I must now talk about the Two-Day Workshop held during the Australian Cartoonists' Association's Annual get together in Sydney last month. Yes, last month! Time is fleeting and I have yet to complete my update here on this Web-site come Blog. Without hesitation, I feel that the whole two days was just a wonderful experience for anyone interested in the world of Cartooning, Comics, Artwork and the people behind the scenes. Every presenter and presentation was (in my biased view, of course!) well worth attending. From Anton Emdon's demonstation (shown above from a shortened You Tube version), to Ron Cobb sharing his cartoon career (which I knew something about) and his movie contributions (which I knew nothing about), to Reg Mombassa's frank discussion about his works ... and to the buzz I got out of sharing the history of John Dixon and Air Hawk with an audience who had no idea of what to expect!
However, a greater thrill (for me) was catching up with people and friends not seen for many years, like Vane Lindesay, Roger Fletcher, Ian McCall, and the ever-enthusiastic Jim Bridges. And meeting people and friends I have spoken to on the telephone and written to by mail, but never met in person - like Tim McEwan, Dave Follett, Jozef Szekeres and - believe it or not - John Clements! (How could we not have met before?!)
A personal disappointment was the fact I found sales of John Dixon's book difficult to come by. They were on display and for sale for (what I thought was) an almost give-away price ... yet I could only muster sales of less than ten copies. On the up-side, Stephen Little of the Coffs Harbour Bunker Cartoon Gallery expressed an interest in having them available for retail sale at the Gallery. We have also begun informal discussions about having a John Dixon original art exhibition at the Gallery sometime in the future; something most exciting and which I shall have to share with you here when more definite details come to hand. Watch this space!
Tony Lopes, Comic Strip Artist of the Year, for his Insanity Streak comic strip was doing brisk sales with his book of the same name (I have enclosed a copy of the front and back cover artwork with this posting). $39.95 will get you a copy posted out to you (if you live in Australia, slightly more for overseas Fans). I thought this book was the Best Value at the Convention. (Yes, I can be objective: even better than my beloved John Dixon, Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor book!). It is a hardback, with 150 pages of high quality printing on good quality paper stock. About 50 of those pages are in colour. You can order it from Tony by clicking here or by checking out his web-site at http://www.stoneytoons.com/book.php Tony did not pay me to write these words...! My only criticism of the book is that the comic strips are not dated, so we have no idea if they were illustrated when Tony was just beginning his career in creating the strip, or if they were from a more recent vintage. To the average reader it probably won't make any difference, and they may not be interested in that sort of thing in any case; but to someone like myself who likes to view things from a future historical bent, the absense of this detail may be somewhat frustrating to someone seeking that information sometime down in the future....
When I first saw Gary Clark's work (in 1980) I was excited. Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes had me in fits of outright laughter when I read his work for the first time. Now, I want to point out what I consider the finest new individual cartooning talent I have seen in a long time. I have not been as excited at seeing a new cartoonists' work as I have in seeing this new wonderful whacky work. Rob Feldman was attending the convention (I understand for the first time) and was taking in all the information that he could absorb, but it wasn't until the end of the second day that he shared some of his work with Gary Clark and myself...and we were blown away! Have a look at this guy's style! It reminds me of Leo Baxendale's work from the 1960s, with an added free-spirited humour in the captions that it stands out all on its own... Someone needs to help nuture this guy's talent: if he is lost to the world of cartooning, the world will be a sadder place. You can see more of Rob's work by clicking here...
...acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to elders past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all First Australian peoples.
Over the past decade (2011 - 2020) Nat has self-published ten comic-related books and was Publisher-Editor of Oi Oi Oi! - the last nationally-distributed comic book of original comics stories to appear on Australian newsstands. He edited Inkspot, the journal of the Australian Cartoonists Association for 14 issues from late 2015 to 2019 and is a current member of the ACA's Committee. In his spare time, he is a husband, a father (to six) and grandfather (to fourteen), and works in the Psychiatric Emergency Centre in Queensland's largest public hospital.
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.