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Remembering WW1 on Anzac Day

On 25 April 1915, New Zealanders along with other Allied troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, with the aim of taking the Dardanelles, and threatening the Ottoman capital, Constantinople (now Istanbul). At the end of the nine month campaign, about a third of the New Zealand soldiers taking part had been killed. Anzac Day commemorates all New Zealand soldiers killed in war, and also honours returned servicemen and women.  Here is some further reading:

Syndetics book coverShattered glory : the New Zealand experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front / Matthew Wright.
“The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 destroyed New Zealand’s fantasies of war as a glorious schoolboy adventure on behalf of a beloved Empire. The Western Front campaign that followed in 1916-18 gave shape to the emotional impact. it was a horror world of death and mud that destroyed the souls of the young men who fought in it. Together, these two campaigns shaped the lives of a generation of New Zealanders and have given a particular meaning to modern memory of war. In Shattered Glory, highly regarded historian Matthew Wright illuminates New Zealand’s human experience during these two First World War campaigns, exploring the darker side of New Zealand’s iconic symbols of national identity and explaining some of the realities behind the twenty-first century mythology.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverDevils on horses : in the words of the Anzacs in the Middle East 1916-19 / Terry Kinloch ; foreword by Dr Christopher Pugsley.
“Reunited with their horses in Egypt after the shattering experience of Gallipoli, the Anzac mounted riflemen and light horsemen were initially charged with the defence of the Suez Canal, then with the clearance of the Sinai peninsula, and finally with the destruction of the Turkish armies in Palestine and Syria.
At last they could pursue the style of warfare for which they had been trained: on horseback.
The First World War battlefields in the Middle East have long been overshadowed by those of Gallipoli and the Western Front. Yet the story of the mounted riflemen in Sinai and Palestine is a truly fascinating one. Using the soldiers’ original letters and diaries wherever possible, Kinloch vividly describes every battle and skirmish in the long campaign against the Turks: the crucial Battle of Romani, the defeats at Bir el Abd, Gaza and Amman, and the successes at Beersheba, Ayun Kara and elsewhere.” (Abridged from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverMapping the first world war : battlefields of the great conflict from above.
“Some one hundred years on from the Great War, Mapping The First World War provides a unique perspective on the ‘war to end all wars’. Over a hundred maps and charts show the broad sweep of events, from Germany’s 1914 war goals to the final positions of the troops. There are maps depicting movements and battles as well as related documents, such as those on levels of conscription and numbers of weapons.” (Abridged from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverPasschendaele : the anatomy of a tragedy / Andrew Macdonald.
“This extensively researched book tells the story of one of the darkest hours of Australia and New Zealand’s First World War military. With the forensic use of decades-old documents and soldier accounts, it unveils for the first time what really happened on the war-torn slopes of Passchendaele, why, and who was responsible for the deaths and injuries of thousands of soldiers in the black mud of Flanders. Macdonald explores the October battles of Third Ypres from the perspective of the generals who organised them to the soldiers in the field, drawing on a wide range of evidence held in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Britain and Germany. His book is far more than a simple narrative of battle and includes critical and comparative assessments of command, personality, training discipline, weapons, systems, tactics and the environment. It looks equally at the roles of infantry, artillery and engineering units, whether Australian, New Zealand, Canadian or British, and in so doing presents a meticulous, objective and compelling investigation from start to finish. Along the way it offers numerous unique insights that have, until now, been obscured by a nearly century-old fog of war. This book will reshape the understanding of one of the most infamous battles of the First World War.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverThe other Anzacs : nurses at war 1914-1918 / Peter Rees.
“By the end of The Great War, forty-five Australian and New Zealand nurses had died on overseas service and over two hundred had been decorated. These were women who left for war on an adventure, but were soon confronted with remarkable challenges for which their civilian lives could never have prepared them.
They were there for the horrors of Gallipoli and they were there for the savagery the Western Front. Within twelve hours of the slaughter at Anzac Cove they had over 500 horrifically injured patients to tend on one crammed hospital ship, and scores of deaths on each of the harrowing days that followed. Every night was a nightmare. Their strength and humanity were remarkable.” (Abridged from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverArchduke Franz Ferdinand lives! : a world without World War I / Richard Ned Lebow.
“For Lebow (A Cultural Theory of International Relations), a professor of international political theory, the erasure of WWI from our historical timeline would have placed our world on a path quite different from the one we are on today. He expounds on the theory of counterfactuals to revisit and better understand our history. “What-ifs of this kind offer insights into the world in which we actually live,” Lebow claims, letting us “probe why and how it came about, how contingent it was, and how we should evaluate it.” He begins with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and its aftershocks, detailing what could have happened in the fields of science, art, medicine, and politics had the archduke survived. Using historical and personal records, supported by known personality traits of notable period figures, Lebow fashions two possible worlds, one better and one worse, had WWI been avoided. His confidence is evident on every page; this work of alternative history reminds us of our own position in flow of events and tempts us to follow Lebow’s lead in fantasizing about the possibilities inherent in these very distinct worlds. Though we can’t escape the realities of our past, Lebow provides his readers with exciting alternatives to consider.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverGallipoli : the final battles and evacuation of Anzac / David W. Cameron.
“This book is the first book since Charles Bean’s Official history to provide a detailed narrative of the bloody and tragic battle for Hill 60, along with the other engagements that went on until the very last days at Anzac – viewed from both sides of the trenches. It also examines in detail the planning and execution of the evacuation of the troops from Anzac – the most successful part of the whole Gallipoli fiasco. David Cameron’s detailed research and use of firsthand accounts including letters, diaries, and interviews, enables him to convey the confusion of battle while also telling a good story with a powerful emotional impact” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverMeetings in no man’s land : Christmas 1914 and fraternization in the Great War / Marc Ferro … [et al.] ; translations by Helen McPhail.
“In the winter of 1914, after long months of marching, soldiers on both fronts began to dig trenches and the war became a battle of attrition in which ordinary men faced each other across the bombed mud of No Man’s Land. The enemy lines were often no more than a few yards away, the soldiers of both sides in equal desperation, surrounded by carnage and horror. Out of this hardship came a shared feeling which was demonstrated in the unofficial armistice of Christmas 1914, when German and English soldiers laid down their weapons for a blessed moment of peace, played football and swapped food.
In this book, four international experts look at the story of Christmas 1914 and the evidence that fraternization was far more common than previously accepted. Using new research, the book explores these brief moments of humanity on all fronts and throughout the conflict, and shows them to have been not only prevalent but also vital, long ignored, factor in the war. For the French, defending their home territory, fraternization was the last taboo and until now omitted from the record.
Meetings in No Man’s Land reveals a story of the Great War that has long been forgotten or lost in censored official reports or officer journals, and brings new light to the harrowing experience of the ordinary soldier’s life in the trenches.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverThe Great War handbook [electronic resource] : a guide for family historians & students of the conflict / Geoff Bridger ; foreword by Cornelli Barnett.
“Geoff Bridger’s The Great War Handbook answers many of the basic questions newcomers ask when confronted by this enormous and challenging subject not only what happened and why, but what was the Great War like for ordinary soldiers who were caught up in it. He describes the conditions the soldiers endured, the deadly risks they ran, their daily routines and the small roles they played in the complex military machine they were part of. His comprehensive survey of every aspect of the soldier’s life, from recruitment and training, through the experience of battle and its appalling aftermath, is an essential guide for students, family historians, teachers and anyone who is eager to gain an all-round understanding of the nature of the conflict. His authoritative handbook gives a fascinating insight into the world of the Great War – it is a basic book that no student of the subject can afford to be without.” (Syndetics summary)

