Tuesday, November 5, 2013

UPDATED: From Earth's End Book Signings!

Above: A display of From Earth's End: The Best of New Zealand Comics, in-store at Paper Plus, Newmarket, Auckland.

From Earth's End: The Best of New Zealand Comics should be available now from your local bookstore! And of coarse all good comic-book stores - particularly Arkham Comics Auckland, Retrospace AucklandMark One Hamilton and Graphic in Wellington!

Due to the stormy weather conditions last week, I've had to reschedule my book signings - so my appearances are now as follows:

- Wednesday, 13th of November at Whitcoulls Corner Store, 210 Queen St, Auckland, from 12.30pm-12.45pm.
-Thursday, 14th of November at Arkham Comics, Royal Oak Mall (upstairs near McDonalds) - Shop 45a/691 Manukau Rd, Royal Oak, Auckland, from 6pm.
- Saturday, 16th of November at Whitcoulls 226 Lampton Quay, Wellington, from 12.30pm - 12.45pm.
- Saturday, 23rd of November at Whitcoulls Sylvia Park Shopping Centre, 286 Mt Wellington Highway, from 12.30pm-12.45pm.

There may be more to be confirmed, so check back here for future dates.

In the meantime it's already gotten some pretty great media coverage and positive feedback, with a great review over at the NZ Herald that you can read HERE, and I did a fun interview with David Larsen on how I got into local comics in last week's NZ Listener (dated Nov 9-15th).

I've also just written a guest blog over at the Random House NZ website, talking a bit about the history of New Zealand comics and their (almost) demise due to a teenage sex scandal in the late 1950s - which could almost be ripped from todays headlines, as juvenile delinquency once again grips the nation. You can read this post HERE.

- AK!


  1. Hi Adrian, I've seen the book, it looks great and I'm looking forward to reading it:). One small thing, in the book it says that 'Mark One was New Zealand's first comics speciality store, opening in 1983.' Actually, Visual Media Services (VMS), opened in late 1982, run by Leo Huppert and Rod Mills (they still run the store, re-named Graphic here in Wellington in Cuba Mall). Leo's claim to fame is even earlier. In the mid 1970s, circa 1977, Leo imported comics directly from Phil Seuling, one of the first in Australasia to do that. He operated under 'Hupert's book exchange' on Plimmer Steps. Michael.

  2. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your feedback. I was aware of this information, and in writing the timeline it was a close call to make. Mark had been operating 'Mark One Comics' from 1981-83 (in part as a mail order business) before 'officially' opening the store at the same location in 1983 ( he was too young to hold the lease prior to this, but I understand he had been trading there). Based on that extra year I gave it the nod - but I plan to talk to the guys at Graphic while I'm down there to get a better picture.

    There were several individuals importing comics in the 70s, as well as book exchanges, but both Mark One and VMS were the first few stores I'd classify as 'comics specialty store' as we know them today (dedicated exclusively to selling comics/graphic novels). As I say, it was very close - and I plan to investigate further.

    As this is the first time the NZ comics history timeline has been published in one place, there is bound to be some amendments and new information still to come to light, and I welcome that feedback to continue fleshing out our rich comics history.


    1. Before Plimmer Steps they were on the second floor of a building condemned for the Terrace tunnel motorway - right where the lights are now where SH1 crosses Willis St. It was mainly Leo in the store while working as a proof reader for the Dominion morning paper (same office as Peter Jackson while filming his low budg splatter). They were always fighting Gordon and Gotch because they wanted to choose their titles and have no returns. GandG were patient with them explaining how Woman's Weekly paid the bills for their kind of shop! Leo fruitlessly went to the warehouse on Adelaide Rd to get the returns from other stores before they were shredded, to no avail. Using PO money transfers bought by family and friends they did some importing. I bought Howard the Duck no 1 from them for $10. They decided they needed to know more about how run a comic store so auctioned their personal collections (stored in tea chest sized boxes - god knows how they got them up the stairs) to finance a trip to and across the States taking notes and names. I first went to this store in 1976.

  3. I must admit, I was a little surprised not to see VMS (or Comics Compulsion or Graphic, depending on your vintage) not even name-checked in the book, especially in connection with Dave, Rufus, Marty & Simon. Given one of the studio spaces the latter three shared was above the first Cuba St shop and Dave was employed there, not to mention its status as if not the oldest, then certainly one of the oldest, shops in the country. Not that Rod or Leo would care less I think, but as an ex-employee it rankles a little to see bloody Card Crazy mentioned, but not VMS. I mean, I know this isn't a history of NZ comics retail (though a chapter on that in a future revised edition would actually make for an interesting sideline I think, especially once you hit those turbulent 90's), but Rod & Leo are quite important in the history of NZ comics, I believe.

    That being said, I am enjoying the book immensely, and I certainly don't take for granted either: a) the work that would need to go into its creation and the compromises that would have to be made, or b) its very existence at all. Any word on whether we'll be seeing an edition in the UK or US at any point?

  4. Thanks for that, glade you're enjoyed it. Yeah, it would have been great if there was room to go a bit deeper into the history of NZ retail (particularly the store 'supply wars' that went on in the late 90's). Card Crazy was really used as an example of one of the worst offenders in terms of the mass-market excess that was taking place at the time. I did make a timeline of comics retailers in NZ when I was working on the 80-90s chapters that included Graphic and the Comics Compulsion stores in ch-ch, but due to the share compression of the chapters, I ended up focusing more on the comics and the creators instead. I may do a piece on the blog that can expand on this more with that material, and hopefully make it into any future expanded edition. And yes, I'm looking into the possibility of a US or UK edition...