Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kickstarter: Echoes From the Drift 2!

Above: Jenni and Zayf, the stars of the comic series, Echoes From the Drift by Craig Petersen. Copyright Craig Petersen 2017.

Echoes From the Drift, the sci-fi comic series by Craig Petersen, continues with a brand new Kickstarter campaign for issue #2! After the successful funding of Echoes From the Drift #1, the story continues as dimension-jumpers Jenni and Zayf find themselves stranded in a post-apocalyptic city under attack. Some of the city inhabitants look familiar, but will they help of hinder our heroes' chances of survival? The only way to find out is to support this Kickstarter by pre-ordering Echoes From the Drift #2!

If you like sci-fi fantasy movies with an 80's vibe - think The Terminator mixed with Guardians of the Galaxy, then you're love Echoes From the Drift.

Above: Artwork from Echoes From the Drift #1 by Craig Petersen. Copyright Craig Petersen 2017.

With the success of the first Kickstarter for Echoes From the Drift, Craig Petersen has proven he can deliver a top-notch comic book and deliver some great rewards for his backers. If you'd like to pre-order issue #2 and missed issue #1, don't worry - there's a combo pack available in the rewards. You can also upgrade for some awesome rewards like an art print, or an original sketch, or even a page of original artwork from the book!

Check out the full Kickstarter campaign for Echoes From the Drift 2 HERE, and all the great reward options available. I also did a review of Echoes From the Drift #1, that you can read HERE. The printing goal for #2 of $5062 is over the half way point now, with 15 days to go, so make sure you show your support and pre-order Echoes From the Drift 2 today!

- AK!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Nice Art: Our Harbour by Mat Tait

Above: Mural images for Our Harbour, created by Mat Tait.

Mat Tait, the cartoonist behind The Heading Dog Who Split in Half, has spent his winter producing four large murals for the Pātaka Art and Museum in Porirua. They will be unvailed to the public this Saturday, November 18th, as a part of Our Harbour, a new interactive exhibition in the children's gallery. 

The opening will be a family friendly event, with fun, hands-on activities and events between 11am and 3pm. There will also be a Puppet show, Nan and Tuna by String Bean Puppets, which will combine puppets, shadows and water to tell the life story of New Zealand’s native longfin eel (tuna) who make their homes in our rivers. There’ll also be lots of other things to see and do – badge making, crafting a tuna or fish out of a plastic bottle and potting up a riparian plant. Stalls in the atrium will focus on harbour restoration and conservation, including information on what you can do to help.

The Pātaka Art and Museum is located at 17 Parumoana Street, Porirua, with the opening kicking off at 11am. For more information, you can visit the Facebook event page HERE. And for more of Mat Tait's artwork you can visit his website HERE. Also, you can now order The Heading Dog Who Split in Half for only $15 from the Potton & Burton website HERE!

- AK!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Giselle Clarkson's Biscuits and Slices of New Zealand Goes Viral!

Above: 'Common Household Biscuits & Slices of New Zealand' by Giselle Clarkson. Copyright Giselle Clarkson 2017.

Every once and a while, an image or topic strikes a nerve and captures the public imagination and spreads through social media like a firestorm. And that was the case recently with the above illustration by illustrator cartoonist Giselle Clarkson. 'Common Household Biscuits & Slices of New Zealand' was created for Annual 2, the second children's Annual edited by Kare De Goldi & Susan Paris, which you can purchase HERE. Clarkson's illustration captures in loving detail, a selection of NZ's best known biscuits and slices, from Anzac Biscuit to Squiggle. 

On social media the illustration has prompted nostalgic memories of NZ biscuits past and present, heated debates on over-looked slices and under appreciated biscuits as the illustration continues to be shared far and wide. The story was even picked up by TV THREE's 'The Project', who interviewed Clarkson to discuss her favourite biscuits and the public response to her illustration. You can still view the interview on The Project's Facebook page HERE.

Above: 'Common Household Biscuits & Slices of New Zealand' by Giselle Clarkson, as printed in Annual 2. Copyright Giselle Clarkson 2017.

To really appreciate this fine appraisal of NZ biscuits I'd suggest buying a copy of Annual 2 today for $39.99NZ from a bookstore near you or online HERE. And for more of Giselle Clarkson's fine comics and illustrations, you can visit here website HERE.

- AK!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Toby Morris announces The Side Eye!

Above: The Side Eye GIF by Toby Morris.

Recently cartoonist Toby Morris announced his regular comics series The Pencilsword would be ending, with a new project on the horizon. Today he unvailed his next comics endevour, The Side Eye, which will be hosted by The Spinoff website!

