Author(s): Michael Brown; Mat Tait
The Heading Dog Who Spilt in Half is a charming blend of tall tales, shanties and legends from New Zealand, all bound up in a visually pleasing collection. The tales themselves are simple and narrated in a light, yarn-like style, complemented well by the stark black and white line art of the images. Some of the illustrations are a little ghoulish - there¿s a bag of scattered limbs on one page, the cross-section of the heading dog (that was split in half) on another. All are wonderfully rendered.
DR MICHAEL BROWN is a writer with a special interest in New Zealand vernacular music and folklore. His research has included a groundbreaking MA thesis about folk music collecting in New Zealand, followed by a PhD dissertation covering local vernacular traditions like tramping songs and the 'Maori strum' guitar style. He has had journal articles and book chapters published in New Zealand and overseas. He lives with his family in Wellington and works at the Alexander Turnbull Library. He can also be found at notunlikeatrumpet.wordpress.com.
MAT TAIT is a South Island based comics artist and writer. He gained a BFA in painting from Ilam School of Arts and then lived in America and Britain before returning to New Zealand and settling in Motueka, where he does freelance illustration and works on his art. His work has been published widely both locally and internationally, including in the comics anthologies Kramer's Ergot (Avodah Books) and Comix2000 (L'Association). His first solo comic Love Stories won the 2010 New Zealand Comics Eric Award for Best Comic, while in 2013 the Goethe Institut published his adaptation of Richard Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman. His work displays a longstanding interest in mythology and local history, and this book is a very natural progression of that interest.