Australian independent Indigenous publishing house Magabala Books recently released its first Indigenous graphic novel – The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon – the first book in the "Ubby's Underdogs" trilogy. The story is a product of artist / writer Brenton E McKenna's imagination, who lives in Broome in the far north of Western Australia. The story was greatly influenced by Brenton’s childhood in Broome and his Aboriginal and Malay heritage.
The story is about Ubby, a young ruffian who lives in a dusty pearling town in Western Australia who leads a rag-tag gang known as the Underdogs. When Ubby meets Sai Fong, a Chinese girl just off the boat from Shanghai, she is thrown into a mysterious world of ancient legends and never before exposed secrets. The main character, Ubby, was inspired by his grandmother, a strong Aboriginal woman who knew how to look after herself.
Brenton graphic novel was recently nominated for the 2011 Deadly Awards Outstanding Achievement in Literature.