Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Nice Art: Our Harbour by Mat Tait

Above: Mural images for Our Harbour, created by Mat Tait.

Mat Tait, the cartoonist behind The Heading Dog Who Split in Half, has spent his winter producing four large murals for the Pātaka Art and Museum in Porirua. They will be unvailed to the public this Saturday, November 18th, as a part of Our Harbour, a new interactive exhibition in the children's gallery. 

The opening will be a family friendly event, with fun, hands-on activities and events between 11am and 3pm. There will also be a Puppet show, Nan and Tuna by String Bean Puppets, which will combine puppets, shadows and water to tell the life story of New Zealand’s native longfin eel (tuna) who make their homes in our rivers. There’ll also be lots of other things to see and do – badge making, crafting a tuna or fish out of a plastic bottle and potting up a riparian plant. Stalls in the atrium will focus on harbour restoration and conservation, including information on what you can do to help.

The Pātaka Art and Museum is located at 17 Parumoana Street, Porirua, with the opening kicking off at 11am. For more information, you can visit the Facebook event page HERE. And for more of Mat Tait's artwork you can visit his website HERE. Also, you can now order The Heading Dog Who Split in Half for only $15 from the Potton & Burton website HERE!

- AK!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Giselle Clarkson's Biscuits and Slices of New Zealand Goes Viral!


Above: 'Common Household Biscuits & Slices of New Zealand' by Giselle Clarkson. Copyright Giselle Clarkson 2017.

Every once and a while, an image or topic strikes a nerve and captures the public imagination and spreads through social media like a firestorm. And that was the case recently with the above illustration by illustrator cartoonist Giselle Clarkson. 'Common Household Biscuits & Slices of New Zealand' was created for Annual 2, the second children's Annual edited by Kare De Goldi & Susan Paris, which you can purchase HERE. Clarkson's illustration captures in loving detail, a selection of NZ's best known biscuits and slices, from Anzac Biscuit to Squiggle. 

On social media the illustration has prompted nostalgic memories of NZ biscuits past and present, heated debates on over-looked slices and under appreciated biscuits as the illustration continues to be shared far and wide. The story was even picked up by TV THREE's 'The Project', who interviewed Clarkson to discuss her favourite biscuits and the public response to her illustration. You can still view the interview on The Project's Facebook page HERE.

Above: 'Common Household Biscuits & Slices of New Zealand' by Giselle Clarkson, as printed in Annual 2. Copyright Giselle Clarkson 2017.

To really appreciate this fine appraisal of NZ biscuits I'd suggest buying a copy of Annual 2 today for $39.99NZ from a bookstore near you or online HERE. And for more of Giselle Clarkson's fine comics and illustrations, you can visit here website HERE.

- AK!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Toby Morris announces The Side Eye!

Above: The Side Eye GIF by Toby Morris.

Recently cartoonist Toby Morris announced his regular comics series The Pencilsword would be ending, with a new project on the horizon. Today he unvailed his next comics endevour, The Side Eye, which will be hosted by The Spinoff website!

In a statement at The Spinoff, Morris described the new project: 'The Side Eye is about casting a sceptical (but hopefully not cynical) eye on the changing world around us. A way of taking all the little things that make us say ‘eh?’ and looking a little closer. And these days there are plenty of things to question: Climate change, inequality, shifting attitudes about sexuality, health, diversity, the workplace. How we use technology. How we process history. In the end I want it to be about how we treat each other. Where we’re going, and why.'

To read Morris' full announcement, you can visit The Spinoff website HERE. The first Side Eye will debut at The Spinoff later this week.

- AK!

Dylan Horrocks named as 2018 International Institute of Modern Letters Writer in Residence

Above: Dylan Horrocks. Photo copyright Grant Maiden 2015.

Today it was announced that graphic novelist Dylan Horrocks has been appointed as the Victoria University of Wellington International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2018. He is the first graphic novelist to be awarded this position!

The following statement was announced at Graham Beattie's Book Blog:

Celebrated for his ground-breaking book 'Hicksville', Mr Horrocks has also published other books including 'Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen', and 'Incomplete Works'. His work has been published internationally, with translations into French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Danish, Polish and Korean. Hicksville was ranked #12 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels of All Time.

Mr Horrocks was named as a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate in 2016 and has received many awards, including an Eisner (USA) Award in 2002 and a Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2012. In 2006 he was the University of Auckland-Creative New Zealand Literary Fellow.

Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters, Damien Wilkins, says, “Dylan is an international figure in the world of graphic novels and a brilliant commentator on his art. His books are taught by the English programme at Victoria. He is a vital voice in New Zealand culture and it will be exciting to have him at the IIML.”

Commenting on the appointment, Mr Horrocks says, “I'm absolutely thrilled at this chance to be part of Victoria’s lively creative writing community. I'm looking forward to discovering the work of students and staff and feeding off all those powerful literary emanations. Above all, it's a wonderful opportunity to work with obsessive dedication on my next book: a graphic novel about playing Dungeons & Dragons.”

Mr Horrocks takes up the residency at the IIML on 1 February 2018.

Congratulations to Dylan, and all the best for his work in the forthcoming year! For more information on Dylan Horrocks and his work, you can visit his website HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Upcoming Release: The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill

Above: The cover of The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the amazing work of Christchurch based cartoonist Katie O'Neill from her award-winning graphic novel, Princess Princess: Ever After, and her contibutions to Faction and High Water comics anthologies. Having recently concluded her webcomic series, The Tea Dragon Society (which you can read in full HERE), it will be published this month as a large format hardcover from Oni Press!


