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X-Tintin Designer Brings Crime to Armageddon


X-Tintin Designer Brings Crime to Armageddon

This Labour Weekend, former Weta Workshop designer, Tim Gibson, is previewing his new digital Crime Graphic Novel, ‘Moth City’, to Auckland Armageddon’s pop culture fans.

Set against the backdrop of the Chinese Civil war when the governing Nationalist Party fought Mao’s Communists, Moth City tells the story of an American weapons tycoon who must solve the bizarre murder of his chief scientist, before his city’s inhabitants are wiped out by the warring factions.

For Gibson, one of the designers on the ‘Tintin’ movie and ‘District 9’, the connection between comics and movies is a natural one. “They both have a visual punch that reaches out and grabs an audience,” said Gibson. “The two mediums have been borrowing from each other for a long time, and at events like Armageddon, that overlap is really obvious.”

And it’s the type of projects that Armageddon crowds love that have motivated Gibson’s own work. “I was definitely inspired by the types of stories that we told at Weta, these giant worlds like Avatar or Lord of the Rings,” he explains, ”Graphics novels have even more freedom in a lot of ways – you don’t need a team of talented people building the world for you. In comics it takes as long to draw a spaceship as it does to draw a shoe, so there is no budget in terms of content.”

“’Moth City’ is for fans of fiction, people who jump from a Stephen King novel to a Stieg Larson book before settling in for a Walking Dead marathon on DVD,” says Gibson, who is both writer and illustrator for Moth City. “It’s certainly not naval gazing fiction. I looked into that, and all I found was lint.”

So, does that mean readers can expect to see costumed heroes saving the world from giant meteors? “No, I’m afraid not. There are no superheroes in Moth City, no one to swoop down and save these characters but themselves. The story is set in a very tense time in history, weapon-science is really coming to the fore, but a lot can still be achieved with guns and determination. It’s certainly not like our lives, more like a heightened reality, like a Bond novel.”

And like all good books, it starts with a murder. “That’s right, it’s my take on the murder mystery, a gumbo of detective fiction, noir-horror and suspense comics,” explains Gibson. “Let’s just say Spiderman would be severely overdressed, and Donald Duck would probably be eaten by the locals.”

And would Steven Spielberg like it? “I would hope so, it’s certainly a bit darker than the stuff we designed for Tintin, but I’m not going to be waiting by the phone.”

Tim Gibson will be attending Auckland’s Armageddon Conference, this Labour Weekend on Sunday the 21st and Monday the 22nd of September, and taking part in the White Cloud Worlds Artist Panel (Stage 3, 2PM Sunday), and talking to fans at the NZ Comic Creators booth (Booth 78)

Tim Gibson is the writer/illustrator of Moth City, and an active member of New Zealand’s Film Industry, working on recent Kiwi Horror movies like ‘Fresh Meat’ as well as Hollywood blockbusters ‘Tintin’, ‘Avatar’ and ‘District 9’. ’Moth City’ is a digital graphic novel that will be released, for free, at

Armageddon Expo is Australasia’s largest pop culture event, and is taking place at the ASB Showgrounds this Labour Weekend. Highlights include celebrity guests, special screenings, games and costume (‘Cos-Play’) contests.

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