Thursday 1 February 2024

We have moved to a new website

We have moved to a new website. A better website that is not completely finished. We know it still has some quirks but we'll fix them soon. 

We also know the website has less information than this old one but that's because we're still transferring information across and we will be adding lots more content and resources soon. 

The new website will also have a forum that we will use for the new reformatted ALIA Graphic Book Club, which will be an asynchronous book club so we can comment and discuss the month's graphic novels and topic through the forum.

Finally, there's also the issue of those who subscribed to this blog and received every blog post in their email. If you're one of them, we don't have a newsletter functionality for the new website yet but we're working on a solution and if you were subscribed to this blog, we will ensure you get transferred to the new set up.

Please bear with us while this is done. 

The new website is here:

Thank you for your support and understanding. 

The ALIA Graphic Committee.

Monday 18 December 2023

ALIA Graphic Year in Review 2023

ALIA Graphic Year in Review 2023

2023 has been an interesting year for graphic novels and comics readers and we are incredibly proud to share the work we have done advocating for graphic novels and comics in libraries and information institutions.

Unfortunately, comics continue to face stigma and are vulnerable to challenges, bans and soft censorship. At the highest level, fifteen publications have been referred to the Australian Classification Board. Two of them were manuals on explosives and one was a conspiracy filled anti-semitic book. Not publications libraries would commonly have. However, all other twelve publications were comics and four of them have been classified Category 1 and 2, for adults only, which means they cannot be borrowed nor sold in Queensland. Effectively a ban in that state.

We will continue to defend comics and freedom to read. We are not complacent and are very aware that advocating for comics is essential in the current environment.

We have also had so much fun this year chatting about some truly incredible new releases and celebrating as graphic novels continue to rake in some awards. The 2023 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Literature, the CBCA's Best Book Award for Older Readers, the Children’s Fiction Graphic Literature Award, and a 2023 Lammy Award, to name a few!

We would like to take this opportunity to share some of the group’s achievements from this year, not bad for a handful of volunteers scattered around Australia! 

If any of the below sounds interesting to you, you can reach out to us via email to join ALIA Graphic.

  • We have published 4 Youtube videos to our channel and 13 awesome podcasts including creator chats, collaborations and webinars with artists, librarians and more from all over Australia.
  • We had a great turnout for our annual webinar, this year titled ALIA Graphic Webinar: Let's Get Practical, where we invited library and information staff members around the country to submit your questions on collecting graphic novels and comics in libraries. The video of the webinar is available on our YouTube page, or you can listen to the audio on our podcast feed.
  • To discuss graphic novel collections and reader’s advisory, and also celebrate our favourite medium, we hosted 11 Book Clubs and explored graphic novels through a number of themes such as music and mental health.
  • We have shared numerous blog posts, diversifying our offerings to include fun resources like Book Week Costume Ideas
  • We facilitated a librarian being part of the Comic Arts Awards of Australia's judging panel for a second year in row
  • We also joined the fight against censorship supporting ALIA National's submission to the Australian Classification Review Board and its defence of Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe at the Review Board’s classification hearing in Canberra
  • On top of all of this, ALIA Graphic convenor Iurgi was present at the Perth Comic Arts Festival, where he spoke as part of a panel with Eleri Harris and Josh Santospirito on the work we do advocating for graphic novels and comics in libraries

We're probably forgetting something but as we begin to wind down in December (or madly rush around buying comics as holiday gifts), we thought we would fit in one last blog post of the year with ALIA Graphic’s favourite graphic novels and comics of 2023. 

We’re big believers in reading outside of your comfort zone or usual genre, so we are keeping it eclectic with a few of the amazing graphic novels that have been released this year from around the world, focusing, as we like to do, on Australian creators.

