April 6-7, 2024
Written by Chris Daniel
Australia’s vibrant comic book scene means we have the ability to discover a wealth of new stories by local artists at the click of a button, and at Supanova, you have the chance to meet the creators themselves.
Here are five local comics to check out while you’re waiting for this year’s events to roll around.
Bipp And Trax: Intergalactic Real Estate by Dan Watts
Sleek, exciting and genuinely impressive. We’ve all had a horrible boss, probably a few too many, making this comic book all the more relatable whilst also thrusting you into a world that looks as if it were ripped straight from the concept art book of a Star Wars film.
Bipp And Trax: Intergalactic Real Estate revisits comic strips at their finest, presenting the comic itself in landscape format. Right at the point where we thought all concept of time and space had been covered in science fiction, creator Dan Watts offers something completely new. Throughout the first issue (of what we can expect to be a long running series) we follow two real estate agents as they are tricked into dirty jobs no one else would do. Combing several genres into one jam-packed 44-page comic, Bipp And Trax: Intergalactic Realestate thrives on the genius visual narrative sure to be a collector’s piece in coming years.
The Vagabond by Nathanael Hopkins-Smith
Initially setting his eyes on the cinema screen, Sydney based creator Nathanael Hopkins-Smith reimagined the story of a homeless vigilante into the form of a comic series. Rich playboy turned hero of the night seems all too familiar, but The Vagabond delves deep into a world of grit where the hero feels more than comfortable. Though bound in the pages of a comic book, it still manages to render that cinematic vibe with its use of powerful graphic imagery.
Wrestlers In Space, a colorful and galactic series also produced by Nathanael Hopkins-Smith, is another recommendation that you should keep an eye out for, particularly around Sydney conventions.
Short Ghost Stories: The Man With The Axe In His Back by Queenie Chan
Experienced as a Manga artist and graphic novelist, Queenie Chan can do no wrong. Short Ghost Stories: The Man with the Axe in his Back pays tribute to the classic Twilight Zone approach to storytelling, an ability that had since seemed lost in other avenues creators have taken. The book consists of four short stories, investigating the realm of everything strange and mysterious. A truly unique and alternate reading experience leads you on a quest of discovery through plot twists and goosebumps.
The Demon by Matt Kyme
This is as much an artistic experiment than it is a comic book, but it pulls it off magnificently. The Demon guides you on a walk down memory lane to a time where comic books had a complex structure and ordering of sequence.
Writer and illustrator Matt Kyme pays homage to classic storytelling, looking towards the conceptual framework used by The Phantom for inspiration. The Princess Of Kerala, the first issue in the series, follows a plan to kidnap the daughter of a wealthy Indian Raja, but the plan is foiled after a series of superstitious events. But who is the masked vigilante at the center of the story? Pick up a copy and read carefully as it diverts your attention and introduces possibilities beyond comprehension.
5 Seconds by Stephen Kok
How often do we see stories about a misfit gain powers, but fall short of anything spectacular? Too many times, which is why this comic is a relief to the genre. With the aid of detailed graphics by Eric Gravel and P.R. Dedelis, Stephen Kok’s creation is brought to life and aptly illustrates the past, the present and the future.
Though having only 70 pages of its first issue, 5 Seconds achieves everything from a combination of genres, to easily relatable characters. Following in the footsteps of Jake, who has discovered he can see what happens five seconds into the future, he tests the limitations of his newfound ability. Instead of getting sidetracked, the comic accelerates full force into a world of possibilities.
Pic: The Vagabond