Limited print run of Darren Close’s 24hr challenge comic, dealing with depression and the daily struggle with inner demons. Featuring Killeroo (kinda).

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Limited print run of Darren Close’s 24hr challenge comic, dealing with depression and the daily struggle with inner demons. Featuring Killeroo (kinda).

1 review for STRUGGLE

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    2015 Comicoz Award for Best Australian Original Comic Book

    Darren Close is the creator of Killeroo. Darren states that the question illustrated above is the most frequently-asked question (above) about his creation. That question, and the 24 hour Comic Challenge organised over the 2015 Queen’s Birthday long weekend, were the starting point for Struggle, the recipient of this year’s Comicoz Award.

    I consider Killeroo to be not only the most undeveloped character in the local comic book scene in Australian, but also the one with the greatest potential. Rufus is a genetically altered kangaroo bounty hunter with anger issues, and first appeared in his own comic in 2002. The character is typical of many Australian comics from that era: they came out sporadically, most likely when the money allowed, and as a result, very few issues have been released over the years. (By my counting, there have been four other Killeroo comics since that first issue thirteen years ago, not counting his recent appearances in the Melbourne Comics Quarterly anthology.)

    By Darren allowing his Killeroo character to be illustrated by a variety of artists over the years, this has assisted in the higher recognition factor of the character among artists and local comic Fans. But it has also lead to numerous artistic interpretations of Rufus over the years, and therefore to differing visions of the character. Part of the reason that Darren has had to do this, is because many of the artists who have initially worked on Darren’s character have later gone on to alternative success in other ventures.

    Many Australian comics’ marketing begins on Facebook (or other social media), primarily perhaps because there is a ready-made audience who can ‘Like’ as they watch an artistic progression. Many do so without having to commit a cent. Darren reports that he initially intended the story to be a “light-hearted” romp of Darren arguing with his Killeroo character Rufus. By competing in the 24 hour comic challenge and posting his story page by page on Facebook, Darren was able to quickly gauge public opinion and obtained vital feedback of this work. In fact, I believe that Struggle typifies the genesis of many modern Australian comics and their marketing in 2015, and one of the reasons why I found it so compelling a read.

    But another reason why I enjoyed the ‘read’ as it was slowly page by page, posted on Facebook earlier in the year, is because the story took on a life of its own. It began to take on a darker tone, when Darren decided to move the story to a different place and put it all on display for the public to view and witness. He told of the struggle of a creator (himself), with all the doubts, the self-loathing, and the personal space from within his psyche. Darren told a tale that so many writers and artists experience but few share, and he told it with such brutal candour and honesty. It was a powerful and positive read, and made me think when I had finished re-reading the physical copy: “That is why I read comics!”

    I won’t spoil the outcome of Struggle in case you have not discovered it. Darren tells me he still has about 100 units available of the initial print run of 300 copies. This, the limited print run, is again typical of a modern Australian comic in 2015. But Struggle is much more than a typical comic. If you have not done so, I strongly urge you to purchase a copy from Darren.

    Struggle is the Honorary Winner of the Comicoz Award for the Best Australian Original Comic of the past twelve months.

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