Tuesday, March 26, 2019

EXHIBITION: Anti-Heroes: The Art of Conscious Cartoonists and Comic Book Creators

Above: An image from the animated movie, My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea by Dash Shaw. Copyright Dash Shaw 2019.

Tauranga Art Gallery is bringing comics and pop culture back to the art gallery in 2019, with Mega World - an international exhibition exploring the expansive universe of illustration. The show transports you to an unknown landscape populated by strange creatures and unlikely heroes. Shown across all five exhibition spaces, the Gallery’s signature show gives life to contemporary illustration in its many forms. From comics and graphic novels to underground illustration, animation and contemporary art.

The first exhibition in the Mega World series is, Anti-Heroes: The Art of Conscious Cartoonists and Comic Book Creators. Curated by Craig McClure, this exhibition celebrates comic books and cartooning, and the powerfully empathetic way cartoonists have of representing the world. This exhibition is the first installment of Mega World, the Tauranga Art Gallery's 2019 signature show, and features work by Ryan Heshka (CA), Dash Shaw (USA), Ron Regé Jr (USA), Tommi Parrish (AU), Tom Scott (NZ), Mardo El-Noor (NZ) and Dylan Horrocks (NZ). 
Anti-Heroes is on now and runs to the 9th of June. Here's the exhibition statement: 
'Comic books are famously known for their Amazonian warriors, supermen from Krypton and cave dwelling billionaire playboys; Superheroes who violently defend the world from mastermind criminals and world domination.The artists in Anti-heroes resist this archetypical genre of comic books and use the medium to tell real human stories. Their characters are inspired by real people, human relationships and are often autobiographical. The comic book has been dominated by the superhero but as an art form it is a unique way of telling stories with both words and pictures simultaneously. Anti-heroes is a survey of works chosen by the curator that gives insight into the creators process, including original comic book pages, concept drawings, digital paintings and animation. Elements not usually seen by the audience are exposed and the craft of comic-book story-telling is revealed'.

Above: The poster for My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea by Dash Shaw. Copyright Dash Shaw 2019.

The exhibition will also include the Australasian premiere of the instant cult classic animated film My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea, by Dash Shaw. The animation comes hot from the Toronto Film Festival and includes voice-overs with; Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham and Susan Sarandon.  

There are also several special upcoming events associated with the exhibition:

Curator Talk: Craig McClure with Keeli McCarthy

When: Saturday 30 March, 10.30am
Where: Tauranga Art Gallery

Join Craig McClure, curator of Anti-heroes, as he discusses the world of comic books with US-based designer and editor Keeli McCarthy. McCarthy’s portfolio includes work for Fantagraphics and Walt Disney.

Entry to this events is free, but please register HERE to help the Gallery manage numbers.

Artist Talk: Dash Shaw

When: Saturday 18 May, 10.30am
Where: Tauranga Art Gallery

Dash Shaw is a US comic book writer/artist and animator, whose most recent film animation, My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea, is showing as part of the Mega World exhibition, Anti-heroes. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from an international artist at the fore of comics and animation.

Entry to this events is free, but please register HERE to help the Gallery manage numbers.

For more information and updates, visit the Tauranga Art Gallery website HERE.

- AK!

Friday, March 22, 2019

New Zealand Cartoonists Respond to the Christchurch Terror Attacks

Above: A cartoon by Shaun Yeo. Copyright Shaun Yeo 2019.

A week ago on the 15th of March, Christchurch, New Zealand was shocked by a senseless, violent gun attack on two mosques in the city that left 50 people dead.

The media was quick to respond, with live televised updates as the tragic events unfolded. Within 30 minutes of listening to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressing the nation on live television, Invercargill cartoonist Shaun Yeo produced a cartoon to express the sorrow he felt in the immediate aftermath. "I had a blank sheet of paper on my desk. It took me 20 minutes to draw the Kiwi...I was trying to convey the sadness", Yeo told the Stuff News website. The Cartoon was soon shared on social media and within hours it had gone viral, shared and viewed millions of times around the world. Currently it has 42 thousand shares on Facebook and reached more than 3.4 million people. You can read Yeo's full interview with Stuff HERE.

Above: Artwork from This is Us by Toby Morris. Copyright Toby Morris 2019.

On March 18th, The Spinoff contributing writer/cartoonist Toby Morris (The Pencilsword and The Side-Eye) expressed his feelings regarding New Zealand's complicated history of race relations and intolerance in the cartoon, This is Us. You can read the full comic at The Spinoff HERE. The cartoon was widely circulated - both local and internationally, and Morris was subsequently interviewed by the BBC, which you can view HERE.

