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Hicksville

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3.9  ·  Rating details ·  1,485 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
The world-famous cartoonist Dick Burger has earned millions and become the most powerful man in the comics industry. However, behind his rapid rise to success there lies a dark and terrible secret, as the biographer Leonard Batts discovers when he visits Burger’s hometown of Hicksville in remote New Zealand. Hicksville is where the locals treasure comics and the library st ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published October 20th 1998)
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(showing 1-30)
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Abby
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite simply one of the most AMAZING books I have read in a long while. Horrocks has penned a heartfelt -- and sometimes heartbreaking -- homage to comics and their creators that encompasses the full spectrum of the medium: from superheroes to self-published mini-comics to graphic novels. Hicksville is a magical place -- a tiny New Zealand town where the lending library includes the full run of Action Comics, the local teashop is called The Rarebit Fiend (after the Windsor McKay comic of the sam ...more
Ken-ichi
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why Hicksville has always appealed to me. It has all the abstruse ambiguity that characterizes the kind of literature I usually despise. When I encounter something like, say, a David Lynch film, I always want to make sense of it. I figure there must be some structure and logic, a clearly delineated metaphor that, once perceived, will rearrange all the disparate little pieces into a perfect level 18 high score in Tetris (with the giant rocket ship and everything). When that fails, I ...more
Dov Zeller
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphics-comics
This was a layered, thoughtful, funny, emotionally engaging read. Leonard Batts (great names), a biographer and somewhat naive and idealistic fan of a big-makher in the comics industry Dick Burger tries to learn about Burger's past by going to his home town Hicksville, a quirky, comic-obsessed small coastal town with a cast of characters who have yet to make peace with Burger's far from honorable behavior. I'm still not quite sure what the whole Augustus E comics were all about. Nor did I fully ...more
Dominick
Interesting more than successful. Journalist goes to Hicksville, home town of comics superstar Dick Burger (the idea of a universe where such a thing is even possible is fun, though not so much when the superstar is, first, a superhero comics guy and second, very aptly named), where he discovers a veritable cornucopia of comics goodness, including a library of hitherto unknown magnum opera by the greats of the field--and by others nobody knew did comics (e.g. Picasso). Simultaneously a love lett ...more
Emilia P
Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
So uh, yeah.
I liked the basic point this was making: commercialization kind of ruins things, but it means (in a meta-way, told through the stylistic changes throughout the story), that the masses get a whiff of the really great stuff that's not so commercial and more beautiful and more "art" than mass-market superheroes. Well, sure. But there are two reasons this basically didn't work for me.

1) I thought the plot was epically contrived and clunky. The characters only existed to serve it, and the
...more
Jeff Jackson
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A smart and touching homage to the art of comics, limned with mystery and brimming with so many stories-inside-of-stories that it started to remind me of "At Swim Two-Birds."
Morgane
(3.5 stars)

I enjoyed all the comics within comics and the humor (especially in Sam's comics: "Perhaps I missed my true vocation when I became a cartoonist... maybe I was meant to be a mortician... or else Morrissey..."). But I guess I was expecting something a little darker/more scandalous by the end, given all the mystery and the buildup. And I wasn't crazy about all the emphasis on superhero comics, since I've never cared for them to begin with. Still, I can't say I've read anything quite like
...more
Heather
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Heather by: Erin
(Really more like 3.5 stars - 5 stars for the introduction though, and I could see this being a 4-star book for me if I were more interested in/knowledgable about comics in general.)

In general, I like graphic memoirs more than I like graphic novels or other kinds of comics. It's hard for me to articulate why that is, but something about a personal narrative in words + pictures is really appealing to me. As such, possibly my favorite part of this book was the introduction to this new (2010) editi
...more
Danijel
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Crtani roman o autoru stripova, o jednom strip kritičaru, o izdajici stripova te o Hicksvilleu, jednom gradiću na rubu svijeta koji je Meka i Medina stripovskog svijeta, Aleksandrijska knjižnica stripova. Strip kritičar Leonard Batts uputi se na Novi Zeland, u rodno mjesto popularnog strip-magnata i biznismena Dicka Burgera, "najvećeg strip autora nakon Stana Leeja i Jacka Kirbyja". Kako bi što bolje poznao svog idola, nadajući se da će uhvatiti njegove formativne godine. Njegova potraga za isti ...more
Raina
Man, just when I was thinking I was getting to be a real comics geek, I had to read something like this.

