Australian Comic Creators Share Their Reading Recommendations For Isolation

April 2, 2020

Dean Rankine:
Dean Rankine is a Melbourne based comic artist/writer. His credits include Simpsons Comics, Futurama
(Bongo), I Hate Fairyland (Image), Rick and Morty, Invader Zim (Oni), Hellboy (Dark Horse), Underdog, Oggy and the Cockroaches (American Mythology), and Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land (Action Lab).

Home Time by Campbell White
An exceptional graphic novel! The art and storytelling is next level. And it's MASSIVE. It's an amazing
piece of work and I believe number two is in works.

Talgard by Gary Proudley
This is illustrated by a plethora of Australian creators, including Katie Houghton-Ward, James
Brouwer, Scott Fraser, Craig Phillips and Sarah W Searle. This is a sword and sorcery style romp told
in four-page parables.

The Deep by Tom Taylor
These graphic novels that follow the underwater adventures of the Nekton family went on to spark
the wildly successful animated series.

Trains by Mandy Ord
Mandy Ord is the master of the autobiographical comic. Just pick up anything she's done. Honestly,
you won't be disappointed.

Killeroo by Darren Close
It's impossible to talk about Australian Comics without mentioning this iconic character. Creator
Darren Close has nurtured this character over decades to give it a life of its own.


Blue by Pat Grant
This is writer and artist Pat Grant’s extraordinary debut graphic novel tackles racism through the lens
of semi-autobiographical sci-fi.

The Phantom by Frew Publications
That's right! The Ghost who walks! For many years The Phantom has been published by Australian
publisher Frew with stories by local creators like Paul Mason, Andrew Constant, Jamie Johnson and
Jason Paulos.

The Joe Shuster Story by Julian Voloj
Illustrated by Sydney-based artist Thomas Campi, this incredible graphic novel tells the story of the
artist behind Superman.



Dr. Paul Mason:
Paul writes and draws for Frew Publications, who have been printing T he Phantom comic books in Australia on behalf of King Features since 1948. He illustrates the K ID PHANTOM comic series; a national newsstand, all-ages series written by Andrew Constant (D C Comics, Gestalt Comics ), and featuring a young version of Lee Falk's classic comic strip characters. Paul is also a writer and artist for THE PHANTOM, notably THE PHANTOM: VIETNAM , series of stories, with other stories in development.


The Goon by Eric Powell
An indie series published by Dark Horse, but now back under Albatross Funnybooks; the illustration
is fantastic, the stories have evolved from a gag book about the Mob and Zombie, into some very
heart wrenching, and satirical stuff. Funny and brutal. I recommend Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr
Wicker, where it starts to find its stride.

Torpedo by Enrique Sánchez Abulí
Prohibition era gangster stories, a bit risqué and tongue in cheek. Can be brutal, not for the faint
hearted, and an unlikable protagonist. But again the illustration and short story format is the draw
card for me.

The Fantastic Four by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
The best silver-age sci-fi action and family drama comics you'll read. I'm only a fan of FF in these 102
odd issues. If you read with the context of Mankind wasn't on the moon for another 8-9 years when
these stories were being created, and nothing like it had been done in respect to characterisation and
cosmic force up until this point, the ideas from story to story will blow the top of your head off.

Talgard: Tome One by Gary Proudly
(Disclosure: I drew a Talgard short online last year, which might turn up on the next volume.) Aside
from this, Gary Proudley is a great short story writer and the "intelligent barbarian" is a great
concept. A good way for aspiring comic illustrators to work and create good stories, this is a great
little anthology, with an awesome array of comic book drawers in AUS, colours pulling it all together
by the awesome Justin Randall, who I was lucky to have colour the book (and do the cover) for Bone

The Demon: Hell is Earth by Andrew Constant
Yes, drawn by my buddy Andrew Constant, and friend Brad Walker, the illustration and page design is
aspiring, and the story is a humorous and awful (in a good way) take on the classic Kirby character
'The Demon''s personality, having both he and alter ego of sorts, Jason Blood, seperate to combat
Hell imposing on Earth.

