NZ Herald profiles blind comic book writer and artist
6 July 2016
"I'm slightly more blind than Stevie Wonder ... " So begins an article in the New Zealand Herald about Richard Fairgray, New Zealand's highest-selling comic book writer and artist.
In the article, Colour Outside Lines, the Herald’s Arts and Books Editor Dionne Christian writes:
“From the Albany home he shares with his wife, fellow artist and writer Tara Black, the couple - along with a handful of writers and artists - have been quietly building Square Planet, a comic book-writing and publishing enterprise, for the past few years.
“To date, Fairgray, 31, has about 200 titles to his name and works on a number of projects with collaborators around the world for audiences equally as widespread. He's the illustrator, Black the colourist and retired schoolteacher Terry Jones his most frequent writing partner.”
Richard Fairgray is totally blind in his left eye and has only 3 per cent vision in his right eye.
“His vision issues are combined with a chemical imbalance in his brain that doesn't allow him to filter out senses,” the article continues. “For most of us, the mind filters information from the eye, providing a sense of movement from what are essentially still images (like animation or film but much faster). But Fairgray's brain doesn't filter that so he sees and must interpret every single part of every image.”
Fairgray and Jones are best known for their Blastosaurus comic book series and three years ago, their partnership extended to picture books.
Two of their picture books have recently been released in New Zealand. Scholastic Books published Gorillas in Our Midst - released last year by Sky Pony Press in the United States -- while Penguin Random House has released My Grandpa is a Dinosaur.