Our Favourite Graphic Novels and Comics of 2023

Bec - The Moth Keeper - Kay O’Neill (Random House Graphic) New Zealand

I came across the creative works of Kay O’Neill from New Zealand during the depths of the Covid-19 lockdowns, a time when I sought solace in gentle and soft literary escapes. I was so excited for a new release this year, even though it didn't feature any of the beloved tea dragons from their previous series. O’Neill has consistently proven to be a source of artistic delight, and this latest offering was no exception. The artwork was sweet with a nostalgic colour palette. The narrative, in comparison to their earlier works, carried a deeper layer of complexity, catering more to a young adult readership. Nevertheless, it retained the hallmark lightness and meticulous care that O’Neill is known for. It is a wonderful story that explores the themes of found family and the healing nature of community.

Jade - Ghost Book - Remy Lai (Allen & Unwin) Australia

Featuring Chinese mythology, family and friendship, Ghost Book by Remy Lai is a moving story about what happens when wonky dumplings and a little ingenuity get in the way of fate. July Chen is a school student who can see ghosts, but for some reason not many people tend to see her. Meanwhile, William Xiao is a ghost but not a ghost. For a junior graphic novel, Ghost Book goes deep into traditionally taboo topics with depth, grace, and good humour. Questions of what happens when we die and the random cruelty of fate are explored with a devastating tenderness that will leave you giggling at certain points and misty-eyed at others. After all, “a broken heart is a heart that has loved and been loved.”

Marissa: The Nameless City (series) by Faith Erin Hicks [Nameless City, Stone Heart, Divided Earth] Canada

This series filled me with excitement. As other reviews have said, the art style and storyline pull you in as much as Avatar: The Last Airbender. Though the intended audience is middle grade and younger YA, there are complexities to the storyline that will keep older readers intrigued and invested in the fate of the main characters and the nameless city that they are fighting to protect. Much like Avatar, the storyline showcases how different cultural groups can have very different memories and perspectives for the same events. The character development is a welcome change from series that keep some of their characters far too flat. Also, there are some fantastic fight scenes and action sequences that showcase the different martial arts styles used by the different characters and cultures in this world.

Iurgi - Eventually Everything Connects by Sarah Firth (Allen & Unwin) Australia

What is the purpose of life? What brings joy and meaning to it? What makes us human? The book presents a series of visual essays, sometimes resembling a visual diary, that explore connections among a great many disparate questions. Sarah Firth ponders these questions and so many more, from the small and intimate to the big questions and anything in between. This is a perfect example of the power of comics to be incredibly relatable, raw, intimate and personal; and at the same time universal. I laughed, I cried, was moved and Sarah Firth’s pages took me down rabbit holes and memory lanes I hadn’t visited for a long time. An absolute must read for any curious and inquiring mind.

James - The Faint of Heart by Kerilynn Wilson (Greenwillow Books) USA

One day June comes across a heart in a jar. This is surprising for her, but not for the reasons you might think. In the world of this book almost the entire population has had their heart removed and kept in secure storage so finding one that’s been removed from there calls into question how these are being kept. June, though, hasn’t had her heart removed and can still feel emotion, something that is seen as a distraction by those who no longer feel.

Although this graphic novel is primarily aimed at a teen audience, the story is well worth a read for adults as well, covering the gamut of emotions that the characters no longer feel, from despair to hope and fear to trust. Sitting somewhere between speculative fiction and cautionary tale The Faint of Heart makes you ask yourself what would you do if you were the only person left with a heart?

Gabby - Hello Twigs by Andrew McDonald & Ben Wood (Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing) Australia 

Surprise! These 3 Twigs and a Stump are here and they are the perfect beginner reader graphic novel series. Each book is filled with bright and engaging illustrations with simple text that makes them great for a read aloud or for someone who is starting on their reading journey. Each book focuses on one of the different friends as they explore nature, friendships and emotions. My favourite of the series is Time to Paint which shows Noodle trying to express her creativity while trying to paint a picture. She has all the colours that she needs but can’t figure out how to make blue. Her friends offer some wonderful suggestions but Noodle knows that the best artists make up their own rules. This series just made me smile because each little character has their own unique personality and you can’t not have a little giggle when you read their stories. 


Final Podcast of 2023

You can also join Iurgi, Marissa and Rebecca in Episode 80 of our Podcast to hear more about their favourite reads of 2023 here, which include: 

Iurgi's picks:

  • Eventually Everything Connects by Sarah Firth
  • Nightwing by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo (DC Comics)
  • Spy x Family Tatsuya Endo (Viz Media)
  • Revenge of the Librarians by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
Marissa's picks:
  • The Nameless City trilogy by Faith Erin Hicks (First Second)
  • Nothing Special by by Katie Cook (Webtoons, coming to print 2024, Random House)

  • The God of Arepo by Reimena Yee (webcomic and ebook:
  • The Way of the Househusband by Kousuke Oono (Viz Media)
Rebecca's picks:
  • Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama (Kodansha)
  • Ghost Book by Remy Lai (Allen & Unwin)
  • Flavor Girls by Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky (Archaia)
  • Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook, Ryan Estrada, Hyung-Ju Ko (Iron Circus) 

We look forward to connecting with you through podcasts, blog posts, book clubs and webinars in 2024! You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

cover art for 80 Our Favourite Reads This Year

Tuesday 28 November 2023

November Roundup

Who’d have thought that November would be such a great month for Australian graphic novel creators? This month, we have some exciting news and resources to share which show a real recognition of the value, creativity and innovation of graphic novels and comics in Australia.

We are beyond thrilled that Sarah W. Searle has won the 2023 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Literature for her insightful graphic novel ‘The Greatest Thing’. Go and reserve it now from your local library if you haven’t already! In addition to this, we share Allen & Unwin’s teachers’ notes for Trace Balla’s stunning ‘Leaflight’ graphic novel, and celebrate a new release this month by Australian creator Stephen Kok in ‘Transhuman: Volume 2.’

Last but not least, we are so excited at the launch of Reimena Yee’s ‘The Creator's Guide to Comics Devices’, which encompasses ‘sequential art, graphic narrative, graphic literary, visual-literary and all other euphemisms for comics’. Not only is it an incredibly perceptive and well-researched resource, but the guide is a living document that is also open to contributors, so feel free to get in touch and contribute more information on graphic storytelling!

In case you missed it

This month we presented our annual ALIA Graphic webinar, titled Let's Get Practical! We’re incredibly excited to share the webinar with you and we will be working on a few themed book lists as a result of discussions we had on graphic novels that represent disability, comics appropriate for all ages, and more. Keep an eye out on the blog in the new year for some of our recommended resources that may be helpful for your library collection. You can find 79 ALIA Graphic Webinar: Let's Get Practical at the link, below, or wherever you listen to podcasts.



  • Reimena Yee has launched her Creator’s Guide to Comics Devices and it’s a stunning free resource for comics creators, educators and anyone interested in understanding storytelling devices that are unique to comics and how they work. What an incredible resource!
  • The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards were announced and we’re so happy to see Sarah W. Searle’s The Greatest Thing won the Young Adult award for her beautiful graphic novel. Congratulations Sarah! All the winners can be found here.
  • The Beat has published an extensive and interesting interview with Rachel Smythe about Lore Olympus and new projects on the horizon. You can read the full interview here.
  • Excellent news from the U.S., A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat becomes the second graphic novel ever to win the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Huda F Cares? was also a finalist and Parachute Kids was in the long list. You can find all the winners and nominees here.
  • The Angouleme Comics Festival has announced their official selection for 2024. The Angouleme festival is the most prestigious comics festival in Europe and it’s interesting to see what titles have made their list of nominees. The Beat has all the info about the nominated titles that are published and available in English.
  • DC announces a new line of compact comics aimed at reaching new readers in the book market. The comics will be smaller than traditional comics and similar to the size of novels and manga volumes. Popverse has the lowdown here. The compact comics line will launch in June 2024.
  • Marjane Satrapi, the celebrated author of Persepolis, says she’s done with comics and whilst she hasn’t created a new graphic novel, she’s the editor of an upcoming anthology: Woman, Life, Freedom, out in March 2024. Publishers Weekly has all we know for now.
  • Webtoons and webcomics are being published in print in increasing numbers. Publishers Weekly has a great article looking at this and discussing what the trends are. You can find Webtoons and Webcomics Keep Scrolling into Print here.