In a statement at The Spinoff, Morris described the new project: 'The Side Eye is about casting a sceptical (but hopefully not cynical) eye on the changing world around us. A way of taking all the little things that make us say ‘eh?’ and looking a little closer. And these days there are plenty of things to question: Climate change, inequality, shifting attitudes about sexuality, health, diversity, the workplace. How we use technology. How we process history. In the end I want it to be about how we treat each other. Where we’re going, and why.'

To read Morris' full announcement, you can visit The Spinoff website HERE. The first Side Eye will debut at The Spinoff later this week.

- AK!

Dylan Horrocks named as 2018 International Institute of Modern Letters Writer in Residence

Above: Dylan Horrocks. Photo copyright Grant Maiden 2015.

Today it was announced that graphic novelist Dylan Horrocks has been appointed as the Victoria University of Wellington International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2018. He is the first graphic novelist to be awarded this position!

The following statement was announced at Graham Beattie's Book Blog:

Celebrated for his ground-breaking book 'Hicksville', Mr Horrocks has also published other books including 'Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen', and 'Incomplete Works'. His work has been published internationally, with translations into French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Danish, Polish and Korean. Hicksville was ranked #12 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels of All Time.

Mr Horrocks was named as a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate in 2016 and has received many awards, including an Eisner (USA) Award in 2002 and a Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2012. In 2006 he was the University of Auckland-Creative New Zealand Literary Fellow.

Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters, Damien Wilkins, says, “Dylan is an international figure in the world of graphic novels and a brilliant commentator on his art. His books are taught by the English programme at Victoria. He is a vital voice in New Zealand culture and it will be exciting to have him at the IIML.”

Commenting on the appointment, Mr Horrocks says, “I'm absolutely thrilled at this chance to be part of Victoria’s lively creative writing community. I'm looking forward to discovering the work of students and staff and feeding off all those powerful literary emanations. Above all, it's a wonderful opportunity to work with obsessive dedication on my next book: a graphic novel about playing Dungeons & Dragons.”

Mr Horrocks takes up the residency at the IIML on 1 February 2018.

Congratulations to Dylan, and all the best for his work in the forthcoming year! For more information on Dylan Horrocks and his work, you can visit his website HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Upcoming Release: The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill

Above: The cover of The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the amazing work of Christchurch based cartoonist Katie O'Neill from her award-winning graphic novel, Princess Princess: Ever After, and her contibutions to Faction and High Water comics anthologies. Having recently concluded her webcomic series, The Tea Dragon Society (which you can read in full HERE), it will be published this month as a large format hardcover from Oni Press!

Above: Artwork from The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill.

Here's the synopsis:

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives--and eventually her own.

Above: Artwork from The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill.

The Tea Dragon Society is an all-ages graphic novel and will be available from comic shops on October 18th, and October 31st from booksellers and online retailers (Amazon, Book Depository, Mighty Ape etc). It retails for $17.99 US, so it should be around $25-30 NZ, which is still a great price for an oversized hardcover. So head over to your local comic shop or bookstore and pre-order a copy today!

Ordering Information:

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
Format: Hardback, 72 pages
Dimensions 218 x 300 x 13mm
Publisher: Oni Press
ISBN: 9781620104415

Oh, and if you can't get enough of The Tea Dragon Society, there's also an official card game in the works from Oni Games for release in 2018! For more information on Katie O'Neill and her projects, visit her Tumblr page HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

EVENT: Overload: NZ Comic and Manga Convention 2017

This weekend sees the return of Overload: the NZ Comic & Manga Convention, an annual community-focused event where local indie comic and manga artists can exhibit and sell their artwork.

Overload 2017 will host more than 200 indie artists from all over New Zealand. They are running loads of fun events for attendees to join in, such as: a Cosplay Competition, an Illustration Competition, and for the first time this year, an anime song Karaoke Competition. They will also have international guests in attendance:  anime singer Kawano Marina (‘Morning Arch’, ‘Takaramono’), anime director Takuya Sato (WIXOSS series, Steins; Gate) and cosplay artist Ying Tze.

Above: Cosplay artist Ying Tze.

If Comics and Manga are your thing, this is a great convention to pick up some amazing original artwork direct from the artists themselves, as well as manga, anime DVDs, and plenty of other genuine collectible goodies!

Overload 2017 will be taking place this Saturday, September 30th, from 10am – 6pm at The Cloud Convention Center, 89 Quay Street, Auckland. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for under 13s and Free for under 5s! Tickets can be purchased at the door, or from Eventfinda HERE. From more information, visit the Overload website HERE.

