5 minutes with Toby Morris – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is almost here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Toby Morris self portraitToday we’re talking to Toby Morris about his comic work, and what we can look forward to at his Comicfest panel. Toby Morris is an illustrator, designer and comic artist who currently draws a monthly non-fiction comic series called The Pencilsword for The Wireless. He has drawn and published his own comics since the age of 13 and now juggles comics, illustration work and parenting two young sons. He has written and illustrated two books and created concert posters for many of New Zealand’s top bands.

What is the first significant comic related job or project you remember working on?
My first comic was terrible – it was called The Amazing Adventures of Okapi and was a really corny story about a superhero crime fighter set at a grunge concert. I was 13, and made a few copies for my friends at school, but really I didn’t know anything about superheroes or grunge concerts. Or comics really, apart from Tintin or Asterix. I think i was just trying to emulate what I assumed a ‘cool comic’ might be like.

At 15 I started a new series called Span that was more personal. I had actually gone to the comics shop by then and discovered some New Zealand comics like Pickle and Absolute Heroes that set me on a better path.

Toby MorrisCan you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
These days my big project is the ongoing non-fiction comics series The Pencilsword which appears monthly on thewireless.co.nz. I’m trying a few new things (for me at least) with it – I’m trying to walk a line between personal and political, and then technically the comics have a little animation on them which has been interesting to experiment with also. It’s the first comic I’ve done that is designed from the start to be read and shared online rather than in print, which is new and exciting for me.

What is your favourite part of your working process?
There is a great daydreamy state you can get into sometimes with drawing that I love where it’s almost unconscious. Time just goes by in a blur, you get really swept up and lost in it. You can’t try to do it – it’s trying but not trying and you can totally tell the difference between drawings where you’ve done it and not. I think of it as ‘the joyous line’. I think the closest description I’ve found to it is the way that Phillip Pullman describes how the Subtle Knife works in the book of the same name. Drawing is like dancing maybe.

What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
So many! Dylan Horrocks was very inspirational for me, still is. His series Pickle was one of the first things I read that really made me want to write in my own voice. Tim Bollinger was another one I read early on that lit a fire for me. Barry Linton was and is the king. I loved the Wellington anthology Pistake in the 90s – Emond, Morse, Dayglo etc – so much attitude. These days there is so much going on, it’s incredible. Hard to start naming people because there are so many. Mat Tait, Robyn Keneally, Sarah Laing, Ned Wenlock, Lauren Marriott/Ralphi, Mary Tamblyn and Alex McCrone, Tim Kidd, Ross Murray, Sam Orchard are a few current favourites that spring to mind. I’ll be forgetting people I bet. I loved Jem Yoshioka’s recent one about the Kimono. I really enjoyed Sarah Lund’s Snap. It’s a great time for NZ comics. There is so much great stuff coming out, more than there ever has been.

Do you have another job outside of comic creation, or any significant hobbies you enjoy?
These days I work as an advertising designer and art director for my day job. It’s a funny thing to balance those two very different worlds. My comics and my job started off as two very different paths – what I love doing on one hand and what I get paid to do on another – but over the years those two paths are slowly getting closer to each other and starting to cross over.

You can catch Toby at his Comicfest panel at the following time:
Thursday 30th of April 6 – 7.00pm – Panel: From cartoons to comics
Toby Morris

5 minutes with Indira Neville – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is almost here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

IndiraNeville_selfportrait_smallToday we’re talking to Indira Neville about her comic work, and what we can look forward to at her Comicfest panel. Indira Neville has been making comics for over twenty years. Throughout this time she has used many photocopiers. She remembers fondly the Minolta at the copy centre in Hamilton even though it used to cut off the edges and only worked in black-and-white. A less happy memory is the Xerox in central Whangarei which left big streaks over all of her pages. She very much enjoys the modern colour copier, particularly the way you can print directly to it from your computer.

What is the first significant comic related job or project you remember working on?
When I was about nine, my dad showed my brother and I how a diagonal line can make an eye look grumpy. This was a revelation! And I promptly drew a comic where something happened and a character reacted grumpily. My grandparents thought it was ace and showed it to everyone who came to their house.

