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Morris, Toby
Writer's File

Toby Morris

Auckland - Tāmaki Makaurau
Morris, Toby
In brief
Toby Morris is an award-winning cartoonist, comic artist and illustrator based in Auckland. He has worked for Radio New Zealand and currently works for The Spinoff, creating non-fiction comics often addressing relevant social issues in Aotearoa New Zealand. Toby has published a number of books, including the comic books Alledaags: A Year in Amsterdam; Don't Puke On Your Dad: A Year In The Life of A New Father; and Dad Man Walking; as well as two children’s books, Capsicum, Capsi Go and The Day The Costumes Stuck. Toby also illustrated Te Tiriti O Waitangi, a graphic novel of the history and importance of the Treaty of Waitangi. Toby has received international recognition for his work with Siouxsie Wiles covering the COVID-19 pandemic. Published in The Spinoff, the animated graphics were shared widely around the world. In 2022 Toby won the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize.
  • Primary publisher
    Penguin Books New Zealand
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Morris, Toby (1980 - ) grew up moving around New Zealand as his family followed his father in his army career. Toby had a love for comics from a young age, reading Tintin and Asterix comics as a child, and names Herge (The Adventures of Tintin) as one of his main inspirations. He went on to publish in and work for Salient, the Victoria University of Wellington’s student magazine, while studying a Bachelor of English Literature and Political Science.

Toby’s involvement in music led him to Melbourne, Australia, as a bass player with his band, Batrider. From there he moved to Amsterdam, where his first child was born. After nine years away, Toby returned to Aotearoa New Zealand and began working on series of non-fiction comics The Pencilsword, published by Radio New Zealand (RNZ) on its website The Wireless.

Toby has published books for both adults and children. His comic books Alledaags: A Year in Amsterdam (XTOTL Press, 2011), Don't Puke On Your Dad: A Year In The Life of A New Father (Beatnik Publishing, 2013) and Dad Man Walking (Penguin, 2021) give a humorous take on the experience of living in another country and the ups and downs of parenting. Reviewing Dad Man Walking for NZ Booklovers, Chris Reed said that ‘The writing is clever and the drawings are uniquely and unequivocally Morris at his best.’

He has also written two children’s books, Capsicum, Capsi Go (Beatnik, 2017) and The Day The Costumes Stuck (Beatnik, 2016), both of which were well-received. The Day The Costumes Stuck was nominated for the Russell Clark Award for Illustration in the 2017 NZ Book Awards.

In 2020, Toby worked with microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles for The Spinoff to create the animated comic Flatten the Curve, which addressed the COVID-19 pandemic. The comic was shared worldwide, and Toby and Siouxsie went on to create many more comics communicating the best responses to the pandemic risk. Their work was praised for its clear communication, and The Spinoff was hired by the World Health Organisation to deliver content, with Toby as creative director. Due to this work, in 2022 Toby won the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize.

Toby is currently creative director at The Spinoff, where he creates The Side Eye, a comic series that looks at social and political issues. He lives in Auckland with his family.


Toby's work at The Spinoff

Profile at Penguin Books

2021 Prime Minister's Science Communicator Prize (video)

National Library interview: Cartoons call the shots: An interview with Toby Morris

Collection of Toby Morris and Siouxsie Wiles COVID-19 comics

Morris, Toby
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