The Joe Shuster Story by Julian Voloj
Australian edition published by ComicOz, a great hardcover story about Siegal and Shuster, and their
trials and tribulations of creating Superman. Beautifully illustrated by Italian born, Australian resident
Thomas Campi.

Last Day in Vietnam by Will Eisner
Great little book, sepia tone, some stories written in 2nd person narrative (the reader is a character);
Echos some of my all-time favourite EC Comics by Kurtzman (Frontline Combat, Two-Fisted Tales).
Illustrated beautifully by Cartoonist Will Eisner.

Fury: My War Gone by Garth Ennis
Ennis and Parlov: My favourite combination. A Great War story told from the perspective of Nick
Fury, with the only marvel universe in the story being by way of a cameo by Frank (The Punisher)
Castle during the chapters set in the Vietnam war.

Walking to Japan by Ben Hutchings
Beautiful silent comic printed on newspaper by Australian cartoonist Ben Hutchings.

The Phantom by Frew Publications:
Newspaper strips written by Lee Falk, and at the moment in terms of what I'm reading, anthying Sy
Barry (The Bad Ones, Crime School), and I also dig McCoy ('The Masked Marvel', 'The Google-Eyed
Pirates), and Moore (The Sky Band, The Singh Brotherhood), but catching up on 60s/70s era Barry.


Nathanael Hopkins Smith
Nathanael Hopkins Smith is a Sydney based filmmaker turned comic book creator who has been inducted into the Australian pop culture scene through a number of projects including ‘The Vagabond’, ‘Wrestlers in Space’ and his work as Lead Producer for "Kapow!"


Marvel Knights Punisher by Garth Ennis
After the success of Preacher and taking a stab at another Creator owned series at DC called Hitman,
Garth Ennis graced us with easily the best run on one of my favourite characters "The Punisher".
Later going from Marvel Knights to Marvel's "Max" line Garth Ennis gives us the down and dirty street
life we have always craved with the shoot first asking questions later Vigilante.

Superman Red Son by Mark Millar
See what inspired the animation during your forced time at home, a fine piece by Kick Ass creator
Mark Millar.A kooky take on Superman if his space ship had landed in Russia instead of Smallville (it's
worth it just for Batman in a ushanka hat).

The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek J. Tiwary
Not all heroes wear capes, this beautifully illustrated Bio Comic/Graphic Novel is about Brian Epstien
who managed The Beatles. Whether you love The Beatles or just after a good read this is an amazing
tale of the man who devoted his life giving the world the biggest band of all time.

Lobo: Portrait of a Bastich by Keith Giffen
Another one of my all time favourite comic characters "Lobo", he looks like a member of K.I.S.S, is a
parody of Wolverine and despite his looks he loves dolphins. What's not to like? This is the first time
Lobo graces us with his own series and the graphic novel puts together his first 4 issues + 4 issues of
"Lobo’s Back" where Lobo isn't accepted in either heaven or hell, What's the main man to do?

GROT by Pat Grant & Fionn McCabe
Following up from Pat's Beautiful Graphic Nove "Blue" that had social commentary about racism in
the Australian coasts with a sci-fi twist. Grot is a dirty and often gross looking book about a weird
Australian dystopian swamp land with pedal driven vehicles used to make money with a few shady
characters along the way.


Mitch Collins:
Mitch Collins is a Melbourne based illustrator who has previously delivered logos, designs, and concepts to
story boarders and comic book creators. Recently, Collins teamed up with Ryan K. Lindsay, bringing to life the one shot comic, ‘Skyscraper’.


Eternal by Ryan K. Lindsay
A beautiful and awesome story about vikings, death and family that’s told through the ever
breathtaking art of Eric Zawadzki.

Talgard by Gary Proudley
A collection of stories by Gary attributed by various various local artists in this collaboration to bring
Talgard to life.

Undad Collection by Shane W. Smith
An ongoing series with a 3rd volume recently completed, with various artists and writers local and
international, about an undead zombie dad, and his struggle with eternal hunger.

Haphaven by Louie Joyce
A magical one-shot tale written by Norm Harper and Illustrated by the local Louie Joyce, whose
electric lines and artwork are incredible to look at while reading this mystical story.


Whilst most comic book shops are closed, visit them online! Otherwise, digitalize at Comixology

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