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Tara Black x Dylan Horrocks: An Event You Don’t Want to Miss

So, you’re an artist. Or a writer. Or both. Or neither — maybe you just like looking at stuff and reading stuff and want to know more about how it works! Maybe you’re into comics, or manga, or general illustration, or live drawing, or all of the above. Maybe, just maybe, you’re wanting to find out how you can take your passion for drawing or writing and turn it into your life’s work, your livelihood, your source of creative (and financial) nourishment. Or maybe you just want to sit in on a conversation with two very cool and talented people and be swept away by their wit and craft.

Regardless of which category you fit into above, we have the event for you: Talk and Draw with Tara Black and Dylan Horrocks, Saturday 17 April, 1.00pm at Johnsonville Library at Waitohi Community Hub. Part workshop, part overview, part conversation — join us for what promises to be a fabulous, informative, and entertaining event, with two of the biggest names in New Zealand comics.


Photo: Ebony Lamb 2020

If you don’t know Tara Black, you should — she is one of the most distinctive and unique graphic artists working in Aotearoa. Alongside her excellent webcomics (I’m particularly partial to The Blue Fury, in which the ghosts of Janet Frame and Katherine Mansfield get their kicks out of haunting a first-year English teacher) and her extremely weird and cool new book This is not a pipe (VUP, 2020), Tara is known for doing live illustrations of events around Wellington City. I reckon that’s a pretty awesome way to make a living.


The Eisner Award-winning Dylan Horrocks, of course, is one of the most talented and versatile cartoonists working in the scene today. His works range from the meta-comic tour-de-force that is Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen (VUP, 2014) to the iconic Hicksville (Black Eye Comics, 1998), which I choose to believe draws some inspiration from my own home town of Hastings, which may have been briefly known as Hicksville in the early 1870s, with a healthy dose of work on the Batman and Batgirl comics in the early-mid 2000s.

Come along and join us for this Most Ambitious Crossover Event In Comic Book History (okay not really, but it will still be really cool!), and of course check out Tara and Dylan’s books below!


This is not a pipe / Black, Tara
“I’ve decided to document my life in pictures. It’s hard to draw the pole, because of the pole. Beth has a pole through her arms. This is not a metaphor. A metaphor would be a lot less inconvenient. On the other side of the room, Kenneth is creating a new religion. He thinks narrative is the operating principle of the universe. He also thinks he’s the hero of Beth’s story. Beth is worried he’s going to leave her. The creatures living in the pole may have stolen her cat. Tara Black’s comic is surreal, dark, sad, perversely joyful, and if you bet someone they couldn’t find another book remotely like it, you would win. It’s a little bit about being married to Kenneth. It’s a little bit about losing your cat. It’s definitely not about the pole.” (Catalogue)

Hicksville : a comic book / Horrocks, Dylan
“World-famous cartoonist Dick Burger has earned millions and become the most powerful man in the comics industry. However, behind his rapid rise to success, there lies a dark and terrible secret, as biographer Leonard Batts discovers when he visits Burger’s hometown in remote New Zealand. One of the best graphic novels of the past decade.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Incomplete works / Horrocks, Dylan
“Daydreams, fantasy, true love, and procrastination feature strongly in this selection of Dylan Horrocks’s shorter comics running from 1986 to 2012. It is both the chronicle of an age and a portrait of one man’s heroic struggle to get some work done.” (Catalogue)

Sam Zabel and the magic pen / Horrocks, Dylan
“Cartoonist Sam Zabel hasn’t drawn a comic in years. Stuck in a nightmare of creative block and despair, Sam spends his days writing superhero stories for a large American comics publisher and staring at a blank piece of paper, unable to draw a single line. Then one day he finds a mysterious old comic book set on Mars and is suddenly thrown headlong into a wild, fantastic journey through centuries of comics, stories, and imaginary worlds. Accompanied by a young webcomic creator named Alice and an enigmatic schoolgirl with rocket boots and a bag full of comics, Sam goes in search of the Magic Pen, encountering sex-crazed aliens, medieval monks, pirates, pixies and–of course–cartoonists. Funny, erotic, and thoughtful, Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen explores the pleasures, dangers, and moral consequences of fantasy.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What’s On for Wellington Pride?

Wellington Pride Festival logo, dark field, rainbow design surrounding

Join us for the Wellington Pride Festival 2021!

This month, from 13-27 March, is the Wellington Pride Festival | Tū Whakahīhī e te Whanganui-ā-Tara. As New Zealand’s longest-running Pride festival, Wellington Pride is the annual celebration of rainbow pride in our city, featuring LGBTQIA+ performers, historians, writers, artists, musicians, and — of course — librarians doing their thing for the community. Wellington City Libraries always joins in on the fun, and this year we have a selection of awesome events that you might be interested in coming along to. Check out the deets below!


