ROO NEWS – Late March 2013

There’s been a lot happening behind the scenes on the ‘roo front, so let’s get right to it:


I recently received a request from Killeroo fan Phillip Gleeson for clearance to use a specific image for a tshirt campaign against the NSW Government’s decision to allow hunting in its Natural Parks. As it sounds like the kind of cause that Rufus himself would get behind, I not only granted that clearance but took it upon myself to make a great t-shirt design for it, including remastering the original image and some powerful typography.


The t-shirt is now available (at cost price – no margin to keep it as cheap as possible) on HERE.
So show your support to the cause and wear it proudly!


Unfortunately Killeroo will no longer be featured in Velocity #3, due to the story not being completed in time for their release date. I take full responsibility for this, Neville was more than generous with the extended deadlines but I still couldn’t manage to get it across the line. The story WILL be completed at some point, but where and when is not known at this time.


Previously going under the working titles of ORIGINS and DEUS EX RUFUS, Ryan Wilton’s SCARS book now has a lovely cover image, check it out! (layout may change prior to publication).

KILLEROO: SCARS - cover mockup by Ryan Wilton

KILLEROO: SCARS – cover mockup by Ryan Wilton


It’s all systems go with the Anthology book, pages are coming in thick and fast and lettering and toning for completed stories has begun! Much more stuff to share soon, but for now, check out this page by Louie Joyce!

GANGWARS page by Louie Joyce

GANGWARS page by Louie Joyce


Steve Boyd

Steve Boyd

Melbourne artist Steve Boyd dropped by to give us some of his thoughts as he works away on his Killeroo story for the GANGWARS ANTHOLOGY, working from a script by Will McLaren.

DC: What’s your take on the Killeroo character, how do you visualise him as you’re working on the GANGWARS story?

Steve Boyd: I have never been a fan of the ‘violence solves the problem’ moral in storytelling, it doesn’t ring true to me, so I think Rufus uses violence only when he is pushed to the limit. I think there is a lot more to Rufus than most people see. He doesn’t say much, but he thinks a lot.

Personally I like to see Rufus not as a mindless killer, rather I believe he is a deeply moral individual, which probably comes from a deeper connection to the Spirit of the Earth (He is half animal) and the tribal teachings of his upbringing. I think perhaps this side of him will come out more in future stories as the characters past is revealed, in Gangwars and beyond.

I see him as an outsider, (as a giant therianthrope would be if they were born into this world.) Look how anyone with difference is treated in our society. I don’t think he understands White Man, in all his destructive ways, but finding acceptance, loyalty and friendship amongst his gang has given him something to fight for. I think this is what the fans really relate to. I want to have him in my corner!

DC: You’ve just recently worked for the upcoming INK TALES book, and now KILLEROO – how does your approach for tackling the page differ for those as opposed to when you’re working on your own ZED MERCURY book?

GANGWARS page rough by Steve Boyd

GANGWARS page rough by Steve Boyd

SB: Well, first of all the setting is completely different to the world that both the Ink Tales story and Zed Mercury are set in. It’s set in the real world, and therefore has realistic humans rather than the demi-gods, cacodemons and monsters in my bonepunk stuff. No one will notice if you stuff up the facial proportions of a monster but if you screw up a human face it is glaringly obvious- we look at people’s faces every day. That alone makes it instantly more challenging, as making human characters emote is really difficult, as any artist will attest to. Comics can tend to be a bit wooden when artists draw the same face again and again and I aspire to bring more to my comics than that. Comics as a medium are sometimes sold short, and I believe, can be as emotional as a film, why not? This is why I find Jim Lee’s work booooooooorrrriiiiing. We can do better.

Even things like the backgrounds and props need to ground it in the setting (early eighties) and this requires extra attention to research. Also putting a giant Kangaroo next to human characters in a human world runs the risk of looking a little goofy or out of proportion, so I have been doing a lot of thumbnails and studies to get this looking right.

Furthermore drawing a giant human/kangaroo hybrid is really difficult (try it!), and Darren Close is very particular about what he wants – As well he should be! Looking back on some old sketches I can’t believe how wrong I got it. He looks like a fucking camel. Darren’s guidance has really challenged me to do better work and I hope I can do the character justice.

DC: You’ve decided to draw Rufus wearing a very distinctive tshirt in your story, can you tell us a bit more about that?

