and works in Auckland, NZ. He teaches Art at Auckland University of Technology and advises on Comic Writing at Auckland University. His ‘10 issues of his comic book Pickle were published by Black Eye (1992-97) and his graphic novel Hicksville was published in 1998, also by Black Eye. Hicksville has since been reprinted by Drawn & Quarterly and has been translated into French, Italian and Spanish’. Hicksville was Nominated for two Ignatz Awards (best graphic novel and best art) and one Harvey Award (best reprint collection). Winner of two Goodies Awards (best graphic novel and best writer). Named a Comics Journal ‘book of the year.’
DYLAN: Growing up reading Tintin, among other things. My Dad is into comics, so the house always had a good supply of great things to read.
|Preview Hicksville here.|
This new segment dear readers, is where I ask five questions of New Zealand Comic Book Creators, Writers and Artists to find what makes them tick.
ANT: I’ve drawn all my life, but it wasn’t until the mid-nineties when a friend of mine introduced me to independent comics (Chester Brown, Dan Clowes, Julie Doucett etc) that I got inspired to start writing comics ‘seriously’. The rawness and honesty in these comics really struck a nerve with me in a way that most mainstream comics couldn’t. And the underground/D.I.Y ethic was one which really inspired people to just go out and start making comics…
ANT: Awesome, glad you enjoyed Bro’Town! The show’s producer, Elizabeth Mitchell, contacted me when she heard about Dharma Punks when I was first starting to do the media rounds to promote that comic series. I tried out designing some of the characters and a few years later it was all on!
ANT: A Bro’Town movie is in the pipeline, but apart from that, nope.
Something magical had happened a few months ago. Facebook had informed us that there was a plan for a potential Comic-Con in Delhi. The word was enough to get me interested and I started following it up. Joined the page, asked the questions, responded to each post, argued, gossiped and spread the word, forced people to join, made them aware and pretty much everything I could think of doing – short of walking on the roads with a biggammajammi banner over my head! And I’d have done that too, but just didn’t think about making/finding a banner soon enough.
Anyway, I digress. So we were at Dilli Haat, in full costume, walking towards our dream coming true – and what a fine realization of a dream it turned out to be!! There were already people in costumes moving about, talking to each other, getting their pictures clicked and all-in-all having tons of fun!
|Team “Ravanayan” autograph session!|
Interestingly I got a chance to be a Comic Addict only because of Comic Con! I met Mayank, he used to write under the title “The Adventures of M” at that time. He read a few of my reviews, noted my enthusiasm on FB about all things comics and asked me if I would be interested in joining his blog? I was busy with several other things at that time – music, work and what not – so I apologized and clarified that I might not be able to give him the amount of time he would expect from a contributing member of the group, but offered to do some guest reviews from time to time.
|And the nominees are…|
All this is courtesy Comic Con India. It wasn’t just an event or a convention. It was a movement, a chain, a reactive sequence of events, a veritable phenomenon that completely changed all our lives forever. For the better (I hope!!)
Before all of this I had imagined such a thing but hadn’t really experienced it. Once CCI 2010 happened, I realized how much was I missing in life!!! It was akin to a tiger tasting human blood for the first! I have tasted of the charged energy that is the life-blood of the comics industry and two days are simply not sufficient! I want more. WE want more, don’t we?
ANT SANG lives and works in Auckland, NZ. He is an award-winning cartoonist and amongst his comic works is a series called Dharma Punks and he recently had his graphic novel, Shaolin Burning, published by HarperCollins, New Zealand. Ant is well known in the New Zealand comic scene. And due to his creative work on the Bro’town TV Series, he has stamped his place in the NZ Moving Images scene as well.
With the sudden interest in graphic novels and comic books in general off-late, although the basis for this has been building for well over two decades, even our (New Zealand) homegrown publishers are looking to our local talents for work to publish. HarperCollins New Zealand has just released another graphic novel this past week
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I haven’ read much Manga and the ones I have are written by old masters of the art, such as Blade of the Immortal. The English language versions and the restructuring of the panels to be able to be understood by a non-Manga reader has done a world of good to attract more western readers. Shaolin Burning is written with English readers in mind, there are no multi-direction panel structures reminiscent of standard Manga.
Do not be put off by the cover.
Crowdfunding is when a whole bunch of people you know and most likely don’t know, have an opportunity to support your project. Whatever the project might be. From a short film to a tuition fee to get you to a special course to further your skills, to getting a new computer application off the ground.
Recently there has been a huge variety of websites across the West doing really great things for Creators and Artists as well as for amateurs. So, I decided to give it a go to see if I could get support to get my graphic novel printed.
(Click on here for my project on Pozible.)
Having tried to get onto the US Kickstarter website, after the initial acceptance of my project, I found out I had to live in the United States or have a US bank account to qualify. So, when I heard about the Australian site, Pozible.com which is a bit closer to myself here, in New Zealand, I decided to have a go.
As a creator, we spend a vast amount of time creating and refining our project/s and if you are anything like me, you just want to move onto the next project. Most of you who have been following my weekly post here or my Facebook page, know I like to work on several projects at the same time. I haven’t figured out whether this is because I like the idea of working on different projects at the same time or whether I don’t like finishing projects. Despite that, I did however finish one project, The Circle.