ComicFest: @UnityBooks & @WCL_Library share their favourite comics

The Unity Books team, one of our generous ComicFest sponsors, and our Wellington City Librarians have collaborated what they think are the best Comics/Graphic Novels. This list was phenomenal so we’ve broken it up. Below is just part two of many posts to come over the next week.

Share your thoughts and additions for this list in the comments section below or flick us both a tweet at @wcl_library and @unitybooks

John Douglas, Unity Books:

Drinking at the Movies – Julia Wertz
“On the day I turned 25 I came to consciousness at 3am in a 24hr Laundromat in Brooklyn, NY, eating Cracker Jacks in my pyjamas”. Drinking at the Movies tells the story of Julia Wertz’s move from SF-NYC. It’s a story filled with family dramas, horrible apartments, getting fired, lots of weed and laziness, all told through an apathetic alcoholic haze. The artwork is basic, and the themes are depressing, yet it’s all told with such an absurdly black sense of humour that it’s not only thoroughly enjoyable but oddly uplifting.

High Soft Lisp – Gilbert Hernandez
Gilbert Hernandez started publishing Love & Rockets with his brother Jaime over 30 years ago and it’s still going strong. High Soft Lisp features Love & Rockets character Rosalba ‘Fritz’ Martinez – psychiatrist/ex punk/z movie star/ sexpot/gun fetishist and her motivational speaker (ex)husband Mark Herrera. As always the characters are twisted and the line work is impeccable. There’s a lot of sex.

Green Eggs and Maakies – Tony Millionaire
The Maakies strips have been going for years, there must be thousands of them by now and they’re always a joy. The stories of Drinky Crow and Sock Monkey are deranged, sick, twisted, drunken, violent… everything a comic should be. They’re obviously drawn very quickly but the art is incredible and Millionaire’s attention to detail is astonishing. I’m sure I’ll never tire of Drinky Crow shooting himself in the head.

My New York Diary – Julie Doucet
This intensely personal book tells the story of the author’s move from Montreal to NYC and the time she spent there until she moved to Seattle a year later. The scene is set with 17 year old Julie losing her virginity and it’s a wild ride of poor mental health, drinking too much, and making bad life choices from there on in, all told with a wry and self-depreciating sense of humour.

My Dirty Dumb Eyes – Lisa Hanawalt
Although not a story or any kind of continuous strip My Dirty Dumb Eyes is a riotously entertaining book. Made up of sketches, dreams, true life stories (the trip to the toy expo is great fun) and whatever she feels like. Her movie reviews are Hilarious (Drive, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as are her mutated portraits of celebrities.

Paying for It – Chester Brown
With Chester Brown’s deadpan narrative style in full force, Paying for It chronicles his exploits as a john. His return trips, His trying to explain to his friends, and his claims of not needing love. The strange lack of emotion and his bare honesty make this a compelling read. Despite there being a fair amount of sex in the book there’s nothing even approaching erotic, just his every day neuroses.

John, Wellington City Libraries:

Kafka – David Zane Mairowitz
This work takes a highly creative approach to this influential author, depicting his life story via scenes from his books, for example, at one stage we see Kafka depicted as a giant cockroach – taken from his classic ‘Metamorphosis’. This graphic novel works on every level, being a great work of graphic art, an excellent introduction to a profound writer, and a loving homage to everyone’s favourite dark soul.

The Beats: A Graphic History - Harvey Pekar
Grandaddy of comic illustration, Harvey Pekar – star of the excellent biographical film ‘American Splendour’ – presents a well told history of the prime shakers of the US hipster movement of the fifties that influenced an entire generation and laid the groundwork for the social revolutions of the sixties.

City of Glass – Paul Auster – Adapted by Paul Karasik
Paul Auster’s early novels are intriguing contemporary existential works that challenge notions of reason and traditional plot. Here, his excellent ‘City of Glass’ is given a great graphic treatment that maintains the intrigue and mystery of the novel.

xkcd : volume 0 - Randall Munroe
Randall Munroe is a cartoonist that runs a very popular website, and understandably so, as he is probably the most well informed satirist of technology around. This is the first collection of those online postings. Readers need a certain amount of awareness of technology to understand all of the jokes but the ones you get are very on the mark and very, very funny.

Bluesman : a twelve-bar graphic novel - Rob Vollmar
I have been listening to and reading about blues for years, yet this graphic novel was what really brought home to me just how it must have been for those early homeless musicians. A great and moving depiction of a key phase in modern musical history.

The Book of Genesis -Robert Crumb
Yes – it is the real and actual Book of Genesis from the Bible! Legendary cartoonist Robert Crumb of the sixties Zap Comics fame, who is now recognized as a key modern American artist, here applies his outstanding talent to a classic work. This graphic novel polarized Christians, who were either deeply offended or who applauded his modern adaptation. Crumb himself states in the intro that he originally intended a satire, but after looking over the material decided that the material was so strange that he would offer a faithful interpretation.

Gonzo : a graphic biography of Hunter S. Thompson - Will Bingley
The life story of outsider reporter, political commentator and legendary drug fiend Hunter S. Thompson, who invented the term ‘gonzo journalism’, is lovingly told here.
The main focus is on the writer’s early career when he is fired by publisher after publisher, runs for sheriff and binges on drink and drugs, with just a few pages covering the remaining years of his decline. This is a good introduction to a wild life and an impressive, if inconsistent, writer.

Alisha, Wellington City Libraries:

Sandman (5) A Game of You – Neil Gaiman
The best in the series I reckon.

Blankets by Craig Thompson
This is just excellent. Really excellent. If you want to convert someone to the graphic novel genre throw this at them and watch them change. This comic is a coming of age story about a teenage boy who is trying to shed the faith of his family and discover something he is comfortable to call his own. The main character is aided in this process through falling in love with a girl at a Christian camp. Craig Thompson’s illustrations slide in and out of the physical experiences that the main character is having, and the philosophical debates he is working through, seamlessly. Not only is Craig a talented artist but his writing is well formed to boot. And don’t be put off by the fact that it’s a story of faith – this comic tells the story without shoving any belief (or any lack of belief) down your throat. It’s simply a story of standing on your own two feet.

Click here for Part One of our comic pick series.

ComicFest: @UnityBooks & @WCL_Library share their favourite comics

The Unity Books team, one of our generous ComicFest sponsors, and our Wellington City Librarians have collaborated what they think are the best Comics/Graphic Novels. This list was phenomenal so we’ve broken it up. Below is just part one of many posts to come over the next week.

Share your thoughts and additions for this list in the comments section below or flick us both a tweet at @wcl_library and @unitybooks

Dylan Sherwood, Unity Books:

Tain’t The Meat… It’s The Humanity – Jack Davis
This is an essential volume in the continuing EC Library series published by Fantagraphics.
Jack Davis and his partners in crime at EC were hugely influential on the Zap comic artists of the ‘60’s who in turn did their best to shock and awe their peers. Let your host in howls, the Crypt Keeper, tell you terrifying tales that have stood the test of time. Even when the characters are dead, these panels are alive and kicking.
Also recommended: Corpse On The Imjin! and other stories – Harvey Kurtzman

Cruisin With The Hound – Spain Rodriguez
Spain’s “Trashman” character makes sense when you read the wild and unruly autobiographical yarns collected here. Misspent youth in biker gangs and all manner of sex, drugs, rock’n’roll and violence make for fascinating glimpses of a genuinely rebellious life. The interview with the author by Gary Groth is just the file in the cake. !Viva Spain!
Also recommended: Che: A Graphic Biography – Spain Rodriguez

Skin Deep – Charles Burns
Three twisted tales from 1988-1992, rendered in stunning black and white by a horror comic maestro. “Dog Days” follows the trials and tribulations of a man living with a transplanted dog heart. “Burn Again” recalls the tortured life of a child faith healer turned televangelist as he prepares his Doomsday cult for Armageddon. “A Marriage Made In Hell” is a 50’s style love comic with a plot that could have been written by Ed Wood Jr and directed by Pedro Almodovar.
Favourite Charles Burns comic? Black Hole.

West Coast Blues & Like A Sniper Lining Up His Shot – Jacques Tardi
If the downward spiral trajectory of film noir and the moodiness of Jean-Pierre Melville’s hard boiled characters strike a chord, look no further. Tardi’s masterful adaptations of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s brutal novels are perfect reading material for a rainy winter night.
Also recommended: New York Mon Amour – Jacques Tardi

Hip Hop Family Tree #1: 1970’s -1981 – Ed Piskor
It’s a treat to read Piskor’s history of Hip Hop in book form after checking out the Boing Boing online serial. The paper and format are well chosen and the vignettes of victors and villains who contributed to the birth of a new form of music are rivetting. I’m looking forward to the next volume.
Also recommended: The Beats: A Graphic History text by Harvey Pekar et al., art by Ed Piskor et al., edited by Paul Buhle.

No Man’s Land – Blexbolex
An infernal detective story full of black humour that unfolds at a relentless, insane pitch with the unfortunate narrator careening from one strange episode to the next. This book employs a unique spot colour print process that gives it a handmade, screen printed look that, combined with a beautiful palette, is very easy on the eye.
Also recommended: Ballad – Blexbolex

Prison Pit Book One – Johnny Ryan
Raw, brutal, rough and bloody, this is the perfect antidote to tweeness. Our hero, Cannibal F*ckface, must fight to live on a barren and extremely hostile planet where rules are made to be devoured and excreted and the only winner is humour.
Further trauma can be found here: Prison Pit Book Four – Johnny Ryan

Dungeon Quest Book One, Dungeon Quest Book Two & Dungeon Quest Book Three – Joe Daly
You don’t have to be familiar with role playing games to find this series hilarious. This satire of sword and sorcery tropes is captivating, great artwork and funny dialogue spouted by ridiculous, brave characters on a silly and savage quest.
Also recommended: The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book – Joe Daly

Congress Of The Animals & Fran – Jim Woodring
The first and second graphic novels to feature Woodring’s character, Frank, who dwells in an incomparable world unto itself. Dali and Disney could have dreamt this up together. The ink vibrates on the page and tickles your subconscious so whether or not the stories make sense to you at the end, these trips are well worth taking.
Also recommended: Weathercraft – Jim Woodring

Frith, Wellington City Libraries:

Relish, by Lucy Knisley
I love this book. Being a mix of colourful, appealing comic strips, memoir, and love letter to food WITH RECIPES, it’s got what I’d call a broad appeal base. The recipes are amazing, and reading Lucy’s stories of growing up with two foodie parents, gathering food wild, working in restaurant kitchens, holding stalls at country markets, and selling cheese to some very picky customers is like warm, delicious nostalgia for the childhood food experiences you wish you’d had. Perfect winter reading.

Darth Vader and Son AND Vader’s Little Princess
These are hilarious, one-shot or one-page cartoons depicting scenes that didn’t make it to the movies, but you know must have happened. Like when Luke gives Vader a terrible tie, and he has to wear it to the Imperial council. Horrifying.