SB: Well I am a big fan of rock and roll, and considering the setting, I wondered what kind of music Rufus would be listening to. Originally I was going to put him in a Midnight Oil tshirt, but I didn’t think that was ‘punk’ enough, remember, Rufus is an outsider. So I decided to give him a Radio Birdman tshirt because they seem to fit better with his rebel ethos. Those guys were getting kicked out of and banned from pubs all over Australia for their raucous gigs around the time of the story, and I imagined Rufus going to one of these gigs and loving the shit out of it. They have a really iconic logo too, and it fits nicely right in the middle of his chest, like the icon of a super-hero. I’ve been listening to them while drawing, it’s like taking musical cocaine 🙂

DC: Thanks Steve! Now get back to work!




When Killeroo returned to publishing after a long hiatus last year (with the standalone GANGWAR story), I was faced with the daunting task of essentially starting the whole distribution system again. Building a rapport with stores and keeping in touch can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially with the interstate shops. Thankfully there are a few stores like KABOOM COMICS in Toowoomba that are keen to help out local publishers with vigour!

The boys at Kaboom Comics

DC: Tell us a bit about Kaboom Comics.

Todd Baillie: Kaboom kicked off in 2004 as a tiny shop and has now grown into one of regional Australia’s best Pop-culture stores. We have always pushed for more of comic community that just a retailer/customer type store, I’ve been to weddings, christenings and so much more with my customers, some are more like family than just a customer.

DC: Some local stores are seeing the benefits of using social media to talk to their customers, but you’ve really taken it to the next level with podcasts and youtube videos as well – It must be a massive undertaking, have you seen a lot of benefit from your customer base?

TB: We have seen a massive upswing in sales because of the videos and podcasts but Geek Speak promotes a number of stores and not just Kaboom. It is a massive amount of fun to do and customers seem to love listening and watching. We have had a number of customers buy books we talk about on the shows and the aussie stuff is a great example of that.

DC: You’re very supportive of locally produced comics (including Killeroo) – how well do they sell in your store, is there a definite return in this for you or is it more a case of building goodwill with creative customers?

TB: Aussie comics sell really well in our store, it’s because we really push them, not just hide them on a shelf and forget about them. We really hand sell the aussie books and people react well to that , they love supporting indy aussie books.

DC: What’s the feedback you’ve had from customers for Killeroo?

TB: Fans have loved Killeroo, we have trouble keeping enough copies in-stock (Need to re-order more ), and everytime a customer picks up the first book, they are back to pick up more… it’s addictive… but less damaging than crack. 😉

For all the latest news, the best place is the Killeroo facebook page, or if you’re on twitter, check us out at

Hooroo for now!

Darren Close


ROO NEWS – December 2012

Hi folks!

There’s been a lot happening behind the scenes on the ‘roo front, so here’s an update:


If you’ve been wondering what the holdup was for this great book, look no further than… me!

The 12-page Killeroo story by Andrew Shaw, THE CAVE has been delayed purely by my not having finished drawing it yet. However I have made considerable progress with it, and have even got a top-class colorist onboard, being David Aravena Riquelme from WINTER CITY (with much thanks to series creator Patrick Purcell). Here’s a sample of his amazing colors!

sample panel from THE CAVE

sample panel from THE CAVE


All the scripts have been completed and writers have been paid, so it’s over to the artists now!

Most of the stories have been thumbnailed by now, with a steady stream of pencils coming through, and a select few are nearing completion of inks and tones! It’s exciting to see fresh new pages come into the inbox, most of which are just about perfect with little changes required. The variety in style is terrific, it’s going to make for a great read with all stories flowing sequentially.

Given the final page count is over 200 pages now, current publishing plans are for TWO 128-page trade paperback format volumes, and possibly a 256-page hardcover as well. Tentatively scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2013. Hoping for Supanova Sydney/Perth in June, but can’t guarantee it at this stage.

A preview ashcan has been released in the last few weeks, showcasing the fantastic cover art of KRANBURN’S Ben Michael Byrne. It’s available in a few shops around the country, and also at the online store while stocks last.

Gangwars Preview ashcan

Gangwars Preview ashcan


This book is now officially out of print, with all 300 copies of the regular edition having all but sold out. It won’t be reprinted until YEAR THREE of the GANGWARS ANTHOLOGY in 2015.

However there are 2 copies of the B&W variant left in stock, and also a selection of sketch covers on sale at the discounted price of $30 a pop. Remember, these are one-of-a-kind artworks, drawn directly onto the cover of the book – so you better get in quick!

Gary Chaloner sketch cover

Gary Chaloner sketch cover

Alex Crowley sketch cover

Alex Crowley sketch cover

Dean Rankine sketch cover

Dean Rankine sketch cover

Click here to view ALL the sketch covers on sale.


