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!

Monday, October 15, 2018

NEW RELEASE: The Permanence of Warmth by John Carsey

Above: The cover of The Permanence of Warmth by John Carsey.

There's a new limited release available now from the folks at The Comicbook Factory: presenting The Permanence of Warmth by John Carsey. If you like gag cartoons that are as hilarious as they are grotesque, then this is the mini-comic for you! 

Above: Artwork from The Permanence of Warmth by John Carsey.  

Presented in the sharp design standards expected from The Comicbook Factory, this mini-comic is limited to 100 copies. It's 32 pages - black and white (with 6 pages of colour), written and illustrated by John Carsey for $9.95 (+ postage). You can order it HERE while stocks last.

- AK!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Remembering Barry Linton 1947-2018

Above: Barry Linton self-portrait from 2011. Copyright the Barry Linton Estate 2018.

Cartoonist Barry Desmond Linton passed away on Tuesday 2nd October 2018, aged 71, at Auckland Hospital. I met Barry in the early 2000s, at one of the monthly NZ comics meet-ups - usually held at the Alleluya Bar & Cafe in St Kevins Arcade off Karangahape Road in Auckland. Barry was short in stature and softly spoken, but always inquisitive and articulate about his love of comics and meeting new cartoonists. From my first encounter with Barry, it was clear from the reaction of others in the community how influential his work was to a whole generation of cartoonists.

Above: A page from Spud Takes Root. Copyright the Barry Linton Estate 2018.

He was one of the founding members of the first real home-grown comics anthology Strips released in the late 70s, where his idiosyncratic drawing style and distinctly locally set comic strips inspired young upcoming cartoonists like Dylan Horrocks. His comics of the time like Spud Takes Root perfectly captured the chaotic and jubilant atmosphere of the 70s gig scene - smoky nights out on the town at a crowded pup, followed by a sweaty summer morning hangover. Reading the strips you could almost hear someone's baby crying from the flat next door, a dog barking down the street and the noise of cars on the motorway off to work, the soundtrack of aotearoa urban suburbia. Twenty years later, young cartoonists I was meeting were still drawing inspiration from Barry's work - the youthful energy he captured on the page was as relevant today as it ever was.

Above: Aki in Tiko by Barry Linton. Copyright the Barry Linton Estate 2018.

Barry also drew from more than just his surroundings, he had a wide ranging list of interests that he explored in his comics. His interest in ancient history and archaeology inspired comics like 20th Century B.C. and the comic series Lucky Aki. The level of research he did for his comics could be described as obsessive, in the best possible way. For Aki - a comic about seafaring in the Neolithic Age - he painstakingly created a series of model ships out of paper and cardboard to accurately depict his designs for the comic. He was also interested in space and life on other planets, resulting in radiantly colourful comics about U.F.Os, aliens and space exploration. He also dabbled in pornographic comics that brimmed with good natured sexual mischief, generally produced for his own amusement and the occasional erotic anthology.

When I began planning my anthology of New Zealand cartoonists in 2008 (which became From Earth's End: The Best of New Zealand Comics, when it was published in 2013), Barry was one of the first cartoonists I approached to take part. I was excited to have Barry on board, because more than any other cartoonists I knew, Barry's work went largely unknown to the public. This was no accident of coarse, aside from the occasional comics anthology, Barry was really only producing comics for one reader - himself. He had little interest in fame, or the constant struggle to find a publisher and deal with printers. He told me that once he finished a comic, he would print up a few copies, read it, and if it pleased him, set it aside and immediately start the next one. He was a comics industry of one, and this pure dedication and enjoyment of the comics form was a huge inspiration to me.

Above: A page from Aki in Tiko by Barry Linton. Copyright the Barry Linton Estate 2018.

The following biography is based on my interviews conducted with Barry in 2012:

Barry Linton was born in Auckland in the year 5707 (Barry prefers to judge time by the ancient Sumerian Calendar of Nippur), to a naval family with a global outlook. He was educated in Christchurch and Hamilton, before attending Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1967. He stayed only one year, before dropping out to travel and hitchhike his way across the country.

