Mrs Windyflax and the Pungapeople by Barry Crump; ill. Murray Ball (Hodder Moa Beckett, 1995) Though Crump’s rhyming verse and storyline aren’t up to much, Ball renders this children’s picture book visually resplendent through a mix of vibrant cartoon watercolours and his more usual Footrot Flats-type illustrations. The New Zealand landscapes offer a pleasing point of difference.
Footrot Flats: The Long Weekender by Murray Ball (Hachette New Zealand, 2008) If anything, this beautiful hardcover is a little too big (an odd complaint)! Its dimensions make for awkward, heavy reading, and it compiles Ball’s weekend comics strips comprehensively rather than selectively. Brilliantly drawn, wryly evocative of farm life… but for collectors only.
Footrot Flats, Gallery 1 by Murray Ball (Hachette Livre NZ, 2005) Just as Charles M. Schulz gave the world Charlie Brown and Snoopy, so too did New Zealand artist Murray Ball give us grouchy farmer Wal Footrot and his imaginative Dog – the lesser known of the comic strip duos but no less charismatic!