Australian Comic Creators Share Their Reading Recommendations For Isolation
Dean Rankine: Website: http://www.deanrankine.daportfolio.com/ 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: Website: https://www.masoncomics.com.au/ 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 War.
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. https://thomascampi.com/about-me
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. https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/5816292
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 Website: https://www.comixology.com/Nathanael-Hopkins-Smith/comics-publisher/3679-0 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: Website: https://www.mcillustration.net/ 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 https://www.comixology.com/