Rachel O'Neill talks with Tim Gibson about his debut online graphic novel Moth City
I came across Tim Gibson’s Moth City on Adrian Kinnaird’s blog when I was looking for new local comics and graphic novels to feature in the ‘Cartoon’ spot of our quarterly publication Booknotes. I was drawn to Moth City’s bold and brooding illustration and storyline – the website describes it as a ‘fresh take on the murder mystery that lives at the intersection of detective fiction, noir-horror and manhua comics.’ I was also intrigued to see what an online graphic novel offered as opposed to print.
Gibson has illustrated worlds for the likes of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, and his credits include Tintin, District 9 and Avatar. Moth City sees him carve out his own digital storytelling territory. To hook online readers, often dispersed across the globe, digital initiatives have to offer something that’s world-class or that is, at the very least, fresh and different. I wondered if in Gibson’s mind Moth City was always going to be an online graphic novel. What were his motivations for publishing online? ‘As your readers know,’ he tells me ‘the publishing world has had a bit of a shake-up, and that's actually a real opportunity for debut writers like me to get the attention of both readers and publishers. But to do that, you have got to have fans, or in publisher speak, “a platform”. Publishing work online can provide that, if you invest effort and time.’
I ask Gibson what he thinks online graphic novels and comics offer readers and fans as opposed to print. He says, ‘Access to the creation of the work, not just the result (works are often published as the authors and artists finish them), access to the creators (online authors don't hide behind an author picture, but often actively solicit feedback and engagement), and access to discussion about the work (online is made for comments and discussion, and many big webcomics have forums with up to 50,000 members).
‘Plus, if you look at www.mothcity.com the online medium really opens up a lot of options that printed graphic novels can't, which is always something I've been interested in. Story and panels are revealed, dialogue appears and changes, and I can control some pacing like a film director, which can really ratchet up the suspense.’
Read the full feature on the Book Council's blog Open Book.
Five Easy Questions with Tanya Moir
Tanya Moir is a novelist. Her first book, the critically acclaimed historical novel La Rochelle's Road, was noted for ‘a deeply poetic sensibility that is, at times, quite breathtaking' (Your Weekend). Moir is a 2013 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellow and her second novel Anticipation was released earlier this month.
1. In what ways does anticipation resonate in the story?
Anticipation has a number of senses, both wide and narrow, and the novel takes in a few of them along the way. It’s a word that yanks the future into the present, but if you break it down and play with it, you can find the past – the ‘ante’ – there as well. The narrator, Janine, like all of us, is balanced on the pivot point between her future and her past, one foot either side of the seesaw, and she’s anticipating a lot of things, some passively, some actively.
2. Your first novel La Rochelle’s Road was set in Banks Peninsula in the 1860s. Anticipation is historical in a more tangential way – a daughter picks up her mother’s genealogical search after she dies. What interests you about how we approach the stories of our forebears?
I guess what interests me is the human desire to define ourselves and the ways in which we choose to do so. Who we ‘think we are’, sure, but also what we mean by that phrase, why it matters, and what that says about us.
3. How would you describe main character Janine in a few words?
That’s kind of the crux of the novel – who is Janine? It’s up to the reader to decide, and I expect conclusions to differ. However, hopefully all will agree she’s a forty-something real-estate-agent-turned-recluse with an unflinching eye and a very black sense of humour.
4. Is there a character from a book that you would love to hang out with in real life?
There are many! My golden lab did her best to be Aslan for most of my childhood. I quite fancy a few drinks in a Dublin bar with Gina Moynihan from Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz – that would be a good night. Or Orhan Pamuk’s fictionalised self from The Museum of Innocence, for the sheer reflexiveness of it, as well as for a tour of Istanbul and a crash course in Turkish pronunciation.
5. What’s on your bedside table?
A lamp, an alarm clock and Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid.
Book Council News
Harry’s Hikoi - 300 free copies of Sydney Bridge Upside Down to be distributed during NZ Book Month
Taki Rua and the New Zealand Book Council have joined forces to bring you one mighty NZ Book Month event!
