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Best Illustrated Book / Graphic Novel
Subcategory of Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction
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2021 winner y separately published work icon Under-Earth Chris Gooch , Chris Gooch (illustrator), United States of America (USA) : IDW Publishing , 2021 20740394 2021 single work graphic novel

'The inmates of an extensive underground prison struggle to build meaningful lives in a broken system, in the most ambitious graphic novel to date from rising indie star Chris Gooch (Bottled and Deep Breaths).

'Under-Earth takes place in a subterranean landfill, hollowed out to serve as a massive improvised prison. Sunken into the trash and debris of the past -- gameboys, iphones, coffee cups, old cars -- we follow two parallel stories.

'In the first, a new arrival struggles to adapt to the everyday violence, physical labour, and poverty of the prison city. Overwhelmed and alone, he finds a connection with a fellow inmate through an old, beat-up novel. While these two silent and uncommunicative men grow closer thanks to their book, the stress of their environment will test their new bond.

'Meanwhile, a pair of thieves pull off a risky job in exchange for the prisons' schematics and the promise of escape -- only to be betrayed by their employer. On the run with their hope for escape now gone, the two women set their minds to revenge. Yet as they lay their plans, their focus shifts from an obsession with the outside world to the life they have with each other.

'Equal parts sincerity and violence, Under-Earth explores humanity's inextinguishable drive to find meaning, connection, and even family -- and how fragile such constructions can be.' (Publication summary)

2020 winner Nicola Scott For 'Black Magick', written by American Greg Rucka.
2018 winner y separately published work icon Tales from the Inner City Shaun Tan , Shaun Tan (illustrator), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2018 14152497 2018 selected work single work short story poetry prose art work

'Where can we live if not in each other's shadow? World-renowned artist Shaun Tan applies his unique imagination to a reflection on the nature of humans and animals, and our urban coexistence. From crocodile to frog, tiger to bee, this is a dark and surreal exploration of the perennial love and destruction we feel and inflict—of how animals can save us, and how our lives are forever entwined, for better or for worse. Tales from the Inner City is a masterful work, bearing all of Shaun Tan's trademark wit and poignancy in both its prose and exquisite illustrations.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2017 winner y separately published work icon Changing Ways : Book Three Justin Randall , Applecross : Gestalt Publishing , 2015 9354742 2015 single work graphic novel horror

'Moving to Grey Oaks was an opportunity for the Barrot family to start again. A chance to escape the darkness that had almost consumed them. A chance to forget would could have been and look forward to the future. But in the shadows, something was watching, something that had decided they were special.

'And so, the darkness came to town.

'Shadows moving through the night, branding human livestock with strangely shaped symbols in final preparation for the Great Black Flood that would come to eat the world.' (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon Negative Space Ryan K. Lindsay , Owen Gieni (illustrator), Milwaukie : Dark Horse , 2015-2016 10742696 2015 series - author graphic novel

'When one man’s writer’s block gets in the way of his suicide note, he goes for a walk to clear his head and soon uncovers a century-old conspiracy dedicated to creating and mining the worst lows of human desperation. A corporation has manipulated his life purely so they can farm his suicide note as a sadness artifact that will be packed and shipped to ancient underwater creatures who feed off our strongest and most base emotions. Our hero partners with a cult intent on exposing the corporation, and only a suicide mission can solve the whole mess.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (trade paperback release).

2015 winner y separately published work icon The Singing Bones : Art Work Inspired by Grimms' Fairy Tales Shaun Tan , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2015 10282949 2015 selected work art work

'A unique and alluring art book showcasing Shaun Tan's extraordinary sculptures based on the timeless and compelling fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.

'In this beautifully presented volume, the essence of seventy-five fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm is wonderfully evoked by Shaun Tan's extraordinary sculptures.

'Nameless princes, wicked stepsisters, greedy kings, honourable peasants and ruthless witches, tales of love, betrayal, adventure and magical transformation: all inspiration for this stunning gallery of sculptural works. Introduced by Grimm Tales author Philip Pullman and leading fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes, The Singing Bones breathes new life into some of the world's most beloved fairy tales.

''These little figures of clay, with their simplified features, their single attributes, are perfect realisations of the strangeness of the characters they represent.' - Philip Pullman.' (Publication summary)

2014 winner y separately published work icon Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye Tim Molloy , Tim Molloy (illustrator), Melbourne : Milk Shadow Books , 2014 8368249 2014 single work graphic novel

'Heresy has come to The City Of The Ever Open Eye. Through every crack and crevice, an alien sect has bubbled up in order to poison the youth, corrupt the dead and make mockery of ancient tradition. Join Mr Unpronounceable – homeless necromancer – as he becomes embroiled in a multidimensional conspiracy that is quite beyond his capacity to deal with.

'Insect Priests, Shambling Ghouls, Mandrill Philosophers, Domestic Demons, Ectoplasmic Monkeys, and Shrivelled Homunculi abound in this surreal second volume of Mr Unpronounceable tales from cult author and psychedelic fantasy artist, Tim Molloy.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2013 joint winner y separately published work icon The Deep : The Vanishing Island The Deep Vol. 2 : The Vanishing Island Tom Taylor , James Brouwer (illustrator), Applecross : Gestalt Publishing , 2013 6080295 2013 single work graphic novel young adult adventure science fiction

'When an island is "completely not hit by a tsunami", a new investigation begins for the daring aquanauts, the Nekton family.

'Danger, secrets, peril, ancient messages, shocking revelations, and the first word to rhyme with 'orange'.

'The Nektons are back, along with Jeffrey the fish, in an adventure every bit as mysterious as the deep blue sea.'

