Published on July 24th, 2013 | by PRESENCE0
Broad Horizons with Toby Morris
Toby Morris began making comic books when he was just 13 years old. His earliest work was about superheroes. He printed the comics himself and gave them to his friends at school. He was encouraged by his readers to delve out of the superhero genre and to read Love and Rockets, a comic about Latino punk rockers in LA in the 80s and 90s. He discovered that not all comic books have to be about superheroes and this greatly inspired him and broadened his creative horizons.
His style grew and evolved as he got older and he began to favor the classic ‘clear-line’ style. When he was 16 he began to sell his work at local book stores. He describes the work he made through his teenage years as “quite angsty.”
Drawing is Toby’s talent and passion. I wondered if his parents were also artists. He told me they’re not but were encouraging and supportive of his interest.
At the University of Victoria in Wellington he contributed comics to the student weekly magazine ‘Salient‘ for a year while he studied. This helped him to hone his talent and evolve his style.
He applied for design school but did not get in. Determination and a winning personality helped him to preserver his desire to design and create. Despite not having a university degree in the design field, his sheer talent was enough to get work in the area.
Toby is well travelled and has lived in Amsterdam and Melbourne. He lived in Amsterdam with his girlfriend who has family there. Toby met her when she was “the cute girl” who was working at his local printing shop. He would go in to see her, pretending to need extra copies of different things. Another comic book illustrator had a crush on her. They battled for her affections. Toby won.
Whilst living overseas, with the help of the glorious Internet, Toby was able to design and illustrate for people overseas. His gig posters and album art are original and awesome. Very cool. He has also done animation for music videos.
He is back living in Auckland now and working in advertising during the day and drawing early in the morning and at night. He has a son now, Max, who is 18 months old.
Toby’s latest project is a comic book about being a father in the first year of his boys life. We will see Toby’s clean clear-line style as he tells and illustrates entertaining stories about what it’s like to be a dad. It will be a great gift for any man expecting a child and just a great read for anybody. It is a combination of things he loves, drawing, being a dad, the difficulties and the amazing experience it is to have your own family and raise a baby boy and have a job and be very busy.
Toby is a lovely, friendly and talented man. He will be selling some of his work at the upcoming Auckland Zinefest. Come down and meet him and buy some cool stuff.
Written by Lucy Frew