Work put to a larger au­di­ence

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

Da­mon Keen wants you to read comics.

In fact, the West­mere res­i­dent is so in­vested in bring­ing the lit­er­ary art­form to the masses that he has re­leased an­tholo­gies boast­ing works from some of New Zealand’s best and lesser known comic cre­ators.

Fac­tion 2 is a 90-page sam­pler of an­i­mated good­ness which was re­leased this month.

The col­lec­tion fol­lows hot on the heels of the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of Fac­tion, which was pub­lished ear­lier this year us­ing money raised through the PledgeMe crowd­fund­ing site.

Sales of the first edi­tion fa­cil­i­tated the print­ing of the se­cond vol­ume – the hope be­ing the ti­tle will even­tu­ally be­come self-sus­tain­ing for fu­ture re­leases.

The idea was con­ceived by Mr Keen and his co-ed­i­tor Amie Max­well af­ter they re­alised there is vir­tu­ally no out­lets for comic artists to have strips pub­lished in this coun­try.

‘‘I got in touch with some comic artists I knew and admired in New Zealand and we just started get­ting peo­ple who were in­ter­ested,’’ Mr Keen says.

‘‘It comes from a partly phil­an­thropic place, in that we all gain each other’s au­di­ences, and partly from a self-mo­ti­vated place which is to get my comics read as well.’’

The pair care­fully se­lected con­tribut­ing pieces, with the goal of cre­at­ing a slick end prod­uct that will fur­ther raise the bar for New Zealand comics.

Mr Keen says the coun­try’s comic scene is be­fore’’.

Where the medium has been his­tor­i­cally thought of as a home of buff men in tights, the last few decades have seen a shift in style.

Fac­tion 2 aims to take a multi-



never tude of comic styles and present them all in one pack­age with some­thing for pretty much ev­ery­one.

‘‘It’s not aimed at superhero fans and stereo­typ­i­cal geeks. Comics aren’t a superhero thing any more,’’ Mr Keen says.

‘‘There’s noth­ing that sim­plis­tic about them ... they are some­thing that utilises im­agery and writ­ing to­gether in a re­ally clever way.’’

Works by the 11 artists fea­tured in Fac­tion 2 range from painterly styles to hard sci­ence-fic­tion, from straight car­toons to sur­real fan­tasy.

As well hard copies be­ing avail­able for pur­chase, Fac­tion 2 is also avail­able for free on­line.

‘‘It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to go and have a look,’’ Mr Keen says

‘‘And it’s also about en­cour­ag­ing other comic artists, wher­ever they are in New Zealand.’’


Smash­ing stereo­types: Comic cre­ator Da­mon Keen is spear­head­ing a se­ries of an­i­mated an­tholo­gies to get more New Zealand work read.

Ac­tion-packed: The cover of Fac­tion 2 was cre­ated by Chris­tian Pearce whose day job is be­ing a de­signer at the renowned Weta Work­shop.

Visit auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour and click Lat­est Edi­tion to see a pre­view of

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