebook page, so I checked in with him to find out what the scoop is on the soon to be released High Water and what surprises we can expect from this collection!

Above: Artwork by Chris Slane. Copyright Chris Slane 2015.

AK: So what is High Water, and can you explain the overall theme of the collection?

Damon Keen: High Water is a Faction Special - so not part of our usual run on Faction - kind of like a Marvel Annual I guess! I hope to do one of these every couple of years, depending on our budget. Faction Specials are going to be themed issues, so a little different than the normal Faction free-for-all, and with higher production values to make them really stand out.

High Water is themed around climate change - largely because it's an issue that I think is in urgent need of discussion - but also because I noticed that no one else had done anything like this before. Cli-fi is starting to 'heat up' (yuk yuk yuk) as a genre in novels recently, so I thought now was the perfect time to put something like this together. I also got a lot of enthusiasm from the artists for this issue, including some creators that I'd wanted to get in Faction for a while - like Sarah, Dylan and Chris - so in a lot of ways, the comic came together quite organically.

Above: Artwork by Sarah Laing. Copyright Sarah Laing 2015.

AK: And tell us a bit about your design/production specs that you went overboard on to make this collection awesome?

DK: Because I wanted this to be a really stand-out comic - with an issue dear to my heart - I wanted it to leap off the shelves; so I went a little nuts on the production values! This comic is a hardback, with cloth binding AND built in bookmark - because why not?

Also the creators produced some wonderful artwork and I really wanted to try to do their vision justice. I went with a heavy matt stock for the pages - quite a different look from the glossy sheets of Faction. On top of the creators, Tim Gibson did us a knockout cover - and Ant Sang supplied us with some beautiful artwork for the interior pages, so frankly, as a graphic designer, working with this material is just a joy.

I can't wait to get this out there!

Above: Artwork by Cory Mathis. Copyright Cory Mathis 2015.

Faction Presents: High Water is a full colour hardcover, weighing in at 96 pages.

The contributor's include: Chris Slane, Christian Pearce, Cory Mathis, Damon Keen, Dylan Horrocks, Jonathan King, Katie O’Neill, Ned Wenlock, Ross Murray, Sarah Laing and Toby Morris. With additional artwork by Lei Wen, Ant Sang, and a cover by Tim Gibson. All this and an introduction by Lucy Lawless.
Look for the High Water collection launch announcement soon!

- AK!

Above: Back cover of High Water. Copyright Faction Comics 2015.