- AK!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Recommended Reading: The Pencilsword: Follow The Leader

Above: The Pencilsword: Follow the Leader: Bill English - National, by Toby Morris.

With the New Zealand election looming at the end of this month, cartoonist Toby Morris is on the campaign trail - capturing his impressions of our political party leaders out there meeting the public and pushing their respective views. Toby's Pencilsword series, created for The Wireless website, has covered all four of the major party leaders, starting with James Shaw of The Greens Party, which you can read HERE.

Above: The Pencilsword: Follow the Leader: James Shaw - The Greens Party, by Toby Morris.

Followed by part 2: Jacinda Ardurn - The Labour Party, which you can read HERE, and Part 3: Bill English - The National Party, which you can read HERE.

Above: The Pencilsword: Follow the Leader: Jacinda Ardurn - The Labour Party, by Toby Morris.

UPDATE: And finally, Part 4: Winston Peters - NZ First, which you can read HERE.

Above: The Pencilsword: Follow the Leader: Winston Peters - NZ First, by Toby Morris.

It should go without saying, but remember to get out there and vote on September 23rd. As we've seen in recent overseas elections, EVERY VOTE can make a difference - and this is gearing up to be a close one, so make sure you have your say on Election Day!

- AK!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

EVENT: So You Finished Your Comic, Now What?

Above: From left, self-portraits by cartoonists: Michel Mulipola, Li Chen, Sam Orchard and Zak Waipara.

Creating and completing a comic book, graphic novel or comic strip is a huge accomplishment...but what comes next? How do you go about getting it printed or published? How do you find an audience for your comic book?

The panel event, 'So You Finished Your Comic, Now What?', happening at the Auckland Central Library Whare Wananga on Thursday 14th of September at 6pm will attempt to answer these questions and more.

Moderated by cartoonist and educator Zak Waipara (Otea),  the panel will include experienced cartoonists Sam Orchard (Rooster Tails), Li Chen (Extra Ordinary Comics) and Michel Mulipola (Headlocked: The Last Territory), discussing the realities of getting your finished comic in front of an audience.

Here's some background on the participating cartoonists:


Li Chen is the creator of the webcomic Extra Ordinary. She likes drawing and petting cats. You can visit the Extra Ordinary website HERE.

Michel Mulipola is a self-taught comic book artist from Auckland. He has been immersed in the world of comic books from the tender age of five when he first decided he wanted to draw them. He has contributed to various anthologies and is currently working on the U.S comic book, Headlocked: The Last Territory. You can visit his website HERE.

Sam Orchard has been drawing comics since he was a little girl. He is passionate about telling stories that celebrate the rich depth and diversity of our communities. He draws an autobio webcomic about his life as a queer trans man at Rooster Tails, which you can visit HERE.


Zak Waipara (Rongowhakaata, Ngati Ruapani, Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu). Zak has worked in animation, written and illustrated books and comics, including the recently released Otea. He has lectured in Digital Media and Animation at AUT and Animation College. You can visit his Otea website HERE.

The event is FREE, with refreshments from 6:00pm, with the event starting at 6:30pm. For more information and updates, visit the Facebook event page HERE or the Auckland Libraries event page HERE.

- AK!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Graphic Novel Giveaway: Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts!

Above: the cover for Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts by Craig Phillips.

UPDATE 6/09/17: And the WINNER is....Kyle Church! Congratulations, that signed copy will be on it's way to you soon!

Following up from last week's review of Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beastsauthor Craig Phillips has kindly offered up a SIGNED COPY for me to giveaway to one lucky blog reader!

To be in to win this signed copy, post a comment below (or on the From Earth's End Facebook Page HERE, or drop me a line on Twitter @adriankinnaird) of your favourite World Folklore Hero/Heroine or Creature and you'll go in the draw to win! Next Wednesday I'll randomly select a winner (from Baba Yaga's cauldron), and the book will be posted out to that lucky reader!
Above: Artwork from Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts by Craig Phillips.

So get posting for a chance to win this great graphic novel! For more information on Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts, you can visit the book's Facebook page HERE.

- AK!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

REVIEW: Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts by Craig Phillips

Above: the cover for Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts by Craig Phillips.

Since my childhood I've been a fan of world mythology - creations stories, and tall tales from around the globe. Seeing these stories adapted in comics form, from Jack Kirby's take on the Norse myths in Thor, or Bill Willinghams' use of various fairy tale and mythological characters in Fables, it's always a treat to see these stories come alive on the page. 

