Friday, May 27, 2016

Ant Sang at TCAF!

Above: Ant Sang signing at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival. Photo copyright Conundrum Press 2016.

Earlier this month, Ant Sang was a guest at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF), where he was promoting the US/Canada release of his graphic novel The Dharma Punks, published by Conundrum Press. He featured on a spotlight talk - discussing his work in comics and animation, as well as a Diversity in Comics panel, a book signing, and attended the Doug Wright Awards.

For a full report on his trip and adventures at TCAF, visit Ant's blog HERE.

Above: Ant Sang discussing his work in comics and animation at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival. Photo copyright Conundrum Press 2016.

- AK!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Weekend Reading: Visits by Jem Yoshioka

Above: The cover image from Visits by Jem Yoshioka.

Start your weekend off right by treating yourself to some great local comics online! 
This week Jem Yoshioka returns, with another gorgeous auto-bio comic, Visits. In Visits Yoshioka continues her series of stories that explore her heritage and identity as a Japanese-New Zealander, as previously chronicled in My Father's Face and Folding Kimono. This comic documents her three visits to Japan, and how that experience made her feel. 

Above: Page 12 from Visits by Jem Yoshioka.

It's thoughtfully articulated, with a textural layering of patterns in the artwork that makes the reading experience feel immersive and authentic. We get to experience these visits through Jem's eyes and the wealth of visual details she captures brings these memories to life in a very tactile way that you can almost touch - no easy feat for a webcomic!

You can read the full comic HERE.

- AK!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Upcoming Releases: Princess Princess: Ever After, Mr Unpronounceable, Mansfield and Me

Above: The cover of Princess Princess: Ever After by Katie O'Neill.

There's some great graphic novels coming out in the near future from some of our best NZ comic creators, making a name for themselves, both locally and on the international publishing stage.

Christchurch based cartoonist/illustrator Katie O'Neill has built an international audience for her work online via social media and blogging at her website, Strangely Katie. Her comics have featured in the Faction and High Water comics anthologies, and she’s also illustrated the series Crystal Cadets for American publisher LionForge Comics.

Above: Two pages from Princess Princess: Ever After by Katie O'Neill.

Her most popular self-published graphic novel, Princess Princess, first appeared online as a webcomic in 2014, and features two very different princesses - Amira and Sadie, who meet and decide to take their happily ever after into their own hands. A thoughtful story of love and friendship for all-ages, this graphic novel will now be published in September by American publisher Oni Press in a beautiful Hardcover edition as Princess Princess: Ever After!

Here's the official synopsis:

When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They'll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all.

Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what "happily ever after" really means--and how they can find it with each other.

Princess Princess: Ever After will be available September 7th, 2016 in all good comic shops and bookstores, and online through Amazon, Google Play, Comixology, Nook, and iTunes.

Princess Princess: Ever After HC by Katie O'Neill
56 Pages, colour
Publisher: Oni Press
ISBN: 9781620103401
RRP: $12.99 US

Above: The cover of Mr Unpronounceable and the Infinity of Nightmares by Tim Molloy.

Tim Molloy returns to the surreal world of Mr Unpronounceable with his third graphic novel in the series, Mr Unpronounceable and the Infinity of Nightmares.

Here's the official synopsis:

As reality itself dissolves in the tears of the Sect Of the Bleeding Eye, Mr Unpronounceable sets off on a multiverse-spanning quest to retrieve the Sacred Godstone from its shrine on a distant planetoid. Meanwhile, The Synthetic Sorcerer has designs of his own, shadowing our hapless hero’s delirious journey across an increasingly warped spacetime continuum. Join Mr Unpronounceable, wandering Necromancer, in this third volume of his insane adventures from cult author, Tim Molloy.

If you would like a taste of what to expect, you can read some short segments over at Tim Molloy's art Tumblr HERE.

Above: A page from Mr Unpronounceable and the Infinity of Nightmares by Tim Molloy.

Mr Unpronounceable and the Infinity of Nightmares will be released June 25th 2016 by Milk Shadow Books (distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment).

Mr Unpronounceable and the Infinity of Nightmares
190 pages
Black & White, paperback
RRP: 23.86 AUS (available for pre-order HERE).

Above: Mansfield and Me by Sarah Laing.

2016's a busy time for Sarah Laing: earlier this year she co-edited the well received NZ woman's comics anthology 3 Words, and in October Victoria University Press will publish her first complete graphic novel, Mansfield and Me. Coming in at 336 pages this will no doubt be the biggest local comics release of the year. I've had the privilege of seeing some of the original artwork for this in progress, and if you're a fan of Katherine Mansfield or Sarah's previous novels or comics - you're in for a treat!

Here's the official synopsis:

Katherine Mansfield is a literary giant in New Zealand - but she had to leave the country to become one. She wrote, 'Oh to be a writer, a real writer'. And a real writer she was, until she died at age 34 of tuberculosis. The only writer Virginia Woolf was jealous of, Mansfield hung out with the modernists, lost her brother in World War I, dabbled in Alistair Crowley's druggy occult gatherings and spent her last days in a Fontainebleu commune with Olgivanna, Frank Lloyd Wright's future wife. She was as famous for her letters and diaries as for her short stories. Sarah Laing wanted to be a real writer, too. A writer as famous as Katherine Mansfield, but not as tortured. 

Mansfield and Me charts her journey towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield's dramatic story, set in London, Paris, New York and New Zealand. Part memoir, part biography, part fantasy, it examines how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.

Mansfield and Me will be released by Victoria University Press in October 2016, and available in all good bookstore. For more details visit the VUP website HERE.

Mansfield and Me by Sarah Laing
ISBN: 9781776560691
336 Pages
Paperback, colour
RRP: $25 NZ

So mark these dates on your calendar, and prepare to increase the shelf space for your New Zealand Comics collection!

- AK!