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September 1, 2008 | by  | in Books | [ssba]

Bookstore Review: Graphix

I was a latecomer to comic books: they’re supposed to be an adolescent thing, but it wasn’t until Joss Whedon began writing Buffy Season Eight as a comic book series last year that I got into this art form. Fortunately, the folks at Graphix on Cuba Mall (next to Matterhorn) make it easy to get into comics. Besides rows and rows of the latest releases, freshly flown in from the USA, they have a wide selection of bound volumes of past classics such as Sandman and The Dark Knight, a manga rack, some sweet action figures (including a Communist Superman in a grey suit with a hammer and sickle crest), and, most importantly, a rack of cheap, local zines.

These zines, ranging in price from $1 to $5, are mostly A5 black and white booklets by Kiwi cartoonists. These guys make very little from their work, but some of their stuff is fantastic, so I want to share some of my favourites with you:

Omnisexual by Robbie Neilson
This zine, by Salient’s own cartoonist, explains through a series of images and rants, what it means to be an omnisexual. And just what is an omnisexual? I hear you ask. Well, one character in the zine, when asked what is their sexuality, ponders their past escapades for a moment before responding: “I like to put my penis in things.” This is right next to a page where the author declares that if he could have sex with anyone, real or fictional, from throughout history, he would do Jesus.

Black Sheep Comix by students of The Learning Connection
The three editions of Black Sheep Comix collect cartoons by students of Island Bay’s art school. While the work varies widely in quality, there is one outrageously brilliant tale in Issue 2: ‘Hunter’ by Ben Smith. It tells the story of a gigantic hunter who lives under Wellington harbour, emerging every two centuries to travel back in time to Te Wai Pounamu to hunt moa: “They are his favourite hangover food the Hunter equivilant of eggs and and baked beans on toast after a hard out night on the piss. Another popular misconception is Moa died out through over-hunting, but Maori are not guilty of this historical blip.” Once the hunter has gorged himself he “spews his ring out then has to have a wee lie down” before returning to the harbour floor for another two centuries of farting earthquakes.

Ninjet the Ninja Cat
A zine about a ninja cat with some dynamic lines in its artwork. Ninja cats are inherently awesome. That is all.

Progress by Jared Lane
This series of comics is set in a dystopian future Christchurch, where a stoner boy who works as a cleaner at the university discovers a bionic girl, whom he liberates and takes home to… play with.

Book is a local zine featuring sketches of frighteningly damaged people and some text discussing mental cases. Rather surreal.


About the Author ()

Tristan Egarr edited in 2008. He threw a chair once.

Comments (1)

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  1. comix fan says:

    You missed Pictozine, an anthology of local Welli ‘toon artists, which comes out whenever enough of them have contributed to the next project.

    Last year’s one is still in stock, I believe. Ask Shane! Awesome purply cover art.
    Has a lot of really good tangental stuff, by some long-term talented people, as well as newcomers, in many styles. Some even switched styles for the production.

    Zinefest is worth a look for new cartoonists, too.
    They’re interested in meeting more artists for next year’s event.

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