Showing posts with label dharma punks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dharma punks. Show all posts

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hamilton Zinefest 2014

Pikitia Press will be tabling at the Hamilton Zinefest this Saturday. I'll be giving a talk at 1:30pm on the History of New Zealand Comics and micro publishing with Pikitia Press. Ant Sang will be talking at 11:30 about his forthcoming collection from Earth's End of his series The Dharma Punks.

I havn't written about Ant's Kickstarter for Dharma Punks as I have been busy as all heck but it's running for the course of May and well worth supporting.

Dharma Punks on Kickstarter.

The day's line up of workshops and talks:
Workshops and Talks are going to happen during the day at zinefest… here’s the line up :

10:30am – Kylie Buck / Tessa Stubbing (NZ Zine Review)
Zine binding with Kylie & Tessa [Max: 10 participants]
From the simple staple, to hand-sewing and more - this is a hands on workshop that covers the basics, and introduces some alternative techniques to zine binding. Materials supplied.

11:30am – Ant Sang /
Talks about the revival of Dharma Punks
Ant Sang has been described as “part of a new generation of sequential artists who challenge the tired misconception that comics are juvenile or lacking in literary merit.” He produced the surprisingly popular Filth mincomix in the mid-90′s, and kicked off the new millenium with his most ambitious project yet – a 384 page, serialised comic called The Dharma Punks. Ant will talk about the journey his comic series The Dharma Punks has taken from comic book to publication as a graphic novel via Kickstarter.

12:30pm – Ash Spittal /
Personal narratives within a Queer context
Ash started making zines a year ago after drawing lots of pictures of transgender men and not knowing what to do with them. He compiled the images and distributed them to friends. The work ended up becoming a sort of study of the transmasculine community in Aotearoa. Ash will be talking about zines and comics that have inspired him to write about being a queer trans* person. He makes zines about being different and being ok with that. He also likes superhero comics a lot.

1:30pm – Matt Emery (Pikitia Press) / 
Talks about New Zealand comics and the development of Pikitia Press
Matt will be talking about the history of New Zealand comics over the last 100 years and the evolution of Pikitia Press as a publication company publishing the best in independent comics from NZ and Australia.

2:30pm – Lucy Meyle / 
Exploring new frontiers: experimental publications & zine-making [Max 10 participants]​

This talk will look at contemporary artists who disseminate their work by exploiting the social, flexible, and contingent nature of small publications. It will also discuss how we can think of zines/comics/books not as finished objects, but as testing grounds for provisional ideas, social experiments, or explorations of form. Using these concepts as starting points, the talk will then explore some practical possibilities for making experimental publications.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nexus Comics Issue: Ant Sang Interview 2006

In mid 2006 Nexus Magazine designer Matt Scheurich took inspiration from a recent comics issue of Vice magazine and produced a comics-centric issue of the Waikato University magazine for their 7th August 2006 edition. The full colour magazine featured cartoons from local contributors as well articles and regular columns in cartoon form. Matt interviewed a few New Zealand cartoonists including Ant Sang.

Ant Sang Interview by M. Schuerich.

Ant Sang made his name in New Zealand comics initially with his DIY effort Filth but more break-through was with his serial comic Dharma Punks. If you're still lost, then you might know Ant from the TV series Bro'town as he was the character designer for the denizens of Morningside. I hit him up on some questions to get the low-down on his opinions, ideas and work.

What originally got you into comic creation?

I've drawn cartoons for as long as I can remember but I didn't start producing comics until the early 1990s, when I discovered "alternative" and autobiographical comics... stuff like Dan Clowes' -Eightball" and Chester Brown's "Yummy Fur" and "Ed the Happy Clown".

How do you think New Zealand comics are being perceived by New Zealanders themselves?

I don't think most New Zealanders are even aware of New Zealand comics!

Do you prefer working on comics with other people or by yourself'?

Comics are a very personal form of self-expression for me, so I really like to work by myself. Doing comics isn't really a fun process, it's just something I feel compelled to do.

How viable do you think comic creation and illustration is as a job in New Zealand?

Doing comics as a viable career in NZ is very difficult.. almost an impossibiity really! Doing illustration work is pretty difficult too, but not nearly as hard as basing earnings around comics. With illustration there are a lot more opportunitys and outlets for work such as advertising, children's books, working with design studios etc etc.

What are your impressions of the current New Zealand comic scene? It's a really diverse yet tiny scene. 

There is a whole spectrum of artists working in different genres and towards different goals. Some are seriously trying to make a living from comics while there are a lot of hobbyists who do it for fun. Despite this, most cartoonists seem to know each other or at least know about each other and what we're all up to.

