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New NZ publisher to focus on local graphic novels and comics

A new publisher specialising in locally created comics and graphic novels has launched in New Zealand.

Adrian Kinnaird, editorial director and co-publisher of Earth’s End Publishing, told Books+Publishing that the business was ‘the next natural step’ following several years of blogging at www.fromearthsend.blogspot.com, which led to the publication of From Earth’s End: The Best of New Zealand Comics by Random House NZ in 2013.

‘Local comics are often restricted in outreach, due to a lack of resources and experience in dealing with the book trade or retail market in general,’ said Kinnaird. ‘The three partners who founded Earth’s End have varying areas of expertise and sales experience which we feel would allow them to overcome these obstacles.’

Kinnaird’s business partners are Damon Keen, designer and co-publisher of NZ comics anthology Faction, and Kelly Sheehan, a bookseller, librarian and author of the comic series ‘The Inhabitants’. ‘Our modus operandi is to produce beautiful, exceptionally designed comics, and to make them available throughout New Zealand, and eventually the world,’ said Kinnaird.

Earth’s End Publishing will relase its first graphic novel The Dharma Punks by Ant Sang in October—‘a collection of his long out-of-print comic series that ran from 2001 to 2003, which at its peak was outselling the likes of Uncanny X-Men and Spider-Man at local comic shops’.

The Auckland-based publisher plans to release ‘at least one new title a year’ and hopes to publish both new and established local creators. The publisher offers a royalty split with authors and is currently self-distributing to retailers, which Kinnaird says ‘will help us establish and better understand our position in the marketplace’.

‘From my observations of the current book market, it seems some traditional publishers and distributors have had difficulty promoting graphic novels, and generally understanding [them],’ he said. ‘We’re hoping to utilise our inherent knowledge of the comics medium to work with retailers to help them reach an audience by publishing quality material.’

‘Once we have established ourselves, going forward we are interested in partnering with distributors who share our enthusiasm for the comics medium.’

Kinnaird said that while graphic novels were ‘not a huge chunk of the book market’, they represent ‘one of the few areas that is showing steady, sustained growth—both in print and digital sales’.

‘To us it was well past time a publisher took this opportunity to publish more local comics content.’

 

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Category: Local news