Teaching resource

  • Allen & Unwin has published a document with teachers’ notes for Trace Balla’s wonderful Leaflight graphic novel. This is an excellent resource for primary schools. You can find the teachers’ notes here.



  • Publishers Weekly has published their lists of favourite books of the year in different categories. In the Top 10 books of the year, they’ve included The Talk by Darrin Bell. And they’ve highlighted four other graphic novels in their best comics of the year category, which you can find here.
  • No Flying No Tights has published another of their great Staff Picks list, this time on comics about body image and accepting your body. You can find the list here.




New Releases


  • Barb and the Shadow Army by Dan Abdo (Simon & Schuster)
  • Bocchi the Rock! Volume 1 by Aki Hamazi (Yes Press)
  • Buzzing by Samuel Sattin & Rye Hickman (Hachette Children’s Books)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club: Influencers by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic)
  • Cats Claws: Cat Ninja by Matthew Cody (Andrews McMeel Publishing)
  • Curlfriends: New in Town by Sharee Miller (Hachette Children’s Books)
  • Death & Sparkles and the Sacred Golden Cupcake by Rob Justus (Chronicle Books)
  • Go-Go Guys by Rowboat Watkins (Chronicle Books)
  • The Haunting of Loch Ness Castle by Chelsea Campbell  (Scholastic)
  • The History Club: Duel Across Time by Bret Baier, Marvin Sianipar (Aladdin Books)
  • Ink Girls by Marieke Nijkamp & Sylvia Bi (Greenwillow)
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities Volume 1 by Shannon Messenger, Celina Frenn & Gabriella Chianello (Simon & Schuster UK)
  • Minecraft Omnibus Volume 1 by Sfe R. Monster, Sarah Graley, John J. Hill (Dark Horse)
  • The Nightcrawlers Volume 1 by Marco Lopez (Ablaze, LLC)
  • Punycorn by Andi Watson (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Rose Wolves Book 1 by Natalie Warner (Top Shelf)
  • Sherbert and the Partly Digested Amulet of Power by F. Artington (Whitefox Publishing)
  • Spell of a Time: Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse (Random House US)
  • Stories of the Islands by Clar Angkasa (Holiday House)
  • Super Boba Cafe by Nidhi Chanani (Amulet Books)
  • Turtle Bread by Kim Joy, Alti Firmansyah, Joamette Gil (Dark Horse)



  • The Boy From Clearwater Book 1 by Yu Pei-yun, Zhou Jian-xin (Levine Querido)
  • Ennead by Mojito (Seven Seas) [Please note there is also a hardcover adult edition of this series]
  • I am Hexed by Kirsten Thompson (Rocketship Entertainment)
  • The Pirate and the Porcelain Girl by Emily Riesbeck (Simon & Schuster)
  • Sophie’s World Volume II: From Descartes to the Present Day by Jostein Gaardner, Vincent Zabus, Nicoby (SelfMadeHero)
  • Spider Gwen Ghost-Spider by Seanan McGuire (Random House US)
  • Static: Up All Night by Lamar Giles (Random House US)
  • Transhuman - Volume 2: Adalyn by Stephen Kok (TL Creative) [Australian Creator]



  • Arrowsmith Vol 1: So Smart in Their Fine Uniforms by Kurt Busiek, Carlos Pachecho (Image Comics)
  • Good Girls Go To Hell by Tohar Sherman-Friedman (Graphic Mundi)
  • Hot to Trop by Veronica Post (Conundrum Press)
  • I Don’t Want to Be a Mom by Irene Olmo (Graphic Mundi)
  • Macanudo: Optimism Is For the Brave by Liniers (Fantagraphics)
  • Majnun and Layla: Songs From Beyond the Grave by Yann Damezin (Humanoids / Life Drawn)
  • One More Step, Come Stand By My Side by Takeda Toryumon (Yen Press)
  • Saga Vol 11 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
  • The Solitary Gourmet by Jiro Taniguchi, Masayuki Kusumi (Ponent Mon)
  • Transitions: A Mother’s Journey by Elodie Durand (Top Shelf)


Tuesday 21 November 2023

ALIA Graphic Webinar: Let's Get Practical

 Last week we had our annual ALIA Graphic webinar. This time, we chose to have the committee answering your questions. The main points of discussion were manga and how to deal with challenges to comics, graphic novels and manga. But we discussed a lot more! 

