2023 Judging Panel

Sheydin Brooke Dew

Based in the Adelaide Hills, Sheydin released her first comic of her roller skating series, No Man’s Land alongside her exegesis in 2018. She is currently developing the long-awaited third chapter of the series, while attending many comic and roller skating events, markets and conventions around Adelaide. She has also appeared on many comic talk shows through the ComX Youtube Channel, including Friday Night’s Drink & Draw, Tuesday Chinwag with Leigh Chalker, and as a co-host on the Aus ComX Show.

Darren Close

Darren is best known for his iconic Killeroo comic book series, having published over two dozen titles and selling thousands of copies in several countries. He has also produced several autobiographical stories to critical acclaim. His Ledger Award-nominated book, Struggle, was also named Best Original Comic Book of 2015 by Comicoz. He worked on the Australia Burns anthology, a collection of art and stories in tribute to the brave firefighters and volunteers of the bushfire crisis, all proceeds of which went to charity. Through his production business, OzComics, he has supplied lettering, inking, computer colouring and other graphic design services to other local publishers such as Reverie Productions, Stigmate Studio, Free Fall Comics and others. Launched in 1999, OzComics.com became a community hub for local creators to meet and collaborate, before spinning off into a print magazine and then one of the largest drawing challenges on Facebook.

Marissa King

Marissa graduated from RMIT in 2021 with the Master’s degree in Information Management. During uni, she joined ALIA and VALA and discovered the ALIA Graphic Novels Committee. Since childhood, Marissa has loved reading books of all sorts, from her dad’s classic Archie and superhero comics to the latest and greatest manga, graphic novels, and webcomics. While searching for her forever library family, she fosters dogs through a local rescue group.

Zoran Ilievski

A lifelong reader of comic books, with 15 years in the Retail Comics sector in Melbourne, Victoria. A reveller in and champion of the comic book medium in all its forms. A writer, musician, voice actor, radio broadcaster and, of course, podcaster – presenting Graphic Nature, a podcast interviewing creators, academics, festival organisers and anyone involved with the comics industry/scene at any level, in Australia and from around the world. Dreams of one day writing and drawing his own comic book.

Jeannine le Vaillant

Owner of Heroes HQ, the Best Little Comic Book Shop in Western Victoria. Her family-run store has been in Ballarat for 11 years as a physical store, with a global online presence since 2016. With the love of reading books, including comics, for most of her life, Jeannine also paints and illustrates children books. However, reading comics is something that never wains – as long as there’s a good story to be immersed in. Jeannine is excited to be reading Australia’s entries for 2023.

Gary Chaloner

Co-convenor of the Comic Arts Awards of Australia. Publisher of Cyclone Comics (Adventure Illustrated). Creator of The Jackaroo, The Undertaker Morton Stone, Flash Damingo, Cyclone Force and Red Kelso.

Tim McEwen (reserve)

Co-convenor of the Comic Arts Awards of Australia. Co-creator of Greener Pastures. Tim will serve as a stand-in judge for any judge that chooses not to assess some projects based on content or subject matter.

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