21 April 2014

Spellbound by comics

17/08/2011 10:09:00 a.m.


Dylan Horrocks, beer in hand, stands with some of his characters on the East Cape.

Dylan Horrocks, beer in hand, stands with some of his characters on the East Cape.

WHEN your first words were “Donald Duck,” a career in comics is undoubtedly a fair choice.
Dylan Horrocks, prolific Auckland-born graphic novelist, has read and drawn comics his whole life. Firm in the belief that cartoons can be enjoyed by young and old, he is bringing his talents to the Wellington free family day of the 18th annual Storylines Festival of New Zealand children’s writers and illustrators.
Describing himself as “obsessed with comics,” the Hicksville author and illustrator says although he writes for adults too, children’s writing is enormously satisfying.
“Kids have less assumptions and rules about stories.”
He believes adults often use the inner critic as they read, asking themselves if it is a book they want to be seen reading.
“Kids are much less constrained by that. They respond to stories directly and engage with art very actively and creatively.”
Horrocks is well aware that books with pictures disappear from bookshelves as children get older.
“There’s an expectation that words will eventually drive the pictures out. Comics reject that notion. To cartoonists, words and pictures are equally expressive and complex and important.”
He is happy to see graphic novels are creeping up the bestseller lists.
These books can be life-changing, according to Horrocks.
“Writing a book is like casting a spell. It can change how people feel and how we see the world.”
Horrocks will be looking forward to casting his spell when he talks and draws at the festival.
Storylines Festival, Wellington town hall and Capital E, 10am-3pm, August 21

Storylines Festival top picks

Wellington Town Hall
9.45am - Welcome
2.30pm - Prize-giving
CORE Book talks
10.30am - Skype an Author: Fleur Beale
11.30am - Fly Papers, Johanna Knox
1.00pm - Yates Young Gardener, Janice Marriott
2.30pm - Caricatures to Comic Characters, Ross Kinnaird and Dylan Horrocks
Other events:
Scholastic Books Out Loud: story reading.
Book Works arts and crafts - make a Carmen Miranda fruit hat.
Pure Capital Thinking Factopia - Non-fiction activities. Peek into the working worm farm.
Artists in action - including Thaw Naing, Dylan Horrocks.
The Children’s Bookshop/Whitcoulls - book sales and signings.
Capital E
From 10am - PERFORM theatre group
12pm - Storylines Read Aloud Competition
1.30pm - Raroa School Orchestra.
For the full programme see
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