NZ's first crowd-funded comic launches
Kiwi comic fans have spoken – with their wallets. Overwhelming public support for a local comic anthology has resulted in New Zealand’s first crowd-funded comic. Founders of Faction reached out to comic enthusiasts through crowd-funding website Pledge Me, receiving enough donations to produce and launch New Zealand’s newest comic anthology.
Now that funding has come through, the first issue of Faction has been released, featuring a collection of previously unpublished works of 14 well-known and up-and-coming artists from across the country.
As well as providing talented Kiwi comic artists with an avenue to distribute their work, Faction will appeal to local and international comic fans with fresh comic art in printed and online formats.
Faction hopes to challenge the stereotype of comic fans and draw new audiences to the comic art scene. “The comic market has evolved so much over the past 20 years” says Damon Keen, founder of Faction. “The shift to digital publishing has been a major game-changer for comics. We want to embrace this shift by developing an online platform for our Kiwi artists to get recognition on an international stage.”
Faction co-founder Amie Maxwell is keen to dispel the myth that comics are for teenage boys and Superhero fans. “Comic art has matured and expanded hugely. The variety of both the art and the artists themselves breaks the boundaries of sex, age and ethnicity and opens comic art up to a huge audience. It’s been awesome to discover that New Zealand has some seriously kick-ass female comic artists!” A recent convert to comics, Maxwell was disappointed by the lack of a quality publication for talented Kiwi comic artists and encouraged Keen to bring his unrealised Faction dream to life.
A graphic designer and video editor by trade, Keen has been reading and drawing comics since he was eight years old. He has produced numerous comics – including The Sparrow which he adapted into the short film Last Flight which was selected for the 2011 New Zealand International Film Festival.
Faction is very much a project born of passion for comic art. None of the contributing artists or founders are paid, Keen is funding additional costs and the online anthology is free for readers to download. He is optimistic that he will recoup costs through the sale of printed copies, and hopes to attract sponsors to support twice-yearly printed versions.
Keen was thrilled with the calibre of artists contributing to the inaugural anthology. “I’ve been blown away by the talent of our local artists. As the artworks have come in, my determination to make Faction a success has exploded. These artists deserve to have their works seen far and wide!”
Contributing artists include Greg Broadmore, a concept designer at Weta Workshop who worked on the movie District 9 as well as numerous other bockbusters. Illustrator Ant Sang is best known for creating the world of Morningside for bro’Town and designing the four core characters. Sang has also produced work for Rip it Up, The Listener and several children’s books. Roger Langridge has produced artwork for Popeye and The Muppet Show comics, as well as local comic legend, Knuckles the Malevolent Nun. Filmmaker Jonathan King and animator Karl Wills have also submitted comics to the project.
Visit www.factioncomics.co.nz for a full list of artists and join the Faction Facebook page for a sneak peak of featured works. The full anthology can be downloaded for free. Hard copies are also available.
Damon Keen and Amie Maxwell are available for interviews, photos and can supply samples of submitted artworks. Printed copies of Faction will be made available for reviewers.
For more information– contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Pledge Me is a website which facilitates public donations to help fund creative projects for anyone who has an idea they want to see happen. Projects are given a fundraising page on the Pledge Me website, and when a project is successful and reaches or exceeds the funding goal the project requires, the total amount raised by the contributions of the supporters is passed on to the creator of the project. If a project is not successful and doesn't reach its funding goal, the funding intended for the project doesn't get charged to the supporters of the project. More info: www.pledgeme.co.nz