Earlier this year I came across Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts: Ten Tales from the Deep, Dark Woodsa handsome paperback written and drawn by Craig Phillips. Inside you'll find re-tellings of classic fairy tales and mythology spanning the globe, from 'Snow White and Rose Red' (from Germany) to 'Thor' (from Scandinavia), 'Momotaro' (from Japan) and Finn McCool (from Northern Ireland) to name a few. All the stories are richly illustrated in full colour, drawing from the traditional folklore - so they aren't sanitised in a Disney version: Russia's fabled witch Baba Yaga will still threaten to EAT Vasilisa for supper if she doesn't do all her chores! Which I'm sure will go down a treat with most kids looking for a bit more bite in their picture books.

Above: Artwork from Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts by Craig Phillips.

I was pleasantly surprised to read that the author Craig Phillips is currently based in New Zealand, and produced Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts with the assistance of an Australian Arts Grant. I also understand he'll be appearing at the upcoming Overload Convention in Auckland, so keep an eye out for his artwork! Speaking of which, his art chops are of a high standard in this book, featuring clear storytelling with plenty of character and great colouring and design. It certainly reminded me of some of P. Craig Russell's comics collaborations with Neil Gaiman. So if you're a fan of those books and looking for a new take on folklore stories for you and the family, this collection is for you!

Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts: Ten Tales from the Deep, Dark Woods by Craig Phillips is out now from Allan & Unwin with an RRP of $27.99NZ. You can also visit Craig's website HERE, and follow the book's Facebook page HERE for updates.

- AK!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

EVENT: Auckland Zinefest 2017

Auckland Zinefest is back for 2017! Following the success of last year's event, Zinefest will once again be taking place the the Auckland Art Gallery, located at the corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Street in Auckland, Sunday 30th of July from 11am - 4pm. At Zinefest you can expect to find and purchase a great range of zines, comics, journals, stickers, independent media and much more! 

Exhibitors this year include: Insects of New Zealand playing card project, Racial Equity Aotearoa (REA),  Mutton Honey, Struggle Zine, Xephia, Feminists of Colour, Pure Cream (Clare Gemima), Limery Licks (Purita Mok), Izac Smells, Ultra (Isabella Young), Prune Friend (Jack), Sad Vacation, Thrillhouse, Worn Out, Shlipp Comix, Theo Macdonald, What We Loved Was Not Enough, Suga Cyan, Laura Gigi Allin (Laura Allen), Shakti Youth Network for Change (SYNC), Lucky (Imogen Wilson), Sonic Comic, Hookupculture, Mellow Yellow, Ash Spittal, Alice Bush, Rachel Hope Peary, Aotearotica, Anxiety, Remote Photobooks, Peter Torckler, Controlzee, Dropthedrawing (Simon Fletcher), Melissa Laing, Inky Palms, David Merritt, Nick Jamieson, Creative Commune, Pizza Sneakers, Ghost Leg Collective, F.A.Y (Ellen Walker), DizziePixie, Auckland Peace Action, Pom Pom Dynamite, Sundry Papers, #Buffboiz, Louis Graham - Louis’ Zines, Natalie Lim, Kids Eat Shadows (Matt Whatley and James McLaughlin), Eddie Monotone, Sophie Watson, The Small Ideas Company, Aleksander Sakowski, Raewyn Alexander, Auckland Libraries, Joanna Ch0 and Finn Houlihan, Elamite, South, James Horton, Z.R Southcombe, Nicholas Males, Abhi Topiwala, Fraser Graham, Team 3000 Press, The Daily Malaise, Matt Haworth, Toby Morris, TV Competition: Future Future Future, Udya Andrahennadige, Wairehu Grant, Emily Cater, SPLITCLAY, Erin Fae, and Dryden Street Distro!

There will be a talk and panel in the Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium:

12pm: Marc Conaco: Last year's 'Best of the Fest' winner for his zine, I Am Brown. I Will Not Frown, will present and discuss cultural heritage and ethnic identity in relation to his storytelling.

2pm: Zine Panel: A diverse array of zine-maker activist will disuss their perspectives on zine-culture and zine-making and how it has historically and presently been an avenue for activism. Including: Auckland Peace Action, Feminists of Colour, Shakti Youth and Mellow Yellow. Chaired by Jess Fu.

There's plenty of great publications to discover, so make sure you're there this Sunday! For more information, you can visit the Auckland Zinefest website HERE, and the Facebook Event page HERE.

- AK!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

REVIEW: Pizza Sneakers by Marc Streeter

Above: Pizza Sneakers banner by Marc Streeter. Copyright Marc Streeter 2017.