(Source: Back cover)

2013 joint winner y separately published work icon Burger Force Jackie Ryan , Highgate Hill : Jackie Ryan , 2009-2013 7040017 2009 series - author graphic novel adventure thriller fantasy

'Having trouble with that pesky threat to civilisation? Diabolical masterminds getting you down? Relax and turn up the theme music. The agents at your local takeaway are already on it.

'In a secret facility located beneath the Burger Beserker takeaway, undercover operatives set aside thick shakes and fries to thwart assassin line-dancers, nefarious dating agency schemes, and cock-rockers gone (even more) wrong.

'Into this strange world wanders the even stranger Mercury, a hapless young man with an unusual and unwanted talent. The Burger team is tasked with discovering whether Mercury can help save the world as they know it or if that world needs saving from Mercury.

'Burger Force. The pop culture detective agency that rights social wrongs while serving up a tasty value meal'.

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2012 winner y separately published work icon Blue Pat Grant , Pat Grant (illustrator), Artarmon Marietta : Giramondo Publishing Top Shelf , 2012 Z1803518 2012 single work graphic novel (taught in 2 units)

'Blue is the debut graphic novel by Australian cartoonist Pat Grant. Part autobiography and part science fiction, the book follows three spotty teenagers who skip school to go surfing and end up investigating rumors of a dead body on the train line. Provincial values and the emotions aroused by immigration clash as the teenagers encounter strange, blue-skinned foreigners that have arrived in their little beach town. Things become even more confronting when the trail leads them to make first contact with a new wave of immigrants to their coastal town, who might be the harbingers of sweeping change.

'Blue is a delicate and affectionate portrayal of an iconic setting and way of life, told with an unerring ear and eye for the vernacular. But it's also a story about difference, fear and change, and the political implications of this for contemporary Australia.

'Pat Grant's approach to cartooning is largely an old-fashioned one, with each page of images painstakingly drawn on large pieces of illustration board with a sable brush and India ink. The images in Blue have been taken directly from drawings collected over many mornings on the beaches of NSW and Victoria; they are inspired by real life but don't lose their cartoonish charm. Combined with Grant's sparse writing the result is a cinematic story telling experience that lends itself particularly to an Australian experience of place and landscape.' (From the publisher's website.)

2011 joint winner y separately published work icon Hidden Mirranda Burton , Mirranda Burton (illustrator), Fitzroy North : Black Pepper , 2011 Z1800534 2011 selected work autobiography graphic novel 'At first glance, Mirranda Burton's art room is a hidden world full of strange eccentric characters and mysterious minds. But stay a while and in that room you'll find all the joy and sadness of life, the pain and comfort of community, and the ultimate meaning of art. This hidden world is our world; it is where we all live, together and alone. In Hidden Mirranda Burton is writing about what matters most, and she does so with such gentle humanity and wisdom these stories will stay with you long after you turn the final page and reluctantly close the art room door.' Source: Publisher's blurb. Joint winner with Tom Taylor and James Brouwer's The Deep: Here Be Dragons.
2011 joint winner y separately published work icon The Deep : Here Be Dragons The Deep Vol. 1 : Here Be Dragons Tom Taylor , James Brouwer (illustrator), Applecross : Gestalt Publishing , 2011 Z1851450 2011 single work graphic novel young adult science fiction adventure

'While others look up to the stars, my family know that there are an infinite number of things that shine brightly in the darkness below. Most of our world lies unexplored, unexplained. There are things lurking in the seas that have only ever been spoken about in myth.

'My family are explorers.

'We have been for generations.

'We explore ... the Deep.'

(From the publisher's website.)

Joint winner with Mirranda Burton's Hidden.
2010 winner y separately published work icon Changing Ways : Book One Changing Ways : Mutation Justin Randall , Justin Randall (illustrator), West Perth : Gestalt Publishing , 2010 Z1692096 2010 single work graphic novel horror David Barrot, a retired Corrections Officer, moved to Grey Oaks after the tragic death of his son, Cale. With wife Lucy and daughter Jessie, the Barrot family bought a farm on the outskirts of town and began their new life, putting aside all the dark events of their past. Unfortunately for them, the dark just won’t leave David alone. The first sightings started months ago, igniting rumors of disease and infection. Newspapers reported unusual lesions appearing on livestock and stories of strange side effects spread quickly. Perhaps it was inevitable that the people of Grey Oaks would be next... -- From the publisher's website.
2009 winner y separately published work icon Scarygirl Nathan Jurevicius , Nathan Jurevicius (illustrator), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1645921 2009 single work graphic novel

'Abandoned on a remote beach, Scarygirl doesn't know who she is or where she's come from. Blister, a kind and intelligent giant octopus, wants to keep her safe, but Scarygirl needs answers. Who is the strange man haunting her dreams? Will Bunniguru help her unlock the mysteries of her past? Can she trust the wily forest dwellers? Her journey takes her to the edge, and beyond ...

'Welcome to the world of Scarygirl.' (From the publisher's website.)

2008 winner y separately published work icon Tales from Outer Suburbia Shaun Tan , Shaun Tan (illustrator), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2008 Z1450931 2008 selected work single work short story art work young adult (taught in 13 units)

'do you remember the water buffalo at the end of our street?

or the deep-sea diver we found near the underpass?

do you know why dogs bark in the middle of the night?

Shaun Tan, creator of The Arrival, The Lost Thing and The Red Tree, reveals the quiet mysteries of everyday life: homemade pets, dangerous weddings, stranded sea mammals, tiny exchange students and secret rooms filled with darkness and delight.'

Source: Back cover.