Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Earth's End Uncanny X-mas Gift Guide!

With the Christmas season upon us once again, today I'm going to highlight the latest NZ comics related gifts you can pick up for your friends, family or your own bookshelf!

Above: Capsicum, Capsi Go and The Day The Costume Stuck by Toby Morris

Toby Morris has two new children's books out just in time for Christmas!

In Capsicum, Capsi Go, follow Capsi's delightful and amusing travel adventures! And in The Day the Costumes Stuck, meet Iggy: he can't seem to take off his party costume but his parents don’t seem to notice that Iggy has turned into the boogie monster! But that's not the weirdest part... A funny, original and heart-warming story destined to become a new family favourite!

Both books retail for $20nz, but they are also currently on sale at the Beatnik website for $16nz!

Capsicum, Capsi Go
By Toby Morris
SOFTCOVER: 32 pages
SIZE: 220 x 220 x 3mm
PUBLISHER: Beatnik Publishing
ISBN: 9780994120557

The Day the Costumes Stuck 
By Toby Morris 
SOFTCOVER: 32 pages 
SIZE: 220 x 220 x 3mm 
PUBLISHER: Beatnik Publishing 
ISBN: 9780994138309

Above: Maui: Sun Catcher by Tim Tipene & Zak Waipara

Tim Tipene & Zak Waipara re-imagine this popular Maori myth in a contemporary setting.

This modern Maui is an intermediate-school boy who lives with his Mum and three older brothers in a city where the day is never long enough to get things done. Maui grasps the mantle: Mum, I'm gonna catch that Sun for you. That Sun who's always on the run. With their woven flax net, the brothers drive to the pit where the Sun lives, and make their play to slow the day. This bilingual book, in English and Maori, brings Maui into the 21st century in a fun and colourful retelling - the first in the international Indigenous Voices series.

Maui: The Sun Catcher retails for $24.99 in Hardback, and is in bookstores now!

Maui: The Sun Catcher
By Tim Tipene & Zak Waipara
Publisher : Oratia Books
Dimensions : 270mm X 210mm X 9mm
ISBN : 9780947506148

Above: Maui and Other Maori Legends by Peter Gossage.

While we're on the subject of Maui, if you want a full collection of his adventures, you can't pass up this new hardback collection from Penguin Books of the late, great, illustrator Peter Gossage. His memorable retellings of Maori oral myths have captivated the children of New Zealand for generations. Their dramatic and distinctive illustrations with minimal yet evocative language form a powerful combination, and each has earned its place among the beloved classics of our literature.

These are exciting, magical tales of adventure and intrigue. Several feature the remarkable culture hero Maui – the quick-witted and the trickster – whose exploits include slowing the sun in its course across the sky, fishing up the North Island/Te Ika a Maui, discovering the secret of fire and his attempt to trick the goddess of death and become immortal.

Maui and Other Legends contains eight essential legends. In this volume you will find timeless favourites such as How Maui Found his Mother, Battle of the Mountains, Pania of the Reef and many more.

This hardback collection retails for $40.00nz, and is in bookstores now!

Maui and Other Maori Legends 
By Peter Gossage
Publisher : Penguin Group (NZ)
Imprint : Puffin
Publication date : October 2016
Dimensions : 302mm X 217mm X 20mm
ISBN : 9780143309291

Above: Annual edited by Kate De Goldi & Susan Paris.

Gecko Press’s Annual is a game-changer, packing dynamic, irreverent, challenging, and timeless material into a beautiful package for 9- to 12-year-olds.

Annual features a dictionary of crazy words that come in handy on car trips, a sophisticated "spot the similarity", a found poem from school newsletters, a maths-nerd's memoir full of tricky logic puzzles, and comics/illustrations by Jonathan King, Sarah Laing, Dylan Horrocks, Sharon Murdoch, Giselle Clarkson, Sally Bollinger, Paul Beavis and Coco Solid.

This is a book for readers who are hungry for sophisticated, wide-ranging, and challenging content. It aims to revitalize the reading experience for this age group and create lifetime readers.

Annual is available in hardback in bookstores now, and retails for $39.99nz.

Edited by Kate De Goldi & Susan Paris
Publisher : Gecko Press
Dimensions : 260mm X 193mm
ISBN : 9781776570775

Above: Murdoch: The Political Cartoons of Sharon Murdoch by Sharon Murdoch with Melinda Johnston.

