It’s no secret that I love graphic novels, which is why I’m so excited about ComicFest, an event that the library is running from the 2nd-3rd of May. We’ve got some great events lined up: a panel on Friday night with some of the best cartoonists in New Zealand, plus more events on the Saturday. You can find out more on the event page, but here are just some of the events running:
A panel on Friday Night featuring Ant Sang, who wrote and drew the awesome comic Shaolin Burning and worked on Bro’ Town. There’s also Robyn Kenealy who’s a brilliant webcomic artist and creator of Steve Rogers’ American Captain, which chronicles Steve Rogers’ attempts to work out his place in the twenty-first century. Grant Buist, another one of our awesome panelists, has been working in comics for almost twenty years. He’s currently working on a graphic novel and draws Jitterati for Fishhead Magazine. His website is well worth a look, since he’s done a heap of great reviews of our graphic novel collection. This is definitely the panel you want to attend if you want to know what it’s like working in comics today.
There are also some wicked workshops: Ant Sang is running “Comics 101″ from 4:30-6:30 for those aspiring artists among you, and then there’s another workshop run on the Saturday by Gavin Mouldey, a Wellington-based animator and illustrator. He’s done all the gorgeous promotional art for all our advertising, and owns the dittybox shop and gallery in Island Bay.
There’s a costume competition all day Saturday with a special category for teens and great prizes for you to win, generously provided by Unity Books and and White Cloud Worlds. A fair few of the library staff will be in costume too, so try and work out who we’re being!
Finally, last but certainly not least, we are giving away FREE, yes, FREE comics from when we open. We have limited stock, so get in early! This is because the library is participating in Free Comic Book Day, a day where all over the world stores and librariess give away a selection of comics and graphic novels. We decided to use this as an opportunity to promote a great (and steadily growing) part of our collection and bring together some of the best comic artists working in New Zealand today. You can find the main Facebook event here, and interviews with our featured panelists and artists on our main blog.
Trashy comic fun!
Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison, W. Haden Blackman
I personally love movie characters being loyally and accurately transferred from the big screen to comic books (often) and evil Sith lord Darth and an innocent, everyman lieutenant slug it out with whole battalions and win. You’re never really sure if Darth will destroy his young companion (like he does everyone else) and that tension lies at the heart of many scenes. We wonder what remains of Anarkin, but mostly, we enjoy one lusty, enormously destructive battle scene after another!
Demon Knights 2: The Avalon Trap, Paul Cornell
Reinventing old, neglected super characters seemed to be one of the major drives of DC’s new 52 series, but whilst The Blue Beetle, Captain Atom and Firestorm have long since been cancelled The Demon Knights, still runs (thankfully) and continues to impress. Mystical groupies include the rhyming demon Etrigan, Lucifer and Madame Xanadu and this unstable mix of good, basically evil and good or evil (depending on which side of the moral bed they got out of on) characters makes for an unpredictable, surprising comic, drawn awfully and horribly well by Diogenes Neves.
FF volume 1: Fantastic Faux, Matt Fraction
Fun parody and reimagining of the Fantastic Four story with Ms Thing, Ant Man and Valentine’s Day! For those who like kooky, often ridiculous meta-fiction.
Kia ora folks!
Wintry splendour is raining down on us with things to do this weekend. It’s a pretty special one because we get one more day than usual – sweet! It’s the Queens Birthday (but not really, her real birthday’s in April. We’re just kind minions and let her have two). One way you could spend your extra day off is revelling in the glory of our monarch or you could do some of these things:
Te Papa re-opens the Visa Platinum Gallery with an Andy Warhol exhibit. “Warhol: Immortal” celebrates Mr. Pop Art himself. He did all sorts of really great things and liked Campbells Soup too. Not to be confused with The Dandy Warhols.
Less Dance Dance Revolution more… real dance? Stage Challenge/J-Rock hit Wellington (starting tonight).
Another Film Festival is in town. Out Takes with the pun-tastic byline, “reel queer film festival” is screening a few choice youth flicks.
To end NZ Music Month Shapeshifter release “Delta” just in time for the weekend playlist.
Some manga series you might enjoy, if you haven’t already discovered them!
Sakura Hime, by Arina Tanemura. Sakura is a princess, engaged to Prince Oura since birth. Since she’s not keen on marrying the prince, Sakura runs away, accidentally looking at the full moon in the process (the one thing she must never do).
Kitchen princess, by Natsumi Ando. Najika is a talented cook, who follows the trail of a mystery boy who touched her heart as a child to the exclusive Seika Academy. Everyone at the Seika Academy is special in some way, except Najika according to the girls there. However, two brothers, Sora and Daichi, know her cooking is magical. (Also, who’s the mystery boy?)
Cardcaptor Sakura, by CLAMP. This was awarded the Seiun Award for best manga in 2001, and was also made into a TV series. The series begins with Sakura releasing the magical Clow Cards, a set of cards with their own personalitythat can assume different forms when activated. Oops. Sakura is told she must now find all the missing cards, battle their magical forms and re-seal them.
Kobato, also by CLAMP. Kobato, mysteriously, has a quest to heal broken hearts by trapping feelings in a bottle, in order to make her way to a mystery place. It sounds daunting, but she does have the help of a grumpy dog called Ioyogi-san, so that’s okay then. CLAMP’s website is here (great for practising your Japanese).
Here’s a list of other manga series we’ve got in the library.
Over the last few months DC has been releasing new updated, reimagined, revamped editions of the entire DC universe, called The New 52! (just like that, with the exclamation point, because they’re awesome). You can find out more about what’s coming out when at the DC website here.
The Young Adult Comics collection already has a few, which you can borrow:
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol won the Young Adult category. “Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part… Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.” (goodreads.com)
Battlepug by Mike Norton won the Best Digital Comic category. We’ve just got this one in recently. It’s a pug (the cute little dogs with the punched-in noses), but it’s a battlepug. You can find out more on the website, or the battlepug is also on Twitter.
What is Zuda Comics? That’s a great question. The short answer is that it’s an all-new line of Web Comics. The longer answer is that Zuda Comics are whatever you make of them.
Zuda Comics is the webcomics division of DC. You can design your own comic for entry into their monthly competition, vote for your favourite entry, or simply enjoy the ones already online.
While we’re on the subject, you can find the DC comics website here, and don’t forget to check out our collection of them in your library branch.
Zuda Comics collects user-submitted comics. The comics then compete with one another – they’re rated by users – and the winner is published. There’s some great work there, and the latest, Dracula vs. Santa, is hysterical. My aching sides!
The American Library Association, together with its rather unattractive website*, has produced a list of 10 great graphic novels/ series that were published in 2008. We even have some, which I’ll list below.
Life Sucks, by Jessica Abel, Gabriel Soria and Warren Pleece
Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan, by Aimee Major Steinberger
Skim, by Mariko Tamaki; drawings by Jillian Tamaki
The Umbrella Academy. Volume 1, Apocalypse suite, by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba
(I feel almost exactly like one of those Academy Award presenters typing that, but without the frock and the fame and the botox.)
* sorry sorry, but it’s true!
This Digital Inspiration blog post entitled, informatively, Create your own Garfield Comic Strip, will introduce you to the wonderful world of, well, creating your own Garfield comic strip. In summary, you can download this application and drag and drop (so you can do it if you can’t draw) and hey presto! I guess it’s similar to creating your own giant squid (mine has now swum 180 kilometres and most recently beat up a diver).