It was good to catch up with Justin and Susan Wedd last week. They both stayed in Redcliffe while they viewed the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art's exhibition Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe. It was also a chance to discuss the progress I had made on Justin's Dad's work, Bold Ben Hall. To be honest, the preparation for the book is nearing its completion stage.
About two years ago, Justin loaned me every original piece of artwork pertaining to the weekly Sunday newspaper feature that was produced by his father, the late Monty Wedd. And more! Every bromide, each piece of correspondence and even the photocopied proofs of the artwork was loaned: allowing me to be able to undertake perhaps the most comprehensive examination of an Australian comic series ever! It was most instructive. Many of the proofs show suggestions made, or corrections added, and the original artwork follows those suggestions and corrections -- and sometimes just doesn't! Above, for example, is the photocopied proof of a part of just one strip (towards the end of the series' run). The original artwork (and the bromide accompanying it that would have been sent to the newspapers of the day) shows the word "Gawd!" clearly removed.
I have examined each episode, made comparisons between the differing versions and have recorded these differences in a document that ended up running to over 41,000 words (and 68 pages, using a size 11 font)!! There was no scanner that allowed for reproduction of the artwork (without causing damage to the originals) as the originals were HUGE: so each and every episode -- all 392 of them! -- were individually photographed.
Anyway, the bottom line is that the artwork that was being held in my garage for the purpose of this study has now been safely transported back to its home. Ryan McDonald-Smith and I are now working on designing the dust jacket, and we should be seeking to crowd-fund this impressive book within the next month... Within the space of those two years that I have had the artwork, there have been so many things going on behind the scenes in my family's personal life that it is a wonder I was able to get so much done! Or, maybe, that is why it took me so long!
...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.