What kind of elements and themes do you try to include in your own creations?
Whatever interests me at the time. Big themes about life, death and why were here seem to crop up a hell of a lot in my work. This isn't a conscious theme I've chosen to explore.., its just that I'm fascinated by this stuff so it winds up in my work.
What do you like appreciating the most out of yours or someone else's comics?

The comics I enjoy the most are ones where the writing and art complement each other seamlessly, neither overwhelming the other. Another thing that makes a good read is a comic which has emotional power and which gives me some heightened sense of being alive.., and these are qualities that I strive for in the comics I create.

What do you think the future has in store for New Zealand comics? 

I suspect NZ comics will continue to exist beneath the radar of mainstream New Zealand. despite our best efforts...

What comics have you been reading lately?

 "Louis Riel" by Chester Brown. "100%" by Paul Pope. -It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken" by Seth and -Shaolin Cowboy- by Geoff Darrow.

Your 'Filth series is essentially the beginnings of `Dharma Punks'. How did 'Filth' start?
I was inspired by the DIY ethic of alternative and autobiographical comics and thought 'yeah, I can do that!' and just started writing. It was a particularly confusing and angst-ridden period of my life and "Filth" was a natural expression of that.

What kind of themes were you trying to convey with 'Dharma Punks'?

"Dharma Punks" was my attempt at making sense of the "Filth" era of my life. It was also time to move on from "Filth- and -Dharma Punks" was a way of closing that particular chapter.

On your website you mention that you are working on a 'Dharma Punks' script for film. How is that progressing?

Very, very slowly. Though in the last few months I've made a few breakthroughs. I've set myself a deadline.., by the end of this year I will have the first draft finished, fingers crossed.

Doing the character design for the cartoon show "Bro'town" must have been a fun job. How exactly did you get it? 

The show's producer, Elizabeth Mitchell. tracked me down when she heard about "Dharma Punks". She asked me to try out designing some rough ideas of the main characters and luckily she and the Naked Samoans liked what they saw. And yes. its been great working on the show!

How did you come about the design of the characters for "Bro'town"? Did you base them on well-known New Zealand personalities?

Yeah, four of the five main characters are based on the four Naked Samoans, who are the writers and performers of bro'Town... so I had to design teenage, cartoon versions of them and from there had to design the rest of the characters of Morningside.

With your illustration work in publications like Pavement and The Fix, do you generally have free creative will in deciding the final outcome of the works you do for them?

The Fix has been really good about any illustration stuff. Richard either likes it or not and so either accepts it or not I've only done a few illustrations/ comics for Pavement and I've had no problems with them either. They're so supportive of local comics, it's great
'Dharma Punks seems to be one of the very few comic serials you've had completed and printed.

Are you working on anymore comics or are you concentrating more on different avenues?
I'm currently working fulltime on series 3 of bro'Town. Apart from that I'm working on the Dharma Punks script and yeah, I'm also working on my next comic project which will involve kungfu and Shaolin monks and plenty more...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012 in Review: Damon Keen

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2012?

Helping to get New Zealand's first crowd funded comic, Faction, out into the world! 

Who are some of the comics creators that you've discovered and enjoyed for the first time in 2012?

I made some great discoveries this year, so that's a tricky one. Finally got around to reading Charles Burns - and in particular Black Hole. It's always great when the storytelling and art come together so seamlessly, and Black Hole is beautiful and disturbing. I love stories that manage to include the surreal and dreamlike, but without becoming self indulgent and nonsensical, and Black Hole pulls it off brilliantly. Loving his new stuff too - the Hive is great.

Also finally read Dharma Punks by Ant Sang! Embarrassingly late I know - but well worth the wait. I think that it may just have catapulted straight to the top of my all-time favourite NZ comics. 

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2012?

Freaking LOVED the Mars landing by the Curiosity rover in August. We watched it live on NASA TV. It's what I imagine sport fans must feel like when their team wins something. What a bloody awesome achievement, One of those rare moments it felt good to be a human being. The Higgs Boson discovery was also mind-numbingly awesome. 

Have you implemented any significant changes to your working methods this year?

It's my first year of being freelance - so I've had to do lots of boring changes - like figuring out how to do my taxes and invoicing. Blergh. More interestingly, my drawing and comic creation has gone nearly entirely digital, from sketches through to the final work - a fun experiment, but I think the results have been promising so far. I still thumbnail the story outline first in a notebook though, so not quite there yet!

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Rocket boots. Better instant meals. Otherwise, continuing to grow Faction, I think. It's an exciting challenge. Nationally, it'd be nice to see the disgusting government we've got crash and burn, and globally, it'd be good to see some action on climate change. Anything. Anything at all. But I'm not holding my breath.