A Taste of Chlorine
I said I hated this once. But once I got over feeling all bitter about relationships I appreciated it. The art is so lovely and it paces the story really, really well, with swimming sequences (the story takes place in and around a pool complex) being a page of turquoise panels and stroking arms, putting you firmly in the protagonist’s point of view (he doesn’t particularly relish the repetition, either). It’s also a slice of life ending – the reader is left to draw what resolution they can from the final panels of the book, or conclude that such a resultion may be impossible, or out of reach (ooh, spoiler!). Definitely one for the post-modernists among us.

First of all this is kind of R16 for pretty explicit nudity/ sex scenes, abuse of all kinds, and torture. Habibi puts the ‘graphic’ into graphic novel, that’s for sure. But the story is beautiful, a love story about growing up, finding a place to be, and against the odds, to be with the one you love. Habibi follows the lives of its two main protagonists from childhood to adult life in a fictionalised version of Islamic culture, and touches on themes of identity, social roles, survival, environmental degradation, power and faith. The main characters’ religious ideals – and the overarching narrative of Islamic creation and myth – are woven into the story and play a large part in the climactic scenes. The look and art of the book is inflected by this too, with ideas around writing and sacred words a large part of the design of the gorgeous, black and white illustrations. At over 600 pages this is a loooong comic book, but very worth a read.

Zahra’s Paradise
Graphic novels as protest journalism. Zahra’s Paradise tells not ‘the’ story, but ‘a’ story of the Iranian 2009 revolution, and so presents an on-the-ground and tragic view of disappearance and extra-judicial brutality after the 2009 elections. It is lightly fictionalised and written under a pseudonym for the authors’ safety, and the story of his missing brother, and their mother’s tenacious search for him or his remains, is moving and informative.

Hark, A Vagrant!
Kate Beaton makes jokes about history (and the Great Gatsby!) in comic book form. What could be better?

An examination, in comic panels, of the global economic system from the ground up. Straight-up and straightforward, with the author’s comic-self guiding you through tricky concepts and time periods, it’s a useful and fun (NOT a word I ever thought of applying to economics before) introduction to one of the systems that run the world. Perfect if you’ve forgotten all your high school economics, or just want to get an overview.

Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep, Vols. I-VI / Phillip K. Dick
Phillip K. Dick’s tale of despair and humanity in a ruined urban wasteland future is the story that became ‘Blade Runner’, and is known and renowned round the world. The grim, but flashy details of the futuristic world and android struggles translate better in comic book format than they ever did as a novel, in my not-very-humble opinion.

The Night Bookmobile / Audrey Niffenegger
Every person has, shadowing them through their life, their personalised bookmobile, filled with everything they’ve ever read, comforting them in low times and inspiring them for high. The book is a story of the protagonist’s brief encounter with the mobile library and her quest to re-discover it, no matter the cost. One for the librarians from the author of the Time-Traveller’s Wife.

And of course the inestimable Calvin and Hobbes. I loved this when I was a kid, and of course I paid most attention to Calvin, even though I thought him a brat and sympathised more with Susie, the (would-be) victim of Calvin’s many pranks. Now reading it as an adult, I get the jokes. And they’re great jokes.

New Contemporary Fiction for April

The European prize winning novel by Patrick Deville, Plague and Cholera, is highly recommended and heads this month’s selection of the latest new contemporary fiction. All provide great reading.

Syndetics book coverPlague and cholera / Patrick Deville ; translated from French by J.A. Underwood.
“Paris, May 1940. As Nazi troops storm the city, at Le Bourget airport, on the last flight out, sits Dr Alexandre Yersin, his gaze politely turned away from his fellow passengers with their jewels sewn into their luggage. He is too old for the combat ahead, and besides he has already saved millions of lives. Swiss by birth and trained in Germany and France, he had a romantic hunger for adventure, fuelled by tales of Livingstone and Conrad, he sailed to Asia. A true traveler of the century, he wanted to comprehend the universe, ceaselessly curious and courageous, Yersin stands, a genius, against a backdrop of world wars, pandemics, colonialism, progress and decadence.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAndrew’s brain / E.L. Doctorow.
“The confined thoughts of Andrew, a troubled cognitive scientist, whose conversation with an unknown questioner details the dissolution of his own relationships, career, and connection with his child. Andrew’s frantic language paints an increasingly fragmented worldview marred by disorientation. Periodically challenged by the questioner, Andrew is forced to confront his tendency toward a revisionist history and critically focus on the emotional impact of his actions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEvery single minute / Hugo Hamilton. “A moving portrait of an Irish writer dying of cancer. Visiting Berlin for the first and last time, she is remembered, in prose of arresting directness, by the book’s narrator. Touring the city, Úna strives still to understand the tragic death of her younger brother. At last, at a performance of the opera ‘Don Carlo’, she realises the true cost of letting memory dictate the course of her life.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Arctic summer / Damon Galgut.
“In 1912, the SS Birmingham approaches India. On board is Morgan Forster, novelist and man of letters, who is embarking on a journey of discovery. This book evokes the life and work of E.M. Forster, his travels to India, and the freedom and inspiration he found there.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMotherland / Maria Hummel.
“A deserter in Nazi Germany, on his way back to his family, hid letters from his new wife in an attic wall, where they were discovered decades later. Those letters led his granddaughter, poet and fiction writer Hummel, to explore the experience of Germans who struggled to keep their lives intact during WWII. Motherland follows Liesl, who recently married Frank, a widower, and is now caring for his three sons while he works as a surgeon stationed elsewhere. With separate struggles, including a debilitating illness striking one of the boys, Liesl and Frank’s stories unfold alongside each other but are only loosely connected, highlighting the depth of their separation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIrène / Pierre Lemaitre ; translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
“For Commandant Verhoeven life is beautiful: he is happily married, expecting his first child with the lovely Irène. But his blissful existence is punctured by a murder of unprecedented savagery. Worse still, the press seem to have it in for him, his every move is headline news. When he discovers that the killer has killed before, that each murder is homage to a classic crime novel, the fourth estate is quick to coin a nickname, The Novelist. With both men in the public eye, the case develops into a personal duel, each hell-bent on outsmarting the other. There can only be one winner, whoever has the least to lose.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverAll that is solid melts into air / Darragh McKeon.
“Russia, 1986. In a run-down apartment block in Moscow, a nine-year-old piano prodigy practices silently for fear of disturbing the neighbours. In a factory on the outskirts of the city, his aunt makes car parts, trying to hide her dissident past. In the hospital, a surgeon immerses himself in his work to avoid facing his failed marriage. And in a rural village in Belarus, a teenage boy wakes up to a sky of the deepest crimson. Outside, the ears of his neighbour’s cattle are dripping blood. Ten miles away, at the Chernobyl Power Plant, something unimaginable has happened. Now their lives will change forever.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe ghost of the Mary Celeste / Valerie Martin.
“A ghost ship appears in the mist. To the struggling author Arthur Conan Doyle, it is an inspiration. To Violet Petra, the gifted American psychic, it is a cruel reminder. To the death-obsessed Victorian public, it is a fascinating distraction, and to one family, tied to the sea for generations, it is a tragedy. In salons and on rough seas, at séances and in the imagination of a genius, these stories converge in unexpected ways as the mystery of the ghost ship deepens. But will the sea yield its secrets, and to whom?” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe Auschwitz escape / Joel C. Rosenberg.
“Luc, a French pastor, who is sentenced to the Auschwitz death camp for helping Jews, joins forces with Jacob, a Jewish man sent to the camp after his attempt to hijack a train bound for Auschwitz fails. Together they plan to escape to tell an unbelieving world about the Holocaust.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe secret of Raven Point : a novel / Jennifer Vanderbes.
“When her brother goes missing in Italy during WWII, young Juliet Dufresne signs up to be an army nurse. She and her brother have always been very close, and she cannot imagine her family life going on without him. Once in Italy, in addition to assisting in the constant surgeries performed at field hospitals, she helps psychiatrist Dr. Henry Willard, who is doing pioneering work on battle fatigue. When she finds out that patient Christopher Barnaby, a deserter up for court-martial, served in her brother’s unit, she becomes determined to bring Christopher out of his catatonic state so that he can tell her what happened to her brother.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

