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Dylan for web

Dylan Horrocks’s Biography

Last Updated:
16/05/2019, 7:55 pm
Arts Foundation Laureate 2016
It is unsurprising that Dylan Horrock’s first words were “Donald Duck”. A talented writer and visual artist from an early age, Dylan soon realised that cartoons enabled him to use both art forms simultaneously. He was indeed like a duck to water using this “hybrid art form”.

Dylan has been a trail-blazer in the New Zealand comic scene, since the 1980s, co-founding Razor with Cornelius Stone and contributing frequently to the University of Auckland student magazine Craccum. Dylan’s comic book series Pickle is the work that first brought him to wider attention in the 1990s, and ten issues were subsequently published by Black Eye Comics (Canada). In the decades that followed, Dylan would contribute to international comics such as Batgirl, Legends of the Dark Knight, Hunter: the Age of Magic and The Names of Magic for DC Comics USA. He would also see his work get published by the likes of Fox Comics, Australia, and the American Fantagraphics Books.

Dylan has three graphic novels in print: Hicksville, Incomplete Works, and Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen. Hicksville has been published in six languages and has been nominated for, and has won, a number of international accolades. It was included (at number 12) in the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 50 Best Non-Super-hero Graphic Novels of All Time and was named one of the top five Books of the Year by The Comics Journal (America’s leading magazine of comics criticism).

Dylan is the first Laureate Award recipient primarily known as a graphic novelist and cartoonist. For this, Dylan is incredibly pleased, as for too long, he feels, cartoonist have flown under the New Zealand arts radar. Dylan says it is an exciting time for New Zealand comics and feels he is the first of many who will be acknowledged, judging by the incredible work that is being produced at the moment.

Dylan says his work always begins with daydreaming – whilst walking the dog, doing the dishes, sinking into slumber at night – these are the moments in which his stories start to stir. Then come the sketches, followed by an exciting journey into the unknown. He rarely knows where his stories will end up, noting that he is less of a “bus driver” and more of an “explorer”.

Selected bibliography:

Graphic novels:
Hicksville (Black Eye, 1998; revised edition Drawn & Quarterly/VUP, 2010)
Incomplete Works (Victoria University Press, 2014)
Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen (Fantagraphics/VUP/Casterman etc, 2014)

Comic book series:
Pickle (Tragedy Strikes Press/Black Eye, 1992-1997): issues 1-10
Atlas (Drawn & Quarterly, 2001-2006): issues 1-3

All Hail Ellie, Destroyer of Worlds! with Emily Perkins (Hicksville Press, 2010)

As writer:
The Names of Magic (Vertigo, 2000-2001): issues 1-5 (trade paperback, 2002)
Hunter: the Age of Magic (Vertigo, 2001-2003): issues 1-25
Batgirl (DC Comics, 2003-2004): issues 39-57
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (DC Comics, 2004): issues 180-181, 184

As illustrator:
Highway Robbery, Joy Watson (Scholastic NZ, 1999)
The Adventures of Audubon, Peter Rees (Weldon Owen, 2005)
As Far as We Know: Conversations about Science, Life and the Universe, Paul Callaghan and Kim Hill (Penguin Books, 2007)
The Garden Party, Katherine Mansfield (Scout Books shorts, 2012)

Political cartoons:
Better Luck Next Century (Top Shelf, 2001)

Prose short stories:
‘Steam Girl,’ in Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories, edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant (Candlewick Press, USA, and Walker Books, UK, 2011)
‘Kitty Capulet and the Invention of Underwater Photography’ in Monstrous Affections: an anthology of Beastly Tales, edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant (Candlewick Press, USA, forthcoming 2014)

Non-fiction books:
Nga Pakiwaituhi o Aotearoa: New Zealand Comics (Hicksville Press, 1998; revised 2000)
New Zealand Comics and Graphic Novels (Hicksville Press, 2012)

Inventing Comics: Scott McCloud’s Definition of Comics‘ in The Comics Journal #234, 2001
Perfect Planet: Comics, Games and World-Building‘ in Writing at the Edge of the Universe, edited by Mark Williams (Canterbury University Press, 2004)

Anthology contributions:

Dirty Stories, vol. 1 & 2, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics, 1997, 2000)
Comix 2000 (L’Association, 2000)
9-11: Artists Respond (Dark Horse, 2001)
Bizarro Comics, edited by Joey Cavalieri (DC Comics, 2000)
Bizarro World, edited by Joey Cavalieri (DC Comics, 2004)
Little Nemo 1905-2005: Un Siècle de Rêves, edited by Benoît Peeters (Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2005)
Les Belles Étrangères : Douze Écrivains Néo-Zélandais (Sabine Wespieser, 2006)
Are Angels OK? The Parallel Universes of New Zealand Writers and Scientists, edited by Paul Callaghan and Bill Manhire (Victoria University Press, 2006)
Look This Way: New Zealand Writers on New Zealand Artists, edited by Sally Blundell (Auckland University Press, 2007)
Darkest Day: Comics for Christchurch (Funtime Comics, 2011)
Cartozia Tales (Cartozia Press, 2013)
Beyond the Free Market: Rebuilding a Just Society in New Zealand, edited by David Cooke, Claire Hill, Pat Baskett and Ruth Irwin (Dunmore Press, 2014)

Eisner Award (USA, 2002): Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition for Atlas and Hicksville
University of Auckland-Creative NZ Literary Fellow (NZ, 2006)
Sir Julius Vogel Award (NZ, 2012): best novella for ‘Steam Girl’

Shorlisted awards:
Ignatz Awards (USA, 1997): Best Story and Best Art for Pickle
Harvey Award (USA, 1999): Best Graphic Novel for Hicksville
Ignatz Awards (USA, 1999): Best Graphic Novel and Best Art for Hicksville
Prix d’Alph’Art (France, 2002): Best Album and Critics’ Prize for Hicksville
Harvey Award (USA, 2002): for Atlas
Barcelona Comics Festival (Spain, 2004): Best Graphic Novel for Hicksville
Attilio Micheluzzi Award (Italy, 2004): Best Graphic Novel for Hicksville