Roe­bourne comic se­ries takes prize

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Perera

An in­no­va­tive in­ter­ac­tive dig­i­tal comic se­ries based on real Roe­bourne res­i­dents has won a pres­ti­gious na­tional comics award.

Comic se­ries Neo­mad, over­seen by Roe­bourne so­cial arts group Big hART with the in­put of lo­cal chil­dren, was an­nounced the sole win­ner of premier Aus­tralian comic art prize the Gold Ledger at an awards cer­e­mony last Fri­day.

Neo­mad imag­ines the ad­ven­tures of 14 young male “Love Punks” and seven fe­male “Satel­lite Sis­ters”, based on real Roe­bourne res­i­dents, liv­ing in a futuristic ver­sion of the town. Roe­bourne el­ders also fea­ture in the story.

Project cre­ator Stu Camp­bell said the project had been a true team ef­fort with more than 30 lo­cal chil­dren de­vel­op­ing char­ac­ters and sto­ry­lines for the comic as well as colour­ing hun­dreds of story scenes with Pho­to­shop.

“We’re thrilled to re­ceive this award. All the hard work has paid off,” he said.

“Neo­mad be­gan as a fun af­ter­school ac­tiv­ity to teach the young peo­ple of Roe­bourne some tech­ni­cal skills and to act as a plat­form to tell sto­ries about their her­itage and cul­ture.

“Th­ese young peo­ple are hi­lar­i­ous and in­spir­ing. I look for­ward to the day when young read­ers, in­dige­nous and non-in­dige­nous, across Aus­tralia can look up to char­ac­ters like the Neo­mad cast as their pop cul­ture heroes. I know I do.”

The Gold Ledger is the high­est hon­our of the Ledger Awards and is given to works short-listed by at least five of the six-per­son judg­ing panel. Judges praised Neo­mad’s blend of strong, cul­tur­ally based sto­ry­telling de­liv­ered in cut­tingedge style.

Ledger Judge Em­met O’Cuana said Neo­mad - The Com­plete Col­lec­tion was “an im­por­tant book”.

“Comics are of­ten spo­ken of as a col­lab­o­ra­tive medium,” he said.

“In (Camp­bell’s) work with the com­mu­nity of Roe­bourne, we see what that can truly mean.”

Speak­ing at a Neo­mad launch in Can­berra in 2013, a group of the chil­dren in­volved said the project held a lot of mean­ing for them.

“We all worked to­gether to help make the in­ter­ac­tive comic,” they said. “The Love Punks, the Satel­lite Sis­ters and the Ju­nior Rangers are all work­ing to­gether to keep in­dus­try in check, to keep our cul­ture strong and our country beau­ti­ful.”

The Neo­mad comics were cre­ated sev­eral years ago but were only pub­lished as a full col­lec­tion in hard copy last year, mak­ing it el­i­gi­ble for the Ledgers.

Pic­ture: Big hART

Roe­bourne res­i­dent Sid­ney Ea­ton, 11, in cos­tume as his Neo­mad Love Punk char­ac­ter Born Ready.

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