Above: A room recreation featuring Rugby memorabilia, including a rare Eric Resetar comic (pictured bottom left).
So unless you've been living under a rock lately (god know I've tried), there's a Rugby World Cup going on in these parts!
To coincide with the Rugby World Cup, there's a roadshow currently touring the country, Oranges At Halftime: Rugby and the Kiwi Experience celebrating the history of grassroots Rugby in New Zealand. The roadshow contains rare memorabilia from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Included in this treasure trove is a rare look at one on New Zealand's first comics, Crash O'Kane: All Blacks On Mars by Eric Resetar self-published in the 1950s.
Eric Resetar is believed to be one of the first self-publishing comic creators in New Zealand, starting in the 1940s while still attending high school! Crash O'Kane: All Blacks On Mars is one of his many comics blending the sci-fi genre tropes of the comics and pulps he was trading with visiting US sailors with his own touch of kiwiana (All Blacks playing on Mars was clearly a winning idea!). His legacy lives on (as does the man himself, currently residing in Auckland) in the biannual Eric Awards, celebrating excellence in New Zealand Comics, named in his honour.
If you would like to take a closer look at this rare artifact, and others from the locker-rooms of Rugby history, the Oranges At Halftime roadshow will be in Auckland this month at the following locations: