Reading comic books is sometimes seen as a light-hearted pastime. But Australian comic artists are tackling some heavy subjects in their work, including depression and war history.Reading comic books is sometimes seen as a light-hearted pastime.
Ryan K. Lindsay is a Canberra-based comic writer whose series, NegativeSpace, explores mental illness.
"It's a book about aliens that eat emotions and a very evil multinational corporation," Lindsay said.
"But it's also a book about depression and suicide and it's resonated with readers.
"The very opening page is about a writer who is suicidal and he sits down to write a suicide note and he gets writer's block."
Lindsay said a lot of readers contacted him to thank him for the work.
"It feels like I'm giving them something and I do like to write stories with an emotional core," he said.
Writers and artists from around Australia were in Canberra over the weekend to show off their work at an inaugural National Comic Arts Festival, where all sorts of styles and topics were on display side by side.
Brisbane comic artist Paul Mason is behind an adventure series called Soldier Legacy.
It is part Anzac legend, part Indiana Jones, with a storyline that revolves around a World War II soldier.
"He's a 9th Division Australian Imperial Force (AIF) soldier serving in New Guinea in the mid-40," Mason said.
"It's a little bit historical, a little bit adventure but at the same time I like to inject a little bit of the Aussie history in there."