Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Earth's End Uncanny X-mas Gift Guide!

With the Christmas season upon us once again, today I'm going to highlight the latest NZ comics related gifts you can pick up for your friends, family or your own bookshelf!

Above: Capsicum, Capsi Go and The Day The Costume Stuck by Toby Morris

Toby Morris has two new children's books out just in time for Christmas!

In Capsicum, Capsi Go, follow Capsi's delightful and amusing travel adventures! And in The Day the Costumes Stuck, meet Iggy: he can't seem to take off his party costume but his parents don’t seem to notice that Iggy has turned into the boogie monster! But that's not the weirdest part... A funny, original and heart-warming story destined to become a new family favourite!

Both books retail for $20nz, but they are also currently on sale at the Beatnik website for $16nz!

Capsicum, Capsi Go
By Toby Morris
SOFTCOVER: 32 pages
SIZE: 220 x 220 x 3mm
PUBLISHER: Beatnik Publishing
ISBN: 9780994120557

The Day the Costumes Stuck 
By Toby Morris 
SOFTCOVER: 32 pages 
SIZE: 220 x 220 x 3mm 
PUBLISHER: Beatnik Publishing 
ISBN: 9780994138309

Above: Maui: Sun Catcher by Tim Tipene & Zak Waipara

Tim Tipene & Zak Waipara re-imagine this popular Maori myth in a contemporary setting.

This modern Maui is an intermediate-school boy who lives with his Mum and three older brothers in a city where the day is never long enough to get things done. Maui grasps the mantle: Mum, I'm gonna catch that Sun for you. That Sun who's always on the run. With their woven flax net, the brothers drive to the pit where the Sun lives, and make their play to slow the day. This bilingual book, in English and Maori, brings Maui into the 21st century in a fun and colourful retelling - the first in the international Indigenous Voices series.

Maui: The Sun Catcher retails for $24.99 in Hardback, and is in bookstores now!

Maui: The Sun Catcher
By Tim Tipene & Zak Waipara
Publisher : Oratia Books
Dimensions : 270mm X 210mm X 9mm
ISBN : 9780947506148

Above: Maui and Other Maori Legends by Peter Gossage.

While we're on the subject of Maui, if you want a full collection of his adventures, you can't pass up this new hardback collection from Penguin Books of the late, great, illustrator Peter Gossage. His memorable retellings of Maori oral myths have captivated the children of New Zealand for generations. Their dramatic and distinctive illustrations with minimal yet evocative language form a powerful combination, and each has earned its place among the beloved classics of our literature.

These are exciting, magical tales of adventure and intrigue. Several feature the remarkable culture hero Maui – the quick-witted and the trickster – whose exploits include slowing the sun in its course across the sky, fishing up the North Island/Te Ika a Maui, discovering the secret of fire and his attempt to trick the goddess of death and become immortal.

Maui and Other Legends contains eight essential legends. In this volume you will find timeless favourites such as How Maui Found his Mother, Battle of the Mountains, Pania of the Reef and many more.

This hardback collection retails for $40.00nz, and is in bookstores now!

Maui and Other Maori Legends 
By Peter Gossage
Publisher : Penguin Group (NZ)
Imprint : Puffin
Publication date : October 2016
Dimensions : 302mm X 217mm X 20mm
ISBN : 9780143309291

Above: Annual edited by Kate De Goldi & Susan Paris.

Gecko Press’s Annual is a game-changer, packing dynamic, irreverent, challenging, and timeless material into a beautiful package for 9- to 12-year-olds.

Annual features a dictionary of crazy words that come in handy on car trips, a sophisticated "spot the similarity", a found poem from school newsletters, a maths-nerd's memoir full of tricky logic puzzles, and comics/illustrations by Jonathan King, Sarah Laing, Dylan Horrocks, Sharon Murdoch, Giselle Clarkson, Sally Bollinger, Paul Beavis and Coco Solid.

This is a book for readers who are hungry for sophisticated, wide-ranging, and challenging content. It aims to revitalize the reading experience for this age group and create lifetime readers.

Annual is available in hardback in bookstores now, and retails for $39.99nz.