Pizza Sneakers is a new webcomic by Marc Streeter, whose work I've been a fan of for years, dating back to his first webcomic, ActionMan AdamMarc's comics combine a wry sense of humour with a healthy dose of pop culture, which never fails to bring a smile to your face. Whether he's riffing on the pitfalls of super-human powers or questionable 90's fashion trends,  it's always presented with a bright colour palette and great comedic timing - two essential qualities for any successful webcomic. Rather than an ongoing set of characters, Pizza Sneakers is purely a gag generator, going with whatever topic Streeter decides to put to paper (or pixel).

Above: A page from Fish Guy, by by Marc Streeter. Copyright Marc Streeter 2017.

I picked up a limited print copy of Pizza Sneakers from Marc at Chromacon earlier this year, but you can now read these comics online at the Pizza Sneakers website HERE, and follow the Facebook page for new updates HERE. So what are Pizza Sneakers you ask? According to the comic's introduction, 'they are the greasiest and yet mouth wateringly delicious comics I've ever made. You dear reader clearly love fresh kicks, hot slices, and comics with extra mozzarella'. Dietitians may frown upon it*, but I definitely enjoy my comics with an extra serving of cheese, so head over to the Pizza Sneakers website and check out Marc's offerings for yourself!

* Recommended serving: 1 strip per view. Additional servings may result in a light pain in your sides and facial muscles. If pain persists, consult your local doctor to decide if Pizza Sneakers is right for you.

- AK!

Above: Humble by by Marc Streeter. Copyright Marc Streeter 2017.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Moving Pictures: Comics and Animation Picks from the NZIFF

Above: A scene from the film, My Friend Dahmer.

The New Zealand International Film Festival has just launched its film line-up for 2017, and there's plenty of gems in there if you're a fan of comics and animation!

Leading the pack is My Friend Dahmerbased on the graphic novel memoir by John 'Derf' Backderf. Directed and adapted for the screen by Marc Meyers, My Friend Dahmer focuses on Dahmer's High School years as witnessed by his friend John Backderf, and the events that lead up to Dahmer's eventual serial killing spree of 17 young men and boys. The film stars Ross Lynch as Dahmer, Anne Heche and Alex Wolff. For more information on My Friend Dahmer, check out the NZIFF page HERE.

Above: A scene from the film, Blade of the Immortal.

Next up is Blade of the Immortalan adaptation of the classic manga series by Samura Hiroaki. Directed by Miike Takashi, Blade of the Immortal stars Kimura Takuya as Manji, whose sister is viciously killed by bounty hunters. After dispatching the killers, a mysterious nun uses blood worms to heal his wounds, granting him the ability to regenerate. Years later he is hired as a bodyguard for Rin (Sugisaki Hana), whose kendo-master father and pupils were slaughtered by the swordsmen of Itto-ryu. Together Manji and Rin set out to avenge the death of her family. For more information on Blade of the Immortalcheck out the NZIFF page HERE.

Above: A scene from Ethel & Ernest.

Ethel & Ernest is an adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ award-winning graphic memoir of his parents’ lives, gorgeous rendered in hand-drawn animation that perfectly captures Briggs’ art style. Adapted and directed by Roger Mainwood, The story is a progression through the lives of Briggs' parents, from their courtship in the late 1920s to their deaths a few months apart in 1971. A lifelong milkman with few complaints, Ernest keeps a close eye on world events – the rise of Hitler, the arrival of the fridge, the phone and the television, and the actions of successive governments. While Ethel, a former lady’s maid, would rather sleep than watch the moon landing on TV and bristles at any suggestion that their little household in Wimbledon might be considered working class. Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn provide the lead voices, with a soundtrack marking out the periods of time featuring original contributions from Carl Davis and Paul McCartney. For more information on Ethel & Ernestcheck out the NZIFF page HERE.

Above: A scene from Ancien and the Magic Tablet.

Steampunk dreams intersect with corporate reality in this imaginative anime set just days before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. High school senior Morikawa Kokone can fall asleep anytime, anywhere. In a series of strange dreams while napping, she travels to Heartland and becomes Ancien – a brave princess with a magic computer tablet, a feisty sidekick and an appetite for adventure. Her waking life is equally full of daring escapades. Her mechanic father Momotaro, a man of very few words, finds himself in unexpected trouble, and it’s up to Kokone to come to his rescue. When events in Heartland begin to parallel her waking world, Kokone realises that unravelling the mystery of her dreams may reveal the key to her challenges in the real world. Directed by Kamiyama Kenji (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), Ancien and the Magic Tablet features the voices of 
Takahata Mitsuki, Mitsushima Shinnosuke and Maeno Tomoya. The film is in Japanese with English subtitles. For more information on Ancien and the Magic Tabletcheck out the NZIFF page HERE.

