Showing posts with label barry linton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label barry linton. Show all posts

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Publishing: Lucky Aki in the New Stone Age

Pikitia Press are proud to present Barry Linton’s Lucky Aki in The New Stone Age.
Lucky Aki in the New Stone Age is the first volume in a series chronicling teenage explorer Lucky Aki’s adventures through the islands and cultures of a re-imagined past.

From Barry Linton’s afterword:
"What if there was a time, now out of mind, when there were many more islands of all sizes, and few or no continents, with busy island groups, trading, fishing, herding, farming and lots of seasonal voyaging, eh?"

"A youth might dream of a life sailing the myriad island trade ways, exploring the unknown fertile shores, and a youth might get lucky, then as now."

To The I-Land - The Comics of Barry Linton by Dylan Horrocks

Barry Linton bio by Dylan Horrocks
Barry Linton has been drawing comics since the early 1970s and was a key figure in the influential New Zealand comics anthology Strips. His comics and drawings have been published in books, magazines and literary journals and on posters and album covers.

Barry’s early comics detail the lives and loves of a group of characters living in a familiar South Pacific city, with plenty of music, sex, politics and drugs. Over the years his characters wrestled with broken relationships, parenthood, criminal gangs and crooked lawyers. In one story the cartoonist Spud is kidnapped and chained to a drawing board, forced to churn out pornographic comics by his gun-toting captors. In recent years Barry has worked on a series of graphic novels set in a fictionalised neolithic Oceania, Lucky Aki, and comics exploring ancient history, UFOs and the future of humanity.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lucky Aki in The Stone Age Proofs Have Arrived!


New Zealand's most dedicated cartoonist Barry Linton's Lucky Aki in The Stone Age will be available next month. Printed in our new Pikitia 'Dinky' format on lovely thick recycled paper, This first volume of Lucky Aki will be available for pre-order from the Pikitia Store next week.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pikitia Press: 2014 Publishing Season

Taking a break from our 2013 in review surveys, here is a sampling of forthcoming comics from Pikitia Press for our publishing season during the first half of 2014.

Barry Linton's Lucky Aki - The first in a series of volumes featuring the stone age adventures of Lucky Aki.

Die Popular - Collection of new material and classic material from MVH's wonderful Die Popular.

The Art of Harry Bennett - Collecting the art and story of H. W. Bennett, a professional cartoonist in his teens who went on to create a one man publishing industry in New Zealand. Written and compiled by Tim Bollinger, Geoff Harrison, and Matt Emery.


 Tim Bollinger's Wellington Stories

Bob McMahon's Claire Melody - Bob's second Claire Melody book in the vein of DC Thomson and IPC adventure comics. Read about Bob's background in New Zealand comics here.


New Zealand Reprint Comics - A comprehensive survey and catalogue of comics published in New Zealand reprinting foreign material from the 1940's - 1970's. Written and Compiled by Geoff Harrison.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Ponsonby Rag

Earlier this year I got to have a little dig through the Auckland Library and came across five issues of an amazing paper The Ponsonby Rag, created in Auckland during the late seventies. Similar to alternative papers being produced around the world since the sixties and very informed by counter cultural elements, the Rag consisted of poems, stories, illustration and a significant amount of comic strips by a small group of Auckland artists and cartoonists. A lot of the work struck me as very experimental for the time perhaps influenced by the American underground comics of the sixties and seventies.

Cartoonist/Illustrator Joe Wylie shared his recollections of The Ponsonby Rag:

I didn't do anything for the Ponsonby Rag, though I remember it well. I met the people involved through Barry Linton when I went to live in Auckland in 1977. They had their own little offset press, which was a pretty nifty thing to have back then. There was a particularly impressive issue titled Ponsonby Bag, which came in a bag and consisted of various items. It would be amazing if one had survived intact. I know that David Eggleton wrote for it, but I can't, I'm sorry to say, remember the name of the guy who did most of the printing work. I believe he was also responsible for most of the cartoons, which were pretty memorable. What really impressed me was the attempt at handmade colour separation, made by drawing directly on the offset plates.

David Eggleton was involved with the Ponsonby Rag from it's beginning through to it's end. I approached him for some recollections on the production of the Rag and he sent me the following article effectively detailing the history of The Ponsonby Rag.

The Ponsonby Rag by David Eggleton

            The Ponsonby Rag was an offset-press publication, containing original graphics, cartoons, poems, stories and commentaries. It appeared erratically between late 1976 and early 1978, out of a big weatherboard villa opposite the old and very aromatic DYC Vinegar factory at the top of Crummer Road. The anarcho-absurdist  tone was set by the cover graphic of the first issue, which showed a man wearing a newspaper, which he is also reading, crossing the road at the Three Lamps corner while a seven-headed dragon flies above the old Hydra bacon factory and a crowd of good keen Kiwi blokes with short-back-and-sides haircuts look on.