Indira NevilleWhat is your favourite part of your working process?
Finishing the comic – it’s cool when something that was in your head is suddenly physically in the world. Often I make myself laugh too which is nice.

What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
I really like my dad’s, brother’s and husband’s comics. Also the work of Sugar Jon Arcus, Soft Keith, Wretch 13 and Witcyst. And there’s a bunch of comics in Three Words which I REALLY love.

Do you have another job outside of comic creation, or any significant hobbies you enjoy?
I am a mother, policy analyst and I play guitar in a catchy noisy band.

If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
Lumpy Space Princess.

You can catch Indira at her Comicfest panels at the following time:
Saturday 2nd of May 1 – 2.00pm – Panel: New Zealand Women’s Comics with the editors of Three Words
IndiraNeville05

5 minutes with Rae Joyce – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is almost here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Rae Joyce Self PortraitToday we’re talking to Rae Joyce about her comic work, and what we can look forward to at her Comicfest panel. Rae Joyce, also known as Rachel J. Fenton, is a poet, prose-writer and cartoonist. Born in 1976, she grew up in South Yorkshire. Notable works include Escape Behaviours and Alchemy Hour, for which she won AUT’s Graphic Fiction Prize. Other awards for her poetry, fiction and comics include being a finalist for the Dundee International Book prize. She recently participated in the NZ Book Council’s Residential Exchange with Taiwan and exhibited her work in the Taipei International Book Exhibition.

What is the first significant comic related job or project you remember working on?
My first official paying job, when I was seventeen, was designing and painting murals.

Can you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
My most recent project was a collaboration between me and Australian writer Anita Heiss for Cordite Poetry Review. My next job is a collaboration with playwright Carolyn Gage in which I shall attempt to incorporate her radical feminist linguistics into a comic with broad appeal.

Rae Joyce's workWhat is your favourite part of your working process?
Ideas. Watercolour painting. The parts I think I’m best at.

What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
Adele Jackson, Alex McCrone, Alex Wild, Alice Tumblescribbleson, Alie Macpherson, Andra Jenkin, Bek Coogan, Beth Duckingmonster, Beth Sometimes, Carolyn Anderson, Celia Allison, Claire Harris, Dawn Tuffery, Demarnia Lloyd, Diane Rimmer, Elsie Joliffe, Emma Blackett, Erin Fae, Debra Boyask, Giselle Clarkson, Indira Neville, The Rabbid, Jem Yoshioka, Jessica Dew, Jessica Hansell, Joanna Anderson, Judy Darragh, Kayla Oliver, Kerry Ann Lee, Lauren Marriott, Margaret Silverwood, Olga Krause, Linda Lew, Lisa Noble, Liz Mathews, Loux McLellen, Lucy Meyle, Maiangi Waitai, Marina Williams, Mary Tamblyn, Mengzhu Fu, Mirranda Burton, Miriam Harris, Pritika Lal, Rachel Benefield, Rachel Shearer, Raewyn Alexander, Rebecca Hawkes, Renee Jones, Rosemary McLeod, Warsaw, Sally Bollinger, Sarah Laing, Sarah Lund, Sharon Murdoch, Sophie McMillan, Sophie Oiseau, Stella Corkery, Susan Rugg, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Suzanne Claessen and Zoe Colling. [ed. note: this is an awesome & impressive list!]

Do you have another job outside of comic creation, or any significant hobbies you enjoy?
I write novels and poems and short stories. My kids are a significant hobby.

You can catch Rae at her Comicfest panel at the following time:
Saturday 2nd of May 1 – 2.00pm – Panel: New Zealand Women’s Comics with the editors of Three Words

Rae Joyce's work

ComicFest 2015

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Get ready to celebrate New Zealand comics creators, grab free comics and attend free panel discussions and workshops with ComicFest 2015!

We’ve added two more days to ComicFest 2014’s busy activities and once again GRAPHIC comics are sponsoring over a thousand free comics on Free Comic book day on Saturday the 2nd of May. This year we’ve also received marvellous help and sponsorship from the NZ Book council, Alexander Turnbull library, NZ ComicCon, Pikitia Press, Unity books and Weta Cave. Here are some fab photos from last year:

ComicFest 2014 - Grant Buist, Robyn Kenealy and Ant Sang ComicFest 2014 - Greg Broadmore and Paul TobinComicFest 2014 - Ant Sang ComicFest 2014 - Costume comp

Here’s a summary of this year’s expanded programme featuring many of  New Zealand’s best cartoonists with Sarah Laing, Tim Gibson, Matt Emery, Rae Joyce, Jonathan King, Sharon Murdoch, Toby Morris, Cory Mathis, Tim Bollinger, Indira Neville and Weta’s Chris Guise attending!

ComicFest 2015 programme

Exhibitions throughout ComicFest
– Noel Cook: New Zealand’s Comic Pioneer (1st Floor, Central library)
– The 12 Cartoonists of ComicFest 2015 (Ground floor, Central library)
– Find our life size Captain Haddock statue!

Wednesday 29th of April

6 – 8.00 | Free mystery Comic film!
Come along to our mystery comic-themed film at the Central library. We guarantee comic satisfaction and prizes at this once only ComicFest screening. Seating is limited to 50 only, so contact us at the Central library to book seats or email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz! (For Teens +)

Thursday 30th of April

6 – 7.00 | Panel: From cartoons to comics
When is a cartoon a comic – New Zealand cartoonists and comic artists consider the relationship between the two and ask how this may be changing. Join this panel discussion including Sunday Star Times cartoonist Sharon Murdoch, comic artists and cartoonists Toby Morris and Cory Mathis, and comic writer and historian Tim Bollinger. Moderated by Alexander Turnbull Library cartoon librarian Melinda Johnston.

(Sponsored by Alexander Turnbull library)

7.15 – 8.00 | Comicfest get together at MEOW 
All are welcome to the 2nd annual Wellington ComicFest mixer at Meow café (9 Edward St, Te Aro). A great chance for graphic novel followers to meet with some of New Zealand’s best comic and cartoon talent! (18 years or older)

(Sponsored by Wellington City Libraries)

Friday 1st of May

5 – 6.30 | Digital comics workshop with Tim Gibson
Tim Gibson is known as a digital pioneer in NZ comic’s circles with his successful ‘Moths City’ title performing well on international website Comixology. Join Tim for an hour and a half of insight into the planning, creation and distribution of a comic using current digital tools and insider tricks of the trade. For all ages and bring your tablet and stylus if you can!

(Sponsored by NZ Comic Con)

7 – 8.00  | Panel: The current and future state of New Zealand comics
New Zealand comic artists and publishers discuss their work and the changing face of local comic book production. Panel discussion with Pikitia Press publisher and comics creator Matt Emery, ‘Moth City’ creator and digital comics pioneer, Tim Gibson and film maker and comic artist, Jonathan King. Moderated by Wellington cartoonist and comics historian, Tim Bollinger. Attend this panel and enter the draw to win a Pikitia comics prize pack!

(Sponsored by Pikitia Press)

Saturday 2nd of May

Free comic book day
Grab your free comics from our stands, buy from the great folk at Graphic comic store and chat comics with our librarians. Dress as your favourite comic character and win prizes!

All day:
– Free comic book day
– World comics display
– Manga drawing competition

(Sponsored by GRAPHIC comics)

10 – 11.30 | Comics 101 workshop with Sarah Laing
Sarah Laing (Let Me be Frank, cartoonist and novelist) has unique insight into what is required to make successful prose, comics and cartoons. Bring pen and papers along as Sarah imparts tips on the important relation between pictures and words, the value of honest drawing, emotion and story-telling. All ages.

(Sponsored by NZ book council)

11.30 – 12.00 | Cosplay competition
Winners will be announced for the best ComicFest costume! Prizes for all categories, including children, teens, and adults.

(Sponsored by Unity books)

12 – 1.00 | ‘Tintin – the journey from comic to film’
Let Tintin and Weta Workshop lead conceptual designer, Chris Guise take you through the process of transforming a much-loved comic into the successful film version of, ‘The adventures of Tintin – the secret of the Unicorn.’ Chris will guide you through this multi-media journey with slides and videos and don’t forget to have your questions ready for Q&A.

