Australia Burns, image courtesy of Oz Comics

Australia Burns brings the Comic Book Community Together

At the beginning of 2019, the idea of what happened to Australia was unfathomable. A nation where bushfires is so ingrained in our cultural psyche – it seemed we knew everything about bushfires. We thought we had tamed the beast. We were wrong.

[wp-review]

Australia Burns, an anthology in response to the fires that waged war on the Australian way of life, is a labour of love – curated by and from some of the most recognisably established and up and coming comic book creators.

It celebrates the real heroes of the 2019/2020 bushfire season: the firefighters. Celebrating them through perceptive and experiential tales of heroism and bravery. Where wildlife and the Australian way of life is under siege by a force of nature. Where the only warriors meeting that force of nature at the gate are the Firefighters.

Imagery and Involvement

When we’re not peering into the devastating bushfires through the eyes of a frightened Koala or witnessing the courage of a lone firefighter, we’re viewing the burnt world of Australia’s bushfires with the signature style of each individual creator. Those familiar with the Australian Comic Book scene will be able to spot work from active creators both on and off the comic con circuit.

Creators like Ryan K Lindsay, Big Tim Stiles, Mike Cooper, Queenie Chan, Justin Randall, Dean Rankine and Darren Koziol are easy to spot with their distinctive styles. With stories so complementary of each other and to the look and feel of the book.

For me the highlight was the short story, Firewall, written by Dale Maccanti and art by Trev Wood. A story that reflects an often unsung perspective of what happens to the families directly effected by bushfire. With loss of life and sacrifice being the cornerstone of this short story but for the book as a whole.

While Ben Mitchell‘s not-so-subtle political commentary in Guess I’ll Die on the cause and effect of governmental and institutional inaction was a welcome play.

Final Thoughts

There’s very little to complain about with this release. Tonally its on point and while the talent of all the artists and writers cannot be denied, there’s a lot to be thankful for due to Editors Darren Close and Daniel Best. The only part I would point out is due to the frequency of Koala-centric short stories, a re-ordering of where the stories were placed in the book, wouldn’t have been the worst idea. Both in terms of flow and to avoid “Marsupial-fatique” (there’s a term I never thought I’d write).

This is an Anthology that’s for a good cause. It raised thousands of dollars in support of our Firefighters and is succeeding in bringing our community together. Both from the creative side and from the readership side.

When my son asks for help on a school assignment that asks him to define the term “Australian Spirit” – I’ll show him this book!