Above: A scene from My Life As a Courgette.

My Life As a Courgette is an Oscar nominated stop-motion animated film by Swiss director Claude Barras. Based on the YA novel by Gilles Paris, the film follows a nine year old orphan who prefers to be called Courgette, who's sent to a group home after the accidental death of his alcoholic mother. Courgette befriends a local cop named Raymond, and a new girl at the orphanage, Camille, who, like Courgette, was orphaned by violent circumstances. Despite the very adult situations that have burdened the lives of Courgette and his friends as the orphanage, My Life As a Courgette illustrates the resilience of children, and the ability to build new relationships and create a life out of the chaos that surrounds them. The film will be available in both a subtitled and dubbed version. For more information on My Life As a Courgettecheck out the NZIFF page HERE.

Above: A scene from the short film, Red Riding Hood Redux by Danijel Žeželj.

As always, there is a health amount of animation short films featured in the Animation Now! section of the festival. A new addition this year is the Animation Now! Black and White screening. Of note to comic fans should be the 12 minute short from this screening, Red Riding Hood Redux. The film is directed by Croatian cartoonist Danijel Žeželj, the atmospheric artist from Luna Park, Hellblazer, Loveless and many more. For more information on the Animation Now! showcases, visit the NZIFF page HERE.

For more information on the films and screenings coming to a city near you, visit the New Zealand International Film Festival website HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is This New Zealand's Smallest Comic Book?

Above: Jessica of the Schoolyard: Jessica's Lunchtime Special published by The Comicbook Factory. Copyright The Comicbook Factory 2016.

The Comicbook Factory has a new Jessica of the Schoolyard matchbox sized micro-comic debuting in July; at only 3cm x 4.5cm it might be the smallest full-colour comic book published in New Zealand! It has 16 full-colour pages and comes in its own matchbox sized case. Retailing at $4.95 from The Comicbook Factory website HERE, it's another fine addition to any NZ comics collection.

Matchbox Comic #1: Jessica of the Schoolyard: Jessica's Lunchtime Special 

Synopsis: It's lunchtime and with a little assistance from Jessica, Alice and Wendy, Ethel manages a three course meal she won't soon forget...

Publication details:
English - 16 pages - Full colour - 45mm x 30mm
Stored in small box 53mm x 15mm x 36mm
AVAILABLE: 1st July 2017

- AK!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

REVIEW: Echoes From The Drift by Craig Petersen

Above: Promotional artwork for Echoes From The Drift by Craig Petersen. Copyright Craig Petersen 2017.

In the mid-90s I discovered Southern Tribe, a sci-fi comic book series produced locally by writer/artist Craig Petersen. At the time, when I wasn't attending high school, I was hard at work practicing writing and drawing my own comic books. It was a big inspirational boost to see that someone else was out there publishing comics in NZ, and essentially living the dream! Towards the end of that decade I moved to Auckland to attend university, and got to meet Craig in person at Armageddon Expo. Along with Zak Waipara, Craig was one of my first mentors, who helped welcome me into the DIY world of the NZ comics community.

Flash forward 20 years later: Craig now lives in Europe, and last year launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for his new sci-fi comic series, Echoes From the Drift. The series follows two young adventurers - Jenni and Zayf, as they explore parallel worlds. Thanks to this funding, issue #1 of the series is now available and can be ordered HERE.

Above: Character designs for Jenni and Zayf. Copyright Craig Petersen 2017.

The first issue opens in 1987, we meet Jenni, a punk styled twenty-something coming home after a long day working at a video store. Her flatmate, Rhonda, is on her way out the door for a hot date, leaving Jenni to indulge in an evening watching tapes of her favourite sitcom, One Knight Stand. Her viewing party is soon interrupted by the opening of an inter-dimensional rift, which drops an alien beast into her living room, followed by drift traveller, Zayf. Jenni and Zayf manage to force the beast back into the rift (and in the process destroy her apartment), at which point Zayf prepares to make a hasty exit...except Jenni - a huge sci-fi fan - wants to come with him. After a quick discussion, Zayf agrees to bring her along and they jump into the next dimensional rift. On the other side they find a dystopian wasteland, and seek refuge at an outpost known as 'Respite'. Inside Jenni notices some familiar faces: her friend Rhonda runs a robot repair shop, and isn't that her building's cleaning guy? Zayf warns her that they should move on, he wasn't expecting to see 'echoes' so soon...