1 – 2.00 | Panel: New Zealand Women’s Comics with the editors of Three Words
Join cartoonist and Let Me Be Frank creator Sarah Laing, award winning graphic poet Rae Joyce, and comics maker and editor Indira Neville in a panel discussion on the rich history and future of New Zealand’s female cartoonists and comics. Sarah, Rae, and Indira will also discuss the genesis and work behind assembling Three Words, a forthcoming comprehensive anthology of New Zealand Women’s Comics. Moderated by cartoonist Matt Emery.

(Sponsored by NZ book council)

2.00 – 2.15 | Comicfest announces winners for the Manga drawing competition
Don’t forget your free comics posters courtesy of GRAPHIC comic store!

All events are free and unless stated otherwise, open to participants of all ages.

Comicfest carousel

#Comicfest 2014 @NZBookCouncil Panel Discussion Podcast

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Ant Sang (Creator of Shaolin Burning, designer for bro’Town), Grant Buist (Fishhead Magazine’s Jiteratti, animator and playwright) and Robyn Keneally (webcomic artist) discuss their work, their influences and the comic scene of Wellington and New Zealand.

Supported by New Zealand Book Council.

#Comicfest 2014 Panel Discussion: Ant Sang, Royn Keneally, & Grant Buist by Wellington City Libraries on Mixcloud

#ComicFest starts today & we’re excited!

ComicFest starts today at the Central Library. First up is a Comics 101 Workshop with Ant Sang (Creator of Shaolin Burning, designer for bro’Town) from 4:30-6pm, closely followed by a panel discussion with Ant Sang, Grant Buist (Fishhead Magazine’s Jiteratti, animator and playwright) and Robyn Keneally (webcomic artist) as they discuss their work, their influences and the comic scene of Wellington and New Zealand.

We also have one final addition to the programme, the Grant Buist Graphic Novel Advice Dispensary (or the ‘GBGNAD’ for short) from 6pm. This drop-in session at Central’s Graphic Novel collection will help you make sense of and explore what we have on offer.

We’re quite excited (see picture below), and we hope you are too! ComicFest is on today (Friday 2nd May) and tomorrow (Saturday 3rd May) at the Central Library.

Excited librarians

A short yet animated ComicFest gallery

Hey! ComicFest starts this Friday the 2nd of May at the Central library, and in preperation we’ve been promoting the fun to come at various parts of the Central library.

Below are some photos from our front window display put together by design-guru librarians Cathy and Helen, our Dr Grordbort display items provided by Weta Cave and Greg Broadmore and all the comics we have from our various panelists – enjoy! ComicFest 014 resizedComicFest 015 resizedComicfest book covers 001 resized 2ComicFest 008 resizedComicFest 013 resized

ComicFest profile: Grant Buist 101

Grant Buist resizedJitterati Cartoonist Grant Buist has written his own concise profile below, which we’re extremely thankful for and has also offered his time in preperation for ComicFest in a one-off exchange of comic ideas. Grant has been reviewing the graphic novels from our collection expertly for years on his ‘Grant Buist Cartoonist,’ blog.
As such, he has an extensive knowledge of genres, authors and subjects accumulated from hundreds of initimate graphic novel reads. Here’s where you and Grant can meet to discuss graphic novels in person:

Come to the Central library at 6pm this Friday, before the author panel with Ant Sang and Robyn Keneally at 7pm and Grant will help you explore Wellington City Libraries’ graphic novel collection!

Be prepared to discuss your reading preferences and personal tastes and Grant will suggest suitable graphic novels from the thousands of titles available.

Of course, Grant will be involved in the panel to follow at 7pm, and now, onto the profile!

“Grant Buist is a Wellington cautionary tale who has rusticated himself to Otaki Beach after a decade of drawing Brunswick for Salient and another decade drawing Jitterati for City Voice, Capital Times and now Fish Head.

He was inducted into the NZ Cartoon Archive in 2008 and his musical Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory has been revived twice after premiering at BATS.

He has published 15 books and is currently working on a lengthy graphic novel without interruption from anyone except for Jehovah’s Witnesses and the occasional cow.”