Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Colour Tests for Otea: Rock of Ages 2

Some early colour tests, design layouts and even some balloon placements. All still work in progress!

© Zak Waipara, 2017

Sunday, 4 December 2016

More Inks

More work in progress showing another page of new artwork. The page layout process seems to be the longest part of the planning process - this can take quite a while getting it sorted. Once I am satisfied that the layout works, the actual pencilling and inking part proceeds relatively smoothly.

Copyright 2016 Zak Waipara

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Wider world of Otea

Artwork showing the wider world of Otea with denizens from the sea. These were originally prepared for Chromacon 2015 (NZ Indie Arts Festival), the image on the left is from the Chromacon Anthology, and the smaller image on the right is a postcard I designed for the show. Chromacon will be held again on April 8-9, 2017 at the Aotea Centre, Auckland.

Copyright Zak Waipara

Friday, 22 January 2016

Create Readers Review

I was really honoured and pleased to read a great review of Otea: Rock of Ages 1 recently, in the National Library's Services to Schools Create Readers blog.

The librarian (or teacher?) who wrote the review chose a photograph to go along with it of Panekire Bluff, above Lake Waikaremoana, which I could completely envisage within the fictional world of Otea. It confirms for me what an amazing landscape for stories we have in Aotearoa.

Copyright Zak Waipara

The review is particularly interesting, because it focuses on how teachers might use the comic to support learning about writing and illustrating in the graphic novel form. For instance, at the end of the issue I have included a few pages of notes - some explanations of my creative decisions in the story, character sketches, and draft page layouts. I simply enjoy reading about the working process of other writers and artists, and was thinking about what I would like to see myself! But this review reminds me that these notes can be useful for teaching and learning too...

Check out the review here:

Thursday, 5 November 2015


Copyright 2015 Zak Waipara
I started on artwork for the next part of the story, and thought I would share some of that here. I hope to add more of this work in progress as I go.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Auckland Writers Festival

In May I presented a workshop and a Family Day session at the Auckland Writers Festival. It was great to be in the middle of so many young writers and readers, talking about myth, stories and comics, and showing the first part of Otea: Rock of Ages to a wide audience. 

At the packed workshop for Year 7-11 students, I presented some ideas on character design inspired by mythology, and then the kids had a go at creating their own mythological creature. There were some cool and innovative designs created!

 Some student work created on the day - fantastic designs and character profiles.
Photographs copyright Zak Waipara 2015.

I also had a great time being involved in the Family Day - it was really fun, with parents and children chatting afterward while I signed comics!

 Presenting the Maori Myths session at Family Day, Auckland Writers Festival 2015.
Photograph copyright Tama Waipara 2015. 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

A Review

A thoughtful review that appeared on the NZ COMICS Facebook Group by Eric Cresswell (aka EHC Art)

"Awesome read of te hoa's first comic book "Otea, Rock of Ages" by Zak Waipara. The art style feels as though you're looking through the eyes of our protagonist Kurutai, a child’s perspective - simple and abstracted as he interprets his new surroundings. There are nice graphical elements dispersed throughout the panels. But my favourite feature of this comic is the tale itself, it is almost poetic, especially the dialogue between the animals. Kurutai's innocence and unawareness makes for humorous effect. Also for those non te reo speakers or those unfamiliar to Maori mythology you get a bit of a 101 on Maori words and phrases used throughout a lot of the book. You can tell Zak has put a lot of time and effort into this mahi, all the more Tautoko to the bro for creating a comic that not only children will enjoy, but still has enough depth for older readers also. Seeing as it's kinda a prologue we're left hanging waiting for the next installment and the continuation of our characters’ adventures. Mauri tu, mauri ora, mauri moe, mauri mate!” 

Tena koe Eric!