Webcomic Creator Set for Armageddon
Manawatū illustrator Deanna Gunn had been attending Armageddon as a fan since 2011 – until she started exhibiting last year. Now, she’s excited to show off her work when the pop culture convention hits Palmerston North for the first time.
Under his artist name Serapheir, Gunn creates the webcomic This is not the end. The comic is a sci-fi / fantasy story that follows a supernatural team of rebels battling their oppressive government – while trying to overcome their troubling pasts.
Gunn’s comic earned him nominations for Best Professional Production / Publication and Best New Talent at the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel Awards, which recognize excellence in works of science fiction, fantasy and neo-horror. Zealanders.
Gunn proposed the concept of This is not the end when she was in 10th grade at Manawatū College and developed it into a webcomic while studying a Bachelor of Creative Media at UCOL from 2017 to 2019.
“A lot of my assignments at UCOL focused on deepening my webcomic, from character design to concept art. Then, in third grade, I made the first three episodes of the comic. It was really cool to do it, ”Gunn says.
Gunn presented these episodes as part of UCOL’s end-of-year exhibit at Te Manawa in 2019 and graduated as the top student in her class.
Another UCOL highlight for Gunn was being named a finalist in Weta Workshops’ Gwangmyeong Concept Design Competition and having her entry exhibited in South Korea.
This is not the end now has 29 episodes with more than 40,000 views on the Tapas and Webtoons platforms.
Gunn’s art is influenced by his love for video games, cartoons, and cartoons, with Final fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Guild wars, and
Complete Metal Alchemist among his favorites. She is also inspired by the New Zealand webcomic scene.
“The New Zealand webcomic scene is quite surprising. Kale de Wild is a big inspiration to me. One of the most popular online comics right now is Knowledge of Olympus by Rachel Smythe, a New Zealander. There is a TV series, two books are coming out, its popularity is just amazing. You go to Armageddon and you see cosplayers dressed as characters.
“Countdown to Countdown, by American designer Xiao Tong Kong, was my biggest inspiration. Xiao is a year younger than me and started when she was in high school. His webcomic is breathtaking and I want to be at that level someday.
Gunn first exhibited at Wellington Armageddon in August 2020 and continued with Auckland in October and Wellington again in April. There, she sells prints of her illustrations, zines featuring episodes of her comics and concept art, as well as specially designed stickers, acrylic charms and washi tape.
Gunn has become a regular at conventions over the past year, having also sold her work at the Overload anime and manga convention in Auckland, Great Games With Pals (GGWP) in Wellington, and Palmy Zinefest.
“When I was at UCOL I made a business plan that included exhibiting at Wellington Armageddon in 2020. I did and it ended up being a lot more successful than I expected. was expecting me for the first time. I want to keep going to conventions for as long as possible – it’s so much fun meeting other artists and interacting with people who love what I’ve drawn.
“I’ve been going to Armageddon since 2011 and have always traveled for it, so seeing geek culture come to Palmy in such a big way is really exciting.”
Going forward, Gunn wants to publish his webcomic in book form and expand his illustration work and product line.
“I draw all the time – you have to keep your momentum going and always work on something.”
Check out Deanna Gunn’s work and follow her on social media here:
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