Beyond Reality Media is a recently established graphic novel, comics and anime publisher headed by Bill Geradts and based in Christchurch.
As a founder of the Armageddon Expos held in centres throughout New Zealand, and a shareholder in one recently established in Melbourne, Bill has the necessary street cred in this area.
For those few fogies not in the know, Armageddon Expos are an explosion of stalls and events for adventure and fantasy film buffs – including top line Hollywood and Kiwi movie acting talent – people interested in comics and graphic novels, fans of science fiction and fantasy books, cosplay events, special effects makeup displays and competitions, and online game enthusiasts.
Bill established the first Armageddon in Auckland in 1995, and the one coming up in Auckland is from 24 – 27 October. Armageddon shows are held in several cities around the country, and number four to five each year.
Beyond Reality Media was set up just over four years ago, when Bill saw the opportunity of expanding the comics/graphic novel offering using the talents of local and international graphic artists and designers illustrating Kiwi authored stories. “The genre was almost non-existent in New Zealand but hugely popular in most international markets.”
Initially the approach was digital, but Bill soon discovered digital publishing alone offered ‘no way to get your money back.’ He switched to a mix of printing books alongside digital distribution, aiming to reach the combined market at the high end.
If you haven’t dipped into comic books since childhood, you will find more sophisticated artwork and out-there storylines than you might expect.
Also at Armageddon is the release of 24,000 free comics, featuring issue one of The Time Travelling Tourist – just one episode of the many possible titles. Normally a TPB would be four episodes in one book.
Bill describes his involvement in cartoon series as “Writing in increments – always doing something with a book, having fun.”
The Beyond Reality/ Armageddon offices are in Christchurch. Bill and his family shifted there five years ago from Auckland, and despite earthquake turmoil he has no plans to return “Which says a lot for Christchurch!”