Rod Emmerson produced the following cartoons for the NZ Herald March 15th, 18th (cover and cartoon), 19th, 20th and 22nd edition. Copyright Rod Emmerson 2019.

Sharon Murdoch produced the following cartoons for the Sunday Star Times March 17th edition and the Dominion Post March 20th and 22nd edition. Copyright Sharon Murdoch 2019.

Chris Slane produced the following cartoon for the NZ Listener. Copyright Chris Slane 2019.

An illustration by Wellington artist Ruby Jones was shared internationally in the wake of Christchurch attack, and she has since been commissioned by Time magazine to illustrate its international April 1 cover. "This cover image symbolises the strength that I am seeing and feeling right now in the world. And how tragedies like the terrorist attack in Christchurch do nothing but bring us closer together as a society," Jones told Time Magazine of her new piece. You can read her interview with Time magazine HERE.

Copyright Ruby Jones 2019.

Artwork from Jem Yoshioka via Twitter: she also has a hi-res version available for people to share HERE.

A cartoon by Fu Fighter Arts via Facebook (inspired by this cartoon by Cathy Wilcox):

Artwork by Miriama Grace-Smith via Facebook:

Bill and Adele Geradts, the Christchurch organisers of the Armageddon Expo have sensibly responded to the events by banning military attire cosplay from all future events. Armageddon spokeswoman Courtney Collins informed Stuff News,"as a Christchurch-based business and being Christchurch residents ourselves, this felt like an appropriate response to ensure the peace of mind of the general public, as well as our event attendees." You can read the full article on this HERE.

If you would like to offer your support for New Zealand's Muslim communities, The Spinoff have produced this helpful list of events, places you can donate and volunteer HERE.

My thoughts are with the Muslim community and my comics friends and family in Christchurch - look after each other.

- AK xx

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Pickle #11: The Lost Issue available at last!

Above: The cover of Pickle #11 by Dylan Horrocks.

In the early 90's, Dylan Horrocks began making waves in the international comics community with the publication of his comic series Pickle, published in the US/Canada by Michel Vrana's Black Eye Comics. From 1992-1997, 10 issues of Pickle were published, in which Horrocks serialised his main ongoing story, Hicksville. By 1998 finances for Black Eye Comics had become increasingly tight, and Dylan was offered two options: they could either print Pickle #11 (which would feature the conclusion of Hicksville), or they could print the graphic novel collection of the completed story. He chose the graphic novel and the rest was history. Or was it...?

Above: The colour proof to the front and back covers of Pickle #11, from 1997.

Over the years many fans have asked Horrocks about the lost issue, and late last year he revealed on his Facebook page that he still had the cover proof for the issue produced in 1997. This inspired publisher Vrana to check his own archives for any printing proofs he may still have had on file. While his search was ultimately fruitless, Horrocks had digital scans of all the original artwork - and between them they had all the material needed to rebuild the lost issue! Together they have agreed to restore and publish Pickle #11, for long-suffering fans and collectors of the original series.

Coming in May, 2019, Pickle #11 will retain the unpublished original final page of the Hicksville story! The printing is been crowdfunded via a FundRazr page (think Kickstarter) pre-order campaign that rund until April 6th. There's several options available, starting at $10US per copy (including free shipping worldwide). So head HERE to pre-order your copy of this long-lost comics artifact today!

- AK!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

EVENT: Rufus Marigold Book Launch and Art Exhibition!

Join Earth's End Publishing for the launch of our latest graphic novel, Rufus Marigold by Ross Murray.

The launch will be held at The Tuesday Club, 42 Airedale Street in Auckland Central, along with an exhibition of original art by Ross Murray, featuring his eponymous character and an exploration of related themes from his book.

Kindly sponsored by Garage Project with refreshments provided. Copies of Rufus Marigold will be available for sale on the night courtesy of Unity Books Auckland.

The Rufus Marigold Art Exhibition will continue after the book launch at The Tuesday Club from Friday 1st of March to Sunday 3rd of March. 
You can RSVP at the  Facebook event page HERE.

So come pick up a copy of the book, meet the author, and view some amazing artwork!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Announcing: Rufus Marigold graphic novel from Earth's End Publishing!

Above: The cover of Rufus Marigold by Ross Murray. Copyright 2019 Ross Murray.

Over at my publishing house, Earth’s End Publishing, we're proud to announce our latest publishing endeavor - a collection of Ross Murray’s acclaimed webcomic, Rufus Marigold.

