My Place: Shaun Keenan

Shaun Keenan. (Supplied)

Shaun Keenan is the founder of graphic novel publishing company COMICS2MOVIES, one of only two such companies in Australia. His anthology ‘The Xtreme Championship Tournament’ is the number one selling independent comic in Australia. He spoke with Oliver Lees about the exciting world of Australian comics.

Q1. What is your connection to Gisborne and the Macedon Ranges?

I moved to Gisborne in 2018 and it instantly felt like home. We wanted to be closer to our family and we wanted our daughter Peaches to be raised in a connected community where people cared about each other.

Q2. What sparked your interest in graphic novels?

I struggled with reading when I was younger and my mum bought me my first comic to inspire me to read. This created a love and passion for comics and graphic novels alike. I have always loved story-telling and wanted to be a writer, and reading graphic novels helped me understand that I was a visual learner. The visual medium really helps me immerse myself in the creativity and fun of writing comics and graphic novels. I have always been a collector and I have an eclectic assortment of creative work from comic book writers from around the world.

Q3. Why did you decide to create COMICS2MOVIES?

Like all businesses, COMICS2MOVIES started with wanting to turn a passion into a business. I saw that there were very few pathways for people to create comics with limited Australian publishers so rather than looking to go off-shore, I wanted to create an opportunity for myself and for other creators to share their work. I have had the great privilege of working with some great artists and writers from Australia and around the world. COMICS2MOVIES has evolved over the years; we started with comics and movies memorabilia and then moved into creating our own comics and graphic novels, and now publish creative work from other amazing creators. I am also exploring a range of other creative industries like game, film and television.

I try to have a learner mindset and be curious about things I don’t know. Many of the characters I write about have their own stories to tell and prior to COVID-19, my family loved to travel to new places and be inspired by the history and folklore of these different regions. The past two years have provided such a wonderful opportunity to dig further into the incredible cultures within Australia and elsewhere. I even snuck away from my honeymoon to explore a comic convention in Las Vegas.

Q4. What can you tell me about your involvement in the Occupation film franchise?

We are excited to say that COMICS2MOVIES will be doing the graphic novel adaptation of a brand new story within the Occupation Film Franchise Universe. If you haven’t heard of the Occupation Film Franchise, it’s regarded as one of the most successful sci-fi film series created here in Australia. We are extremely excited to be working closely with the director Luke Sparke, who will be writing the series, and COMICS2MOVIES will be producing and publishing this new and electrifying graphic novel based on the Occupation film series. Set across multiple timelines, the story promises to introduce new characters as well as being a thrilling new adventure for all fans of sci-fi.

Q5. How can people find your work?

If you would like to check out my current work you can do so over at our Kickstarter.

We are currently fundraising to raise enough money to print our latest anthology within our award winning series, ‘The Xtreme Champion Tournament’. Otherwise, you can see all of our series at our website, follow us on Twitter, (@comics_2_movies), Instagram (@comics2movies) or on Facebook.