Above: Artwork from The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill.

Here's the synopsis:

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives--and eventually her own.

Above: Artwork from The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill.

The Tea Dragon Society is an all-ages graphic novel and will be available from comic shops on October 18th, and October 31st from booksellers and online retailers (Amazon, Book Depository, Mighty Ape etc). It retails for $17.99 US, so it should be around $25-30 NZ, which is still a great price for an oversized hardcover. So head over to your local comic shop or bookstore and pre-order a copy today!

Ordering Information:

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
Format: Hardback, 72 pages
Dimensions 218 x 300 x 13mm
Publisher: Oni Press
ISBN: 9781620104415

Oh, and if you can't get enough of The Tea Dragon Society, there's also an official card game in the works from Oni Games for release in 2018! For more information on Katie O'Neill and her projects, visit her Tumblr page HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

EVENT: Overload: NZ Comic and Manga Convention 2017

This weekend sees the return of Overload: the NZ Comic & Manga Convention, an annual community-focused event where local indie comic and manga artists can exhibit and sell their artwork.

Overload 2017 will host more than 200 indie artists from all over New Zealand. They are running loads of fun events for attendees to join in, such as: a Cosplay Competition, an Illustration Competition, and for the first time this year, an anime song Karaoke Competition. They will also have international guests in attendance:  anime singer Kawano Marina (‘Morning Arch’, ‘Takaramono’), anime director Takuya Sato (WIXOSS series, Steins; Gate) and cosplay artist Ying Tze.

Above: Cosplay artist Ying Tze.

If Comics and Manga are your thing, this is a great convention to pick up some amazing original artwork direct from the artists themselves, as well as manga, anime DVDs, and plenty of other genuine collectible goodies!

Overload 2017 will be taking place this Saturday, September 30th, from 10am – 6pm at The Cloud Convention Center, 89 Quay Street, Auckland. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for under 13s and Free for under 5s! Tickets can be purchased at the door, or from Eventfinda HERE. From more information, visit the Overload website HERE.

- AK!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Recommended Reading: The Pencilsword: Follow The Leader

Above: The Pencilsword: Follow the Leader: Bill English - National, by Toby Morris.

With the New Zealand election looming at the end of this month, cartoonist Toby Morris is on the campaign trail - capturing his impressions of our political party leaders out there meeting the public and pushing their respective views. Toby's Pencilsword series, created for The Wireless website, has covered all four of the major party leaders, starting with James Shaw of The Greens Party, which you can read HERE.

Above: The Pencilsword: Follow the Leader: James Shaw - The Greens Party, by Toby Morris.

Followed by part 2: Jacinda Ardurn - The Labour Party, which you can read HERE, and Part 3: Bill English - The National Party, which you can read HERE.

Above: The Pencilsword: Follow the Leader: Jacinda Ardurn - The Labour Party, by Toby Morris.

UPDATE: And finally, Part 4: Winston Peters - NZ First, which you can read HERE.


Above: The Pencilsword: Follow the Leader: Winston Peters - NZ First, by Toby Morris.

It should go without saying, but remember to get out there and vote on September 23rd. As we've seen in recent overseas elections, EVERY VOTE can make a difference - and this is gearing up to be a close one, so make sure you have your say on Election Day!

- AK!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

EVENT: So You Finished Your Comic, Now What?


Above: From left, self-portraits by cartoonists: Michel Mulipola, Li Chen, Sam Orchard and Zak Waipara.

Creating and completing a comic book, graphic novel or comic strip is a huge accomplishment...but what comes next? How do you go about getting it printed or published? How do you find an audience for your comic book?

The panel event, 'So You Finished Your Comic, Now What?', happening at the Auckland Central Library Whare Wananga on Thursday 14th of September at 6pm will attempt to answer these questions and more.

Moderated by cartoonist and educator Zak Waipara (Otea),  the panel will include experienced cartoonists Sam Orchard (Rooster Tails), Li Chen (Extra Ordinary Comics) and Michel Mulipola (Headlocked: The Last Territory), discussing the realities of getting your finished comic in front of an audience.

Here's some background on the participating cartoonists:

Panelists:

Li Chen is the creator of the webcomic Extra Ordinary. She likes drawing and petting cats. You can visit the Extra Ordinary website HERE.

Michel Mulipola is a self-taught comic book artist from Auckland. He has been immersed in the world of comic books from the tender age of five when he first decided he wanted to draw them. He has contributed to various anthologies and is currently working on the U.S comic book, Headlocked: The Last Territory. You can visit his website HERE.

Sam Orchard has been drawing comics since he was a little girl. He is passionate about telling stories that celebrate the rich depth and diversity of our communities. He draws an autobio webcomic about his life as a queer trans man at Rooster Tails, which you can visit HERE.

Moderator:

Zak Waipara (Rongowhakaata, Ngati Ruapani, Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu). Zak has worked in animation, written and illustrated books and comics, including the recently released Otea. He has lectured in Digital Media and Animation at AUT and Animation College. You can visit his Otea website HERE.

The event is FREE, with refreshments from 6:00pm, with the event starting at 6:30pm. For more information and updates, visit the Facebook event page HERE or the Auckland Libraries event page HERE.

- AK!