听说写, 学英文

Learn English from Chinese using our Overdrive eBook and eAudiobook collections.

在家也能学英语了. 除了阅读非常方便的电子书以外,您还可以在家听这些电子有声读物, 学习标准的英文发音: 英语语言课程 会将每个句子用中文和英文阅读; Easy Pronounciation 会教纯正的英文发音; Easy English Vocabulary 会讲解词语, 意思, 和对话.

Overdrive cover 临时应急会话宝典 (Emergency Conversation Skills), by [爱尔兰]艾诗琳 (eBook)
“本书主要是为英语口语学习者准备的,以句子的形式表达各种情况。句子中包括了实用的词汇及短语。对于有相同说法的词语或句子,书中也做了说明。本书以主题划分,分为十大主题,主题以下又划分为具体的状况,比如:逛街购物时如何讨价还价,挑选衣服;面试找工作时,应聘者如何自我介绍,面试者如何提问;身在外国时需要去药店、去医院等等,涉及日常生活、工作、出国等方方面面,读者可以很轻松地找到应急的那句话。同时还配备MP3,让你听到原汁原味的英音。” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover 新编商务英语谈判技巧, by 丁丽军 (eBook)
“编写本教材旨在为高职高专院校商务英语专业学生学习国际商务谈判知识,熟悉跨文化交流的要求,掌握跨文化交流的技巧,提高国际商务谈判能力提供有效的训练指南与训练素材。全书分16个单元,涵盖国际商务谈判的各个方面,其中包括谈判目标的建立、谈判信息的收集、国际商务谈判的原则、谈判的质量要求及在不同场景下与不同谈判主题的谈判技巧介绍和对应的练习。本教材结合商务英语专业的培养特点,各单元内容丰富,既提供了专业性较强的知识讲解,也配备了简单实用的语言和专业练习;既体现了专业知识讲授的特点,也兼顾了科学的语言教学方法。教材专业性强、实用性突出,适合高职院校商务英语专业及经贸类相关专业学生使用,也可作为具有初、中级英语水平学习者的业余学习材料。” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover English Course (from Chinese), by Ann-Charlotte Wennerholm (Audiobook)
“English Basic Course. Listen-Repeat-Learn. Listen: Hear a phrase first in Chinese and then twice in English. Repeat: Practice at your own pace and learn the pronunciation. Learn: You may begin to start using your new language within a few exercises. This is a bilingual (Chinese to English) downloadable course in English. The course contains of 3 hours MP3/AAC-file downloaded recorded material and 2 course booklets in PDF-format.” (Abridged from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover English Grammar for Chinese Speakers, by Linan Shi (eBook)
English Grammar for Chinese Speakers is the only book available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level Chinese students, teachers, interpreters, and translators interested in mastering the English language. The book divides English grammar learning into three basic sentence patterns: 1. subject – link verb – predicative, 2. subject – predicate, and 3. there be. Grammar content is essential for students to acquire the important skills and master the English language. Tools used in the book are easy to learn and understand. Furthermore, the book contains very useful vocabulary for practice in every day’s life communications. Students are sure to get the best results through learning the parts of speech and sentences. When applying all the vocabulary in this book into the three basic sentence patterns, students will be ready to enter into the mainstream English-speaking society everywhere.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover 物流英语, by 刘晶璟 熊秀琼 (eBook)
“本书内容涵盖了物流系统中各环节的专业英语知识,具体包括物流及供应链、运输、配送、库存管理、物料搬运、包装、客户服务、物流信息技术、国际采购、货运代理、物流单据、商务函件等。  全书分为12个单元,每单元设理论教学和实训部分。理论教学部分根据单元主题编写两篇英文课文,文章选材新颖、难度适宜,每篇课文后设有单词表、注释及不同形式的练习题。实训部分特别设计了技能训练和实用短句,训练形式多样,采取情境对话、口语交流、场景模拟、单据制作等形式,还穿插游戏等增加趣味性,加深学生对物流英语知识和技能的掌握,锻炼学生的英语实际应用能力,突出高等职业教育的特点。  本书可作为高职院校物流专业英语教材,也可作为企事业单位物流英语培训用书或物流从业者的自学材料。” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Daily Life Talk, by Li Shujuan (eBook)
Talk Chinese Series is the first series on practical colloquial Chinese, compiled and developed based on the theory of communicative functions. By imitating real life situations, it allows learners to experience the charm of the Chinese language and learn the most commonly used words, phrases, slangs, customary usages, everyday expressions and sentences. As long as one masters the contents of this series, one can respond comfortably in most situations with the knowledge and oral expressions learned.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Easy Pronunciation, by Living Language (Audiobook)
“More than nine million Americans do not speak English well or at all (according to the 2000 U.S. Census), and only two million of those adults can afford the time and cost required to enroll in an ESOL class. This comprehensive self-study course offers an affordable—and highly effective—alternative to classroom study. Easy Pronunciation is for all levels of ESOL students as well as native speakers with strong regional accents.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Easy English Vocabulary, by Living Language (Audiobook)
“Brand new audio-only ESL program. A good vocabulary is critical for communication, and this program teaches students the most important words they need to get by in English. This two-hour recording is perfect for learning on the go, and for studying vocabulary while commuting, running errands, or at the gym. Key Features16 lessons, each focused on a specific theme. Themes include hobbies, law & government, sports & recreation, and more. Each lesson includes words, definitions and a dialogue.” (Overdrive description)