We call it Harry’s Hikoi! This nationwide initiative will see 300 free copies of Kiwi writer David Ballantyne’s Sydney Bridge Upside Down distributed throughout New Zealand. We’re hoping to reach a wide range of readers, from youth in rural communities to New Zealand personalities like Laughton Kora, Peter Hambleton and Rawiri Paratene. We’re challenging readers to use a 'pay it forward' approach and share their free copy with as many people as possible. Plus, the more shares readers get the more chances there are to win a range of awesome prizes.
Harry’s Hikoi was launched on the 11th of March 2013 and will run for 12 weeks throughout Aotearoa!
Here’s what you need to do, know and get ready for if you’d like to take part.
To participate in our exciting new initiative you need to send your postal address to email@example.com. We then send you a copy of David Ballantyne’s Sydney Bridge Upside Down, you read it, tell us what you think of it on our Harry’s Hikoi Facebook page and then pass it on to a friend, colleague or whanau member. Easy as that!
We’ll contact you directly when you register to take part with any other info you need to know to join in the fun.
Come the week of the 31st of May we’ll tally up which copies have reached the most readers and announce the top five “sharers” and their prizes on Harry’s Hikoi Facebook page. Each week you can use Facebook to track the progress of all 300 books that are making their way around Aotearoa, catch updates from readers like Laughton Kora, Peter Hambleton and Te Kohe Tuhaka, see photos and hear the thoughts of other readers.
Wish us luck as we spread the word and keep your eye out for updates on our Facebook page and website.
NZSO special offer for our e-newsletter readers
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra would like to offer the New Zealand Book Council a discount to a special concert to remember and pay tribute to our Anzac heroes: On Anzac Eve, 24 April 6.30pm at the Michael Fowler Centre
Tecwyn Evans – conductor
James Egglestone - tenor
We begin the concert with a salute across the Tasman to our closest allies. Australian composer Ross Edwards’ Symphony No.1 Da Pacem Domine speaks of the fragility of peace.
Till Human Voices Wake Us was composed for orchestra and tenor by prominent New Zealand composer and NZSO Chief Executive Christopher Blake. This work is a passionate plea for peace. The title of the work is taken from a line of T.S. Elliot’s poem 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' and the work also uses text from We Will Not Cease, the epic record of New Zealander Archibald Baxter’s brutal treatment as a conscientious objector during World War One.
Comfort is found in Elgar’s Enigma Variations. This work established Elgar’s reputation and is a sincere expression of friendship and love – the very basis of our own Anzac spirit.
Book through Ticketek 0800 842 538, counter or phone bookings only, and ask for SYMPHONY 20 to receive 20 percent off the full ticket price. Tickets from only $20. (Service fee applies).
What's new on www.bookcouncil.org.nz
We have gathered together new fiction, non-fiction and poetry titles published so far this year on our Recent NZ Publications page. New Zealand writing is thriving!
Competition and residency opportunities
Please note this is just a sample of the wide variety of literary opportunities we post regularly in the news page on our website:
New Zealand writers invited to enter Mind, Body, Spirit Awards
New Zealand writers with a special interest in the mind, body, spirit genre are encouraged to enter their work into the 2013 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literature Awards. The Awards recognise both budding and published writers by offering two of the largest prizes awarded for literature in New Zealand.
To be eligible for the awards, writers must be New Zealand citizens residing in the country. Unpublished manuscripts must be submitted by 31 March 2013, and be between 20,000 and 100,000 words in length. Published books must be submitted by 31 May 2013, should be 48 pages or longer and must have been published between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013.
The Awards will be presented in a ceremony at the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust’s own venue, Hopetoun Alpha in Auckland on 16 August 2013.
Submission forms and entry details are available from www.authors.org.nz or The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) national office, phone: 09 379 4801, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or post: PO Box 7701, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141.
