The Comics Show

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Barry Linton interviewed for The Comics Show
Barry Linton interviewed for The Comics Show
Director Shirley Horrocks' documentary on the New Zealand comics scene hits screens at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2007.
  • Running time: 50 mins
  • Editor: Tibor Riddering
  • Photography: Craig Wright, Leon Narbey
  • Production assistant: Lani-rain Feltham
  • Sound: Peter Kraan

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. The Comics Show surveys the history of local comics (including Eric Resetar, the 1950s anti-comic panic, and the arrival of Strips) then focuses on a number of contemporary artists (including Barry Linton, Karl Wills, Chris Knox, Jared Lane, Robyn Kenealy, Coco and Pritika, Jason Brice, Tim Bollinger, Grace Campbell, and Cornelius Stone, among others). It visits comic shops (such as Cherry Bomb and Gotham), websites, events (such as Armageddon, Craftwerk and the Eric Awards), and groups (such as Funtime in Christchurch). It looks at comics’ links with animation (such as Ant Sang and bro’Town) and with music (from Flying Nun to hip hop). It also takes a trip with Dylan Horrocks to the comic shops of Paris, confirming that comics from New Zealand have a growing reputation in the land of la bande dessinée.

The documentary derives its visual style from the camerawork of Craig Wright and Leon Narbey (of Whale Rider), and from its lively use of the visual conventions of comics. Shirley Horrocks is an award-winning documentary director whose work has been screened in film festivals around the world. She reports that she’s had fantastic cooperation from the comics community for this project. She was hugely impressed by the number and range of artists, and admits there are many more she would have liked to feature. She hopes The Comics Show will help to turn on lots of new people to the pleasures of reading and publishing comics in New Zealand.

"The Comics Show" Screened on TV ONE as part of Artsville on Sunday September the 2nd at 10.40pm, and was part of this years International Film Festival in Auckland and Wellington and has received positive feedback and reviews.

There is a DVD of the documentary soon to be released. This will be the full 50 minute version that was shown during the Film Festival, not the shorter version screened subsequently on TV, and the documentary makers have added interviews with an extra 11 artists.

95bFM - The Wire, Review of The Comics Show and interview with Shirley Horrocks

The Art of Making it Look Easy nzherald.co.nz

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