Edited by Kate De Goldi & Susan Paris
Publisher : Gecko Press
Dimensions : 260mm X 193mm
ISBN : 9781776570775

Above: Murdoch: The Political Cartoons of Sharon Murdoch by Sharon Murdoch with Melinda Johnston.

With John Key recently calling it quits, now is a great time to review some of the best political cartoons to feature Key and his Government, produced by 2016 Canon Cartoonist of the Year, Sharon Murdoch. As the regular cartoonist for the Sunday Star Times and the Christchurch Press, she provokes and delights readers with her witty and often hilarious observations, and her hard-hitting and insightful social and political analysis.

In Murdoch, Melinda Johnston’s commentary sets the cartoons within their historical context, while her introduction locates the work within New Zealand’s cartooning history. Featuring over 150 full-page cartoons, which highlight the breadth and depth of Sharon Murdoch’s work, this book will entertain and educate any reader with an interest in New Zealand’s contemporary social and political history.

This collection retails for $39.99nz and is in bookstores now!

Murdoch: The Political Cartoons of Sharon Murdoch
Sharon Murdoch with Melinda Johnston
Format: Paperback with gatefolds
Pages: 216
Size: 215 x 235 mm
ISBN: 9780947503239

Above: Mansfield & Me by Sarah Laing.

Katherine Mansfield is a literary giant in New Zealand—but she had to leave the country to become one. She wrote, ‘Oh to be a writer, a real writer.’ And a real writer she was, until she died at age 34 of tuberculosis. The only writer Virginia Woolf was jealous of, Mansfield hung out with the modernists, lost her brother in World War I, dabbled in Alistair Crowley’s druggy occult gatherings and spent her last days in a Fontainebleu commune with Olgivanna, Frank Lloyd Wright’s future wife. She was as famous for her letters and diaries as for her short stories. 

Sarah Laing wanted to be a real writer, too. A writer as famous as Katherine Mansfield, but not as tortured. Mansfield and Me charts her journey towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield’s dramatic story, set in London, Paris, New York and New Zealand. Part memoir, part biography, part fantasy, it examines how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.

This is a perfect gift for fans of great New Zealand biographies looking for something a bit different. It's personal and insightful, a story intimately told through Sarah's distinctive comics voice. You can also hear me raving about it on Radio NZ nights HERE.

Mansfield and Me is in bookstores now, and retails for $34.99nz.

Mansfield and Me 
By Sarah Laing
336 Pages
Paperback, colour
ISBN: 9781776560691

Above: Terry Teo and the Gunrunners by Bob Kerr and Stephen Ballantyne.

With the new TV series currently screening on TV2, now is as good a time as any to catch-up on the original first adventure of the local skateboarding super-sleuth!

Terry Teo is not your average schoolboy - he's a skateboarding super-sleuth about to embark on his very first adventure!

When he stumbles headfirst into the criminal schemes of the villainous Ray Vegas, Terry finds himself embroiled in a dastardly gun smuggling operation. Along with his karate-chopping sister, Polly, and older brother Ted, Terry must use all his street smarts to avoid Vegas' henchmen, defeat the smugglers, and save the day!

Terry Teo and the Gunrunners is available in bookstores and online HERE. It retails for $24.99nz.

Terry Teo and the Gunrunners TV Tie-in edition
Bob Kerr & Stephen Ballantyne
Paperback, 56 pages, full-colour
ISBN: 9780473330675
Suitable for All Ages

So there's plenty of good gifts here for the cartoon connoisseur or picture book fanatic in your family, so get purchasing and support the local comics community!

- AK!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Week of Wus: Wussy Castle

Above: Wussy Castle. Copyright Oneedo Studio 2016.

Comic creator and animator Ned Wenlock (Hotpools, Highwater) has produced a quirky new animated series Wussy Castle, which debuted this week on Youtube. Drawing inspiration from the formats of English children's shows of the 70's like The Magic Roundabout and The WomblesWussy Castle follows two brothers, Sir Jeremy and Sir Mathew, who live at home in Wussy Castle with their mum and their manservant Bedsit. Everyday brings immense challenges to their privileged lives. 

Above: Wussy Castle episode #1: The Weight of Kindness. Copyright Oneedo Studio 2016.