If you missed the webinar, we have made a recording available. You've got two options: YouTube or audio podcast.

The podcast episode can be found here: 79 ALIA Graphic Webinar: Let's Get Practical (or wherever you listen to podcasts)

You can watch the webinar below. 

Some of the resources and websites mentioned during the webinar:

On narratology and the study of comics:
  • Reimena Yee's fantastic and totally free resource about comics and their story telling devices. Perfect for teachers, comics creators and anyone interested in learning about comics narratology and storytelling:

Comic book challenges:

Manga and junior manga:

Australian comics and graphic novels:

Keeping up with new releases:
  • ALIA Graphic publishes a monthly roundup of news and new titles that we believe are a good fit for libraries. If you want to go deeper, more resources below.
  • Kinokuniya often have new release lists for Graphic Novels and Comics, as well as more general book lists
  • This can be helpful
  • (this website is by librarians and for librarians, regularly reviewing graphic novels for libraries and also contains core collections lists)

Monday 30 October 2023

October Roundup

The year is coming to an end and the awards season has ended with the Harvey Awards announced at the New York Comic Con. You can find the list with all the nominees and winners below. 

As usual, we have a good variety of news and resources here but we’d like to highlight the Library Journal's excellent survey on comics at libraries, The Beat’s roundup of 80 anticipated YA and Adult graphic novels, the upcoming Library Con! organised by Library Journal and, our very own upcoming, Let’s Get Practical: Answering Your Questions webinar.

We’ve all been at a webinar where we were keen to ask a question but the Q&A at the end was cut short. So we thought we would try building a webinar around your questions. We are asking you to send the questions in advance so we can build a whole webinar around the issues you’re facing and your interests. You can submit the questions here right now and you can also register for the free webinar right here

We hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, don’t worry, the event will be recorded and a recording will be made available after the event.




  • Our annual ALIA Graphic webinar is coming up! Registrations are now open and we’re also asking you to send questions because the theme of the webinar this year is Let’s Get Practical: Answering Your Questions. We want to build the webinar around your questions, the things you want to know. Make sure you register for the event here and please send us your questions right now here

  • LibraryCon Live! 2023 is upon us. Organised by Library Journal, this is a day-long celebration of fandom, spotlighting genre fiction for adults and teens with panels devoted to comics and graphic novels, horror, sf/fantasy, and more. In addition to panels and keynotes, they’re also offering fast-track learning sessions hosted by librarians and studio spotlights focusing on visual artists. For more info visit the website here.

  • The Due Knowledge podcast is all about school and libraries. In their latest episode they feature Tim Smyth as a guest, a tireless advocate for comics in education. You can listen to the episode Rearranging views towards graphic novels, manga and comics on Spotify here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.



  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Stacey's Mistake by Ellen T Crenshaw (Graphix)

  • The Bad Guys 18: Look Who’s Talking by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Australia) [Australian creator]

  • City of Dragons Book 2: Rise of the Shadowfire by Jaimal Yogis, Vivian Truong (Scholastic)

  • Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust by Neal Shusterman, Andres Vera Martinez (Scholastic)

  • Drawn to Change the World: 16 Youth Climate Activists, 16 Artists by Various writers and artists (Harper Alley)

  • Ellie in First Position by Brian Freschi, Eelan Triolo & Nanette McGuinness (Marble Press)

  • Enlighten Me by Minh Le, Chan Chau (Little Brown Ink)

  • Friendly Bee and Friends: Woe is Worm by Sean E Avery (Walker Books Australia) [Australian creator]

  • Huda F Cares? by Huda Fahmy (Dial Books) 

  • The Little Kid With the Big Green Hand by Matthew Gray Gubler (Amulet Books)

  • Marvel Super Stories (anthology) by various creators (Abrams)