New ‘Other Genre’ fiction this month features debut novels

Viper Wine, the highly recommend debut novel by Hermione Eyre is set in 1632 and written in Pop Art prose; a place to find alchemy, David Bowie, and recipes for seventeenth-century beauty potions. Just one of the new debut novels, from exciting new writers featured in this month’s ‘Other Genre’ fiction selections.

Syndetics book coverWhat I had before I had you : a novel / Sarah Cornwell.
“Leaving behind a failed marriage, Olivia returns to visit the Jersey Shore neighborhood in which she grew up. She has not been back in decades, reluctant to face the demons of her past, but now she visits with her children on their way to begin life anew in New York. Shortly after their arrival, though, her son, Daniel, recently diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder, vanishes from her side. The ensuing search through the haunts of her adolescence brings back painful memories of growing up with her psychic fortune-telling mother and the revelations that drove her to leave home at 15. But confronting the past may give Olivia what she needs to face the future.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe enchanted : a novel / Rene Denfeld.
“Set in a decaying, dark, corrupt prison, the Lady, a death-row investigator uses her unique perspective as a victim of terrible childhood abuse and conditions to research the lives of inmates. Working with her are a fallen priest, who is hiding secrets and hurt of his own, and the warden, whose wife is dying of cancer. This is a tale about being seen, understood, possibly forgiven, and maybe even loved.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverViper wine : a novel / Hermione Eyre.
“At Whitehall Palace in 1632, the ladies at the court of Charles I are beginning to look suspiciously alike. Plump cheeks, dilated pupils, and a heightened sense of pleasure are the first signs that they have been drinking a potent new beauty tonic, Viper Wine, distilled and discreetly dispensed by the physician Lancelot Choice. Famed beauty Venetia Stanley is so extravagantly dazzling she has inspired Ben Jonson to poetry and Van Dyck to painting, provoking adoration and emulation from the masses. But now she is married and her “mid-climacteric” approaches, all that adoration has curdled to scrutiny, and she fears her powers are waning.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWe used to be kings / Stewart Foster.
“Six years ago Tom’s brother died. The next day he came back. It’s Tom and Jack’s 18th birthday, but it isn’t a cause for celebration. For the past three years they’ve been in a care home for troubled children, a place where Dr Smith tries to silence the voice of Jack in Tom’s head. But Tom doesn’t want that. He’s already lost his brother once, he’s not going to lose him again. And so, when they go in front of the review board, they will have to pretend Jack has gone so they won’t be sent to the Young Men’s Institution or they’ll have to escape.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCourting Greta / Ramsey Hootman.
“Samuel Cooke, a 34-year-old crippled computer geek joins a Northern California high school’s faculty to teach programming classes after taking a 10% stake in the successful software firm that formerly employed him. Despite being warned against gym teacher Greta Cassamajor, a 46-year-old who towers over and outweighs him, he feels strangely attracted to her. Recognizing Greta’s prickly nature and uncompromising attitude, Samuel nonetheless sets out to navigate a relationship with her. He has the outward social graces she lacks, but hidden underneath is fear, anger, and self-pity, particularly over the congenital birth defect that forces him to use elbow crutches and ankle braces. While Samuel faces the school’s unprincipled principal, outdated computers, and difficult students, Greta proves remarkably perceptive and caring.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKat jumps the shark / Melinda Houston.
“Kat Kelly reckons she’s got life sorted. She has a man who cooks and does the dishes. A stepdaughter she adores. And her dream job: scouting locations for a TV production company. All the big dramas are behind her, or so she thought but before she knows it, Kat is out of love and has nowhere to live. Between her ditzy new intern and an amorous ex-footballer, work isn’t much better. And just when things couldn’t get any worse, disaster strikes Kat’s set, sending her spinning totally out of control.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe lost child / Suzanne McCourt.
“Sylvie is five. It’s the 1950s and she lives in Burley Point, a fishing village south of the Coorong on Australia’s wild southern coast. She worships her older brother Dunc. She tries to make sense of her brooding mother, and her moody father who abandons the family to visit The Trollop, Layle Lewis, who lives across the lagoon.It’s hard to keep secrets in a small town, but when Dunc goes missing, Sylvie is terrified that she is the cause. Now her father is angry all the time; her mother won’t leave the house or stop cleaning. The bush and the birds and the endless beach are Sylvie’s only salvation, apart from her teacher, Miss Taylor.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe weight of blood : a novel / Laura McHugh.
“Seventeen-year-old Lucy Dane, from Henbane, Montana, is grieving for her murdered friend, Cheri, and her mother, Lila, who vanished soon after Lucy was born. Determined to solve both mysteries, Lucy never realizes just how close the answers might lie. Her father, Carl, and her uncle, Crete, are not forthcoming about what they know, which only makes her more curious. Lucy uncovers evidence that puts her in jeopardy, leading to sudden and surprising violence.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe undertaking / Audrey Magee.
“Peter Faber, a German soldier on the Russian front, is pledging his life to a stranger thousands of miles away in Berlin. Having never met, Peter and Katharina are getting married, a contract of business rather than of love, he earns ten days respite from the war for his ‘honeymoon’ while she is promised a widow’s pension if he dies. In only ten days the two strangers fall in love and commit themselves to a future together living under the bright promises of Nazism. However, when Peter rejoins his unit in Russia, the bitter winter rapidly chills the heat of his politics. As his comrades begin to die, he loses sight of why Berlin has sent so many young men to their deaths in the snow drifts outside Stalingrad. Meanwhile, goaded on by her desperate and self-delusional parents, Katherina is ruthlessly working her way up the Nazi Party hierarchy, wedding herself and her young husband to a regime that will bury them if it ever falls.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe wives of Los Alamos : a novel / TaraShea Nesbit.
“Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London and Chicago, and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship in the desolate military town where everything was a secret; including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with a P.O. Box for an address, in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of ‘the project’ that didn’t exist as far as the greater world was concerned. They were constrained by the words they couldn’t say out loud, the letters they couldn’t send home, the freedom they didn’t have. Though they were strangers, they joined together,- babies were born, friendships were forged, children grew up. But then ‘the project’ was unleashed and even bigger challenges faced the women of Los Alamos, as they struggled with the burden of their contribution towards the creation of the most destructive force in mankind’s history, the atomic bomb.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

