Australia Burns is a fantastic-looking charity fundraising anthology book of art and stories in tribute to the heroic firefighters and volunteers who have sacrificed everything to protect the country from the vicious bushfire crisis, and who are still fighting fires in many areas of Australia.
The creative team of writers and artists on this book are some of the most talented you will find in Australia and several of the stories are written by real-life firefighters, giving a valuable insight into just what it’s like on the frontlines.
While the bush fires have disappeared from the attention of international media, Australians are still under threat, with the anthology’s editor, comics writer and contributor Tim Stiles recently forced to evacuate his Canberra home.
Tim launched the project – which has raised over $3000 AUS so far and gained hundreds of pre-orders after getting frustrated by politicians’ responses that seemed to underplay the effects of the fires, and wanted to do more to help.
With the support of two dozen friends, acquaintances and others in the comic book industry the result is, to give it its full title, Australia Burns: Tales of Devastation and Courage Under Fire, offering tales that include superhero wrestlers and the genetically manipulated Killeroo created by Darren Close.
Contributing creators include Martin Abel (Nightmares and Visions, the Crystal Clans game), Stuart Black (The 4Horsefemmes), Darren Close (Killeroo), Jamie Johnson (The Phantom, TMNT), Ryan K. Lindsay (Headspace, Deer Editor), Ben Mitchell (Storm Clouds), Camillo Di Pietrantonio (The Phantom, TMNT), Dean Rankine (The Simpsons, Rick & Morty), Jon Sommariva (Marvel Action: Avengers, Batman/TMNT), Tim Stiles (Gorilla: My Dreams), Ben Sullivan (Decay, Toby & the Magic Pencil), Tom Taylor (Marvel & DC) and Daniel Watts (Job Dun) – with artists and writers from the United States and Britain who had heard about the fires also pitching in to donate their time and talents.
Now running to 100 pages in size, in full colour, and thanks to the generous sponsorship of Jeffries Printing, all proceed from sales of Australia Burns will be donated to the Australian charities Country Fire Authority, Rural Fire Service, Wild2Free Wildlife Rescue, Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management and Shoeboxes of Love.
“I personally feel a lot of conflicting emotions with each story I read, each news programme I see,” said Tim Stiles of the project, reported in the Canberra Times. “My goal was to have the whole spectrum of emotions in the book.”
• Australia Burns: Tales of Devastation and Courage Under Fire will be officially launched at Supanova Comic-con and Gaming in Melbourne over 6th – 8th March and various stores across Australia in the following weeks and you can find out more and pre-order a copy at australiaburns.bigcartel.com