Work put to a larger audience
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.
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