ComicFest interview with illustrator Gavin Mouldey

Gavin Mouldey portrait

Illustrator and graphic designer, Gavin Mouldey is the man responsible for the amazing ComicFest 2014 posters, fliers and webpage art being used to promote ComicFest and he’s also running a comics workshop on Saturday the 3rd of May as part of Comic Book Free Day at the Central library between 11 and 1.30.

He operates the Dittybox store situated in the heart of Island Bay. Gavin provided answers to our questions below and we’ve added a selection of his images for visual enhancement – enjoy!

Your Dittybox facebook page says that you’re a painter and graphic designer, but I know you’ve worked as an animation artist as well – is there one kind of art process that you enjoy the most?

What I enjoy the most in my process (whether digital or hands on), is the rush of motivation that comes after deciding how to tackle a brief. The first stage when a job comes in tends to be staring at a blank screen or page, completely befuddled. This is often followed by searching for inspiration, finding reference material, or outright procrastination (coffee, a pie, crossword, having a shower, watching a cartoon, etc).

Eventually I’ll start doodling, and something will click. Then a job which seemed like a chore suddenly becomes exciting, and I lose all sense of time. It’s like being hypnotised.

Sometimes my wife leaves the house in the morning and I think “I’ll do the dishes and hang the washing out and pick some flowers and make dinner before she gets home”, then she returns 8 hours later and my head hasn’t turned away from the page. I’ll be still in my boxer shorts, empty tummy, dry mouth… Like a nerd zombie.

You’ve spent some time employed as a production designer in Australia on the TV show ‘Dogstar’ – how did this rate as a professional experience?

My experience in animation has mostly involved creating backgrounds and character/prop designs. Pretty similar to my role as an illustrator. The only real difference is how I get paid, and in the case of Dogstar, the pace of turnaround. The job was great, and I met a lot of future collaborators, but I don’t think I was built for big cities. I like the pace of Wellington, or specifically Island Bay.

You’ve made the image for our very cool ComicFest posters which we’re very thankful for! What are some stand-out projects you have worked on as a freelance artist? Is this satisfying work?

Posters are always fun, as they offer a lot more creative freedom than other briefs. It just has to catch the viewer’s attention. Most of my past work has been for children’s books, educational resources, and magazine publications. I’m not often happy with a finished illustration by the time it comes out in print, as it’s too fresh in my mind.

Work I did for Tearaway magazine as a teenager, 20 years ago, is the most fun to look back on as it seems like someone else’s work. North & South magazine gave me a lot of freedom to create full page illustrations, much like posters, and some of those are still my favourites.


Lately I’ve been painting murals for varied clients. They’re definitely the most rewarding to see finished, and have the most lasting exposure.

I love your Wellington apocalypse series. Where did the inspiration for these incredibly imagined pieces come from?

Initially I planned to have 12 of them for a 2012 “It’s My Apocalypse And I’ll Cry If I Want To” calendar. They were all ludicrous depictions of end-of-the-world scenarios in Wellington settings, making fun of the apocalyptic fever that films/television/Mayans were infecting everyone with at the time.


In the end (not the end end), the project was downsized to a large wall-planner, and two limited edition prints. There’s still some left at my gallery if anyone has a soft spot for the apocalypse.


Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I’ve always wanted to draw for a living. The term artist gets over used. It’s becoming so vague, and pretentious.

I think of my job as a trade, like carpentry or gardening. Art is a whole set of industries, and basically anyone can call themselves an artist without any formal education or practice.

Considering that, it’s odd that creating “Art” is treated by some cliques as an intellectual and cultural virtue. Willie Saunders, one of my all-time favourite comic artists who seems to have disappeared, once used the term “cerebral vomit”. That’s probably out of context, but I think it represents a lot of what artists do (myself begrudgingly included). I’m more proud when my illustrations fulfill a set function, than when they just seem like my soul self-indulgently spilt on a canvas.

Gavin also provided a list of some of his favourite comics – many of them by New Zealanders – and you can reserve some of them right now!

Super F*ckers by James Kochalka

Scooters Of The Apocalypse by Alister Kitchen (Kiwi)

Ripple – a predilection for Tina by Dave Cooper

Prison Pit by Johnny Ryan

The Muppet Show Comic Book by Roger Langridge (Kiwi)

Ojingogo by Matthew Forsyth

Wonton Soup by James Stokoe

Lone Racer by Nicolas Mahler

Schlipp Comics by Willie Saunders (Kiwi)

Comicbook Factory Funnies by Karl Wills (Kiwi)

Victory by Greg Broadmore (Kiwi)

ComicFest Profile: Ant Sang 101

ant with punk puppets

Famed NZ cartoonist and bro’Town designer, Ant Sang is attending ComicFest all the way from Auckland with the wise and generous assistance of the NZ Book Council!

He’ll be running a workshop for aspiring cartoonists and comics creators on  Friday the 2nd of May between 4.30 and 6 o’clock at the Central library. That same night we’ll be having an authors panel discussion with Ant, and fellow cartoonists Robyn Kenealy and Grant Buist from 7 till 8 o’clock.

Ant Sang, who lives and works in Auckland, is an award-winning cartoonist.

Author and illustrator of the celebrated The Dharma Punks comic book series, he has a cult following among graphic novel fans and comic art aficionados.


