This is my contribution to Seduction of the Innocent, a new collection of pin-ups by various artists of pretty girls reading comics. Other contributors include Jeffrey Brown, Ivan Brunetti, Sam Henderson, Dave Kiersh, Peter Kuper, Johnny Ryan and many more, and the drawings range from the sleazy to the hilarious. You can see more sample pages and/or buy the book on publisher Kettle Drummer Books‘ website.
Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
Yay! We’re having a launch for the NZ edition of Hicksville at The High Seas (12 Beresford Square, Auckland) on Friday 19th March (6pm). It’s also an exhibition of original art from Hicksville, which will stay open through Saturday 20th March (when Beresford Square is also hosting the fabulous Aroha Day!).
So spread the word – and come join the party!
I recently wrote a foreword for The Tango Collection – a big fat book of comics about love by over 50 Australian cartoonists (plus a few New Zealanders, including Jared Lane, Tim Molloy and Toby Morris). The comics are selected from eight issues of Bernard Caleo’s love comics anthology Tango, each issue of which is organised around a theme (Love & Death, Love & Food, Love & Sedition, etc). The book is published by Allen & Unwin and is available now!
You can read my foreword below, or else just buy the book and read it in the comfort of your own (or a loved one’s) soft warm bed…
Lord, how time flies! My brief hiatus turned into a looong one, for which I apologise. Thing is, I was very very busy doing a few things, more of which I’ll tell you about (and post the comics of course!) soon.
But first let me tell you about the new edition of Hicksville, which is coming out from Drawn & Quarterly (and, in New Zealand, from Victoria University Press) in early February 2010. Getting it ready is one of the main things I’ve been busy with, but now it’s all good to go.
Above you can see the new cover, but there’s also a brand new 13-page introduction (in comics form) by me – one of the most personal comics I’ve done – and the glossary has been expanded (and illustrated). I also redesigned the book, rescanning all the artwork and giving it all a bit more space to breathe on the page. I added page numbers (at the request of various academics and students!), relettered about 12 pages (where the lettering was just too damn sloppy to read!), and corrected a couple of mistakes that had slipped past us in the previous editions. Everything in the book – from the indicia to the glossary – is now hand-lettered (except the barcode, sadly). All in all, I’m pretty happy with it.
I’m especially thrilled that there will finally be a New Zealand edition, too – and doubly so that it’s with Victoria University Press, who I’ve always enjoyed working with in the past. For years, Hicksville was very hard to get hold of here in my home country, and it’ll be a relief to no longer have to field emails from forlorn bookstores and desperate customers. A big thank you to Fergus Barrowman for making it happen!
I’ll post more information about the new edition closer to the time, but for now, I’m looking forward to having it in print again.
Out this month from Victoria University Press:
Floating Worlds: Essays on Contemporary NZ Fiction
Anna Jackson & Jane Stafford (eds)
The ground-breaking New Zealand fiction of the last fifteen years has not attracted critical commentary beyond initial reviews, despite its success with readers both local and international, and despite its attracting major awards both local and international. Floating Worlds contains stimulating and insightful essays on eight of the best novels of recent years.
These are novels in which there is no longer one authoritative way to tell a story. In contrast to Allen Curnow’s stricture that New Zealand writers should conform to ‘the disciplines of an uncompromising fidelity to experience, of an unqualified responsibility to the truths of themselves, in this place and that time’, these novels invite us into what Paula Morris calls ‘a floating world’, where identities are negotiable and performative.
Floating Worlds illuminates the distinctive ways in which contemporary New Zealand writing approaches the relationship between the real and the imaginary, and the different kinds of challenging, edgy authenticities that operate in the space between them: the familiar and the foreign; the copy and the original; the fake and the genuine; the intention and the act, including the act of writing.
Nicholas Wright on The Miserables by Damien Wilkins
Kirstine Moffat on In a Fishbone Church by Catherine Chidgey
Jane Stafford on The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox
Hamish Clayton & Mark Williams on Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks
Lydia Wevers on Slow Water by Annamarie Jagose
Anna Jackson on The Time of the Giants by Anne Kennedy
Erin Mercer on Hibiscus Coast by Paula Morris
Jennifer Lawn on Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
The heroes of American popular culture are surfers, cowboys, pioneers, gangsters, cheerleaders, and baseball players, people at home in the heat of physical exertion. But so many of the individuals who make these images are more like Anne Beatts [whose experiences as a teenage nerd inspired her creation of the TV series Square Pegs]. Their voyeurism – their sense of staring from the wrong lunch table at a radiant nation – makes for a vision of America that appeals to the whole world, including America itself. There’s a globe full of outsiders thirsty for glimpses of the land of myth, and American nerds have gratified them with adoring images. [Brian] Wilson – the bodiless studio addict who spent days refining drum sounds for songs about high-school football and girls on the beach – was the rule, not the exception, for North American fabulists, for DreamWorks as much as Microsoft.
So, after dithering, I’ve finally decided to treat this site not only as my webcomic site, but also as my primary blog (largely replacing my blog on Vox). That means I’ll occasionally be posting general news, but also idle thoughts, opinions on movies I’ve seen, found news stories and pictures, and – as above – interesting quotations from books and articles I’ve been reading.
Hopefully, this won’t be too tedious or annoying for those of you who are just here for the comics… (ahem)