|Faction 1 - New Zealand Comics Anthology|
Answer: An anthology of New Zealand comics.
Why does this matter? Faction aims to bring together New Zealand comic talent to showcase the talent available and provide a more mainstream and professional outlet in which to examine the artistic ability of Aotearoa (Maori for New Zealand).
Local and alternative comic publishing outlets are an important part of the industry. They occupy a role necessary to challenge and explore the capability of artists and push the boundaries of mainstream acceptance. While they may not be commercially significant in the grand scheme of comic publishing, they are, nonetheless, a crucible for development of comics in general.
The publishing team behind Faction recognizes the limited media available for local New Zealand comic creators to present their work. Given the markets geographic distance to major outlets and the smaller population desire for regular printed comic serials, the logical solution was to bring together industry know-how for those wanting to get noticed. The crowd funded project was established in 2012 and has now produced three volumes of comics.
The aim of Faction is summarized on their website:
"At Faction we aim to show off the diverse range of comic talent that exists in New Zealand and celebrate the extraordinary new direction that comics have been taking in the past years, as they develop into a broader and more mature art-form."
Faction claims that "our main focus is on great art and great storytelling - and on making Faction a comic that people can’t put down". This is achieved in a remarkable way. Each issue has comics that can draw you in and leave you wanting more, it is a little sad that due to the nature of the anthology that more can't fit between the covers. The printed versions are of a high quality and it shows that care has been taken to edit and produce the finished product.
While the aim is clearly stated Faction delivers on this. It is great to see an outlet like this for those passionate about comics that may be trying to get recognized for their talent. Importantly the focus helps develop local level talent and build a foundation for a comics industry that is ever maturing.
This is a worthwhile read for something different, as another take on what comics can be all about. The stories are universal, but the talent is local and prove it's time to stand up a little taller and show what New Zealand comic artists can do.
Have you read Faction? What are your thoughts about it so far? Let me know and leave a comment below.