Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Terry Denton, Story Maze. The Ultimate Wave. Silverfish: Duffy and Snellgrove, 1999, 141 pp.
Action and adventure comics
Comics (Graphic works)
Courtesy of the Publisher.
Author of the Entry:
Lynnette Lounsbury: Avondale College of Higher Education and The University of New England,
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England. firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel A. Nkemleke, Universite de Yaounde 1, email@example.com
, b. 1950
Born the youngest of five boys in Melbourne, Australia, Terry Denton loved art from a young age and drew constantly in his spare time. He studied architecture at Melbourne University, was a comedic theatre actor and regularly created cartoons for the University newspapers. After University he spent time on his art working in animation, painting, etching, sculpture, cartooning and shop window design. In 1984 he wrote and illustrated Felix and Alexander which was published in 1985 and won the Australian Children’s Book Council Picture Book of the Year in 1986. Since then he has written and/or illustrated more than 100 books, including the Gasp! books and TV series, the Wombat and Fox books, and the Bumper Books (1, 2 and 3). He began collaborating with Australian writer Andy Griffiths in 1997 and they developed the Just! series, followed by The Cat on the Mat is Flat, The Bad Books and more recently the hugely successful children’s comedy series The Treehouse books-13, 26, 39, 52, 65 and 78. He has won more than fifteen children’s choice awards throughout Australia and another 40 more with Andy Griffiths. These include the Australian awards – The Multicultural Book of the Year, Best Designed Picture Book, Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award 2014 and The Australia Book Industry Association Book of the Year for older readers in both 2012, 2013 and 2015.
In 1991 he worked for the Australian Children’s Television Foundation on the TV show Lift-Off, spending two years planning the program and designing the puppets. Terry does many school visits throughout the year holding both writing and artistic workshops. He is also a fine artist and has held several exhibitions in Melbourne.
Official website (accessed: July 3, 2018).
Morriss, Maureen. Highlights of the 1995 Children's Book of the Year shortlist [Book Review] [online]. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, Vol. 18, No. 3, Aug 1995: 219-227.
Winner of the 2015 ABIA book of the year [online]. Incite, Vol. 36, No. 6/7, Jun/Jul 2015: 12-13.
Profile at the thelitcentre.org.au (accessed: March 3, 2018).
Bio prepared by Lynnette Lounsbury, Avondale College of Higher Education and The University of New England, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ultimate Wave is a comic adventure story, told in graphic novel format. It is the story of Nico, Claudia, and Mikey, described by the Narrator as humans from the planet Ithaca (although the characters are drawn as a monkey, a duck, and a rhinoceros and are referred to as such repeatedly). These three love to surf, a note to Australian surfing culture, and meet Icon, a “pencil-headed mutant” from another dimension and a place called Duryllium. The story is told by a Narrator character who often breaks the fourth wall to talk directly to the reader. Icon is being pursued by his twin brother Vidor after Vidor claimed their dead father’s throne illegally. Vidor sends Black Raiders to find Icon, and Icon takes Nico, Claudia and Mikey with him not only to escape but to find the perfect surfing planet, using his M.I.T. (Mental Image Transfer), a mind-controlled time-travelling device. During their time travelling they make several errors in destination resulting in adventures against War Machines (reminiscent in the physical style of the Trojan Horse) and surfing dinosaurs, but eventually, they reach Duryllium to discover that Vidor has sent Icon to The Underworld, a dark hot, fiery place reminiscent of the Greek Underworld. Claudia, Nico, and Mikey attempt a rescue. The Underworld is full of Bone Crunchers (a crocodilian vulture) and houses a giant Maze which is booby-trapped with giant bowling balls and a giant guardian chicken – The Great One-Eyed Surfing Chicken on the Duryllium Underworld. Using poetic clues they steal the eye of the chicken and escape. The Eye of Ulam, stolen from the chicken, allows them to trick and defeat the Cyclops which guards the exit and they escape, surfing the ultimate wave out of the Underworld. The Narrator ends the story by suggesting that there are several more adventures yet to come.
There are several clear references to Greek and Egyptian myth in The Ultimate Wave. The early references to Ithaca suggest a parallel with the Odysseus story and the characters do indeed end up on a long and episodic time-travelling journey that causes them to cross paths with a Cyclops, a Trojan horse of sorts (The War Machine) and ends with a journey through and escape from, the Underworld. Within the Underworld is a Maze and Maze Keeper, similar in scope to that described in Egyptian myths about the afterlife, including a poetic clue to their escape. The story is a convoluted version of the afterlife and Underworld myths and the characters only engage on a frivolous level with the mythological elements, but it is an introduction to both the structure of the Epic cycle and the characters and creatures of the classical afterlife mythologies. The story is told by a Narrator character who functions similarly to the Chorus in a Greek drama continually breaking the fourth wall, commenting on, and judging, the characters and their actions, and foreshadowing elements of the story yet to come.
Profile at goodreads.com (accessed: August 3, 2018)