Queer Stories: Discovering LGBTQIA+ History at the Library
Friday 19 March, 5.00 – 7.30pm
Newtown Library

Join some very cool librarians as they trace how LGBTQIA+ stories are told through the library’s collections in print, online, and on film. The event will conclude with a free screening of a queer film from our collection, and we anticipate rainbow cupcakes will be consumed voraciously!


Rainbow Storytimes with Hugo Grrrl and Friends
Sunday 14 March, 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library
Monday 15 March, 11am – 12pm at Karori Library
Saturday 20 March, 2 – 3pm at Kilbirnie Library
Sunday 21 March, 2 – 3pm at Te Awe Library

Okay, okay, I know if you’re reading this you’re probably not a kid, and you’re probably thinking these events are for kids. And they are! But they’re also for you. Come along for a most enchanting hour of stories, songs and games with some of Wellington’s most excellent drag performers, including Hugo Grrrl, Harlie Lux, Amy Thurst, and many more. So wholesome, so fabulous, so great — even if you’re not a kid, you’ll dig it! And if you’re an aspiring drag artist yourself, you should come along to see how it’s done!


Out in the City
Sunday 27 March, 11am – 5pm
Michael Fowler Centre, 2nd floor

Yes, your favourite library again has a stall at your favourite LGBTQIA+ community event of the year — Out in the City (it used to be called Out in the Park if the name sounds a little unfamiliar). We’ll be there all day handing out our signature queer literary icon badges (as well as the usual rainbow library ones!), and talking about LGBTQIA+ books, movies, online resources and more. Come and say hi!

Tūhono: It Lives!

Poets, readers, fellow champions of the written and spoken word — hark, and listen well. The day has finally come — Tūhono, our poetry journal for young Wellingtonians, has officially been released into the world as of the 11th of January 2021. And what a world it has arrived into — civil and political unrest overseas, the spectre of a global pandemic still haunting our every step; and yet, sunshine over the hitherto stormy seas of our fair town. Tūhono, I think, captures all of that and more. Read it now on OverDrive and Libby.

We are having physical copies printed as well, so soon you’ll be able to find Tūhono 2020 on the shelf at your local public or school library. We will also be giving two copies to the National Library of New Zealand, where they will be preserved for the rest of time (the legal term is ‘in perpetuity‘) as part of the cultural heritage of this country. It’s big deal, yo.

A two-page spread from Tūhono, featuring work by Jasmine (16) and Lily (11).

As we say in the business, this is The Good Stuff.

There are some very important and cool people whom I would like to thank for their input — Stephanie Poulopoulos (my partner-in-crime, and the amazing librarian who buys all of the kids’ and teens’ books for our collection), Ligia Horta (who designed the book — what an amazing talent she is!), Monty Masseurs (who helped get everything set up online), Bridget Jennings (who wrote the catalogue record for the book, making sure you can actually find it online), and Celeste Mackintosh (who helped organise the online submissions throughout the month of November 2020). They are all very awesome librarians and we should all pay homage to their greatness and humility.

Friends, in this life, no one is 'just' a librarian.

Go forth and read! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and maybe — just maybe — you’ll feel connected with everyone else who put something of themselves into this incredible book.

NZMM video-fest!

We’re past the halfway mark through NZ Music Month now, so better make the most of it! Don’t forget we have Harriet and the Matches performing at Newtown library this Friday the 23rd of May, we’ll see you there at 7pm!

In the mean time, have a dance party in your living room to these fab songs and videos from NZ artists!

Here’s Lorde performing Tennis Court at the Billboard Music Awards the other day

Settle Down by Kimbra

Apple Pie Bed by Lawrence Arabia

It’s Choade My Dear by Connan Mockasin

Dominion Road by The Mutton Birds (an oldie but a goodie)

40 Years by The Phoenix Foundation (this one’s directed by Taika Waititi who directed the movie Boy)

And finally Just A Boy by Pikachunes

This post was brought to you by Gina at Newtown library’s genius (Gina-us?) suggestions! With much enthusastic nodding and encouragement from myself.

NZ music highlights

Hopefully you’re celebrating NZ Music Month with us by listening to more local artists! I thought I would highlight a few recent-ish NZ releases we have in our collection, with some help from very music-savvy fellow librarian Kim. Let us know what you agree or disagree with, and please leave us some of your favourite NZ artists in the comments!

The Love Club EP by Lorde

Dating earlier than her hit album Pure Heroine, The Love Club EP (first released for free on SoundCloud) contains the ubiquitous ‘Royals’ along with four other songs not on her full length album. ‘Bravado’, ‘Biting Down’, ‘Million Dollar Bills’ and ‘The Love Club’ are all excellent songs, and have a slightly different sound to Pure Heroine – perhaps a little cheekier? In any case, any Lorde fan needs to listen to this EP.

