Australia! – A Collection of Australian Comic Stories to Benefit beyondblue
On 1st January 2015, I invited a select group of Australian artists and cartoonists (fifty male, fifty female, of my choosing) to contribute to a comic anthology, with the aim of benefiting beyondblue. All artists were to freely donate their time and talents in contributing to this project (that is, they were not to be paid). I chose the theme (‘Australia’) and the only limitation placed on them was that their contribution was not to exceed five pages in length.
The result was a wonderful array of different art styles and stories, and clearly illustrates the wonderful talent pool of creative personnel in this country. Some of these artists and cartoonists had not drawn in the medium for years; for some it was the first time they were published. The plan was to donate $10 of the cover price to beyondblue.
You see, in my line of work away from comic publishing I work as a Clinical Nurse in a major Brisbane Hospital’s Emergency Department, in the area of mental health. Many of our referrals were (and are) from beyondblue. They really do a wonderful job for our community.
And then something unexpected happened during the production of this book. My youngest daughter suffered a major mental illness that, over three years later, she has still not recovered and it is likely never will recover from. I did not, and to this date, have not really promoted this book, as I too clearly associate what happened to her with its production. But, with about one thousand copies still in my garage, it’s about time I took control of this fear. I want to clear these copies out at cost price, with $10 still to go to beyondblue. So that’s the background story to the volume….
What do you get? Over 100 pages of comics, some in colour, some in black and white. And a wonderfully produced hardcover book, with some wonderful stories within…. Look at the array of Australian cartoonists and artists involved! I must caution that, as I say from the outset, ‘some of the stories within … have been written for a more mature readership. Persons with a delicate nature are urged to be selective about reading some of these stories’. The book is respectfully dedicated to my young daughter, who turns thirty this year….