I bet that most of you are probably unaware of the growing business of graphic novels and comic books with Australia. Or would even struggle to name a graphic artist or publication house unless you are actually Australia yourself. The market has always been dominated by the USA with their sheer masses of comic book heroes and villains and it’s easy to see how they overshadow anybody else breaking into the market. It was only recently that Manga broke out into the world outside of Asian culture spreading the word of Japanese artwork and storylines and that's how Australian graphic novels are heading, to be the next big thing.
This is due to the fact that as the industry has already been massively dominated by the USA, it is hard for companies to compete. That is why something interesting is happening in Australia compared to anywhere else, there are more and more independent self-published work coming forward from this country. This isn’t new to the Australians as they have been doing this for years, but due to the superhero market with all the comic book films and stories being- told it has lit a fire under the consumer which is causing the market to grow so quickly. As the industry continues to grow so does the diversity, with more women, young people and people of color coming through and shining in their comic book roles or behind the scenes.
Figures actually suggest that Australians write more as a hobby than a job and 74% of writers earn less than $5000 a year. However, a survey noted that respondents had seen a 58% growth in their income over the last 5 years. If you have never read an actual Australian comic book, I believe you are missing out, they may not be as mainstream as say your Batman's or Superman’s but personally, I find the sole reason Australian comic strips and graphic novels are growing so quickly is that they are a lot more relevant to everyday events. This is what makes them so different to the US or UK comic books, people can actually picture these events which in turn makes them a lot more gripping.
Honestly, the reason many people take a liking to Australian novels over that of the US or UK versions is the fact that most of the graphic novels you may have read so far have been like a ‘show and tell’. The perfect combination of storytelling by the way the words and images share the scene and work off each other to set the mood and grip you with the story. The one reason that the industry is growing in Australia is because of the fact that there are so many independent publications. This helps to keep all the stories unique compared to (say some of the big USA publications where maybe some of the stories just seem to be one on top of the other), one already done in another superhero novel. I am interested to see what happens over the next few years regarding this as I believe it is only going to keep growing. We shall see.