The three graphic novelists chosen to produce joint publications with their Kiwi counterparts have been in New Zealand this week to begin their projects under the wing of NZ Book Council.
Chuang Yung-shin is a well-known commercial film director in Taiwan. In 1997 he published Film Maker’s Notes, a comic which recorded his life and has been reprinted 18 times. He has gone on to publish two further award winning works.
61Chi had her first book of comics, Room published this year. She belongs to the new generation of Taiwanese comic artists, with versatile drawing talents and a range of skills across genres.
Ahn Zhe’s work encompasses graphic design, illustration and storyboard design, but his true passion lies in art as well as image and word creation. The Dream Under the Bed was published in 2011, and he has also contributed to collections.
Their New Zealand collaborators are Tim Gibson with a background in illustrating worlds, characters and monsters for films including Tintin, District 9 and Avatar.
Rachel Fenton, a novelist, poet and graphic novelist. Her work has been published both online and in print and includes cross-genre collaborations with other creative professionals.
Ant Sang is an award-winning graphic novelist who has also produced numerous short comics for anthologies and educational purposes. His Shaolin Burning received an Honour Award at the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.
Meeting for the first time on Monday last, the teams had a session covering structures and themes, aided by the Taiwanese translator Aho Huang. They followed with a walk on the beach at Long Bay.
Tuesday saw the collaborators – accompanied by NZ Book Council’s Catriona Ferguson – descending on K Road to check out the stock at local comic stores.
The second phase of joint effort will take place in Taiwan next February, and the results of the collaboration will be presented at the Taipei International Book Exhibition as part of New Zealand’s Guest of Honour programme.