Contemporary Australian Comics 1980-2020: A New History

Fostering community between artists and readers, creating an accessible digital archive, and mapping a comprehensive new history of contemporary Australian comics

Macfarlane, E. – Pat Grant
Macfarlane, E. – Pat Grant

This project will map a new history of contemporary Australian comics, tracing narrative and thematic innovations, investigating the development of technologies and communities in the Australian comics industry, and exploring the relationships between contemporary Australian comics and Australian society, arts, and culture.

The project will bring a rich, diverse, and often hidden arts scene to global public attention through collecting and digitising comics and telling their story through a new website, a podcast of interviews with artists, and a series of public programs.

This is the first substantial project to examine the contemporary history and cultural impact of comics as a narrative art form in Australia. It seeks to significantly expand public knowledge and readership of this beautiful, innovative form of contemporary storytelling.

Project aims

We aim to:

  • Create a digital archive of contemporary Australian comics published between 1980-2020
  • Map the relationships between contemporary Australian comics and the society and politics that shape them
  • Increase public knowledge and understanding of Australian comics

Project details


National Library of Australia
Australia Council for the Arts
Craig Walker Design
Australian Research Council (ARC)

Research partners

University of Technology Sydney
RMIT University

Project team

Dr Elizabeth MacFarlane
Dr Pat Grant
Mr Gabriel Clark
Dr Ronnie Scott


Dr Elizabeth MacFarlane