The New Zealand Book Council receives core funding from Creative New Zealand. We are extremely grateful to our funding partners, who enable us to deliver our programmes. We also value your membership, which supports our work in schools and communities throughout New Zealand.
We think 2013 is going to be an amazing year for books and reading and we want nothing more than to share news and views with you on our Facebook page. Not to mention all the giveaways we have planned this year.
And if you're more of a tweeter then follow us on Twitter for book news, giveaways and fun competitions such as #fridayshorts, one of the shortest short story competitions around.
Juliana D. Feaver (Christchurch) is the winner of our special Gecko Press prize pack, including three amazing recent releases from Gecko. Congratulations and thanks for your entries.
This month we have two copies of the latest issue of NZ Books:A Quarterly Review to give away. NZ Books is New Zealand's only periodical dedicated to reviewing our books. In each issue you’ll find lively opinion on books and publishing, new poetry, and a prize-winning cryptic crossword, as well as in-depth reviews. Click here to subscribe – $44 a year home-delivered. We will also be sending our two lucky winners a copy each of the latest issue of our booklovers magazine Booknotes.
To enter the draw, email email@example.com 'NZ Books' in the subject line and your New Zealand mailing address in the body of the email. Draw closes 12 noon on Friday March 29.
Dame Anne Salmond, Distinguished Professor of Maori Studies and Anthropology from The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Arts, and renowned New Zealand author, has been named New Zealander of the Year.
Honouring the achievements and contributions of an inspirational Kiwi, the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year is awarded to someone who has given outstanding service to the country, and provided inspiration to New Zealanders through their achievements.
Dame Anne received the title for her services in Maori and Pacific studies, with the award presented at a gala dinner held at Auckland’s Langham Hotel on February 28.
Sir James Wallace presented the first Sir James Wallace Masters in Creative Writing Award and scholarships at a ceremony held at The University of Auckland in early March.
Margie Thomson, 2012 Masters in Creative Writing graduate, was announced the inaugural award winner, with 2013 Masters students Tessa Priest and Liz Langbrown announced the scholarship winners.
Emily Perkins has been long-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly The Orange Prize) for her novel The Forrests. The shortlist will be announced on 16 April and the winner will be announced on 5 June.
How Maui Slowed the Sun (1983) by Peter Gossage will be awarded the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a much-loved book on Storylines Margaret Mahy Day (6 April).
The Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award was established in 1999 to honour the memory and contribution to children’s literature of teacher and writer the late Gaelyn Gordon.
The award is made annually for a work of fiction seen by Storylines as one which has stood the test of time and which is recognised as a successful, enduring children’s book.
NZ Book Month is here – a month-long celebration of books and reading with events across New Zealand and $5-off book vouchers for all.
Keep up with what’s happening in your area by visiting the NZ Book Month Facebook page and website.
Rocky Outcrop Writers Tour - Paekakariki
23 March, 2.00PM
Be prepared to meet a powerhouse of emerging talent as three debut writers hit the road in March touring the lower North Island, meeting new readers and talking about writing.
Fiction writers Pip Adam and Kirsten McDougall and poet Ashleigh Young will be undertaking the Rocky Outcrop Writers Tour from 12–23 March. Their last stop will be in Paekakariki where they will be joined by Tina Makereti, Helen Heath, and Lynn Jenner.
Venue: St Peter’s Hall, Paekakariki
Readings from Margaret Mahy
21 March, 7.00PM
Top authors Kate De Goldi, Tessa Duder and Leonie Agnew are coming together to pay a public tribute to the genius of Margaret Mahy. Remembering Margaret Mahy – a programme of readings from her verse and stories – is being held on the 21 March birthday of the renowned author who died in July 2012 at the age of 76. The New Zealand Book Month event, organised by the Storylines Trust, is open to public and suitable for children 8 and up. Places are limited – please visit www.storylines.org.nz for further details.
Venue: National Library Centre, Stanley Street, Parnell
Phone 0064 4 801 5546 Level 4, Stephenson & Turner House, 156 Victoria St, Te Aro Wellington 6011, New Zealand