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Feb 12

'Department of Australia' Clears Up Australia Immigration Confusion + New Kickstarter Comic

Pretty stark, eh?

That’s one of the logos on the Australian Customs and Border Protection website.

A (mostly) wordless comic ethnically profiled an expected wave of Afghan asylum seekers, and made ‘the lucky country’ look pretty harsh indeed!

Who to call? The Department of Australia to the rescue! Sydney-based Leslie Nassar gracefully inserts wordful wit to clarify the government’s misstep in a charming détournement.

[Additional art on Dept. of Australia FB Page]


There’s also an additional parody by ‘Pauline Pantsdown’. 



In other breaking comics news: Sam Wallman is selling original art from his Global Mail Detention Centre exposé to raise money for RISE.


And in further news, a new ‘Pozible’ fundraiser (by Kate Iselin (Vanity Project), Thomas Blatchford (Sticky Institute)) aims to to debunk the existing comic and print a new one: 



Postscript: more news coverage at: 

New Zealand, Once Welcoming of Refugees, Now Follows Australia

The Federal Government uses a comic book to stop the boats

The medium and the message: comics about asylum seekers

Australian Government Uses Comic Books To Stop Asylum Seekers

Refugees angered by government’s graphic novel campaign

Reddit Australia:  

Oct 23

'Arte Moris' - Documenting Timor Leste's art via comics!

The story of the project

Fikaris appeal from michael fikaris on Vimeo.

How the funds will be used

Am asking for $4900 to make a softcover perfect bound book of 500 copies to share between Australia and East Timor.
I am aiming to make a 100 page black and white printed interior softcover book with a colour cover.
The quote for printing is $3200 - my time for layout and pre press is free.
I am asking for $1000 to help with the costs of the journey and some of the expenses whilst away from my work in Melbourne. Imunization shots alone were $300.
Needing 700 to cover transport/petrol costs and visa/insurance costs for visit.

So breakdown is :
$3200, printing costs.
$500, transport hire and fuel in Timor.
$200, Visa costs and travel insurance.
$1000, rent at home and medical costs for journey.
TOTAL $4900

If, in the best case, there is excess support (all rewards add up to $10 000) - all proceeds will go towards Arte Moris and supplies for the school.
Myths & Murals is a cross-cultural public art and literacy project between Melbourne and East Timor, promoting a common sense of national identity through art and story and collaborative strategies for engagement between Australian and East Timorese artists.

Some of my other work

MICHAEL FIKARIS is a self-taught artist. He is a comic book artist, illustrator and painter. He has been invloved in small press publishing for almost 20 years.

He runs Silent Army Comic Collective ( and has been a driving force of the growing contemporary comic art scene in Australia since the mid 1990’s. His art has been collected by various galleries including the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra (Space Invaders, 2010). He has done many artist residencies in Melbourne including NGV studio (Inherent Vice, 2011) and recently at Arts Centre Melbourne with Sans Hotel (In Spite of Myself, 2013).

The Age called him a “Graphic Art Guru” (—graphic-art-guru-20110804-1idus.html )

In 2012, Michael began curating and publishing Dailies, ‘the comic art anthology of everyday retellings’ with Australasian contributors young and old. ABC National Book and Art Show reviewed it as “…what could happen in Australian comics in the next ten years.” He has edited and published over 30 comic books and has been a freelance illustrator for many varied businesses large and small over the years.

An innovator and elder in his own community of Melbourne artists, he was part of Citylights projects studios at the start of the first wave of Street Art in Melbourne and later was employed as the first tour guide of Melbourne street art when the company Melbourne Street Tours started in 2009.

As well as being a practicing artist, Michael regularly engages with schools and youth programmes as an artist-in-residence running workshops and doing as much as he can to inspire young minds with art in it’s many forms and possibilities. A proud artist at the Blender Studios in the heart of Melbourne, Michael lives in Coburg.

Video Links to Fikaris talking
the Age
Think Maven
Some Links with Fikaris
-diplomat of information on the streets
-sharer of things inside fancy buildings

other relevant links

Risk and challenges

I am travelling to East Timor with over 10 others as part of the Myths and Murals ongoing project and will be making whatever is possible with my own resources. If I do not raise enough interest here I will try again and we will make whatever we can manage to make together.

Artist statement

Artist Statement for ‘Myths and Murals’ residency with Arte Moris.

I have worked with many Arte Moris artists on a few occassions in Melbourne. First with the ‘Peace of Wall’ mural making in Hosier lane in 2010, secondly at the Signal37 workshops and thirdly with the ‘Doku Rai’ production (a few pages shown here) collecting stories and ideas from the group and helping them illustrate them while I did portraits and edited the collaborative works into a catalogue. Something I invision happening naturally on this project.

Discussing what is required at Arte Moris with some of the artists, the idea to invite people to tell the stories of the building came up. The once highly renowned museum of East Timor at Arte Moris was pillaged and most artifacts and historical monuments were destroyed or stolen in recent histories. By asking young, old, male and female locals all to tell us something they know about the space, we aim to create ‘A Documented History of Arte Moris’ through different stories translated to drawings by myself and any students of any age willing to participate. This would start as illustrations, cartoons and symbols and eventually the project would become a mural on and aound the building. I want to collect images of this process and turn into a book to share and start a new documented history for the centre.

For more information on the project contact
Chris Parkinson

Martin Hughes

Video created by
Chris Phillips

Michael Fikaris

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