Comic books have long been stigmatised as a past time only enjoyed by nerdy boys and lonely men.
But one group of Kiwis says it's not just about superheroes in spandex, and they've created a comic anthology to show off New Zealand talent, and reignite the comic craze.
Within the pages of Faction comics are 14 stories of comedy, drama and suspense.
And none of them involve a man wearing undies over his tights.
Comic artist Damon Keen created the anthology with comic fan Amie Maxwell after struggling to share his work.
“The reason for Faction existing is to give comic artists in New Zealand a platform to get their work printed. We're also optimistically hoping to get more New Zealanders to read comics - and to hopefully expand that audience.”
It's an audience that's dwindling in New Zealand - Keen says it's because comics have been misconceived as picture books that stick to the same old genre.
But there are plenty of Kiwi comic artists with fresh ideas, including Ant Sang.
“The comics I do aren’t superheros and that kind of stuff,” Sang says. “They're independent comics with more personal stories.”
And he has noticed a sombre trend among his comics.
“Looking at my stories - I seem to be obsessed with death. And just the meaning of it all and why we're here.”
But it's not just the boys getting involved. Lauren Marriot is also a productive comic artist.
“The characters are loosely based on people I know,” Marriot says. “These two - Rick and Lyle - they're best friends and bogans. They're general low-lifes.”
Faction comics can be viewed for free online.
The fiction fanatics want to put out two more anthologies this year, in the hopes their creations can draw back the crowds.
source: newshub archive