"I thought it would be fun to cast what I see in the modern world through the lens of childhood, because the world is made up of children from about the 70s", explained Ned Wenlock. "The characters themselves are reflections of the modern world, pampered, self-obsessed, entitled and generally a bit thick."

This exquisitely designed satire will run for 5 episodes this week, from December 5th - 9th. The first episode, The Weight of Kindness can be viewed below and click through to the Wussy Castle youtube channel to view the series HERE. For more information on Ned's award-winning animated films, visit Oneedo Studio HERE.

- AK!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

VIDEO: Toby Morris Explores Tokyo's Comic Art Scene

Above: Toby Morris at Manga store Mandarake, Tokyo, Japan. Photo copyright Gui Martinez 2016.

Toby Morris appears to be everywhere this month! Thanks to the new beer Steinlager Tokyo Dry (a Japanese inspired New Zealand beer) and Vice, Toby was sent to Japan to take part in a documentary series exploring the cultural similarities and differences between Japan and New Zealand.

While there, Toby takes a fast paced journey through Tokyo to explore how its vibrant comic art and anime scene permeates everyday life—from the comic stores out the front of train stations to the street signage. He visits stationery superstore Sekaido, before stopping by multi-level manga mecca, Mandarake, which is jam-packed floor to ceiling with manga (to quote Toby, "Holy shit!").

This is followed by a visit with animator Takahiro Tanaka at Studio 4°C, to find out how closely comics and manga go hand-in-hand in Japan, and to collaborate on a comic.

It's a great watch, and you can check it out below. Check out more about this doc series over at the Vice website HERE and an interview with Toby about his career and trip to Japan HERE.

- AK!

Terry Teo (finally) back on Television!

Above: The new Terry Teo series. Copyright Semi-Professional Pictures 2016.

Terry Teo is back on television! After much media discussion and controversy earlier this year when the new TV series adaptation of Bob Kerr & Stephen Ballantyne's 1980s Terry Teo graphic novels debuted on TVNZ's OnDemand, it has finally found a place on the network's schedule: debuting on Sunday 27th of November at 7pm on TVNZ 2 with a 2 hour double episode update of the 'Terry Teo The Gunrunners' storyline. The next four episodes will air weekly, or you can stream the whole series OnDemand HERE.

If you're after a copy of the classic original graphic novel, remastered with a background history of Terry Teo and the making of the TV series, it's available over at my publishing house, Earth's End Publishing HERE.

Terry Teo and the Gunrunners TV Tie-in edition

Bob Kerr & Stephen Ballantyne
Paperback, 56 pages, full-colour
ISBN: 9780473330675
Suitable for All Ages
RRP: $24.99


Terry Teo is not your average schoolboy - he's a skateboarding super-sleuth about to embark on his very first adventure!

When he stumbles headfirst into the criminal schemes of the villainous Ray Vegas, Terry finds himself embroiled in a dastardly gun smuggling operation. Along with his karate-chopping sister, Polly, and older brother Ted, Terry must use all his street smarts to avoid Vegas' henchmen, defeat the smugglers, and save the day!


"Great adventures. No iPhones, no internet. I think I even saw a red telephone box in there. Lots of car chases, bad accents, worse jokes...It's going to be popular with young boys." 

- John McIntyre, Children's Book Reviewer - Nine to Noon, National Radio

"It’s all jolly good nostalgic fun, with a distinctly kiwi flavour to the illustrations – including the charmingly-named small town Kaupati (say it aloud) with its tiny police station and A&P show. This is truly like travelling back into a time before cellphones, before the internet, into a world where kids get to have the adventures – because the adults are too oblivious or silly to solve the problems themselves. With its fast pace and humour, this graphic novel can now be enjoyed by a new generation, and may especially be embraced by the more reluctant reader."

- Angela Oliver, Booksellers New Zealand Blog

"Bob Kerr’s cartoons are terrific as always and there are lots of little in-house jokes and Kiwi things going on that are smilers when you see one. Stephen Ballantyne’s written text is to the point and captures the whole Kiwi attitude. This book has high appeal for reluctant readers and is certain to win fans at primary and intermediate schools all over again." 

- Bob Doherty, Bobs Book Blog

- AK!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weekend Reading: The Hills by Toby Morris

Above: Artwork from The Hills by Toby Morris.