With John Key recently calling it quits, now is a great time to review some of the best political cartoons to feature Key and his Government, produced by 2016 Canon Cartoonist of the Year, Sharon Murdoch. As the regular cartoonist for the Sunday Star Times and the Christchurch Press, she provokes and delights readers with her witty and often hilarious observations, and her hard-hitting and insightful social and political analysis.

In Murdoch, Melinda Johnston’s commentary sets the cartoons within their historical context, while her introduction locates the work within New Zealand’s cartooning history. Featuring over 150 full-page cartoons, which highlight the breadth and depth of Sharon Murdoch’s work, this book will entertain and educate any reader with an interest in New Zealand’s contemporary social and political history.

This collection retails for $39.99nz and is in bookstores now!

Murdoch: The Political Cartoons of Sharon Murdoch
Sharon Murdoch with Melinda Johnston
Format: Paperback with gatefolds
Pages: 216
Size: 215 x 235 mm
ISBN: 9780947503239

Above: Mansfield & Me by Sarah Laing.

Katherine Mansfield is a literary giant in New Zealand—but she had to leave the country to become one. She wrote, ‘Oh to be a writer, a real writer.’ And a real writer she was, until she died at age 34 of tuberculosis. The only writer Virginia Woolf was jealous of, Mansfield hung out with the modernists, lost her brother in World War I, dabbled in Alistair Crowley’s druggy occult gatherings and spent her last days in a Fontainebleu commune with Olgivanna, Frank Lloyd Wright’s future wife. She was as famous for her letters and diaries as for her short stories. 

Sarah Laing wanted to be a real writer, too. A writer as famous as Katherine Mansfield, but not as tortured. Mansfield and Me charts her journey towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield’s dramatic story, set in London, Paris, New York and New Zealand. Part memoir, part biography, part fantasy, it examines how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.

This is a perfect gift for fans of great New Zealand biographies looking for something a bit different. It's personal and insightful, a story intimately told through Sarah's distinctive comics voice. You can also hear me raving about it on Radio NZ nights HERE.

Mansfield and Me is in bookstores now, and retails for $34.99nz.

Mansfield and Me 
By Sarah Laing
336 Pages
Paperback, colour
ISBN: 9781776560691

Above: Terry Teo and the Gunrunners by Bob Kerr and Stephen Ballantyne.

With the new TV series currently screening on TV2, now is as good a time as any to catch-up on the original first adventure of the local skateboarding super-sleuth!

Terry Teo is not your average schoolboy - he's a skateboarding super-sleuth about to embark on his very first adventure!

When he stumbles headfirst into the criminal schemes of the villainous Ray Vegas, Terry finds himself embroiled in a dastardly gun smuggling operation. Along with his karate-chopping sister, Polly, and older brother Ted, Terry must use all his street smarts to avoid Vegas' henchmen, defeat the smugglers, and save the day!

Terry Teo and the Gunrunners is available in bookstores and online HERE. It retails for $24.99nz.

Terry Teo and the Gunrunners TV Tie-in edition
Bob Kerr & Stephen Ballantyne
Paperback, 56 pages, full-colour
ISBN: 9780473330675
Suitable for All Ages

So there's plenty of good gifts here for the cartoon connoisseur or picture book fanatic in your family, so get purchasing and support the local comics community!

- AK!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Week of Wus: Wussy Castle

Above: Wussy Castle. Copyright Oneedo Studio 2016.

Comic creator and animator Ned Wenlock (Hotpools, Highwater) has produced a quirky new animated series Wussy Castle, which debuted this week on Youtube. Drawing inspiration from the formats of English children's shows of the 70's like The Magic Roundabout and The WomblesWussy Castle follows two brothers, Sir Jeremy and Sir Mathew, who live at home in Wussy Castle with their mum and their manservant Bedsit. Everyday brings immense challenges to their privileged lives. 

Above: Wussy Castle episode #1: The Weight of Kindness. Copyright Oneedo Studio 2016.

"I thought it would be fun to cast what I see in the modern world through the lens of childhood, because the world is made up of children from about the 70s", explained Ned Wenlock. "The characters themselves are reflections of the modern world, pampered, self-obsessed, entitled and generally a bit thick."

This exquisitely designed satire will run for 5 episodes this week, from December 5th - 9th. The first episode, The Weight of Kindness can be viewed below and click through to the Wussy Castle youtube channel to view the series HERE. For more information on Ned's award-winning animated films, visit Oneedo Studio HERE.

- AK!