Saturday, June 30, 2012

News From Earth's End: July Edition

Above: Czepta: The Prophet Rides Again webcomic announcement art by Czepta Gold. Copyright Czepta Gold 2012.

Today sees the official launch of Czepta: The Prophet Rides Again, the new webcomic by Czepta Gold. Formally known as Ed Butler, creator of the comics Wulfpak and Hell Bound, he's taken on this new persona to completely embody the spirit of his new creation, a heady mix of: 'Astral Projection, UFOs, Egyptology, Giant Robots, Hallucinogenic Substances, Surfing, Islamic and Christian references, Rastafarianism, Buddhist Wizards, Virtual Cybernetic Cities, and Cyberpunk Villains'.

He's how Czepta Gold describes the series over at his website:

'The story of Czepta has been manifesting itself in my mind for about two years now. It has become the means for me to express my views on the world and human society today and where I would like to see us go. The story has grown organically, feeding off many of the experiences and lessons I’ve accumulated during this time. Some small and some dramatic. I’ve been wanting to do this my whole life, create my own stories, specifically in comic book form. This is my Dream. My childhood dream, which also happens to be the main theme of 'Czepta', Dreams. What they are, why they are important, and how they are the key to saving ourselves and this world we call home. Dreams are the essence of enlightenment and unless we start living like enlightened beings, our problems both personal and global, are only going to get worse.

The title of this comic, and of the main character is 'Czepta'. This is a word I created during a time when I was looking for a new name to go by as an artist. I was looking for something that described and represented all I hoped to achieve and become. So, in effect I would have to rise and embody it. Like Clark Kent, the weak newspaper reporter, I felt I needed to create a Superman persona that could beat my personal weaknesses into submission. Imprisoned by my own personality, I had (and have) many bad habits and methods that were blocking my path to success. Often it seems like only Superman could break through the barriers between me and my goal.  To get all the things done that I wished to achieve, I needed to become someone stronger than my current self.'

He's clearly set himself some lofty goals; and while I'm not quite sure how all these influences will mix, the art is polished and slick, promising to be something clearly unique. There will be two new pages to view each week at his website HERE, and you can join the Facebook fan page for updates HERE.


Above: A Judge Dredd fan appreciation, as drawn by local cartoonist Jason Winter.

The trailer for the much anticipated new Judge Dredd film, simply titled Dredd, has finally been released (view below). It features kiwi actor Karl Urban under the helmet, for this back-to-basics approach to the character from director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) and screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine). 


With a much more modest budget than the Stallone miss-fire in the 90s (around 30 million), this version focuses on Dredd taking down drug queen Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), a former prostitute who now controls a 200-story slum tower with a dangerous new drug called 'Slo-Mo' (which allows its users to experience reality at a fraction of its normal speed). Judge Dredd creator John Wagner has given the film his blessing, so now its up to the film going public to decide its sentence when its released here on October 4th in 3D and 2D.


Above: Poster for Simon Morse's new tattoo studio Dr. Morse Inc.

Cartoonist Simon Morse, creator of such cult comics as Straightjacket Ninja and Toolbox, has opened his own tattoo studio in Wellington, Dr Morse Inc. Known for his fine lined artwork and illustrations, you can now have the artist personally use you as the canvas for his next creation or for whatever work of art you have in mind! Here's some great examples from the studio's Facebook page:




Dr. Morse Inc. Tattoo Studio is located in the James Smith Building, Level 4, Cuba St, Wellington. Ph: 04 472 0270. You can join the studio's Facebook page HERE.

Above: A preview from Popeye #3, artwork by Tim Neely.

Via Comicbook Resources, here's a 7-page preview of Popeye #3 from IDW, written by NZ cartoonist Roger Langridge and illustrated by Tim Neely. You can read this extract of classic comics mayhem HERE.


Above: A comics flyer from PASO, created to promote eco-tourism and awareness for travellers visiting New Zealand. Artwork by Matthew Kelly.