Over at the Radio NZ website, Toby Morris has created a short comic, The Hills, that reflects on the recent weeks of political and geological upheaval, and the small things we can do to help each other in these difficult times. You can read the full comic HERE.

- AK!

Above: Artwork from The Hills by Toby Morris.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dylan Horrocks becomes NZ's first Arts Laureate cartoonist!

Above: Dylan Horrocks.

The Arts Foundation of New Zealand has named Dylan Horrocks one of five top New Zealand artists to receive the prestigious Laureate Award at this year's New Zealand Arts Awards. Each Laureate Award includes a cash prize of $50,000. The other recipients include: writer Eleanor Catton, Composer Lyell Cresswell, Visual Artist Peter Robinson, and Film Maker Taika Waititi.

The Laureate Award is described as, 'an investment in excellence across a range of art forms for an artist with prominence and outstanding potential for future growth. Their work is rich but their richest work still lies ahead of them. The award should recognise a moment in the artist’s career that will allow them to have their next great success'.

“The awards are no-strings-attached, leaving artists free to use the funds exactly how they please," explains Arts Foundation’s Executive Director, Simon Bowden. "Some artists have credited the award for enabling the creation of their most celebrated work, others are thankful for the award coming at a time when their washing machine needs replacing."

Dylan Horrocks is widely acclaimed in the global comics community for his graphic novels, Hicksville and Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, as well as acting as an ambassador and advocate for New Zealand comics and mentor to emerging comic creators. For all of these contributions and more, it is well deserved.

This award comes on the heels of busy times for Horrocks and his family, having recently relocated from Auckland to a new home and studio in Wellington.

The New Zealand Arts Awards will be presented at an evening event on Wednesday, 23rd of November at Shed 10, at the Auckland Waterfront. For more details visit the NZ Arts Foundation website HERE.

- AK!

Chromacon returns for 2017!

Chromacon, the indie arts festival with a difference, will be back for 2017! Taking place at the Aotea Centre in the heart of the Auckland CBD, Chromacon celebrates the coming together of creativity, artistic excellence and community. Freely open to the wider public, Chromacon connects all New Zealanders with the best homegrown illustrators, comic artists, designers, animators, game developers and more.

At Chromacon, you will find original artwork and creative projects from independent creators of different media, styles, and genres. You will also be able to purchase self-published work or even one-off originals directly from the creatives themselves. The intimate nature of the event offers you the chance to meet and connect with creatives you may already admire or others creating new and exciting work that you weren't aware of. Furthermore, the event will be hosting live events, drawing/painting demos, and artist talks/panels on a variety of subjects throughout the weekend.

Chroma Connect will be returning in the form of industry sessions running in parallel with the main festival - featuring top local and international speakers.

Everyone with an interest in art, in particular storytelling in visual and interactive mediums, is invited to this weekend celebration of Kiwi creativity. Whether you’re a fledgling artist yourself, or simply curious about the amazing original work created by independent creators right here in New Zealand, this event is for you!
For more information and updates, visit the Chromacon event page on Facebook HERE, and the official website HERE.

- AK!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

EVENT: Altered Egos Exhibition

Opening today, Altered Egos! is an interactive exhibition of illustration, featuring two world-class Mangere illustrators, Michel Mulipola (Headlocked) and Ali Cowley.

Showing at Māngere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku for the first time, Ali Cowley and Michel Mulipola have brought together works by talented emerging illustrators and animators including Nanai Tolovae Jr, Jimmy Vea and Te Iwihoko Te Rangihirawea. Large scale banners, working methods and finished artwork will be on show, including a space for budding illustrators to contribute.

The exhibition runs from 12 November - 14 January, showing Monday: Friday 9am - 5pm, and Saturday from 10am - 4pm. Entry is FREE of charge, so head over to the Māngere Arts Centre this summer to check out some eye-catching artwork! For more information, visit the exhibition facebook page HERE.

- AK!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

RECOMMENDED READING: "Who is Your Community?" by Ant Sang

Above: panels from Who is Your Community? by Ant Sang.

Over at The Wireless, Ant Sang (The Dharma Punks) has drawn a comic strip in which he discusses growing up feeling like a cultural outsider, and how, through creativity, he found his own community.

You can read the full comic strip HERE.

- AK!