The many Australias in our graphic novels

Comic creators have been wrestling with contemporary Australia and its identities in a series of publication coming out this year. What they show is a nation divided by racism and on a collision course with dystopia rather than being ‘one and free’.

A pair of young hopefuls enter a stinking, post-apocalyptic port town. Three young women of colour are screamed off a bus to the deafening silence of the other passengers. Five primary school children face off against angry dragons in an alien arena. A Hazara asylum seeker dies in custody at the Villawood Detention Centre in 2013.

Welcome to Australia.

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Bernard Caleo
About the Author
Bernard Caleo is a comics maker, a comics communicator and a performer. In 2021 he begins a long strange quest to write and draw a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne about the ways that Australian comics give voice to Australian places. With Erica Wagner and Elizabeth MacFarlane he co-directs Twelve Panels Press.