  • Miraculous Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir Vol 2 by Koma Warita (Kodansha)

  • Officer Clawsome by Brian “Smitty” Smith & Chris Giarrusso (HarperCollins)

  • Rover & Speck: Splash Down by Jonathan Roth (Kids Can Press)

  • Shang Chi and the Quest for Immortality by Victoria Ying (Scholastic)

  • Watership Down: The Graphic Novel by Richard Adams, James Sturm & Joe Sutphin (Ten Speed Press)

  • The Witch’s Wing and Other Terrifying Tales by Tehlor Kay Mejia, Alexis Hernandez, Junyi Wu, Justin Hernandez & Kaylee Rowena (ABRAMS)


  • Avatar the Last Airbender: Azula in the Spirit Temple by Faith Erin Hicks, Peter Wartman, Adele Matera (Dark Horse Comics)

  • Be That Way by Hope Larson (Margaret Ferguson Books)

  • Betwixt: A Horror Manga Anthology by Various creators (Viz Media)

  • Blade of the Moon Princess Vol 1 by Tatsuya Endo (Viz Media)

  • The Bodyguard Unit: Edith Garrud, Women’s Suffrage and Jujitsu by Clement Xavier, Lisa Lugrin, Albertine Ralenti (Humanoids)

  • Brooms by Jasmine Walls, Teo Duvall (Levine Querido)

  • Clementine Book 2 by Tillie Walden (Image Comics)

  • Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy by Faith Erin Hicks (First Second)

  • Illegal Cargo by Augusto Mora (Black Panel Press)

  • One in a Million by Claire Lordon (Candlewick Press)

  • Sea Serpent’s Heir: Black Wave by Mairghread Scott, Pablo Tunica (Image Comics)

  • Smash the Patriarchy by Martha Breen, Jenny Jordahl (Helvetiq)

  • Where is Anne Frank? by Ari Folman, Lena Guberman (Pantheon Books)

  • Whisper of the Woods by Ennun Ana Iurov (Maverick / Mad Cave Studios)

  • Zatanna & The Ripper by Sarah Dealy (DC Comics)


  • Al Capone by Swann Meralli, Pierre Fracois Radi (Black Panel Press)

  • Asterios: The Minotaur by Serge Le Tendre, Frédéric Peynet (Cinebook)

  • Bad Karma by Alex de Campi, Ryan Howe, Dee Cunnife (Image Comics)

  • The Darwin Incident Vol 1 by Shun Umezawa (Vertical Inc)

  • Diaries of War: Two Visual Accounts from Ukraine and Russia by Nora Krug (Ten Speed Press)

  • #DRCL Midnight Children Vol. 1 by Shin’ichi Sakamoto (Viz Media)

  • Eventually Everything Connects by Sarah Firth (Allen & Unwin) [Australian creator]

  • The Great Beyond by Lea Murawiec (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Hans Vogel Is Dead Vol 1 by Sierra Barnes (Dark Horse)

  • Haruki Murakami Manga Stories Vol 1 by Various creators (Tuttle Publishing)

  • I must Be Dreaming by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)

  • Kafka by Nishioka Kyodai (Pushkin Press)

  • Monica by Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)

  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, Chiara Lagani, Lara Cerri (Europa Editions)

  • The Mysteries by Bill Watterson, John Kascht (Andrews McMeel)

  • The Night Eaters Book 2: Her Little Reapers by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda (Abrams Comicarts)

  • Pill Hill by Nicholas Breutzman (Uncivilized Books)

  • The Super Hero’s Journey by Patrick McDonnell (Abrams Comicarts)

  • Tales of the Orishas by Hugo Canuto (Abrams Comicarts)

  • Totem by Laura Perez (Fantagraphics)

  • The Unlikely Story of Felix Macabber by Juni Ba, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (Dark Horse)

  • Vanni: Based on Firsthand Accounts of the Sri Lankan Conflict by Benjamin Dix, Lindsay Pollock (Graphic Mundi)

  • We Are Not Strangers by Josh Tuininga (Abrams Comicarts)