Subtitle: The Man Behind The Mask
By: Hugh Dolan
Genre: FXZ - Graphic novels: true stories & non-fiction
Published by: New South Books
Published: 01/02/2016
ISBN: 9781742234496


We all think we know the story of Ned Kelly, Australia’s most famous outlaw, but we’ve never seen him in full colour like this before …

Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly was born in 1855 into a poor Irish immigrant family in rural Victoria. He grew up loyal to his family, angry at the injustice he saw in Australian society and desperate to better his situation by any means.

Often in trouble with the police, with the so-called Kelly Gang he was involved in horse and cattle stealing, bank robbing, kidnapping and ultimately murder. But he was the only bushranger to write a famous and compelling letter explaining his behaviour. As every Australian knows, after a legendary shoot-out Ned was captured by police and later hanged at Melbourne Gaol.

Folk hero or criminal, this is the story of Ned Kelly as you’ve never seen it before.


It is very unusual for us to select a graphic novel for inclusion in our Standing Order selections, but we thought that Ned Kelly—The Man Behind the Mask was certainly worthy of inclusion.

Although this style doesn’t appeal to everyone, there is a fast growing and enthusiastic group of graphic novel fans out there who will enjoy this story being brought to life.

Ned Kelly - The Man Behind the Mask is very descriptive and the illustrations really bring the story to life. We are given a real insight into the early life of Ned Kelly and his family and it particularly highlights how tough times were during this period and how this contributes to who Ned Kelly was and what he did. As for excitement and action, Ned Kelly’s story has that in spades.

There have been very comprehensive teacher notes prepared for this title (45 pages!) and these are available from We are sure that these will be a great resource for those interested.

Reviewed by Sam