Shaolin Burning (HarperCollins 2011) is his latest graphic novel and spent ten weeks in the top ten of the NZ Booksellers Bookchart.


He was one of the original creatives on the successful bro’Town animated TV series, and won two Film & Television awards for his design work on the show.


This is an excellent chance to watch and work with one of New Zealand’s best cartoonists and a great opportunity to work on those latent comic abilities and fuel your appetite for comic related talk and impressive illustration!

It’s free and it’s at the Central library on Friday the 2nd of May – good on ya ComicFest!

Comicfest: Some of our favourite things

To get us into the spirit of the upcoming ComicFest, I thought I would share some of my favourite things from the wider comic book universe. Ranging from adult to young adult – graphic novel, comic, and manga – alchemy, superpowers, science, wizardry or just plain bad-assedness, there’s a whole range of stuff here.

Syndetics book coverGirl genius [1] : Agatha Heterodyne & the Beetleburg Clank : a gaslamp fantasy with adventure, romance & mad science / story by Phil & Kaja Foglio ; pencils by Phil Foglio ; inks by Brian Snoddy.
“The Heterodyne family, who “travelled the globe negotiating peace, stopping monsters, and shutting down doomsday devices,” are heroes among those with the Spark, the ability to play with the laws of physics, until their disappearance. Now, student lab assistant Agatha Clay works for Dr. Beetle at Transylvania Polygnostic University. After soldiers of fortune steal the locket her uncle gave her years before, she is cast out of the university and left alone while her anxious foster parents go to retrieve it.” (Abridged from School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverBlack butler. 1 / Yana Toboso ; [translation: Tomo Kimura].
“When a fire claims his parents, Ciel Phantomhive must step up as the head of his father’s company and as Earl Phantomhive. It would be a lot for the young boy to handle were it not for his faithful butler, Sebastian. He’s almost too good to be true – or at least, too good to be human.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFreakAngels. Volume one / story, Warren Ellis ; artwork, Paul Duffield.
“Twenty-three years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same moment. Six years ago, the world ended. Today, eleven strange 23-year-olds live in and defend Whitechapel, maybe the last real settlement in flooded London. When a dazed, gun-toting girl appears on the outskirts with a deadly grudge against the self-proclaimed Freakangels, the kids realize that an old enemy is still alive beyond the safety of their borders… a twelfth psychic child, evil and exiled, who can program human minds to hate, and send his private, pirate armies into Whitechapel for revenge. The first chapter in award-winning author Warren Ellis’ post-apocalyptic web comic series!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFullmetal alchemist. Vol. 1 / story and art by Hiromu Arakawa.
“Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world, somewhere between magic, art, and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabble in these powers to grant their dearest wish, they become slaves of the military-alchemical complex.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Dresden Files : welcome to the jungle / written by Jim Butcher ; pencils by Ardian Syaf ; inks by Nick Nix…[et al.]
“When the supernatural world spins out of control, when the police can’t handle what goes bump in the night, when monsters come screaming out of nightmares and into the mean streets, there’s just one man to call: Harry Dresden, the only professional wizard in the Chicago phone book. A police consultant and private investigator, Dresden has to walk the dangerous line between the world of night and the light of day.
Now Harry Dresden is investigating a brutal mauling at the Lincoln Park Zoo that has left a security guard dead and many questions unanswered. As an investigator of the supernatural, he senses that there’s more to this case than a simple animal attack, and as Dresden searches for clues to figure out who is really behind the crime, he finds himself next on the victim list, and being hunted by creatures that won’t leave much more than a stain if they catch him.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverFruits basket. Volume 1 / Natsuki Takaya.
“Nothing can dampen the optimistic spirit of orphaned high school girl Tohru Honda – not even being forced to live alone in a tent. One morning, she discovers a nearby house, where her popular classmate Yuki Sohma and his older cousin Shigure live by themselves. They invite her to stay with them as their (desperately needed) housekeeper, and she soon learns of the family curse: when the Sohmas are embraced by members of the opposite sex, they turn into animals of the Chinese zodiac. Tohru also meets Kyo, the 13th member of the cursed family, who turns into a cat, an animal ostracized by the zodiac members in an ancient legend. As Tohru brightens their lives, they give her something she thought she had lost: a family.” (Abridged from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverHawkeye : my life as a weapon / Matt Fraction, writer ; David Aja, artist, #1-3 ; Javier Pulido, artist, #4-5. “Collects Hawkeye #1-5 & Young Avengers Presents #6. The breakout star of this summer’s blockbuster Avengers film, Clint Barton – aka the self-made hero Hawkeye – fights for justice! With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he’s out to prove himself as one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! SHIELD recruits Clint to intercept a packet of incriminating evidence – before he becomes the most wanted man in the world.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverGunnerkrigg Court. Volume 1, Orientation / by Tom Siddell.
“Antimony Carver is a precocious and preternaturally self-possessed young girl starting her first year of school at gloomy Gunnerkrigg Court, a very British boarding school that has robots running around alongside body-snatching demons, forest gods, and the odd mythical creature. The opening volume in the series follows Antimony through her orientation year: the people she meets, the strange things that happen, and the things she causes to happen as she and her new friend, Kat, unravel the mysteries of the Court and deal with the everyday adventures of growing up. Tom Siddell’s popular and award-winning webcomic (www.gunnerkrigg.com) is here collected in print for the first time.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Boys. Volume one, The name of the game / written by Garth Ennis ; illustrated by Darick Robertson.
“THIS IS GOING TO HURT! In a world where costumed heroes soar through the sky and masked vigilantes prowl the night, someone’s got to make sure the “supes” don’t get out of line. And someone will. Billy Butcher, Wee Hughie, Mother’s Milk, The Frenchman and The Female are The Boys: a CIA backed team of very dangerous people, each one dedicated to the struggle against the most dangerous force on Earth – superpower. Some superheores have to be watched. Some have to be controlled. And some of them – sometimes – need to be taken out of the picture. That’s when you call in THE BOYS.” (Syndetics summary)

For more ComicFest information and an events timetable go here to our events calender or Facebook page, and check out the display items from Weta Cave on Central’s 1st floor from the 17th of April.

Royal Visit 2014

Even though it threatened to rain hundreds of people turned out in Wellington’s Civic Square to farewell Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. Here are a few of the snaps our Non-Fiction Customer Specialist Francoise took.

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