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