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Art about sadness, Dylan Horrocks

Out of the Woods: A Journey Through Depression and Anxiety
Brent Williams (Korkut Öztekin illus)
Educational Resources, $40.00,
ISBN 9780473390068

American cartoonist Keiler Roberts, whose comics have eloquently documented her own struggles with mental illness, recently wondered on Facebook about the usefulness of her art: “I think some of the best books about depression aren’t necessarily helpful during the process,” she wrote. “Is there any art… about depression or grief that has been helpful to you?”

Brent Williams’s and Korkut Öztekin’s graphic novel Out of the Woods is a valiant attempt to answer Roberts’s question in the affirmative. A deliberate mixture of personal memoir and self-help guide, its primary purpose is therapeutic.

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Posted in Art, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The thinking man’s cartoonist, Dylan Horrocks

Brockie: A Memoir in Words, Cartoons and Sketches
Bob Brockie
New Zealand Cartoon Archive/Fraser Books, $39.50
ISBN 9780958232074

David Lange called Brockie “the thinking man’s cartoonist”. Which is pretty nice of Lange, considering that Brockie had drawn him on various occasions being pissed on by a giant bulldog, with his head cut off, naked and (very frequently) in drag. Mind you, Lange was far from alone. Robert Muldoon, Jim Bolger, Colin Meads, Kim Dotcom and even Keith Holyoake have all, at various times, been stripped and humiliated by Brockie’s pen, which has been scratching away at public reputations for more than 50 years.

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Posted in Art, History, Memoir, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

The magic between the panels, Adrian Kinnaird

Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen
Dylan Horrocks
Victoria University Press, $35.00,
ISBN 9780864739759

The Bitter Sweet Philosophies
K K Jart (text) and Nick Fedaeff (paintings)
Eunoia Publishing, $40.00,
ISBN 9780692215630

As the superheroes wage their endless battle in the sky above, Alice reassures Sam, “But what does it matter if it’s not real? It’s a Fantasy. The idea is to enjoy it!” But Sam is unconvinced: “I know it’s a fantasy, but it’s not mine.”

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Posted in Fiction, Graphic novel, Literature, Review

Weird animals, Callum Robertson

Incomplete Works
Dylan Horrocks
Victoria University Press
ISBN 9780864739223

Incomplete Works is a collection of short comics created by Dylan Horrocks between 1986 and 2012. Much like the B-sides of records, the comics sit beside one another like rough or rare tracks, some experimental, some raw, some polished – all different, but with a consistent thematic undercurrent.

Horrocks’s comic form places a generally even emphasis on words and art. He is a poetic writer, and the text commands a decent amount of space on the page. Mainly black and white, his drawings are beautifully spare, appearing as if the marks are as quick to ink as the handwritten words, confirming the equal importance of both when reading the story.

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Posted in Graphic novel, Literature, Review

Remapping New Zealand, Hamish Clayton

Hicksville: A Comic Book Dylan Horrocks Victoria University Press, $38.00, ISBN 9780864736246 The current republication of Dylan Horrocks’ brilliant graphic novel, Hicksville, is long overdue; however, the relative obscurity to which it has been consigned over the last 10 years

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Posted in Fiction, Graphic novel, Literature, Review
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