I write this review with a hint of jealousy in that I was not invited to take part or contribute. It’s a bitter pill, but hey- there are a lot of people making comics in Australia and you can’t reach them all. That’s what I’ll keep telling myself. But the bitterness is offset by an overwhelming sweetness that comes from finally seeing the eclectic tribe of Oz comic creators come together to make something GOOD.
And Australia Burns IS good. Maybe because this is not a bunch of Aussies trying to do their version of American superheroes. No origin story about young Angus McBazza strapping on super underpants with the Southern Cross emblazoned across the bulge. Not some evil corporation trying to take over the world. No post-apocalyptic tale, no radioactive felines, nothing to make my eyes glaze over and wonder why we bother at all.
The book is hefty. It’s edited and collated with precision. I can imagine the efforts behind the scenes in pulling it all together. And what an array of ‘it’. Did half our country being on fire do something to wake up a collective Oz-comic mutant gene for making art that looks good, even pro, and writing with a sense of pathos and weight? If so, silver linings etc. Not to be flippant. But I’ve seen indie anthologies plenty before. Even organised one myself. We’ve all seen how the results can vary. Making comics is hard work.
Thankfully, this is far from that. It’s a solid testament to the formidable and varied skills that we can boast with no small degree of smugness. Our government may be a corrupt, out of touch, backwards, I hate to say the word evil so I’ll just say entirely self-serving, shambles. If you don’t own a house and your parents aren’t rich than you’ll likely rent forever.
We may all be confused as to the ‘how’ of our imminent demise- whether it be an out of control pandemic, an asteroid hit, the next monster fire/flood, losing control of your car in a freak mud-rain incident, heart-attack playing Nioh 2, or Trump’s unique deal maker negotiating style. At least we can all die happy; because Oz comics are chugging along nicely, and we’ll do it for ourselves, thank you very much.
Should you buy it? Yes, you should.
Not only is this very good; it shines a light on our various artists at their very best- the book’s profits go to bushfire relief charities, supporting those brave firies who have literally risked their lives for the rest of us lazy bastards.
Get your copy now – https://www.australiaburns.online/cart