Brightly Painted One by Tiny Ruins

I saw Tiny Ruins a.k.a Hollie Fullbrook when she opened for Calexico last year and they were both excellent! Morphing from gentle and folky to classical-sounding with strings and looping back around again, Tiny Ruins keeps it interesting. She has been compared to Beth Gibbons from Portishead AND Nick Drake, so if that’s not a recommendation, I don’t know what is.

Goin’ Steady by Newtown Rocksteady (adult collection, costs $1)

13-piece Newtown Rocksteady’s extended EP documents their musical progression over the last four years, representing and reinventing the 60s Jamaican vibe known as rocksteady. Rocksteady mixes together reggae, dub, ska and dancehall music, all perfect for a good boogie which they provided in droves at the Newtown and Womad festivals earlier this year. If you get the chance to see them live, do! They provide amazing entertainment and you’ll be blown away by their collective talent, not to mention their 5-piece horn section.

Louis Baker by Louis Baker (adult collection, costs $1)

Wellington local Louis Baker is sometimes mellow and completely soulful. His sound has been compared to Jeff Buckley – these are some amazing comparisons being made to our local talents! He’s very talented and grew up in Coromandel Street, Newtown. His self titled EP made it to number 8 in the NZ charts, check it out for yourself!

And then we have some faves that don’t have CDs out in the library yet:

Brockaflower Saurus-Rex (and the Blueberry Biscuits)

This 9-piece band’s first album is full on but spacious, allowing everyone their own instrument space – an impressive feat with so many people and instruments demanding attention. But they make it work, and very harmoniously, too. As for genre, they’re a bit funk, a bit psychedelic and a bit “neo-soul” (who even names music genres these days?) and they’ll keep you grooving with each song full of energy. They have an album out titled “Build It” but we sadly don’t have it in the library. You can listen to it in full here on SoundCloud though!

Estère

Speaking of genre names, Estère’s probably takes the cake – “electric blue witch hop”. She is a singer/songwriter/beatmaker/producer from Wellington and this whole album was made and recorded in her bedroom. She uses loops of live instruments, has an MPC named Lola and has been likened to Erykah Badu with her sometimes raspy and always stunning vocals. Although we don’t have her album here in the library yet, you can listen to it on SoundCloud for free, and even download it for free from Estère’s Bandcamp page!

Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, August 10-11

There’s no shortage of shindigs to get you out of the house and into the streets of Wellington this weekend. Here’s a quick run-down of what we’ve circled with our highlighter.

The New Zealand International Film Festival continues and included is the world premiere of Fantail. Rachel and Rebecca made some picks in last week’s Trailer Tuesday. Also in film this weekend is the fundraising screening of documentary Maidentrip about kiwi-born Laura Dekker’s solo adventure around the world aboard yacht Guppy. Proceeds to Wellington Ocean Sports.

One of Wellington’s best and formerly hidden treasure troves of Zines and art, Matchbox Studios has a grand opening at its new street front location.

The next round of New Zealand’s Got Talent auditions stop into the St James.

Museum of Wellington City & Sea continue with their L!VE Music sessions on Sunday.

Wellington’s gonna get a pop-up chocolate factory on Queens Wharf this weekend – YUM! If you need more convincing their website has a puppy picture.

Newtown’s National Hockey Stadium will host matches between Capital & Southern.

The always thought-provoking World Press Photos exhibition is in town and hanging out on Willis Street.

If you haven’t had a chance to yet Young & Hungry is in its last weekend at Bats. It’s well worth the outing.

In new music for the playlist this week Indie band Typhoon, from Portland Oregon, have released a sneak peak of their new album White Lighter. They’re a bit of a well kept secret and it’s not really a sneak-peak it’s a peak in entirety. If you’re a fan of indie bands like the Fleet Foxes, Beirut, Boy & Bear, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Band of Horses etc we reckon you’ll dig these guys.

Have a good one!

Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, July 27-28

Another weekend in Wellington is lurking just ahead of us. Here’s some heads-ups for ways to spend it.

Rūamoko has been a busy lad this week. If you’re keen on a sweet geology-heavy hangtime then you can checkout his antics here.

Soldout Splendour In The Grass has lured a whole bunch of epic bands down under this weekend but, and it’s a really big but, they’re all the way over in Australia’s New South Wales. If you want to get a sneak peak at some of the big acts (and there are plenty of them) you can do that right here at the “Best-Of-The-Fest” stream.

There’s no shortage of musical fairy dust in our own town this weekend though with acts like the Veils, Shapeshifter, The Phoenix Foundation playing 18+ shows (links to our CD collection included).