The much-anticipated origin story of Killeroo is progressing nicely. No scheduled release date at this time, it will be published when it’s ready. But for now, here’s a preview of some of Ryan Wilton’s terrific artwork:

Sample panel by Ryan Wilton

Sample panel by Ryan Wilton


A new project aimed at younger readers, this A5 full-color book will fill in some of the details of Rufus’ childhood, and the adventures he and his mates get up to. But it’s not an elseworlds tale, these short stories are all canon to the Killeroo mythos, and will feature the art of Dean Rankine, Edward J Grug, Michael Sandford, Matthew Hoddy & Caitlin Major and more!

Here’s a sample page by Michael Sandford:

Young Rufus page by Michael Sandford

Young Rufus page by Michael Sandford

No release date for this one as yet.


There’s some terrific new prints up for sale now at the Redbubble Killeroo page, take a look at them below:

Killeroo print by Simon Sherry

Killeroo print by Simon Sherry

Killeroo print by Ben Michael Byrne

Killeroo print by Ben Michael Byrne

Killeroo print by Xabier Sagasta Lacalle

Killeroo print by Xabier Sagasta Lacalle

For all the latest news, the best place is the Killeroo facebook page, or if you’re on twitter, check us out at

Hooroo for now!


Darren Close

October GANGWARS update

Just a quick update – basically we’ve been bloody busy!

Since announcing the open call for submissions for the GANGWARS anthology project, Ryan Wilton and I have been swamped with a mass of scripts, sample pages and folio reviews – from an amazing array of very creative and talented people across the country (and the world in some cases!).

But we’ve narrowed it down to (currently) 19 different stories (most of which are now fully completed scripts), totalling a massive 208 pages! We’re now in the process of matching these stories up with some fantastic artists, many of whom have already begun sending through thumbnail layouts for review.

We’re also looking into the different printing options for such a massive volume, whether we go with a full trade or hardcover format for the whole thing, or possibly splitting into two trades to be printed at the same time. On the wishlist is an oversized hardcover edition, but we’ll wait to see the numbers before we make a decision on this yet.

Keep an eye on the facebook page and twitter feed for more news and art previews of this ambitious project!

Hooroo for now,

– Darren Close

Announcing the GANGWARS Anthology

Here at Killeroo HQ we’re pleased to announce that submissions are now open (for both WRITERS and ARTISTS) for the new Killeroo book, the GANGWARS anthology.


The GANGWARS anthology will be an annual 120-page volume of collected Killeroo stories, set during the late 1970s and early 80s in outback Australia, when Killeroo (Rufus) was the leader of a motorcycle gang roaming the outback. His gang will be one of many operating in Australia however, which leads to many confrontations, battles and alliances between them. An extended cast of characters have been developed (good, bad and somewhere in-between), with their own motivations and ambitions to fully explore this period of time, and the changing landscape they will create.

There are a lot of stories to tell, and we’re going to need your help to do it! It’s your chance to get your work published in a major Australian comic book, get some exposure, and $50 bucks for your troubles!

In order to keep stories consistent, a collection of rough plots have been developed, from which writers can choose one to expand and write a script from. These plots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Alternatively if you have an idea for a story that would fit within these parameters, you are welcome to pitch it, and the editorial staff will determine if it will fit within the overall framework.

Initial submissions should comprise of a half-page story synopsis and the first page fully scripted.

These will be reviewed and successful applicants will receive the go-ahead to script the entire story, and a work-for-hire contract with a deadline negotiated with each writer individually, to maximise quality and ensure delivery. Upon delivery (emailed in the form of Word or PDF document) you will be paid $50 in total for your work, as well as a complimentary copy of the finished book (with a profile in the back).

The Guidelines for Artists downloadable PDF below contains a sample one-page script, as well as illustrations of the characters featured in it. You will need to draw this sequential page in the format that you’re most comfortable with, either pencils or inks. You are not required to letter it. Send us a hi-res scan of this page (camera photos will not be accepted) to the submissions email below. You can also include links to other sequential works completed if you wish, but please do not email any additional artwork than the sample page.

Successful applicants will be given a work-for-hire contract to sign.

Once a script has been completed (either developed internally or from an external writer-for-hire) it will be assigned to each successful artist on a best-fit basis, determined by the editorial staff. Once assigned, a deadline will be negotiated with each artist individually, to maximise quality but also ensure delivery. Upon delivery of the work you will be paid $50 in total, as well as a complimentary copy of the finished book (with a profile in the back).

NOTE: It is preferable for artists to ink their own work, but if you feel your primary strength is pencilling, an inker may be sourced separately to complete the work.

Each story shall be a minimum of 6 pages, with a maximum of 12, depending on story complexity. In rare circumstances this MAY be extended to 16 pages, but only with good reason and approval from editorial staff.

