Monday, April 20, 2020

Quarantoon Episode 2: Sarah Laing

Dylan Horrocks continues his interview series Quarantoon, in this new episode featuring cartoonist Sarah Laing (Mansfield & Me). They discuss the process behind her daily comics diary, The COVID-19 Diaries. There's also a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at her sketchbooks and writing process for Mansfield & Me, and a discussion about the future of graphic design in the current climate (the recent collapse of Bauer Media and the NZ magazine industry, and the rise of social media). It's a great conversation that you can check out above, or on Youtube HERE.

- AK!

Monday, April 13, 2020

NZ Cartoonists respond to COVID-19

Above: The 'Flatten the Curve' GIF by  Toby Morris and Dr Siouxsie Wiles.

New Zealand is just over halfway through it's Level 4 mandatory lock-down, a national effort to eradicate the COVID-19 virus from our shores. During this pandemic, cartoonist Toby Morris has collaborated with Dr Siouxsie Wiles (Associate Professor and head of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland) to produce illustrated (and animated) articles for The Spinoff to help educate the public on COVID-19: how the virus spreads, best practice to protect ourselves from infection, and generally boiling down complex ideas related to the virus into easy to understand articles.

Above: NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holding up a printed copy of Toby Morris'  'Flatten the Curve' illustration at a press conference.

The most widely shared of this would be the 'Flatten the Curve' GIF, accompanying the article, 'The three phases of Covid-19 – and how we can make it manageable', published on the 9th of March. Within days of publication it was used as an example to follow by NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a press conference, and has since been used or adapted by foreign governments including Australia, Germany, Argentina and many more. You can read all of  Dr Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris' informative articles and updates on COVID-19 at The Spinoff HERE.

Dylan Horrocks has also started an interview series on youtube, Quarantoon, in which he interviews cartoonists about their work during the pandemic. His first episode is an in-depth chat with Toby Morris about his collaboration with  Dr Siouxsie Wiles for The Spinoff articles. It's honest and revealing, making it essential viewing if you want to hear more about what goes into the creation of these articles and the extraordinary response they have received from around the world. You can view the first episode HERE.

Above: Artwork by Sarah Laing from The COVID-19 Diaries.

Cartoonist Sarah Laing has responded to the pandemic with a more personal expression, a daily comic strip published on her website, The COVID-19 Diaries. A raw and honest account of daily life under Level 4 lock-down, Laing's comics are extremely relatable, illustrating the daily anxieties and humour arising from this unique situation. You can read  The COVID-19 Diaries daily on Sarah's website HERE. Sarah will also be appearing on Horrocks' Quarantoon series, so keep an eye out for that episode soon!

- AK


Monday, March 9, 2020

NZ Graphic Novel Picks for Best International Comics of 2019!

Above: The Adventures of Tupaia by Courtney Sina Meredith and Mat Tait. Copyright  Courtney Sina Meredith and Mat Tait 2020.

Every year I contribute some New Zealand graphic novel picks for Paul Gravett's 'Best Comics of the Year: An international Perspective', highlighting some of the standout graphic novel from around the world. There's some great international reads on this list from such countries as: Argentina, Poland, Finland, South Korea, Serbia, Sweden, Singapore, Switzerland, Portugal, Denmark and Brazil.

The New Zealand titles I included this year were: The Adventures of Tupaia by Courtney Sina Meredith & Mat Tait, published by Allen & Unwin NZ; Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris with Ross Calman, Mark Derby & Piripi Walker, published by Lift Education; Mophead by Selina Tusitala Marsh, published by Aotearoa Books, The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill, published by Oni Press, Palimpsest: Documents From a Korean Adoption by Lisa Wool-rim Sjöblom, published by Drawn & Quarterly; Let Me Be Frank by Sarah Laing, published by Victoria University Press; and Rufus Marigold by Ross Murray, published by Earth’s End Publishing.

You can read Best Comics of 2019: An International Perspective Part 1 HERE, and Part 2 HERE.

- AK!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

EVENT: Chip Zdarsky at Graphic Comics!

Above: Comics writer/artist Chip Zdarsky.

The NZ 2020 comics event calendar kicks off this month, with a surprise visit from US comics writer/artist Chip Zdarsky!

Zdarsky is an Eisner, Harvey and Shuster Award winning cartoonist, and co-creator (with Matt Fraction) of Sex Criminals from Image Comics. He is the current writer on Daredevil and the upcoming X-Men/Fantastic Four mini-series for Marvel Comics, and has also written acclaimed runs on: Spider-Man: Life Story, Howard the Duck, Invaders, Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Two-In-One and Jughead for Archie Comics.

He will be making an appearance at Graphic Comics in Wellington, on Thursday 30th January from 4.30-5.30pm to chat and sign comics. It sounds like this will be his only NZ appearance, so if you're in the Welly area, stop by and get some comics signed! You can visit the Graphic Facebook event HERE for more information, and visit Chip's amusing website HERE.

- AK!