This ‘vision mission’ was a blur of hick towns, pubs, parties and hippie communes, that lasted till the mid-1970s. Along the way Barry discovered New Zealand’s thriving music scene, and produced a variety of related gig posters, record covers, and magazine artwork. Upon his return to Auckland, Barry deciding that his strength lay in combining words and pictures rather than music and lyrics, and set about creating experimental comic strips for the Auckland University newspaper Craccum and other alternative papers.

Inspired by the underground comix that were creeping in from America, he infusing their psychedelic graphics with the flavour of the local music scene for his own comics. His first mini comic, Spud Takes Root appeared in 1977, the same year the Strips comic anthology was formed. Barry was a founding member, contributing around 106 pages of comics during its decade long run. After Strips concluded in 1987, Barry continued to produce commercial artwork and comics for a range of publications like Landfall, Razor, the NZ Listener and The Auckland Star newspaper. In 1994 he collected all of his Strips stories into one self-published collection, Chok Chok! which quickly sold out.

Since 2000 he’s been studying ancient archaeology, which has inspired The Akia  – a series of adventures chronicling the lifetime of Aki, a seafarer from a fictionalised Neolithic land of Oceania. Starting with Lucky Aki, three volumes have so far been completed, but have yet to be widely published. The world of Aki is meticulously researched, with each volume containing detailed paper-craft models of ancient ships for the reader to cut out and assemble, as well as maps of visited islands and towns charting Aki’s exploits. Barry lived in Ponsonby, Auckland, where he slept during the day and created comics all night.

Barry is the much loved son of Robert, Dorris and Judith. Adored older brother to Greg, Diana and Brenda, and admired uncle to their families. Cherished spiritual advisor to daughter Lily. A dedicated artist and insightful member of the Ponsonby community.

Above: A model boat created by Barry Linton. Copyright the Barry Linton Estate 2018.

Above: Barry Linton at Chromacon 2017.

A memorial gathering to celebrate Barry's life and work will be taking place on Saturday 13th October, from 2pm – 4pm, at the Herne Bay Petanque Club, 19 Salisbury Street, Auckland 1011. For more information and updates you can visit the Barry Linton Communication Page on Facebook HERE. I hope to see you there.

- AK

Monday, September 24, 2018

EVENT: Wellington Zinefest 2018

Above:  Poster designed by AAPPA PAPPA.

Wellington Zinefest is back for 2018 and will be held on Saturday 17th November at the new creative campus, Te Auaha, at 65 Dixon street from 12pm – 4pm. 
It's where you can check out the latest small-press creations and spend a fun afternoon with the Wellington zine-making community!

Stallholder applications:
Stall holder applications will be open from the 1st of October and close on the 14th. A google form will be posted on the Wellington Zinefest Facebook page on October 1st. They have a first come first serve policy, so get in quick. In a slight change from previous years, they will only be offering one stall size (a large half table, $10 per stall) so as to accommodate more people.

Kids and newcomers tables:
We are introducing two new collective tables this year, a kids table and a newcomers table. These tables are for people who are interested in being a part of Zinefest but are not ready to have whole stall for themselves. You will be able to submit one zine to be part of a collective stall. The committee will facilitate the running of these stalls, and you are welcome to hang out and help sell your zines. Proceeds from these zines will be split equally among all the participants. The application to be a part of these stalls will also be posted here on October 1st, but will not have a cut off date.

The event will be all-ages-friendly, accessible for those with walking disabilities, and Zinefest committee members always will be on hand to help out. More specifics on accessibility will be provided closer to the time.

Wellington Zinefest is committed to being an inclusive, safe environment. They expect all participant and attendees to be mindful of their code of conduct, which you can read in full HERE.

 So register next Monday to take part in this great indie publishing festival! For more information, visit the Wellington Zinefest Facebook page HERE, and their blog HERE.

- AK!