Echoes From The Drift has a great sci-fi set-up, with plenty of opportunity for world building and fun character interplay. The dimension jumping sub-genre of sci-fi is fairly well traveled at this point (Fringe, Sliders, Quantum Leap etc), but Craig has remodelled it with a retro 80's skin that feels fresh and fun. The opening of the comic riffs on Cameron's original Terminator, with nods to anime cartoons, 80s sitcoms and Mad Max sprinkled throughout. Craig's artwork has improved greatly since the 90s, with confident storytelling and a rugged texture to the inking and colouring which suits both the 80s punk vibe of the first half of the story and the dystopian locations of the closing. If there's any draw back to the first issue, it's that it ends on a cliffhanger. But there's also an 8-page prologue story included, Ruins, which fills in the back story of the dimension they now find themselves in, so it's hard to complain.

I highly recommend checking out Echoes From The Drift #1. You can purchase it directly from Craig's website HERE. While you're there, you can also download a FREE PDF version of the prologue story Ruins to get a taste of what the series has to offer.

- AK!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sharon Murdoch Wins Cartoonist of the Year for 2017!

Above: Sharon Murdoch's Sunday Star Times cartoon from May 14th, featuring Paula Bennett and Maggie Barry. Copyright Sharon Murdoch 2017.

Sharon Murdoch was awarded 'Cartoonist of the Year' at last night's Canon Media Awards 2017. This was Murdoch's second consecutive win of the prestigious award for her cartoons that appear in The Sunday Star Times, The Dominion Post and The Christchurch Press

Above: The Getaway, a cartoon by Toby Morris, published on the RNZ website on May 12th. Copyright Radio New Zealand 2017.

Toby Morris was also awarded for his media cartoons, receiving 'Cartoonist of the Year (runner-up)' for his cartoons featured on the Radio NZ and The Wireless websites.

The NPA Outstanding Achievement Awards also recognised The NZ Cartoon Archive for its 25 years of archiving NZ cartoons.

If you would like to read more of Murdoch's outstanding work, a collection of Sharon Murdoch's cartoons, Murdoch: The Cartoons of Sharon Murdochwere published last year by Potton & Burton and is still available from all good booksellers and HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

EVENT: Cartoonists at Auckland Writers Festival 2017!

The Auckland Writers Festival is back for 2017, taking place this week at the Aotea Centre from May 16th - 21st. Alongside international and local authors, two of our most talented cartoonists will be taking part in the festival.

Sarah Laing, author of Mansfield and Me, will be featured in two events: 

EVENT 16: A Personal Tale: Dudding & Laing: Two recent New Zealand works entwine the personal with the literary: Sarah Laing’s 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlisted graphic memoir Mansfield and Me plots her literary journey alongside that of our starry export Katherine Mansfield; and the shortlisted Adam Dudding’s My Father’s Island circumnavigates his father, the late great literary editor Robin Dudding. Laing and Dudding speak with Geoff Walker about memoir writing, and inescapable literary forces.

A Personal Tale: Dudding & Laing, takes place Friday May 19th, from 10 - 11am at the Aotea Centre's Lower NZI Room. Tickets are on sale HERE.

EVENT 43: Walk On High: Walk on High is an intimate meandering journey, featuring a sampler of Festival talent on a word trail along High Street in the CBD. From 6.30pm to 8pm choose from four fifteen-minute events, repeated four times across the ninety minutes, individually crafted and each as delectable as the next. Formats take in games, Insta-essays, music, spoken word and theatre. Over 20 writers and performers take part, including: Jess Holly Bates, Anthony Byrt, Teju Cole, Glenn Colquhoun, Jonothan Cullinane, Mei-Lin Hansen, Ali Ikram, Simone Kaho, Sarah Laing, Last Tapes Theatre Company, Michelle Leggott, Lana Lopesi, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Doug Poole, Randa, Rosabel Tan, Apirana Taylor, Tourettes, Steven Toussaint, Ian Wedde, Rewa Worley and Sonja Yelich. 

Walk on High is a FREE event, taking place on Friday 19th at various venues on High Street, Auckland Central, from 6.30pm - 8.00pm. Check out the AWF website HERE for more information.

Toby Morris, author of The PencilswordThe Day The Costumes Stuck and Capsicum Capsi Go will be taking part in three events:

EVENT 36: Writing the Past: A Museum Collaboration: Five writers recently went exploring at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, each seeking inspiration for a piece of writing. Hera Lindsay Bird, Anne Kennedy, Kelly An a Morey, Toby Morris, and Ngahuia te Awekotuku present their resulting takes on our archival past.
Writing the Past: A Museum Collaboration: is a FREE event, taking place on Friday 19th at the Aotea Centre's Upper NZI Room from 4 - 5pm.

