Director Shirley Horrocks explores the highly creative and under-rated New Zealand subculture of comics and graphic novels, revealing its rich local history and international following.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
The writing and drawing of comic books has remained a little-known and under-rated area of New Zealand culture. Director Shirley Horrocks reveals it to us as a highly creative subculture with a rich local history. Despite a moral panic about comics in the 40s and 50s (recalled here by Eric Resetar, the grand old man of local comics), later decades brought us the exciting counter-culture work of Barry Linton and the other artists of Strips magazine (such as Dick Frizzell and Grant Major), the new directions taken by women artists (such as Coco and Pritika), do-it-yourself comic collectives (such as Funtime in Christchurch) and the publication of long-form “graphic novels” such as Dylan Horrocks’ Hicksville and Ant Sang’s Dharma Punks. They also have links with animation and with music, as demonstrated by Chris Knox. This entertaining and visually inventive film takes us from Auckland street culture to Wellington’s “Eric Awards” and on to the comic shops of Paris, where New Zealand work is known and sought after. — Production notes