Thursday, May 4, 2017

EVENT: Comicfest 2017

Wellington City Libraries and GRAPHIC comic store are joining forces to celebrate International Free Comic Book Day with Comicfest 2017, held this coming Saturday, 6th of May! From workshops and panel discussions with leading local cartoonists, to costume and drawing competitions, exhibitions and free comic giveaways - there's something for comic lovers of all ages at this multi-event comics festival!

Here are a rundown of the Comicfest events:

9.30am onwards Free Comic Book Day:
Sponsored by GRAPHIC comics

Grab some free comics from us and chat comics with our librarians at the Central Library!
Comics from all different publishers and for all age ranges are included in the selections, so there will be something for everyone. Thanks to Graphic for providing us with all the awesome free comics!

Comic drawing competition:

On Free Comic Book Day, come to the library and draw a comic story using just 4 panels and you could win an armful of comics! Feel free to come to Sarah Laing's character creation workshop on Saturday morning for inspiration. Entry forms available from Central Library on the day. All ages and drawing levels welcome.

Comics go to school:
Sponsored by The Ministry of Education
Over the course of its hundred-year history, the School Journal has included work from New Zealand's greatest authors and illustrators. In recent times, this has included comics from the likes of Dylan Horrocks, Ant Sang, and Andrew Burdan. Visit the Central Library to view a few highlights, new and old, in the lead up to ComicFest.

10am–11.00 Workshop: Comics character development workshop with Sarah Laing
Mezzanine Meeting Room, Central Library
Sponsored by Wellington City Libraries
Who's going to star in your comic? A superhero, a cybernaut, a talking sausage or a kid like you? Come to this comics workshop and we'll work on your character, from its backstory to the way it's drawn. Bring your own pens and pencils, and we'll have mountains of paper. Work on different expressions and poses, experimenting with line weight and form. We'll put them in some tricky situations to see how their story plays out in panels. All drawing levels welcome! Event info HERE.

10.30am–11.30am National Library: From where we started: Reading New Zealand's Comic History:
Session held at the National Library (Douglas Lilburn room, Level 1) to enable access to heritage collections
Sponsored by Alexander Turnbull library

The Alexander Turnbull Library collects New Zealand's documentary heritage and is home to a comic treasure trove. From early newspaper strips and children's annuals, through to contemporary graphic novels and zines, the Library offers a window into this unique and fascinating part of our history. Join research librarian Hannah Benbow for a hands on look at almost a century of New Zealand comics. Event info HERE.

11am-12noon Thunderbirds Are Go: Re-imagining the much loved brand for a new audience:
Sponsored by Pukeko Pictures

Ben Milsom, Production Designer and Episodic Director for Thunderbirds Are Go takes you through the process of re-imagining the 1960's classic for a new generation. Ben will guide you through the unique production process of this multi-media (CGI animation with live action miniature sets) series paying tribute to the legacy of model locations from the classic series.

Ben will showcase the inspiration taken from the original series and discuss how Thunderbirds Are Go was brought to life in animation, toys and comics through slides and video and present an opportunity to have your questions answered with a Q&A section. All attendees of this presentation go in to a draw to win a family pass to the Miniatures Stage Tour: Thunderbirds Are Go from Weta Studio Tours. Event info HERE.

12noon–1pm Panel: Creating graphic novels with Sarah Laing and Dylan Horrocks
Sponsored by NZ Book Council

Both Dylan Horrocks and Sarah Laing have authored popularly received and well regarded long form graphic novels including recent publications, Mansfield and Me and Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen. This informal, personal conversation will highlight the creative process involved in making a graphic novel, but also examine publishing, the graphic novel format and comics in New Zealand. Event info HERE.

1pm–1.30 Cosplay competition
Sponsored by Unity books

Dress up as your favourite character for a shot at a comic prize! There are prizes for all categories, including children, teens and adults. Event info HERE.

1.30pm–2.30pm Panel: A Wellington view – Local Cartoonists

What's it like to be making comics in New Zealand? Join us for a discussion between local Wellington comic artists Jem Yoshioka, Giselle Clarkson and Sally Bollinger about their unique experiences making comics about life, nature, tradition, culture, and doing all this from Wellington. Moderated by Robyn Kenealy. Event info HERE.

2.30pm–3.30pm Workshop: Taking your comics to the next level, with Dylan Horrocks
Sponsored by NZ Book Council

Gather up your comics (or that graphic novel plan) and bring them along to the Central library for a sit-down chat with Dylan Horrocks. This is a chance to examine your ideas and process, to share ideas and techniques and to take things to the next level. Limited to 10 participants. Email at to book your place. Event info HERE.

3.30pm–4.30pm Panel: Should we all be writing political comics?
Sponsored by Alexander Turnbull library

In spite of their subject matter, artistic responses to Trump and the current political climate have been witty, elegant, colourful and empowering. Join a group of panellists including Sam Orchard, Grant Buist and Toby Morris to discuss how they have responded to recent events in their work, and the ongoing power of comics to satirise and protest. Panel discussion moderated by Hannah Benbow. Event info HERE.

All events are free and unless stated, and open to participants of all ages. So if you're in Wellington this weekend and love comics, this is going to be a great day to celebrate the local comics community and the comics medium itself! You can find out more about Comicfest 2017 HERE.

- AK!

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