In 2005, the Cartoon Archive was fully absorbed into the Alexander Turnbull Library, and the trust was replaced with a Guardian’s committee. Then, in 2019 the Guardian’s announced that they were stepping down, and the library took the opportunity to reconsider the scope of the collection.
2020 saw the establishment of a new cartoons and comics advisory group, and the expanded scope became official, The New Zealand Cartoons Archive has now become the New Zealand Cartoons and Comics Archive.
It’s an extremely exciting time for the archive, as it has appointed its first Assistant Curator, who is tasked with examining the new scope and identifying priority collection areas. In expanding the scope of the archive, they hope to provide a home for New Zealand’s rich comics history, as well as continuing to develop and promote its collection of cartoon artwork. It is hoped that this change will bring together all the disparate components of cartoons and comic publications, art, archives and activity, to support focussed and sustained collecting, research support, and public programming.
The expanded scope now includes (but isn’t limited to): caricatures, comic strips, comic books, comics in zine, comix, editorial cartoons, graphic memoir, graphic novels, magazine cartoons, manga, sports cartoons, and webcomics.
The archive’s Assistant Curator is also proudly co-curating Comicfest for 2021. Comicfest was founded in 2013 by Wellington City Libraries and as the event grew the National Library of New Zealand excitedly teamed up with Wellington City Libraries to support the initiative. The star-studded ComicFest 2021 line-up includes many of Aotearoa’s comic greats in workshops, talks and activities for the whole family. You can:
- Help multi-award-winning Kay O’Neill create friends old and new for their latest graphic masterpiece, Dewdrop the Axolotl,
- Listen and watch as 2017-2019 Poet Laureate and Mophead creator Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh joins worldwide comic phenomenon Toby Morris for an exclusive live reboot of The Spinoff’s Two Sketches series,
- Meet debut graphic novel sensation and film director Jonathan King as he discusses the creation of his first comic, The Inkberg Enigma,
- Hear from Lore Olympus creator Rachel Smythe, whose works have just been snapped up by the Jim Henson Company for a television adaptation,
- Explore the hidden worlds of Mary Guo, creator of the hit children’s series Kiddets and professional frequenter of Wellington cafes,
- Learn from freelance illustrator and comic artist extraordinaire Giselle Clarkson’s experiences with artistic commissions, from concept and agreement to completion, and
- Crack the code of superhero creation with Zak Waipara and Michel Mulipola in live demonstration mode.
ComicFest is a free event, held on Saturday 21 August at the National Library of New Zealand (70 Molesworth Street) 9.00am – 5.00pm.
Sam Orchard; is the Assistant Curator of Cartoons and Comics at the Alexander Turnbull Library. He is the illustrator, comic creator. author and designer, and in 2017 he founded the “We are beneficiaries” campaign. Sam is co-coordinator of ComicFest which will be held at the library on 21 August 2021. Sam is presenting a panel at LIANZA 2021 Conference on ‘How to save a ComicFest’ Tuesday at 4.30pm!