EVENT 118: The Day The Costumes Stuck (5+): Iggy can’t get his party costume off, his parents haven’t noticed and weird happenings lie ahead. Toby Morris unfolds a fun family story with illustrations. Taking place on Sunday 21st from 11 - 11.30am at the Aotea Centre Heartland Festival Room, this is a FREE event but sessions are ticketed, so book early.

EVENT 123: Capsicum Capsi Go: Capsicum goes on holiday! Come on an adventure with the coolest Capsi around led by Toby Morris and featuring a chance to draw your own Capsi. This event takes place on Sunday 21st in the Aotea Centre's Herald Theatre from 1 - 1.30pm. There is FREE entry, no ticket required. 

For more information on the Auckland Writer's Festival, you can visit the event website HERE.

- AK!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

EVENT: Hamilton Zinefest 2017

Hamilton Zinefest returns for its triumphant fourth year, with a huge range of zine makers exhibiting and selling their work. There will also be creative talks and an array of workshops for aspiring zine creators of all ages. Hamilton Zinefest 2017 will be held this Saturday at Creative Waikato,131 Alexandra Street, Hamilton Central from 10am - 3pm. For more information you can visit the Hamilton Zinefest website HERE and their Facebook event page HERE.

This is a great opportunity to meet some of Hamilton's thriving zine and comics community and pick up some one-of-a-kind handcraft reading material!

- AK!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Reads: The Giselle Clarkson Comic

Above: An image from The Giselle Clarkson Comic Number 2 at The Sapling.

The Sapling is a new website dedicated to Children's Books and literature, which you can check out HERE. In addition to their regular news and reviews, they have a monthly comic strip by the very talented Wellington cartoonist Giselle Clarkson. You might be familiar with her artwork from such publications as The School Journal and Gecko Press' Annual. Her comic for The Sapling, simply titled, The Giselle Clarkson Comicis a monthly feature which so far has been partly autobiographic, as well as including fun nods to children's books and literature. You can read the first three comics at The Sapling website HERE.

Above: An image from The Flood by Giselle Clarkson.

You can also check out more comics by Giselle at her website HERE, so be sure to Bookmark both these pages for some great new comics reading!

- AK!

Comics Compulsion Under New Management!

Above: Kirsty Everett, Logan Freear and their cat Shere Khan. Photo credit: CHCH Press.

Christchurch's iconic comic book store, Comics Compulsion is now under new management. In March, previous owner Tim Driver put the 23 year old business up for sale, and this week it was reported in The Chrischurch Press that the store is now in the hands of new owners, Logan Freear and Kirsty Everett. The couple took over the running of the store during Easter weekend, and recently celebrated their first Free Comic Book Day, welcoming in new customers with a BBQ and plenty of free comics. You can read the full CHCH Press story HERE.

- AK!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Pencilsword #36: What About the Renters?

Above: Image from The Pencilsword #36 by Toby Morris.

Home ownership in New Zealand has become a hot topic of late, with increasingly inflated property markets making home ownership unaffordable for the vast majority of first-time buyers. As a result, many New Zealanders are renters; and even that market is becoming more difficult for many of us to find quality accommodation to live in.

In the latest Pencilsword, Toby Morris asks the question, 'What About the Renters?'; and gets the perspective of renter Elliot Ferguson and Robert Whitaker from renters rights group, Renters United. You can read the full strip at The Wireless website HERE.

- AK!

Interview: Creating Cartoon Capers

Above: James Davidson. Photo credit: Grant Matthew/Fairfax NZ.

In this weekend's Sunday Star Times, James Davidson spoke with Arthur Whelan to discuss the origins and years of hard work that went into creating his comic book series Moa. You can read the full interview at the STUFF website HERE.

The complete Moa hardcover collection is available now from Earth's End Publishing HERE.

- AK!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

EVENT: Free Comic Book Day 2017!

It's that time of year again...Free Comic Book Day! This worldwide comics initiative takes place on the first Saturday of May each year; with the initial aim of promoting public awareness of comics, it is now more firmly focused on promoting reading and creating a fun event where both parents and children can share their mutual love of the comics medium.

Here's a list of the comic book stores in NZ taking part:

Heroes For Sale 
582 Karangahape Road

Arkham City Comics
Royal Oak Mall (upstairs near McDonalds)
Shop 45a/691 Manukau Rd
Royal Oak, Auckland

MK1: Mark One Comics
551 Victoria Street

106 Cuba Street

Comics Compulsion
58 Main N Rd, Papanui

There's plenty of titles to choose from (for a full list, check our the FCBD website HERE - titles may vary in availability), and each store has it's own in-store specials and events taking place, so this weekend head over to your nearest comic book store to join in the fun!

- AK!