PASO is the creation of German couple, Patrick Grossmann & Sonja Heydorn, a small organisation dedicated to promoting eco-tourism and green sustainable living. They are currently traveling around the world, and at each location they visit they contact local cartoonists to create comic flyers to promote eco-tourism guides for travellers visiting that region. For the creation of their New Zealand flyer, they got in touch with Matthew Kelly, creator of the satire comic Kiwiman, via a link from Earth's End. Financed through crowd funding, this flyer has been printed and distributed to I-sites throughout New Zealand.

You can visit the PASO site HERE for more information and an update on Patrick & Sonja's travels, as well as some other cool comics promoting eco-tourism from their travels in different countries. And don't forget to check out Kiwiman comics HERE for more of Matt's work!



Above: Eric Resetar's Crash Carson and Richard Fairgray's Blastosaurus by Jason Winter.

And finally, cartoonist Jason Winter is at it again, with some cool artist appreciations of Eric Resetar's Crash Carson, and Richard Fairgray's Blastosaurus! You can check out more of Winter's artwork HERE.

If you want to find out more about the current happenings in the New Zealand Comics scene, you can join the discussion HERE at the official Facebook page, and visit the newly re-vamped New Zealand Comics website HERE.

-AK!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Weekend Viewing: Comics Creator Rights and Colin Wilson



Above: Me, appearing on Media7 to talk Creator Rights.

Thanks to On Demand viewing, here's some comics related online viewing to get you through the weekend.
First up, I appeared on this week's episode of Media7 to discuss the current state of Comics Creator Rights, and the currently plight of the Siegel & Shuster Estate in their ongoing battle with Warner Bros for control of Superman. It's also accompanied by a great piece on Jack Kirby by reporter (and sometimes cartoonist) Jose Barbosa! You can view it on the TVNZ7 website HERE. And a big thank you to Russell, Jose and the team for having me!


Above: A self-portrait of NZ cartoonist Colin Wilson, surrounded by the many characters he's drawn over the year.

Thanks to the NZ On Screen archive, you can watch this rare 2004 interview with celebrated NZ cartoonist Colin Wilson, from the arts TV series The Living Room. Wilson was the originator of the 70s anthology comic series Strips, before finding fame and fortune in Europe drawing Judge Dredd and Lt. Blueberry. This interview offers a great candid look into Colin's art practice and studio, highly recommended weekend viewing that you can view HERE

-AK!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Nice NZ Fan Art: Featuring Toby Morris and Jason Winter


Above: Captain Sunshine as depicted by Jason Winter. 

Here are two great examples of NZ Comics fan art; the first is by Jason Winter, revisiting the world's first 'environmental superhero' Captain Sunshine, created by writers Peter Farrell, Roy Middleton, Reuben Sandler and drawn by Colin Wilson in 1979.


Above: Captain Sunshine #1 (1979). Copyright Sundial Watches Limited 1979.

It was the first original full-colour superhero comic of its kind to be produced in New Zealand, with a massive estimated print run of 100,000 copies. The comic was created to promote an ill-fated sundial wrist-watch, which failed to catch the public imagination and quickly killed any chance of future comic adventures (Wilson pencilled a second issue which was never published, and the art has been lost to the ages...).

Above: Terry Teo, by Toby Morris.

Terry Teo was the hero from three original NZ graphic novels produced by writer Bob Kerr and artist Stephen Ballantyne, starting with Terry and the Gunrunners in 1982. The first graphic novel in the series sold 20,000 copies, and was popular enough to inspire a local TV series in 1985, starring Adrian Bell as Terry Teo. The graphic novel also produced two sequels: Terry and the Yodelling Bull in 1986, and Terry and the Last Moa in 1990.



Above: Terry and the Gunrunners by Bob Kerr and Stephen Ballantyne. copyright Bob Kerr and Stephen Ballantyne 1982.

-AK!