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Horrocks, Dylan


Dylan Horrocks is an award-winning cartoonist, writer and illustrator. He has worked as a bookseller, and has written and illustrated a wide variety of graphic novels, cartoon collections, and children’s books, in addition to contributions to several anthologies. He published the graphic novel, Hicksville (1998), for which he received the Eisner Award (2002), a USA comic book industry award for ‘talent deserving of wider recognition.’ Hicksville has also been nominated for further awards in the USA, and in France, Spain, and Italy.


Horrocks, Dylan (1966 – ) is a cartoonist, writer and illustrator. He was born in Auckland, and has lived there most of his life, except for a few years in London, and short periods in the USA and Bougainville when he was a child. He attended Green Bay High School and received his tertiary qualifications from the University of Auckland.

He has worked as a bookseller, part-time and full-time, and has written and illustrated a wide variety of graphic novels, cartoon collections, and children’s books. He published the graphic novel, Hicksville (1998), and was a scriptwriter for The Names of Magic (2001). A collection of his political cartoons appeared under the title, Better Luck Next Century (2001). He also illustrated the children’s books, The adventures of Audubon (2005), and Highway Robbery (2000), both written by Peter Rees.

Other publications by Horrocks include the comics, Pickle #1-10 (1993 - 1997), and Atlas #1-3 (2001 – 2007). As a scriptwriter he has worked on Hunter: the age of Magic #1-25 (2001-2003), Batgirl #39-57 (2003 – 2004), and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #180-181, 184 (2004). He also created ‘Milo’s Week,’ a weekly comic strip published in the NZ Listener.

Horrocks has contributed illustrations for various stories published in the School Journal and Nickelodeon Magazine. He has also written comics and drawn for numerous anthology books and magazines, including, Look this Way (2007), and Are Angels Ok? The parallel Universes of New Zealand Writers and Artists (2006). Details about much of his work can be found online on his Hicksville Comics website, where he is serializing two major new works that will eventually be published as graphic novels.

Horrocks has been interviewed in The Comics Journal published in the USA. In his introduction to the interview, Tom Spurgeon writes, with reference to seeing Horrocks participate in Small Press Expo in 1998, ‘both the work and the artist seemed admirable. Hicksville was the first accomplished graphic novel of the post-alternative generation, a sweetly-told love letter to the comics medium full of visual iconography at once universal and specific to its New Zealand locale…All of these things indicated an artist more interested in personal exploration than careerist explication, a rare find in any art form and even more so in the world of comics.’ His work has also been discussed in a range of essays and reviews.

Horrocks writes, ‘I’ve apparently been obsessed with comics since I was tiny (my first words were ‘Donald Duck’), and I’ve been drawing them since I could first hold a crayon. But part of what excited me about comics was not what they were (costumed power fantasies and cheap laughs), but what they could be – a new form of literature and art, able to do anything at all. These days, there are comics (or graphic novels) about everything, and spanning genres from memoir to serious journalism, philosophy to poetry. It’s a wonderful time to be a cartoonist.

Dylan Horrocks won the Eisner Award (2002), a USA comic book industry award for ‘talent deserving of wider recognition.’ His book Hicksville was also nominated for awards in the USA, France, Spain and Italy.

Horrocks was also the 2006 Auckland University Literary Fellow, which provided him with a full-time opportunity to work in an academic environment. The Fellowship was created jointly by the University of Auckland and Creative New Zealand in order to foster New Zealand writing.

His most recent work is Hicksville, an internationally acclaimed graphic novel, published in 2010 by Victoria University Press. The work is a wryly funny story about the dangerous business of art and a haunting meditation on longing and regret, on getting lost and finding your way home. It is the first New Zealand edition, with a new introduction.

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