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A Hell(Blazer) of a week.

22 Jul

I have been reading comics as mentioned the other week for close to 30yrs. And a small portion of that time I have spent a small fortune buying, selling and re-collecting, after my first collection was burnt in a fire. Amongst those were the Uncanny X-men run from #180-295. Some of the greatest X-Men stories told were written during those years. But I am digressing. Anyway, I restarting collecting 10yrs ago and haven’t stopped since. As well as you know writing and creating my own. 


Hellblazer Pandemonium Jami Delano is a Must Read.





One of my top 3 fave non-super-powered is John Constantine, Hellblazer from Vertigo, (Batman and Punisher are the other two). John was created by Alan Moore back in issue #37 in Saga of the Swamp Thing. That character has is the longest running non-hero comic book. I had a couple opportunities over the past few years to get my hands on #37, but due to lack of funds or having already committed myself to other books, I missed out.


Hellblazer: Rare Cuts is a good starting point.

   The character of Constantine is so rich with lore and mysticism that there is so much that you can do with him with ruining the history as long as you stick to the archetype. John is the Trickster, the Court Jester and The Magi all in one.  It was this that after setting myself to reading from Hellblazer #1 to the lastest that was available in October last year that led me to write Black Waters, my own take on John Constantine,


Intro to Black Waters©, by Aru Singh. 2011

 Writing a 148+ page Hellblazer standalone graphic novel based in the Fiji was not something I gave much thought to. I was waiting for my plane ride back to Auckland from Nadi Airport, after a stressful trip back from my ex’s father’s funeral and I guess I needed to clear my head and so I just started writing. It was messy but after some rewriting it came together. I have no idea what I am going to do with it. I did have a guy consider working on it, to see if we can get DC Vertigo to look at it, but after discussing it I thought to let it rest for a bit. And who knows, I might illustrate it myself after I get Zero completed.


Thats the background to how much I like the John Constantine Archetype. The following is 3 amazing events which took place in the last 6 days.


Event 1.
  Last weekend while at Zinefest I stopped by a comic shop and bought the DC Direct Collectible Figure of John in his Hellblazer set-up. It wasn’t in the store but they would have it the following week. This  was an out-of-the-blue purchase.

Event 2.
  Having gotten home and still feeling unwell I had stayed up and was browsing comic on an online auction site and came across Saga of Swamp Thing #37 from June 1985. It was on Buy Now for $5 + $3 for Delivery. I actually have my comic shop guy, Jeremy at Gotham Comics here in New Zealand looking out for one. I better tell him I got a copy now. This comic goes for around US$30+ and around US$90 on milehighcomics So, I was quite excited about this. 



Event 2.
   If you look in the letters section of this months Hellblazer #281 you will see at top right hand side my very own letter. I have never written a letter, that I can remember to a comic company about one of their comics, so when I heard talk that they might be bringing Hellblazer in to the main DC Universe with Superman and Batman etc. I thought I better send a message. So, I can’t remember when but a couple weeks back I got on the Vertigo site and left a message. 


Hellblazer #281



Now, you are probably wondering why I shared this with you guys? Well, I thought you guys might like to share in my hell of a week. 
-Aru


Further info John Constantine, Also, Straight to Hell. Both sites were helpful when I was writing the graphic novel. 

   


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Auckland Zinefest 2011 part 2

20 Jul



So, as I mentioned the other day, I was quiet sick and wasn’t feeling too good having spent the previous day locked up in my hotel room with the blanket over my head coughing and blowing my nose every ten minutes. But I made it up to the event after being dropped off by my father who had driven me down.


I was really interested to see what the turn out for this event would be like, since it was my first ever Zinefest. All day there was an even amount of people flowing through the tables, looking and buying books and items on display. I bought a ton of items myself.


But being my first Zinefest, I wasn’t aware of the difference between a comic book and a zine. So, I sat in on a panel, which was being held below the event at an adjacent room to a wine bar.

A ‘Zine’ is dissimilar to a comic book, although toons and comic books have been used as part of the Zine Culture to get their message across, whatever the message maybe. Unlike comic book creators, those who create Zines are more interested about the environment, conserving and politics. Of course comic book creators also use these themes in their work, but lets just say that we are not as overt about such things. To us we are more about writing it into a story, than it being the story.


Amongst the Zine tables there were a few comic book creators, a couple I recognised and some I had met before. Amongst them, who I knew would be attending was Richard Fairgray through the facebook New Zealand Comics site.


Richard Fairgray has worked in comics for nearly 20yrs and has done some work overseas as well. He has always been on the go and at the moment is working on a collaboration with William Geradts of Beyond Reality Media, on a online serial, called The Inspiration Duncans as well as on his own site blastosaurus.com on a daily toon serial called ‘I Fight Crime‘ written by his wife, Mary Ann-Cotton. 

At the Fest Richard had the I fight Crime books as well as a couple different other comics he has worked on. But I think the I fight Crime books really stood out as not many folk do print forms of toons and especially if they are already online.  


Marc, -whose surname I didn’t catch- also had his  print form version of his ActionManAdam, webcomic, ‘a weekly comic about a young Canadian trying to find love in Christchurch, New Zealand’. The comic book unlike the website version is in black and white. But, the stand out points about Marc’s comic is that he had virtual hand drawn the background to every cover for the new set he brought. And only having gotten them back from the printer the day before he had each issue sealed up with stickers and a pin.

More on other comics and creators from the ZineFest soon.


Aru







Auckland Zinefest 2011 (Saturday pics)

18 Jul

I was pretty sick leading up to the Fest and also during the Fest on Saturday. The article about the day will be up on Thursday, while I wait for the anti-biotics to clean out my system,  but in the meantime here are some pics.


Sorry about no captions. More pics with all juicy details to be added soon… Stay tuned.