The Circle has been like pulling teeth from the beginning. I know most people say how excited they are about working on their art and creating a masterpiece. But, this one was a killer. Imagine sitting there for hundreds of hours in front of your CRT screen with a mouse and PhotoShop, just clicking away for 2 days a week and other time I could spare, after getting home tired from work in a very busy retail environment, having the pressure of selling thirty five thousand dollars of product a week, only to get home and hope that what I was doing would end up printed and in someone’s hands.
Well, after 2 yrs of working on it, and a year of promotion on myebooks.com, I am now ready to get the book printed.
I spent the past 4 weeks, back and forth on emails trying to get quotes. Trying to find the best option in page numbers and print size wasn’t the easiest job. There are many options if you have the money. But, if you don’t? Well, you know the rest.
Deciding that since this book was my first and hopefully not my last, I placed a promo on Pozible. So, now its up to folks on Pozible to see what they think of my graphic novel and whether they believe its worth getting printed up. Fingers crossed. You can, but try after all.
Check out the website and see whether your project meets the guidelines and who knows you may get that masterpiece funded too.
Catch up next week, Aru
Aru (Aruneshwar Singh) has a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media -Digital Film-making.
Always writing and illustrating and currently working on a graphic novel about the 30yrs of Institutionalised Slavery of Indians in Fiji from 1885 -1915.
He also has a weekly graphic serial on Facebook called Zero© and also on his blogsite.
Yes, I am going there. But for all the right reasons. For a little while now, a court case has been under way to get back the rights or at least get royalties from Marvel Comics for the late Jack ‘King’ Kirby and his heirs from the 100s of millions made from creations which without Kirby would not exist, such as Hulk, Fantastic Four, and oh, that money spinner, X-Men. Every comic fan/reader must know about Kirby for it goes without saying, that he is as important to American/Western comics as Leonardo Da Vinci is to modern art and as Anant Pai was to Indian comics.
As you may or may not be aware of, this past week saw the final verdict given on the decades long struggle between the estate of Jack Kirby and Marvel Comics -which is owned by Disney. The court ruled ‘legally’ in favor of Marvel Comics. And therefore all rights to Kirby’s work will remain in the hands of Marvel to do as they see fit and as with any powerhouse they have every right to. Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool has been so cool as to place the entire ruling up for all fans and interested parties to read for themselves. So, I am not gonna try and explain the legal fine print here in this column, but do have a read for yourselves. It will give you a good understanding of how far things have come.
|Capt. America #1|
For years, to all of us who have/had been Marvel Comics fans due to the great ensemble of superhero and mutant books put out by the stable. The company for years helped various artists and writers to break into the medium in the USA. Having grown into a pop culture icon, Stan Lee has taken the characters Jack created in a whole new universe. Just look at the movies, toys and over the top branding of the recent Thor and now Captain America, both were also co-created by Kirby.
Loyalist and those who believe a person should get recognition for his creations and royalties paid, especially in this age of multi-million dollar lawsuits, and brands which could easily buy some countries around the globe, should at least step aside from the legal decision now that its over, and look to rectify to the Kirby Heirs and to us, as consumers who indirectly allow an injustice to continue by allowing a man like Jack Kirby to continue (even after his passing), to be treated as a Coolie, carrying the bags of Marvel Comics while others reap of his work, slaving for a company, he felt, had for years mistreated him.
As both a writer and artist, not trying to say I am anything of any import among these giants, when I hear about someone who is unfairly treated by companies, I get angry, for lack of a better description. As part of my Bachelors Degree in Digital Filmmaking we discussed at length over ownership rights and work for hire and creations made and or, written whilst in the employ of a company, as the legals issues seem not to allow for creator rights in certain situations, (make sure you read the fine print). You see the law is always clear cut when it comes to who owns what, when and also how long for. But what it sometimes seems to ignore is the emotions, creative passions and angst which comes with trying to bring about something out of thin air.
In this case Marvel Comics have won, and also we must remember as has Disney. The losers are of course, Jack Kirby, who just doesn’t seem to catch a break and his heirs.
Now I am not saying that the fault lies with Marvel Comics or the Kirby Heirs here, but its a done deal. A loser and a winner. But, I as a comic fan and creator feel something needs to be done here for Jack. Its time to let the world know that without him American Comics would not be the rich green pasture it is today and that those comic characters would not have the same appeal they did for fans before us and those who will follow. But it would behove, Stan Lee to at least set the record straight and put the matter to rest as to who did what and when, now that the gavel has fallen. Lets have a clean slate. Jack Kirby will always be King.
Having decided to become a teacher so he can see the world, he has just begun a
Diploma in Digital Media -Multimedia. On the creative side Aru,
is writing and illustrating a graphic novel about the 30yrs of Institutionalised Slavery of
Indians in Fiji from 1885 -1915. He is a prolific script writer and writes in all comic
book genres which include several graphic novels for his own company,
Rising Sun Comics.