Friday, March 11, 2016

Review: The Adventures of Kory: Flight of the Kiwi by Paul Martin

Above: The Adventures of Kory: Flight of the Kiwi by Paul Martin.

It seems like an obvious go-to for local comics, but there have been few examples of comic books or graphic novels starring our furry national icon - the Kiwi - as the main protagonist. One of the most recent and notable is The Adventures of Kory: Flight of the Kiwi (2013), the first graphic novel by Paul Martin. A former Rugby player for Waikato and the Chiefs, Martin has always been an avid cartoonist, and developed the idea for his graphic novel while on a Rugby sabbatical in France. 

Above: A page from The Adventures of Kory: Flight of the Kiwi by Paul Martin.

The story opens in Whale Bay, where Kory the Kiwi and his friend Bert the Gecko enjoy spending their afternoons surfing and basking in the sunshine. Meanwhile, a world away in the Swiss Alps, a game hunting wolf named Gregor is seeking new and exotic prey to hunt, and set his sites on the brown kiwis of New Zealand. Armed with a ship manned by a motley crew of dogs and stouts, Gregor sets sail for New Zealand, and in short order kidnaps Kory's family and returns to Europe where they await a gruesome fate unless Kory and Bert can use their 'kiwi ingenuity' to save them.

Above: A page from The Adventures of Kory: Flight of the Kiwi by Paul Martin.

Taking inspiration from other 'album style' graphic novels like Tintin or more locally, Kerr and Ballantyne's Terry Teo and the Gunrunners, this is a fairly straightforward adventure yarn, with plenty of colourful characters and a snowboarding finale in the Swiss Alps which will surely entertain the younger target audience. With the added experience of having lived in France, Martin is able to add enough authentic details in the story to make the shift in locations from New Zealand to Europe feel natural, and enrich proceedings. Older readers may find the flow of the dialogue a little stilted in places, but younger readers tackling this on their own shouldn't have any problems following this upbeat adventure.

Handsomely presented in full-colour hardback, this is a fun read for younger readers who are just discovering graphic novels and looking for something set closer to home.

The Adventures of Kory: Flight of the Kiwi HC
Paul Martin
ISBN: 9780473265113

For more information and to order a copy, you can visit the book's official website HERE.

- AK!


  1. I met Paul today at Tamahere Market just outside of Hamilton. An interesting man to talk with. I admire his drive in launching Kory. Writing as well as illustrating as well as publishing equals a prodigious amount of work. Good effort Paul.