Assuming both writer and artist are successful in their applications, we will endeavour to work with these kinds of requests, as long as we determine these to be the best fit for the particular story.

The primary editor for this project is Ryan Wilton, who came up with the idea for the project in the first place. He will also be the main writing submissions editor as well. The secondary Editor (and artists submissions editor) is Killeroo creator Darren Close, and it is likely we will look to some additional editorial input from other professionals before publication.

As detailed above, successful applicants will be given a work-for-hire contract to sign, and paid (upon completion) a nominal amount of $50 for their work. This renumeration is obviously not a significant amount of money, due primarily to the large expense that will be outlaid for the production of this 120-page book, as well as it’s printing and distribution costs. It’s a token payment we know, and not meant to be commensurate to the work involved, but we figure it’s better than working for free.

Successful applicants will also receive one complimentary copy of the finished book their work is printed in, and a discount rate to purchase additional copies. Additionally, each writer and artist will have a short profile in the book and option for their website URL too.

This is an important question. The answer is NO, all works completed will be on a WORK-FOR-HIRE basis, and as such become the property of Ozone Studios and Darren Close. If this is something that bothers you, we strongly advise you not to submit to this book.

Glad you asked! Here are a few downloads (PDF format) that should answer any other questions you might have:




And lastly…

We have setup a special email address for all GANGWARS Anthology submissions, and that is

Writers, please submit your works as either Microsoft Word or PDF formats
Artists, please submit your sample pages as 300dpi jpegs in RGB format.

NOTE: submissions not following the guidelines will NOT be reviewed. Please study the guidelines carefully before submitting.


So there you have it – your chance to work on a Killeroo story, get published and get $50 in the process!

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

– Darren Close


Hi folks!

Here’s the latest Roo News:

Another review has popped up:

There’s also a few more Sketch Covers that have come through, in particular a couple from Tristan Jones and Paul Abstruse.

Pleased to report that we have a new retailer on board the ‘roo train, being NOT JUST COMICS in Nowra! Pop in there and say hello to Dan when you’re in that neck of the woods.

If you can’t find it on the shelves of your local store, you can still buy GANGWAR online.

This book is now completely sold out, so if you can’t find it on a retailer’s shelf I’m afraid you’ve missed out on the first chapter of Killeroo’s ORIGIN in full colour! Well done to the Canberra-based Beginnings crew for such a fantastic debut effort!

This book is not far away now, I believe it’s currently in transit from the printer in America, so expect to see it popping up all over the place very soon!
You can pre-order a copy, and check out some of Gee’s pages.

The only thing that’s been holding back the Killeroo story from being printed in VELOCITY is the tardiness of it’s artist, and unfortunately I can’t blame anyone else but myself! But there’s been some serious progress of late, with a lot of pencilling and the beginning of inking on several pages, which you can check out here.

Have just received a fantastic new Killeroo commission from Pakistan artist Saad Irfan, check it out!

Killeroo by Saad Irfan

Lastly, the KILLEROO STATUE is just getting its finishing touches, and will be completed this weekend! Shall be popping over to meet the sculptor Julian Briones, can’t wait to see it in person! And you’ll be able to check him out as well, as ALL STAR COMICS in Melbourne have generously offered some space in one of their display cabinets for a few weeks.

And that’s about it for now – Hooroo!

Darren Close.


I’ve had more than a few people ask me when they’re perusing my Killeroo comics and artwork samples, why it is that I haven’t drawn those comics myself?

The answer is fear.

Fear of not having my work stand up to scrutiny.
Fear that I’m not as skilled as other artists.
Fear of the blank page.

It’s taken me a long time to realise that these fears are COMPLETELY NORMAL.

The choice you have when confronted by fear is whether you:

a. Let it stop you in your tracks, OR
b. Forge ahead regardless

It is a FACT that I’m not as skilled as other artists.
Why is this? It’s because when these other artists were first faced with this very same fear, they said “Fuck it. I’m going to draw comics ANYWAY.”

Were these first comics they made any good? Most likely, no they weren’t.
But through the process, they began to learn what worked, and what didn’t. What panels looked good, and told the story well, and what panels didn’t. Their knowledge of anatomy improved.

Rather than being intimidated by what other artists had done, they began to study these works analytically. Observed the choices THEY made in storytelling, their panel layouts, and then adopted those things they admired into their OWN work.

Each panel you draw, every page completed, every finished comic you make – makes you a BETTER artist and storyteller.

But you’ve got to start first.
This is something that’s taken me 15 YEARS to learn. That’s an awful long time to live in fear, a lot of WASTED time.

I’m starting now.
I’ve got help and support from my friends and associates, and I’m not wasting another second.

Don’t make the mistake I made.
Don’t live in fear.