This month marks the tenth anniversary of this Comicoz website. Each month for the past ten years, I have added (at least) one post relating to comics, and most entries describe my involvement in Australian comics here. Back then, I was about to release my first book: John Dixon, Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor. Since then, I have published nine other books, nine comics, and have become much more active in the Australian 'scene'. From (re-)joining the Australian Cartoonists Association to nominating for the position of President, from leading the judging of the Ledger of Honour to increasing my involvement in the National Cartoon Gallery, these have been heady days.
Looking back to my schooldays, I remember always wanting to be a cartoonist (or a Minister of Religion in Grade Four!), so in some ways I feel I am living my life-long dream (even if my professional occupation is totally different). Looking forward, I know I have limited time available to me. I plan to fill it by mostly dedicating what time I have remaining to the cartooning-comic medium, with the understanding that I must also be a breadwinner, a grandfather, father....and a husband. Without Carlene's willingness to support my passion, I wouldn't be here reflecting on these ten years that have just flown by. I must offer her my unending thanks.
Over the past weekend, the Australian Cartoonists Association has called for nominations for positions for the 2021-22 Committee. It was on these pages that I first announced my intention to run. I had a second-thought about doing so (Carlene would prefer I wait until I have retired from work, to allow me more time to attend to any Committee position), and there is a degree of fatigue about voting in these parts. (We had our State Election on Saturday, and there is the U.S. Election being held as I type this.) Nonetheless, I decided to run, because I fear for the future of the Association if it doesn't find a new direction. I don't want to stand idly by and just 'let that happen' when I feel I could have contributed to ensure it doesn't. So I put my hand up.
The Secretary has informed those nominating that there are only three positions that went uncontested: Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary. Which means someone else (presently unknown) is also running for the President's position! Here's what candidates were asked to supply:
Rather than just a straight brief biography, feel free to include a short "elevator pitch" with your bio; something that tells other members why they should vote for you. Perhaps you might have dreams or hopes for the ACA? Perhaps you just want to give back to your industry.
Anyway, for better or worse, I am giving it a go, and this (for posterity) is what I wrote (giving away some of my future publishing plans in the process):
Over the past decade Nat Karmichael has self-published ten books on Australian cartoonists. He was Editor-Publisher of Oi Oi Oi! – the last nationally-distributed comic book of original cartoons to ever appear in Australian newsagents. He edited Inkspot for 14 issues from late 2015 to 2019 and is a current member of the ACA Committee. He is presently working on a book of Emile Mercier cartoons for the National Cartoon Gallery and one on the 1970s Melbourne comic strip Iron Outlaw for his Comicoz imprint.
These are trying times for professional cartoonists, and there is a need for a new and dynamic leadership to take the Association into its next century. Nat is seeking your support for his nomination as President of the Australian Cartoonists Association. He plans to work towards an increased communication between the Board and our ACA membership. Nat believes that there needs to be a greater community awareness of our Association, especially with our fast-approaching centenary in 2024. To that end, he is seeking a mandate to increase the ACA’s support and sponsorship of cartoon-related events, like the Rotary Cartoon Awards and the Ledger Awards, as well as sharing our history in publications of our own.
Nat Karmichael lives in Queensland with his wife Carlene, and together they have fourteen grandchildren. He really wanted to say something witty and funny for this nomination, but you can’t laugh as voting’s a serious matter. Please choose your candidates carefully.
Comicoz is Nat Karmichael's publishing imprint. Nat is committed to preserving a permanent collection of Australian comic and comic strips. He feels that there is a need to recognise comics' contribution to and depiction of Australian culture.
Since 2011, Nat has self-published over twelve comic-related books and was Publisher-Editor of
Oi Oi Oi! -- the last series of nationally-distributed comic books of original stories to appear on Australian newsstands. He is a member of the Australian Cartoonists Association and edited the Association's journal Inkspot for 14 issues from late 2015. For numerous years he was the Lead Judge in the Ledger of Honour Awards for the Comic Arts Awards of Australia (formerly the Ledgers). These days Nat dreams of retiring from his occupation as a Clinical Nurse in the Psychiatric Emergency Centre in Queensland's largest public hospital, so that he can spend more time with his long-suffering wife and their six children and fourteen grandchildren. And perhaps publish some more comic-related books.
Comicoz acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay respects to elders, past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.
Australian Publications since 1976:
1 x Poster
19 x comics (one a co-production with Cyclone Comics in 1988/9, one a co-production with Cowtown Comics in 2022)
2 x Paperback books
10 x Hardcover books