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September 15, 2008

By Jill Trevelyan Published by Te Papa Press, 2008 This is my second visually lush review book in the past short while, and is written by the co-curator of the Rita Angus retrospective now exhibiting at Te Papa, so is necessarily a companion volume for those who are really keen on this painter, one of […]

September 8, 2008

Catherynne M Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden (Bantam Spectra, 2006) and In the Cities of Coin and Spice (Bantam Spectra, 2007) Confronted with a fantasy novel published in two volumes, and split into several ‘books’, it would not be unreasonable to assume that it told of some epic adventure, with a hero […]

September 1, 2008

Commonly referred to as “the Citizen Kane of comics”, Alan Moore’s The Watchmen takes the standard gangof- superheroes comic formula and subverts it by demonstrating the fascistic, apocalyptic consequences that vigilanteworship can have. While I don’t regard The Watchmen as the greatest comic ever – it doesn’t have the depth of imagination or pathos of […]

September 1, 2008

I was a latecomer to comic books: they’re supposed to be an adolescent thing, but it wasn’t until Joss Whedon began writing Buffy Season Eight as a comic book series last year that I got into this art form. Fortunately, the folks at Graphix on Cuba Mall (next to Matterhorn) make it easy to get […]

August 4, 2008

Chris Brickell, Mates & Lovers: A History of Gay New Zealand (Godwit, 2008) When does a homosocial relationship – ie a close relationship between two members of the same sex – become homosexual? This depends upon the definition of ‘sex’, and has far-reaching consequences for how we look at mateship in New Zealand’s history.

July 14, 2008

Graphic Novel Greg Broadmore, Dr Grordbort’s Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory (Wellington, Weta Publishing & Dark Horse Comics & HarperCollins, 2008) This is Greg Broadmore’s first foray into graphic novels, and Weta Workshop’s first piece of wholly owned product; in the past, product has been released through New Line production house, with Weta only receiving a proportion […]

July 14, 2008

Chuck Palahniuk, Snuff (Random House, 2008) Snuff, the latest novel by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke), features 600 men, one day of filming, and a woman’s quest for redemption in vaginal embolism.

July 14, 2008

226–256 Lambton Quay Borders is Wellington’s biggest bookshop, and one of the newest. Prior to its opening there was apprehension that the 800-pound gorilla of chain bookstores would gobble up all the competition in town and replace it with 52-week Dan Brown festivals and sundry other tributes to the mediocre and blandly commercial.

July 7, 2008

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone (Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2006). Hypothetical: You are restructuring a country in economic peril. Part of the restructuring requires a new stock exchange. You need to find someone to be in charge of this. Would you pick a 24-year-old man, with no experience in […]