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The Heading Dog Who Split in Half: legends and Tall Tales From New Zealand by Michael Brown and Mat Tait

December 8, 2015

heading dogThe Heading Dog Who Split in Half: legends and Tall Tales From New Zealand by Michael Brown and Mat Tait. Pub. Potton & Burton, 2015.

Given New Zealand’s wild past where Maori and European cultures mixed, where men spent hours on their own in inhospitable country, where fortunes were won and lost and where pub talk gave birth to the tall story, it is about time someone put down these stories for us all to share.

Michael Brown and Mat Tait have built on research into strange stories, myths, urban legends,Maori legends and sailors sea shanties to produce seven stories in graphic novel format that bring them alive.

The dog that split in half is a clear shaggy dog story, the sailor and the Maori maiden must have happened countless tiimes, Ranzo Boys Ranzo is a sailors sea shanty, Cargill’s castle is riddled with rumour and gossip, Tale of old Waihi gets bigger by the day, the Phantom canoe at Tarawera is folk lore and the Day the pub burnt down was a settlers fear.

Explanations of all stories are given at the end of the book.

Mat Tait’s black and white illustrations are world class and worth studying for the art alone.

There is something for everyone in this publication.

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