Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Kickstarter: The Adventures of Jack Scratch by Craig Phillips

Above: Artwork from The Adventures of Jack Scratch by Craig Phillips. Copyright 2018 Craig Phillips.

Last year I reviewed the folk-tale comics collection, Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts by Taupo based cartoonist, Craig Phillips. That book featured fun retellings of famous international folk tales and myths, all presented in Phillips' robust artwork, with plenty of style and humourous flourishes. Craig is back this year with the first in a new children's graphic novel series, The Adventures of Jack Scratch!

Above: Artwork from The Adventures of Jack Scratch by Craig Phillips. Copyright 2018 Craig Phillips.

Several years ago Craig’s daughter asked him to make a book just for her. When he asked her what she’d like it to be about she said “cats!”, then “pirates!” and then, “pirate-cats!” and so Jack Scratch was born. The Adventures of Jack Scratch was developed over many meal times, and deep discussions, about all the types of things pirate cats might get up to. The resulting book follows the adventures of Jack Scratch -  pint size hero, swashbuckler, adventurer and singer of pirate ditties! Together with Cap’n Catnip - the world’s greatest mariner - and his Uncle Silver, Jack is about to embark on a quest to find the fabled treasure of the HISS- PANIOLA! 

The book is set to be published in March by ME Publishing, but to make that happen they have launched a Kickstarter campaign so you can be one of the first to receive a copy! There's lots of great rewards and goodies available for pledges, including pre-ordering a copy for only $25! The Adventures of Jack Scratch: The Quest for the Hiss-paniola is 52 full-colour pages in A4 (210x297mm), bound in hardcover with a cloth covered spine.

Visit The Adventures of Jack Scratch Kickstarter page HERE for more details and to pre-order your copy, and the Facebook page HERE for further updates!

- AK!

Announcing Funtime Comics Junior!

"Comics aren't just for kids anymore!", was a catch-cry of the 1980s, as comics sought to capture a more mature readership. As the average age of comics readers has increased, we've seen a reduction in titles specifically aimed at children, along with an overall decrease in comics sales and circulation in general. 

Not that there haven't been recent success stories in comics and graphic novels made for kids: there's the perennial favourite Bone series by Jeff Smith, Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, and the multi-million selling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. And locally, we have such titles as Terry Teo by Bob Kerr and Stephen Ballantyne, Moa by James Davidson, and the upcoming The Adventures of Jack Scratch  by Craig Phillips (more on this title soon).

Funtime editor Jason Lennie is looking to potentially grow this list of NZ comics for kids, by floating the idea of a new Funtime anthology specifically aimed at younger readers. Are you a cartoonist and interested in producing some kick-ass comics for kids? Then drop Jason a line. "We are looking for comic submissions aimed at school age kids 5-12 yrs old. Kids love comics and we really want to create something different featuring NZ comics artists. There is no deadline as we are wanting to see what interest there is from the comic community". You can email your submissions to:

And be sure to visit the Funtime website HERE and the Funtime Facebook page HERE for further updates.

- AK!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Summer Reading: Extra Ordinary Comics 500!

Above: Extra Ordinary Comics 500: The Tombs of Black Paw by Li Chen. Copyright Li Chen 2018.

The Christmas rush is over, so I'm starting the New Year off by sharing some of the great local comic reads I've been catching up on over the summer. 

First up, I can't recommend enough the 500th webcomic from Li Chen's Extra Ordinary Comics! It dropped last month, and it's a doozy : Li, and her cat Shoelace, discover a map to the treasure of the infamous pirate cat, Black Paw. Following the map leads them on a wild and humourous journey, with branching options for the reader - there are different paths you can choose, taking you on a unique reading experience with multiple plot twists, puzzles and endings! With all its branching options this comic rewards repeat reading, so see if you can discover all the story options in the great interactive adventure!

You can read it on Li Chen's website, Extra Ordinary Comics HERE, (as well as the other 499, obviously). You can also support Li Chen's creation of Extra Ordinary Comics on Patreon HERE.

- AK!