Publisher's synopsis

Led by an unconscientiously objecting wombat registered for military service during Australia’s war in Vietnam, Underground digs tunnels through a chapter of Australian history that many have attempted to bury.

Why would a wombat be registered for war?

It’s 1965, and an old Tattersalls barrel starts rolling marbles to randomly conscript young Australian men to fight in the war in Vietnam. Melbourne housewife Jean McLean is outraged, as are her artist friends Clif and Marlene Pugh, who live in the country with their wombat, Hooper.

Determined to wreck the system, Jean forms the Save Our Sons movement’s Victorian branch, and she and her supporters take to the streets to protest. Meanwhile, in the small country town of Katunga, Bill Cantwell joins the Australian Army, and in Saigon, young Mai Ho is writing letters to South Vietnamese soldiers from her school desk. And when Hooper’s call-up papers arrive, he mysteriously goes underground‚Ķ

As these stories intersect in unexpected ways and destinies entwine, a new world gradually emerges – a world in which bridges of understanding make more sense than war. This stunning graphic novel, full of empathy, courage and resistance, is based on true events.

Upcoming resource

Awards

  • Shortlisted, General Adult Graphic Novel category, ALIA Notable Australian Graphic Novels List, 2021, AU
  • Notable Book, Eve Pownall Award, CBCA Awards, 2022, AU
  • Shortlisted, Book Links Award for Children’s Historical Fiction, 2022, AU
  • Shortlisted, Comic Arts Award (formerly the Ledger Awards), 2022, AU
  • Winner, Readings Young Adult Prize, 2022, AU
  • Winner, Bronze Ledger, Comic Arts Awards of Australia (previously the Ledger Awards), 2022, AU