Notable Australian Graphic Novels of 2022 – The Short List

by | Mar 17, 2023 | notable australian graphic novels | 0 comments

We are really excited to announce the short list of the best of the best in Australian graphic novels from 2022 as voted by our team members and a few other library workers who also submitted their votes(thank you for helping us!). To be eligible, all these titles were published in 2022 and are widely available in stores and library suppliers. Of course, the long list was announced last month and we encourage everyone to check it out, as every title in the long list deserves to be in every Australian library.

We’re very fortunate to see a wide range of creators working in the medium with very different and interesting propositions. Let’s go through them.

In the junior category we had two titles that really caught our attention this year and stood out. Reimena Yee’s My Aunt is a Monster and Remy Lai’s Surviving the Wild series. 

Reimena Yee’s My Aunt is a Monster is a fantastic graphic novel for middle grade readers filled brimming with adventure, fantasy and warmth. Remy Lai has made it to the short list two years in row, confirming her as a major talent. The three Surviving the Wild early reader graphic novels look incredibly cute but they pack a punch with relevant environmental messages.

In the young adult category, three titles stood out and were selected for our short list. Neverlanders by Tom Taylor and Jom Sommariva, The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle and Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries. Three very different and distinct titles. 

Neverland has never looked so modern, fun and thrilling. The dynamic writing by Tom Taylor coupled with Jon Sommariva’s outstanding art(who clearly had lots of fun in this book) has resulted in a book that we totally fell in love with. The Greatest Thing delivers a raw and emotional graphic novel with a focus on characters, relationships and art, that is nuanced, heartwarming and incredibly moving. Finally, Ariel Slamet Ries’ Witchy Vol 2 continues the story with a more introspective instalment that expands the world and focuses on characters deftly, confirming Ariel as a major storyteller.

In the graphic novels for adults category we have another three titles that we selected for our short list. Talgard, written by Gary Proudley with art by a huge roster of Australian artists, Our Members Be Unlimited by Sam Wallman and Fractured Shards by Dan Feuerriegel, Shaun Keenan, Stephen Kok and Ricardo Faccini. These three graphic novels couldn’t be more different. 

Talgard presents short comics akin to fables that are thoughtful and a delight to read where a barbarian, unlike Conan, solves most of his problems with wits not power. Our Members Be Unlimited is Sam’s first graphic novel and what a debut it is! With stunning art, this non-fiction graphic novel delves into powerful and timely issues of solidarity, work exploitation and unions. Finally, Fractured Shards is intense and dark, a hard hitting and gritty, action packed sci-fi graphic novel that delivers on every page.

We congratulate everyone in both the short list and the long list and we thank all Australian creators and their publishers. We can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store!

Here’s the full list: 

ALIA Graphic’s 2022 Notable Australian Graphic Novels Short List

  • My Aunt is a Monster by Reimena Yee (Penguin Random House)
  • Surviving the Wild: Rainbow the Koala, Star the Elephant, Sunny the Shark by Remy Lai (Allen & Unwin)
Young Adult
  • Neverlanders by Tom Taylor, Jon Sommariva (Penguin Australia)
  • The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle (Allen & Unwin)
  • Witchy Vol 2 by Ariel Slamet Ries (Oni Press)
  • Talgard by Gary Proudley and various artists (Gestalt Comics)
  • Our Members Be Unlimited by Sam Wallman (Scribe)
  • Fractured Shards by Dan Feuerriegel, Shaun Keenan, Stephen Kok, Ricador Faccini (Comics2Movies) 

Classroom resources

Surviving the Wild by Remy Lai. Allen & Unwin has published resources for all three titles. Rainbow the Koala resources are here. Star the Elephant resources are here. And Sunny the Shark resources are here.

The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle. Allen & Unwin has published a teaching resource that can be found here.

The ALIA Graphic Notable Australian Graphic Novels of 2022 long list is available here and worth checking for more amazing graphic novels by Australian creators.

The ALIA Graphic Novels and Comics team. 


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