            It ran to five issues and the average print run for each issue was 200 to 250, with  the largest print-run being 300 for the first one.  The border of the first issue’s cover graphic was made up of over 100 possible-but-rejected alternative titles typed-out, ranging from ‘Dehydrange’ to ‘Pun Sun Be’ to ‘Verb with Paper Snack’ to ‘Remember Gypsy Mick’. A lot of people swirled around the making of the magazine, almost as many as there were copies of issues to begin with, in keeping with the mass-demo vibe of the time.

            The Rag grew out of the rich compost that was Ponsonby in the mid-1970s — an inner-city Auckland working class suburb rundown and seedy and home to dissidents and drop-outs of all persuasions in the years before gentrification. The neighbourhood was pullulating with idealists, and every group and its obligatory dogs seemed to be publishing a little magazine, from the Polynesian Panthers to various workers’ unions.

            The product of a loose collective of like-minded contrarians, agitators,  and artists, some of whom had been involved with the Progressive Youth Movement, Auckland’s Resistance Bookshop, or anarchist collectives in the South Island, it was a publication partly inspired by British and American and New Zealand underground magazines and comic books of the Sixties and early Seventies. As such it is one of the missing links between alternative magazines such as Earwig (Auckland), Cock (Wellington), Ferret (Christchurch) and Counter-Culture Free Press (Dunedin) ,and publications of the late 1970s and early Eighties: Strips, and various Kiwi punk and Flying Nun ‘zines.

            Central figures in early stages of its production were artist and cartoonist Alan Harold, his brother, writer Denis Harold, and members of the Auckland Anarchist Activists, including Frank Prebble, Graeme Minchin, John Markie (later John Segovia) and writer Chrissie Duggan. Artistic contributions were provided by writer and poet David Eggleton, cartoonist Barry Linton, the artist Malcolm Ross, collagist Bryan Harold, and local poets Herman Gladwin and Sue Heap, amongst others.

            The offset printing press that was used had had several previous lives. It originally printed newspapers and posters for the American armed forces based in Auckland during World War Two. Later it became the Socialist Unity Party’s printing press. Eventually coming into the possession of the Ponsonby People’s Union and some associated groups, it was installed at 4 Crummer Road at the top of Ponsonby Road in a former clothing factory annex, where it was used to print leaflets. By this time some of machine’s parts were getting quite worn, and main printer Alan Harold proved adept at buying or obtaining replacement parts and he and others used number eight wire techniques to keep it running.

            Over the nearly two years of The Ponsonby Rag’s existence the composition of the core group gradually changed. (Those involved funded it —we all had part-time jobs). By the time of the last issue, Ponsonby Rag 5, Denis Harold and David Eggleton did most of the assembling, lay-out and printing between them.

            Printed on A2 sheets of paper, folded and stapled into an A3 format, using a variety of ink colours to obtain a streaky semi-psychedelic effect, the aesthetic of The Rag borrowed from the hippy, organic-community-garden ethos for its pumpkin/cabbage/beetroot colours, and some of the large sheets were pasted-up on walls around Ponsonby in emulation of wall-pasted community newspapers in Red China: the pasted-up images included big Linton cartoons and Eggleton political poster-poems.

            Otherwise, it was sold at cafes and other outlets around Ponsonby for 30 cents a copy, rising to 50 cents for the fifth and final issue, which consisted of a hand-stencilled paper bag containing printed leaflets and pieces of card. This issue was modelled on the notion of the ubiquitous Kleensac: the big, khaki-coloured, all-purpose paper rubbish bag of those days. The idea was that you went through the contents of the paper bag like a homeless street person in search of  literal and cultural sustenance, emerging with poems, graphic, cartoons stories and poems in a rainbow of colours on various pieces of paper and card.

            One reason for this was that the offset-plate machinery had become very erratic and was not inking properly. Consequently, while the images and text of number 5 were consistent, they all looked slightly different because of eccentric printing techniques in the overlaying of colours. The printing press itself became pretty much unusable shortly after, and anyway all principal parties involved had moved on to other things: single-artist comic books done elsewhere by Alan Harold Kin Oath Comics, The Esoterrorists and Cracking Up; while the anarchist faction put out ‘spasmodical’ anti-newspapers; Barry Linton got involved with the Strips group; and David Eggleton published a series of self-illustrated poetry broadsheets.

