World Comic Book Review

27th September 2023

Why the Portrayal of Australians in Superhero Comics is So Cliched

American comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, scripting “Uncanny X-Men” (volume 3, #3) in 2013 for US comic book publisher Marvel Comics, allows one of his creations, an Australian super powered mutant named Tempus, to have a flashback to school. Tempus is a young woman from the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. The character is … Read more

The Five #1: The Birth of 21st Century Archetypes

The Five #1 (review)
( Mysteria Maxima Media, April 2016)
Writer: Laith Tierney

An independent publication from Australia, issue one of The Five explores the creation of a modern Illuminati. Members of this secret society are a pantheon of sorts: a god of international money markets, a god of global fame, a goddess of pornography, a god of tinpot mysticism (which is, perhaps, the most awkward fit of the line-up of characters) and in a surprising twist at the end, a goddess of global terrorism.

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The Fifth Guest is an Unknown

“Storm” (review)
Writer: Tim Minchin
Orion Books, 2014
Review by DG Stewart, 15 March 2017

Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, actor, and musical polymath Tim Minchin has been very prominent this year, particularly in the press in Mr Minchin’s home country of Australia. Mr Minchin has recently released a very acerbic song. The song sharply and angrily attacks the former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Australia, Cardinal George Pell. Cardinal Pell had refused to fly from Rome to Australia to give evidence to an independent government inquiry (called a Royal Commission). The evidence related to his knowledge of the systemic sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in a rural Australian town while Cardinal Pell was in a position of responsibility over that town’s clergy. Proceeds of sales of the song were donated by Mr Minchin to the survivors of sexual abuse by priests, as a financial contribution to their airfares to Rome so that they could watch Cardinal Pell’s testimony from the same room as the cameras. This act of charity, together with the Australian penchant for both secularism and abrasive sarcasm, made the song a commercial success, and it reached the number one ranking on the Australian iTunes chart. The song concludes with lyrics whereby Mr Minchin invites Cardinal Pell to sue him.

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Gestalt Comics and Comicoz: Developments in the Australian Comic Book Scene

“Many Australian comics released on newsagent stands over the past twenty to thirty years have folded after only a few issues. So, it is with some residual anxiety that these words are penned about seven weeks before the release of the First Issue of Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi! Until those sales figures come in, it is difficult to gauge the popularity – or otherwise – of this comic.”

These were the nervous introductory words to the editor’s note in the third issue of Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi!, dated January-March 2015. The website of its publisher, ComicOz, indicates that a fifth edition is pending release, and so the sales figures may not have been so dire after all. But the trepidation is well founded given the precarious history of the Australian domestic comic book industry. Notwithstanding the existence of an annual award to recognise the efforts of the very small number of local comic book creatives and industry players (called The Ledger Awards, most recently held on 10 April 2015), the Australian comic book industry is more notable for the spluttering starts and silent disappearances of both titles and publishers.

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