Initially released online in 2016, Rufus Marigold explores social anxiety disorder through the prism of its eponymous character and drew a devoted audience and praise for it’s equally humourous and at times heartbreaking insight into this much maligned subject.
Above: Artwork from Rufus Marigold by Ross Murray. Copyright 2019 Ross Murray.

After seeing the initial webcomic online, Earth’s End was quick to reach out to creator Ross Murray and work alongside him to develop this series into a unique and beautiful graphic novel. 

The print version of Rufus Marigold will collect all the original material and adds brand new additional vignettes, furthering and deepening the story of man-monkey Rufus and his attempts to define himself as something other than a complete and utter nervous wreck.
Above: Artwork from Rufus Marigold by Ross Murray. Copyright 2019 Ross Murray.

Ross Murray is known for his sharp art and vintage style illustrations. Recently his work has graced the covers and interiors of the Lonely Planet Epic series. In additional to his commercial work, Murray has also been making comics since 2014 when his Pets Talk Records strip appeared online. In 2015 Murray contributed to the Faction High Water anthology, edited and produced by Earth’s End co-founder Damon Keen. 2018 saw his humourous takes on Star Wars and Home & Away featured on the Vice website comics section. Rufus Marigold is Murray’s first full length graphic novel.

Rufus Marigold by Ross Murray will be released March 1st, 2019 in bookstores and comic shops across New Zealand. Copies will also be available to pre-order directly from our website store.

Praise for Rufus Marigold:

“A ruefully familiar, hilarious webcomic turned-turned magnum opus. Rufus Marigold delights and horrifies in equal measure. A must-read for anyone who has ever felt awkward in social situations, and anyone who’s ever had a dream.”
- Sarah Laing, Mansfield & Me

“Rufus Marigold is deliciously funny, uncomfortably honest, and painfully, beautifully human.”
- Dylan Horrocks, Hicksville

“A brave, heartfelt story that shows with absolute clarity the devastating impact of social anxiety.”
- Brent Williams, Out of the Woods

Ordering Information:

Rufus Marigold is now available for pre-order from Earth’s End Publishing website HERE, or email: earthsendpublishing@gmail.com to place an order if you are a retailer.

Publishing Details:

Rufus Marigold
Ross Murray
Paperback with french flaps
Width: 160mm, Height: 216mm, Weight: 450grms
Full colour, 200 pages
ISBN: 9780473448035
RRP: $34.99

Ages: 16+ Mature themes
Release Date: March 1st 2019

- AK!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Recommended Reading: Kiwi Rock Strips: an introduction

Above: Artwork by Barry Linton.

There's a great article by Bruce Mahalski from Audio Culture about the links between NZ comics and music (often by creators participating in both camps): covering the work of such cartoonists as Barry Linton, Chris Knox, Robert Scott, Ian Dalziel, Toby Morris, Indira Neville and more! You can read the full article HERE.

- AK!

Recommended Reading: Kiwi cartoonists on what mattered in 2018

Above: Artwork by Toby Morris.

Over at the NZ Herald, writer Greg Bruce interviews cartoonists Toby Morris, Sarah Laing, Giselle Clarkson and Rod Emmerson offer their views on the year that was: the issues that concern them, and the people who have made a difference in 2018.

You can read the full interview online HERE.

- AK!

Artwork by Giselle Clarkson.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Weekend Reading/Listening: My Ten Guitars by Barry Linton

Above: A page from My Ten Guitars by Barry Linton. Copyright the Barry Linton Estate 2018.

Speaking to Jesse Mulligan on Radio NZ's Short Story Club, Dylan Horrocks pays tribute to NZ cartoonist Barry Linton, who passed away last month. You can listen to the full interview HERE.

Also as a fitting print tribute, Linton's comic, My Ten Guitars is featured in the latest volume of literary journal Sport 46, published by Victoria University Press. They have made the comic available to view online as a PDF HERE.

- AK!

Weekend Listening: Contemporary New Zealand Comics

Above: An illustration by Jem Yoshioka.

Recently Radio NZ show, Standing Room Only, featured a discussion with three cartoonists, Jem Yoshioka, Toby Morris and Sarah Laing about the state of contemporary New Zealand comics - particularly comic strips, which have largely migrated from newspapers to online platforms. All three cartoonists have created an online presence for their work: Toby Morris currently creates the non-fiction comic series The Side Eye for The Spinoff's website; Jem Yoshioka has an ongoing webcomic Circuits and Veins available on international comic platform Webtoon, and Sarah Laing produces her webcomic blog Let Me Be Frank.

You can listen in on their wide-ranging conversation on New Zealand comics and their own work HERE.

- AK!