            Content-wise, there were three main contributors to The Ponsonby Rag: artist Alan Harold, cartoonist Barry Linton, and writer and graphic artist David Eggleton; while Denis Harold provided editorial direction and the most elbow-grease throughout. Each much-argued-over issue was intended as an anarchic one-off, so it did well to survive, while the eccentricities of its means-of-production remain unique.


The Ponsonby Rag article © 2013 David Eggleton, Joe Wylie recollections © 2013 Joe Wylie, Images © 2013 respective artists, Thanks to Auckland Libraries for access to archival copies of The Ponsonby Rag.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nga Pakiwaituhi: New Zealand Comics and Graphic Novels Panel

 Tim Bollinger

St Paul St gallery have posted a recording of the New Zealand comics panel conducted during the recent Nga Pakiwaituhi exhibition in Auckland. Speakers are curator - Dylan Horrocks, Sam Orchard, Adrian Kinnaird, and Sarah Laing.

Listen to the panel and view a gallery of the exhibition here.

Download an mp3 of the panel here.

Read an interview with Dylan about Nga Pakiwaituhi here.

 Barry Linton

Barry Linton

Chris Grosz

Colin Wilson
 Tim Bollinger

Photos by Sam Emery

Paper Trail

TONIGHT IN MELBOURNE: Sam Wallman's Pen Erases Paper exhibition and book launch.

Sam Orchard tumblr.

Darian Zam's faceboook group History Always Repeats: Remembering New Zealand
dedicated to vintage New Zealand pop culture features many gems of cartooning and commercial art including what I think is an A S Paterson children's book (I don't think that's a Paterson cover) I've never seen before.

Also some classic Marvel comic & gum packs. 

Pepi Ronalds writes about the Caravan of Comics currently traversing Canada and America.

Applications for the 2013 Auckland Zinefest close June 1st.

Robo Squid Inc. present a comic related exhibition in Wellington through late May and June.

Howard Johnson lyrics in comic form on Zen Pencils.

Those crazy kids at Squishface Studios are having another Exhibition in June.

Sarah Laing's Possum - part one, part two, part three.

In the lead up to last weeks Chromacon event in Auckland online magazine Vanguardred conducted some Q and A's with featured exhibitors. Visit the site archives for the all of them, here's a few, Toby Morris, Sophie Oiseau, Matt Emery, Jesca Marisa, and Michel Mulipola.

From last weekend's Chromacon in Auckland, Two elder statesmen of New Zealand comics, Tim Bollinger and Barry Linton.

 Paper Trail masthead courtesy of Toby Morris.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tim Bollinger Interview Part Two of Three

 Tim Bollinger with partner Jo and standee of his character Little Eye.
Photo taken at Pacific French Language Comics Festival in New Caledonia 2008.

Were you ever interested in mainstream American comics or undergrounds? Are there any contemporary comics you appreciate?

Most mainstream American comics never interested me particularly. Although back in the day apart from in the 60's Tintin and then in the 70's Asterix, the only comics you ever saw that weren't British were American mainstream comics. And I connected more easily with American comics than British ones. I really enjoyed all the Disney comics and Hot Stuff, Casper, Ritchie Rich etc...We had a comic box at school that was brought out at lunchtime on rainy days. I also really enjoyed the little Signet and Fawcett Crest 'Peanuts' collections.

I was never into the American superhero comics particularly. Although when I was about 6 or 7, I saw the Batman movie at the pictures (just once, and long before the TV series was ever played on New Zealand television, which wasn't til the 70s sometime), and that made a huge impression on me - especially Batman and Robin sliding down the bat pole and magically emerging in costume inside the bat cave, and jumping into the bat car, the Penguin submarine, the Riddler's riddles, Catwoman ...etc..etc..

Attitude Problem #2 (1995)

But superhero comics weren't something I got into much. It may have been because my parents were of a Left wing leaning, and I realise now that the whole notion of 'Supermen' in American comics was considered fascist ideology for many on the Left back then. Same with war comics, although I saw the British War Picture Library comics around they didn't really interest me.

I guess because of my Dad's political interests and activities I was exposed to a lot of counter culture material from the late 1960s and 70s - what there was of it available in New Zealand back then. I remember Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton strips reprinted in radical student publications and agitation propaganda from that period. When I first read Carload of Crumb in the mid-70s, at an artists friend's house, I didn't really get it but I was already familiar with Crumb and found it impressive (and a bit scary). And yes, I'm very interested in that stuff, and was particularly pleased when it reinvented itself in the 1980s and 90s in the form of RAW, Harvey Pekar, Chester Brown, Julie Doucet etc. etc. These are still some of my favourite comics. In the 1970s I also discovered Little Nemo and Krazy Kat - two perennial favourites.