Horrocks' Hicksville is something like a comic enthusiast's fever dream. Along with an American comics journalist, we discover a village WAY off the beaten track that is surreally comics-centric. Everyone in the whole town is super comics-saavy.

It's magical. And idyllic (for a certain strain of person). And a bit, well, suspicious.

I didn't get it all - this thing is reference-central - but I
...more
David Schaafsma
A kind of love letter to the history of comic books. I really liked it.
Miguenium
Excelente comic.
Bastante metatextualidad. Historias dentro de otras
Grandes tributos a toda la historia del cómic y su industria.
Una muy grata sorpresa!
Ryan Werner
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
There are a lot of avenues to this book, especially for fans of the golden age of comics, but what I'll focus on is the central narrative and its offshoots into creative process.

Fanboy/critic Leonard Batts trying to find out why internationally beloved comics guru Dick Burger is hated in his hometown of Hicksville, where everyone has a deep love and appreciation for comics of all types, is the thing that interests me most of all, and when the story puts its energy there, I feel like there isn't
...more
Artur Coelho
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
É muito fácil apaixonarmo-nos por um livro destes. Hicksville é mais do que uma história de banda desenhada, é uma elegia ao amor pelos comics, que como o autor coloca na brilhante introdução (só essas páginas já fazem valer o livro), são janelas para outros mundos que despertam a imaginação e a vontade de explorar o que está para lá dos limites da vinheta.

Hicksville é uma aldeia ficcional neo-zelandesa, onde chega um jornalista americano em busca da história de vida de Dick Burguer, o mais bem
...more
Sarri
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Erikoinen, monitasoinen ja ajoittain hieman hämmentävä sarjakuvaromaani kuvittellisesta sarjakuvakaupungista Hicksvillestä ja sen suuresta sarjakuvantekijäsankarista Dick Burgerista.

Sarjakuvatoimittaja saapuu Hicksvilleen suuren sarjakuvantekijän Dick Burgerin nuoruudenkaupunkiin tutustumaan Burgerin nuoruudenmaisemiin. Hän haluaa tehdä kirjan Burgerista, mutta törmääkin Hicksvillessä näkymättömään vihamielisyyden muuriin. Kukaan ei suostu kertomaan, miksi Dick Burgeria vihataan niin paljon. Hi
...more
Paul
Mar 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A recent conversation with a friend regarding Hicksville:

Friend: "I don't know why everybody loves it."
Me: "It's his love letter to comics."
F: "It's an awful love letter to comics. If I were comics, and I got that letter, I'd say, 'Yeah, look, I just got out of a relationship . . .'"
M: "I think we should see other media?"
F: "Yeah."

While I don't feel as strongly as my friend, on reading it again after ten years, I see her point. This is a very ambitious work, an attempt to write a literary comic
...more
Dorothy
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-finds
This was a strange story, sort of about comics, and sort of telling its own story. Maybe. I actually was really confused most of the time. I don't do well with stories that jump all around in time, and I couldn't keep track of when things were happening or what was even happening. Different comics and drawing styles would appear out of nowhere . . . choppy, I guess. I need context!

For example, some characters were talking about what was eventually (like way eventually, near the end) revealed as
...more
Peter
Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man, reading graphic novels is an expensive hobby. It usually works out to about 20 bucks per sitting (which is considerably more expensive than watching Hot Tub Time Machine from Netflix). I know they take a long time to write and craft and all that, but being a comics poseur is pricey enough. How do the true junkies do it? Do they eat?

