New direction for Kiwi comic crew Faction with High Water

High Water, edited by Damon Keen.
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High Water, edited by Damon Keen.

REVIEW: 

High Water

3 Bad Monkeys

Faction / edited by Damon Keen

$29.95

High Water is a departure for the Kiwi comics crew behind the Faction series of anthologies, who this time focus on climate change as the theme for a special edition.

The production values and the message will be lost on climate-change deniers, but from a strictly comics perspective, the Faction team are consistently producing high-quality work. This is their fourth book, and they have quickly become a credible force on New Zealand's pop culture scene.

Eleven artists contribute, including some big names of New Zealand comics , but the star of this show is Damon Keen for his Lotus Eaters, a staccato, time-lapse vision of a poisoned Auckland future that Keen has made look hauntingly realistic.

Ross Murray contributes a brief, wordless but exquisitely rendered dive into the ocean depths down  to a cityscape below an oil rig.

Chris Slane brings humour and his distinctive watercolour style in depicting a martyred, tortured climate-change denier.

Christian Pearce expands on his  cover art for Faction #2  - this time we see the gory results  when the giant  mutant crab of Wellington is wired up.

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Dylan Horrocks  uses a future traveller's personal effects, including postcards (remember them?) as a device to hint at a drastically changed world.  But the drawback here is that there's a lot of  small, handwritten text  and it's not easy to read.  

In contrast, Katie O'Neill's clearl-line style in Below the Waves is effective and vivid, even if her theme is similar to Murray's.

Overall, a high-quality publication, again.

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