 Absolute Heroes (1989)

These days, of course, there's heaps of contemporary comics I read and enjoy, although (because so much of the economic distribution of comics internationally has been geographically, culturally and lingually defined) I'm still discovering and finally reading much older stuff from Japan, France, Italy etc etc. etc. My especial favourite author these days is Osamu Tezuka, whose body of work is so monumental that I've pretty much figured out that I will never get to read it all in my lifetime (although I'm endeavouring to keep up with it as fast as they can translate into English, and sometimes French). He's so playful and experimental, and yet so formalistic. And he knows how to tell a story. I feel the same about a whole lot of other Japanese artists. They've hardly even translated the best work from GARO, the Japanese experimental comic book that came out from the mid 1960s in Japan, and these are some of the artists I've been getting into the most lately -  people like Sanpei Shirato, Yoshiharu Tsuge and Shigeru Mizuki.

I also really like European  comic artist/writers like Enki Bilal, Hugo Pratt, Milo Manara, Moebius et al, as well as younger generation ones like Blutch, Joann Sfar, David B and Fabrice Neaud and some younger Japanese ones too like Taiyo Matsumoto who writes No. 5 and Gogo Monster. In America, I currently like Kevin Huizenga, Craig Thompson and some of Paul Pope's stuff. I guess, quite a range - a lot of it is artist-as-author though. I'm also a big Dr. Seuss fan, and other picture book artsit/writers like Edward Gorey, Tove Janson, Edward Ardizonne and Heath Robinson. My favourite British 'comic artist' is probably Arthur Bestall (Rupert).

 Noah from White Fungus magazine #9 (2008)

Have you recognised any particular time periods since you started cartooning that have been particular boom times for cartooning in New Zealand?

The boom in newspaper cartooning in New Zealand was probably before my time, but there were certainly a lot more print publications for cartoonists to get their work published back in the 1980s - which has been steadily declining ever since.

Whether cartoonists get published or not has always been dependent on favourable editorial policy, and there's a few papers that my own and others' cartoons and comic strips have found a home in over the years, including 'Tearaway Magazine', and now defunct Wellington freebies like 'City Voice' and 'The Package'. The 'New Zealand Listener' has traditionally had a pretty good comic strips policy as well, with a particular boom of great serials in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

 Doctor Tim  Bollinger's Big Book of Cartoon Games, Facts and Puzzles (2006)

The ubiquity of the photocopying by the mid-1980s promoted a couple of decades of prolific self-publishing by New Zealand comic artists, which has continued pretty much unabated to this day with huge outpourings every year at Zinefests, pop culture conventions, independent comic festivals and alternative craft shows. I'd call this a boom (although, not a very commercial one). Some mainstream publishers are starting to pick up on this, so overall the New Zealand comics scene is pretty healthy.

For a while, Dylan Horrocks and then myself were given charge of writing about comics for Pavement magazine, and during my time there I tried to get as many original New Zealand comics printed in its pages as I could - we published new stuff by Ant Sang, Karl Wills, Toby Morris, Mat Tait, Simon Morse, Barry Linton, Tim Molloy and lots more. That was early this century and was never really any money in it. That of course has gone now as well. 

 Little Eye currently serialised at online magazine Werewolf

Further to that, I guess I've seen a number of time periods come and go for comics both in New Zealand and in the world generally:

My experience of the 1980s was that comics had a different place than they do in the 21st century. The readership's got more sophisticated now, and on the whole most comics are much better and smarter. The underground and mainstream are less differentiated these days. Manga's changed a lot of things. Libraries and bookshops stock "graphic novels" sections nowadays, which they didn't do much before the turn of the century. I don't like the term 'graphic novel' though, cause most of my favourite comics are just collections of tight snappy adventure-story comics for children.

I guess I saw the "fad" for autobiographical comics come and go in the 1990s. It was an interesting discovery for many in the mainstream that comics were so well suited to telling small stories of the personal and the mundane, even though R. Crumb and Harvey Pekar (and others in Japan) had long since shown this to be the case...Unfortunately, it gave every nerdy teenager licence to draw comics about themselves, which may have been a dangerous thing (I was as guilty as anyone else)...Dream comics was another one...

Personally I'd like to see tight snappy adventure-story comics for children come back in a big way, but I think their day might have gone for good.

 Little Eye serialised at online magazine Werewolf

All images copyright 2012 Tim Bollinger