Interviews
June 7, 2019 posted by Unity Wellington

Toby Morris

Toby Morris

Who wants to have Lynda Barry, Jaime Hernandez and Tim Winton over for dinner? I do! And so does Toby Morris. Read on to discover some of Toby’s favourites, including Tintin  and Persepolis.

Unity Books, Lift Education and Creative New Zealand warmly invite you to celebrate the launch of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi, a reorua (bilingual) graphic-novel-style flip-book that offers an innovative and fascinating new look at our founding treaty. By Toby Morris with Ross Calman, Mark Derby, and Piripi Walker. 6-730pm Thursday 13th June 2019. All welcome.


ABOUT THE BOOK
Ground-breaking full-colour graphic novel about Te Tiriti o Waitangi | The Treaty of Waitangi. Accessible, engaging, image-rich design. Dual-language flip book with Maori and Pakeha authors Ross Calman and Mark Derby.

Text in te reo Maori version developed by Maori Language Commission-registered translator Piripi Walker. Reviewed by some of Aotearoa’s foremost Te Tiriti o Waitangi experts to reflect current scholarship. Fills a gap in the market for an accessible book about our founding treaty. Includes a link to both versions of the treaty translated into thirty other languages and New Zealand Sign Language.


WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING AND HOW DID YOU DISCOVER THE BOOK(S)?

I just read Arbitrary Stupid Goal by Tamara Shopsin and really enjoyed it – very funny and a kind of odd but enjoyable tone. I think I’d heard someone mention they liked it on a podcast maybe, but I can’t remember what one.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WRITERS AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THEM?

Ah! So many! In terms of comics, Herge is always the master to me. It’s an obvious answer, but true. Great characters, classic stories, and it’s all done so efficiently. The writing and the drawing are so clean and perfectly formed – every word and every stroke of drawing is there for a reason.

WHAT BOOKS ARE ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE?

Right now Sapiens has been sitting there for a while – a friend lent it to me but I just keep putting off starting it. The comics The Best We Could Do and Rolling Blackouts are there, they’re both great – I’m a big fan of non-fiction comics, whether it’s autobio stuff or history comics or comics as journalism.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK-TO-FILM ADAPTATION?

I will stick with non-fiction comics and say Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. It’s an extremely faithful translation: it captures the tone of the writing, and brings to life the drawings in a way that stays true to the feel of the original images. Satrapi is a co-director of the film, which shows I think.

WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU RE-READ THE MOST AND WHY?

Tintin in Tibet I’d say, that’s a comfort read for me. I’ve actually read it to my kids recently, which meant doing all the voices of all the characters out loud which was fun.

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE LITERARY CHARACTER?

Well, now I’m thinking about Tintin – Reading all the dialogue out loud gave me a new and slightly different appreciation for it, and reminded me what a great character Captain Haddock is. He’s flighty and short tempered and often completely irrational (not to mention has a serious alcohol problem) but he’s also surprisingly empathetic and loyal and brave. Plus he is funny – I forgot how funny his lines are.

WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN MEANING TO READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN AROUND TO?

Well I already mentioned Sapiens – I get the feeling I’ll like it but something has put me off it and I’m not sure what.

WHICH THREE WRITERS WOULD YOU HAVE OVER FOR DINNER?

Tim Winton I really like, he seems like he’d be great to chat to. Love and Rockets is another of my all time favourite comics, so maybe I’d have Jaime Hernandez around, and maybe the cartoonist Lynda Barry, she seems like she would be very fun to hang out with.

WHAT WOULD YOU COOK THEM?

Lamb chops on the BBQ I think, and a salad with some couscous and apricots maybe. Nothing fancy, just relaxed.

HOW ARE YOUR BOOKS SHELVED AND ORGANISED AT HOME?

We’ve just moved house recently so have had to reevaluate this. We’ve got bookshelves in almost every room, and it’s quite a shambolic system, but very loosely it’s into loose sections: fiction/non-fiction/art books/large comics/small comics etc.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LITERARY QUOTE?

“And now” cried Max “Let the wild rumpus start”

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