Three-word story ideas unexpectedly complete

August 10, 2017
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Three Words: An Anthology of Aotearoa/NZ Women’s Comics,
edited by Rae Joyce, Sarah Laing & Indira Neville (Beatnik Publishing, RRP $49.99)

If you happen to read the mainstream newspapers and magazines in this country (in fact, in most countries) you could be forgiven for thinking there were no women comic writers.

Even at first glance on the internet, this appears to be a male-dominated industry with little mention of women anywhere.

Three Words dispells that myth in style, pulling together an anthology of comics created by a vast spectrum of New Zealand’s female artists, writers, illustrators and zinemakers, and showcasing the diversity of our local comics scene.

That’s New Zealand for you: we’ve always been a little ahead of the global game when it comes to recognising that women are equal to men (the right to vote being just one example).

The idea behind this book is that each artist came up with three words. Those three words were then passed on to another contributor, who created a comic and spun a story.

The result is a fascinating publication that covers an incredibly diverse and surprisingly in-depth range: from funny to sad, fanciful to intellectual.

The publisher says the first book of its kind in New Zealand, and it may well be the first of its kind in the world.

I’m not a comic book fan, and am probably far removed from the target audience, but have to admit I found it quite compelling and a bit of an eye-opener: the illustrated stories based on those three-word offerings were actually quite complete little stories, and I really had no idea that comics were actually so engaging.

I might just be a convert.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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