The Naked And Famous have dropped a new single from their upcoming second album In Rolling Waves.

 

The Naked And Famous – Hearts Like Ours by The Naked And Famous

The Wellington season of Young And Hungry, a festival showcasing young playwriting talent, kicks off at BATS Friday night with three sweet plays. More info here.

The (actual) New Zealand (full and proper, in its entirety) International Film Festival 2013 is finally upon us. Their website and full schedule is here. Looking forward, very much, to seeing The National’s (who’re playing over at Splendour In The Grass) film Mistaken For Strangers about life on the rock ‘n’ roll road.
Enjoy your first week back at school!

There’s a good chance you’re not going to get to get to experience them while they’re here if you’re under 18, so here’s a short film with the Veils playing some of their tunes for you.

Enjoy your first week back at school!

Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, July 20-21

How’re your holidays going? Great, we hope! Here’s this weeks run down of Wellington’s weekend fun times to help keep them lively.

Firstly though, did you know we’re having a sweet games fest at Wellington Central Library over the next few Wednesdays? We’ll supply the warmth and games, all you need to do is turn up!

Ever wondered what goes on behind the doors of the St James at the Royal New Zealand Ballet company? They’re having an open day this Saturday for all you keenly interested ballerdudes and ballerettes.

There’s a best-of-three trans-Tasman Futsal, a smaller indoor version of soccer, tournament at ASB Stadium.

Want to spend the weekend watching baby pandas? Well you can! Thanks to Atlanta Zoo’s Lun Lun you can watch TWO baby pandas (twins). Woah!

There’s a swell looking, all ages, fundraising performance at Paramount Theatre of Echolalia. Here’s a brief description; “Inspired by the humour and directness of autistic children while working on a holiday program, McArthur’s delightful character Echo doesn’t register social niceties. A young woman on the spectrum preparing for a much needed job interview, Echo unwittingly puts our unspoken social rules under the spotlight…and finds a lot of them wanting.”

If none of that floats your boat, why not spend the weekend making a robot that can do flips like this one?

Tada!

Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, June 13-14

It’s… holiday time!

Here’s a slice of what’s on in Welly-hood this weekend to kick your holidays off with some excitement and/or amazement.

The Company NZ are presenting Block Party up on the hill at Wellington High School – it’s a showcase extravaganza from this super talented dance school. Not to be confused with Bloc Party. Here’s a sweet video of the tutors busting some moves.

Oceania’s two most Hipster* cities Wellington and Melbourne clash in derby time on the water front. Bust out the Purple and orange.

Au Contraire, the New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy convention, is in town. It comes with cool stuff like a floating market.

Something a bit different and enriching for the ears? Gale Force Gospel are putting on a concert of African American Song.

In theatre The Legend Of Hector visits BATS. “Drawing from sources as diverse as the Arthurian Legends, an old friend’s travel blog, and toilet-wall graffiti, The Legend of Hector goes right to the heart of the moments we feel most epic, and the moments we desperately wish for greater adventures.” – That sounds awesome!

Looking for something to watch? Here’s a list compiled by Rachel & Rebecca to quell your winter blues.

In playlist news Jay-Z released new album Magna Carta… Holy Grail  this week – you can judge that one for yourself. His wife Beyonce announced a tour to our shores. Australian folksters Boy & Bear are gearing up to release new album Harlequin Dream in August and here’s a track off it to chill to – ‘Southern Sun’.

*Not an actual fact.

Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 6-7 July

Here is a run down of what’s going down about the town this weekend.

In sport our Super Rugby home team the Hurricanes play the Highlanders at the cake tin on Saturday Night.

Any regular reader might be aware of a soft spot for roller skates on this side of the screen so there is great joy in letting y’all know there is a Roller Disco out in Kilbirnie on Friday night.

Science might or might not be a fun subject at school but there is no denying its awesomeness. The Magnicent Science Variety Show in Newtown this Friday night could very well teach you some handy new ‘on-the-bus chats’ to impress your mates with. Science! Way cool.

While scientific things are in the foreground let’s talk about space. All ages Fringe Festival(‘s) favourite A Play About Space has a swift season at Bats this weekend. Science(-fiction) at it’s entertaining finest.

The New Zealand Film Archive and Square Eyes partnership of Around The World Saturday Matinee keeps on rolling with Kirikou And The Sorceress.

Feel like reading? If you haven’t already then have a gander at the 2013 NZ Post Childrens Book Awards winners and finalists, there are a heap of great reads to keep you cosy. Of course being your local library we’re here to help you find a copy of whatever it is you might fancy. Holler.

Soulstress Ladi6 is in town for the growed-ups this weekend. But that’s no reason to miss out. For this weekends playlist here’s Ladi6 ‘Shine On’ – the second track off of her latest album.

Chur!
Have a good one.

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