Editors: Rae Joyce, Sarah Laing, & Indira Neville
Publisher: Beatnik Publishing
The first collection of its kind to be published in New Zealand, Three Words is a celebration of our female artists, writers, illustrators, and zinemakers. Some of the names here will be familiar; artists such as Sarah Laing, Anna Crichton, Kerry Ann Lee, and Sharon Murdoch are established in their fields. But, the aim of the anthology is inclusivity, and so the call was put out to any and all female artists who wanted to contribute. As such, the book serves as as a first showing for many new voices.
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Each contributor submitted three words, and in turn received three words of their own, to base a short comic on. Alongside this, contributors submitted a comic of their choosing, be it freshly drawn or unearthed from the archives. The result is an anthology which straddles the spheres of old and new, honouring past works and encouraging ongoing creativity. Ending the anthology is a selection of essays touching on such subjects as the male response to Three Words, female humour, and the colonialism in comics.
The stories told here are both personal and public, speaking to not just the shared female experience, but also the experience of working as a woman in an environment previously (and in many ways, still) dominated by men. There is no question that Three Words is an important and much-needed addition to New Zealand’s art history.