Anyway, it's probably unfair to begin my review this way. It's not Horrocks' fault, and his book took me longer to pour through than the average graphic novel.
...more
Mary Overton
A graphic novel, although the author prefers the less pretentious label "A Comic Book" which fits since this is a tribute to the under-appreciated genius of a previous generation of cartoonists -- Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, Wally Wood and others. A fun adventure of stories within comics within lost & found panels within dreams within stories -- a meta-fictional, Magical Realist mishmash. The young people of the mythical cartoonist village Hicksville, New Zealand are lost and disillusioned, ...more
Andrew
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love graphic novels on the literary end of the spectrum. And if you're a person who likes graphic novels and also happen to be a New Zealander, then it would be rude not to read a book like this one that has been so widely acclaimed and is set in your own country. It took far too long for this book to arrive back home. There was a big delay before it was available in New Zealand. A massive delay in our local library getting it, and an even longer delay in me getting to read it. What started ou ...more
Derek Royal
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I reread this book in preparation for our interview with Dylan Horrocks, and I enjoyed even more this time around. Being familiar with the larger body of Horrocks's comics, I can better appreciate the narrative universe he has created. Throughout many of his texts, he interweaves various characters, settings, and situations. Hicksville is only a part of that world. In this way, I compare his work to that of Kim Deitch, who does similar things. What's more, Horrocks plays with issues of autobiogr ...more
Jason
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
I found out about Hicksville only recently, while listening to Dylan Horrocks' interview on the Comix Claptrap podcast. To be honest, the story was a little hard for me to follow at first, until I got to the "Stars" section of the book -- the comic-within-a-comic (similar to If on a Winters' Night a Traveler, which makes a cameo in one of the panels) -- and I suddenly knew what the stakes were, and what to care about. And most of what comes next is amazing (especially the "second library"... a b ...more
Owen Curtsinger
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Unlike anything I've ever read, and one of the most engaging and interesting graphic novels there is. On several different dimensions of storytelling, we learn about the philosophy of sequential art, the nature of genius and storytelling, and a good pseudo-history of both New Zealand and comic studios. It seems like this should be up there with Understanding Comics or Maus as far as books that have been epic game-changers for the graphic novel. Wow.
Michael Economy
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not what I expected. Fun, and very different.
Sarah
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the style and pace of the narrative, and the embedded mini comics were fun. But the ending didn't really live up to the build up.
Damon
Nov 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Interesting in parts although not hugely engaging. Sometimes you want to know more but ultimately I think Horrocks is a bit distant and inaccessible.
Alex
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So the general consensus is "different"

I don't have much to add, except that I liked the intro and the conclusion a lot more than I liked most of the middle bits.
Thomas
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you really, really love comics then this is for you.
Helen
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adults and teens.
Recommended to Helen by: No-one.
This graphic novel contains many layers or strands that are eventually tied together at the end - but for me at least, the digressions and mini-stories within the story, became somewhat confusing (I guess I'm stupid), and I almost gave up on it. I finished reading the book though and it was satisfying to find out how everything turned out.

Meanwhile, the book does give insights into NZ, and the world of comics, and the author's life & struggles. This wasn't a bad graphic novel, but the consta
...more
Crawford
In the true spirit of a CEQ consider this quote from p74, being the title of an off-stage character's magnum opus: "The Proud Puriri of Precipience: a disturbingly dialectical distillation of this nation's solipistic soul, wrought from the fabric of our unconscious and the wiry strands of a №9 sable brush . . .". From the triplet of alliteration to the wiry №9 this is a questioning of the Kiwi identity in the same spirit as Douglas Lilburn's attempts to write the New Zealand symphony.
CJHD
13-Feb-
...more
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New Zealand Readers: November read: Hicksville, by Dylan Horricks 1 3 Nov 14, 2016 01:34AM  
The Panel: Backwaterberg 8 2 Aug 13, 2013 08:33PM  
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Horrocks has been involved in the New Zealand comic scene since the mid 1980s, when he co-founded Razor with Cornelius Stone and had his work published in the University of Auckland student magazine Craccum. Later in the decade he began to get international recognition, having work published by Australia's Fox Comics and the American Fantagraphics Books. He then moved to the United Kingdom where h ...more
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