Friday, December 23, 2011

RIP Eric Resetar

Above: The Cover of Crash O'Kane: All Blacks On Mars #1 by Eric Resetar.

One of New Zealand's comics pioneers passed away this week, on Wednesday 21st of December at Auckland Hospital. 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! 

During World War II he applied to the government for paper supplies (which were rationed at the time) to print his comics on, making the argument that they would increase national moral. The government agreed, approving his application and he was on his way to producing local comics!

Above: The Cover of Crash Carson Of The Future #2 by Eric Resetar.

Inspired by Buck Rogers comics he traded with visiting US sailors, his own comics were a mix of Sci-Fi and adventure, with his own added touch of Kiwiana.
Some of the titles he produced from the 40s through to the 60s included: Crash O'Kane: All Blacks On Mars (if there's a more obvious kiwi Sci-Fi fantasy idea I've yet to hear it!), Crash Carson Of The Future, Half-Back Comics: The Space Pirates, Adventure: Thrills On The Planet Jupiter!, Treasure Comics: Black Cobra And The Red Gold, Captain Sinister, Childrens Xmas Comic and Invisible Smith.

Above: The Cover of  by Eric Resetar.Half-Back Comics #1: The Space Pirates.

His legacy lives on in the biannual Eric Awards, celebrating excellence in New Zealand Comics, named in his honour. He is survived by a cousin, his close friends, and a legion of local cartoonist who have followed in his footsteps.


Below is a brief interview excerpt featuring Eric from the excellent documentary The Comics Show by Shirley Horrocks.


  1. Really lovely tribute, Adrian. Thanks for posting it.

  2. thanks for posting this

  3. Yes thanks for this, he is my husbands uncle. He has left alot of relatives actually, and only one brother out of 6 is still alive in a Southport home. I remember visitng him in his shop in Mt Albert over 35 years ago when I would wheel my baby up to the shops.
    From Elinor Resetar Far North.

  4. Thanks for the article. Eric is my Uncle. I am his brother Claude's son also named Eric. I have memories of him through my childhood years but did not see him often as my father shifted to Southport, Queensland, Australia when I was 7 yrs old. I was aware of his comic background but not exactly what he wrote. His sister Phylis died only 6 weeks previous to Eric. Last time I saw him was in 2002 at a family gathering from the Resetar side in Auckland.
    from Eric Resetar, Perth, Western Australia

  5. Hi all, I too am related to Eric he is my uncle my fathers brother, I have many memories of visits at his bookshop and collecting stamps,I visited him recently while he was in hospital,many memories.
    from Sue Engel, Auckland NZ

  6. Hi Elinor, Eric and Sue,

    Thanks for dropping by and sharing your memories. I personally met Eric a few times, most recently at a NZ comics convention in Wellington, attending the Eric Awards! It was a real treat to win one for this blog and talk to the man himself; a true privilege.


  7. Hi there, just wondering if this is the same Eric Resetar that owned a second hand bookshop in Onehunga during the 80's/90's? If it was, he sold me a collection of 50 EERIE comics, the old Warren Mags from the USA. My wife was in his shop enquiring about the old Warren Mags, he said he had a boxful that he was selling for $400, tho he couldn't believe that my wife was interested in comic books, so because of that he would sell them for $350 instead. We had to pay them off ($50 a week)and remember having many conversations with him about comics, but until now did not realize his huge input in the creation of comics in NZ. I wish I had known him for his huge achievement's then, may he Rest In Peace.