The Australian comic book renaissance

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Richard Watts

Are Australian graphic novels entering a new golden age?

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‘Comic aren’t just for kids anymore!’ This all-too-familiar headline has become a depressing journalistic staple in recent years, as newspapers and magazines come to grips with the apparently ground-breaking fact that comic books have, as all art forms do, evolved as a medium.

Such articles – usually written by someone who hasn’t picked up a comic book since they themselves were a child – invariably run along the following lines: Comic books aren’t just about superheroes anymore! Comic books can be serious! And perhaps most patronising of all: This book I’ve been asked to write about is far too complex to be called a comic – why, it’s almost literature!

About the author

Richard Watts is ArtsHub's Performing Arts Editor and Team Leader, Editorial; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R.

The founder of the Emerging Writers' Festival, Richard currently serves on the Committee of Management for La Mama Theatre, on the board of literary journal Going Down Swinging, and on the Green Room Awards Independent Theatre panel. He is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and in 2017 was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend.

Follow Richard on Twitter: @richardthewatts