I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know I was going to write comics. When I would read Tintin, even the individual panels seemed like a little window I wanted to climb inside. Creating my own comics is a way to climb in that window.
Dylan Horrocks was born in 1966 and raised on a diet of Asterix, Tintin and Captain Marvel. He was part of the 80s zine revolution, photocopying his own comics at school and giving them away. Despite learning (to his surprise) that writing comics is not a high-paying profession, he moved to London with the intention of making his way in the European comics market. It was in London, pores full of smoke, that he began to write comics set in New Zealand.
Given the option by his publisher to either finish off the Pickle series or bring out Hicksville as a graphic novel, Horrocks decided to publish Hicksville.
After working on something so carefully planned out (Cafe Underground), I wanted to do something I could just make up as I went along.
There is a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in —Leonard Cohen
As someone who is fascinated by concepts such as Jasper Fforde’s Well of Lost Plots, writing ephemera and the mystery of unfinished drafts, I was excited to discover Horrocks is a fellow fan of the unpolished product (which I might have guessed from his recent title Incomplete Works). There’s just something alluring about the idea of what might-have-been:
It reminds me of an anecdote in The Changeover session, where Karen Healey recounted the experience of re-reading her own work and discovering she’d accidentally created a time capsule of pre-quake Christchurch. Every written word is a moment captured in time. Sometimes it can be a thought that will ring just as true across several centuries, and sometimes it will be a mystery to be puzzled over by a future reader.
Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen
Titular Sam Zabel is in Christchurch for a conference when he is catapulted into a comic set on Mars. His adventures and attempts to make sense of himself make up the book soon to be published by Fantagraphics, and otherwise available on his website.
I just wanted to set up a situation that had plenty of potential for exploration. I wanted to ask: Does it matter ethically what we fantasise about? Do we bear a moral responsibility for our fantasies?
If you know the answer, please leave a comment and let me know!
- Dylan Horrocks appears in:
- Read Aloud Schools Programme: Thursday 28 August
PechaKucha Night: Thursday 28 August, 8.20pm
Journey to Hicksville: Saturday 30 August, 2.00pm
Capes and Tights: Sunday 31 August, 4.00pm
- Search our catalogue for Dylan Horrocks
- Read more WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival posts
- Our page on WORD Christchurch