Australia Day! A time to shout and sing about the promises of a year ahead. Well, that's what is taking place in the Comicoz Headquarters this morning, as we publically reveal our publishing plans for 2015. Of course, from January it all looks wonderful in theory, because there are so many factors that come into play during a year (like work, family events, trying to find time to sleep) that may somehow limit my capacity to see all these Comicoz plans come to fruition, but a good attempt will be made at seeing most of these plans made into a reality!
First of all, Oi Oi Oi! will continue to highlight new and established comic artists and cartoonists. Newsagent distribution will have to be re-examined if sales for Issue #2 (yet to be released) do not trend upwards. Still, there is a need for the magazine (as evidenced by the number of cartoonists and artists seeking to have their works published with in the pages), so its publication will continue. The Fourth Issue is running a little behind in schedule and is still being worked on this weekend. It will have stories that carry the theme of... WAR! with release date in the newsagents still planned for April.
Some of the Comicoz announcements from this time last year did not see the light of day. Let's not point a finger of blame at anyone: these are just things that happen for a myriad of reasons (and here is not the forum to list or discuss them). All we can do is hope that maybe this year they come to pass! The two major ones were the books planned on Ginger Meggs' artists from over the years by Lindsay Foyle, and the completion of the very first Verity Aloeha adventure from the talented Michal Dutkiewicz.
Those who know me, know I have the greatest respect for Sydney cartoonist Rob Feldman's work. I just find his work so laugh-aloud funny. From a publishing perspective, his book that Comicoz released last year (Cartoons, Comics and Cows in Cars) did not sell as well as I thought it would. Nonetheless, Comicoz is determined to see more of Rob's work in print, and so another Rob Feldman project will get underway in 2015. Rob Feldman Fans (and that's plural -- I am not the only one!) you can again rejoice! One day the world will catch up to us...
Another cartoonist with a zany sense of humour: Peter Player! If you have read the latest issue of Oi Oi Oi! you will have read Peter's "Cheap Gags" story and found it difficult to contain your mirth. Comicoz is presently seeking out Paul Toohey (last seen in Darwin, undertaking a 'serious' career in Journalism) in order that Paul and Peter's weekly strip COOGAN, The Cockless Detective, first published in The Picture magazine between 1995 to 2006 -- back when people read it for the comics! -- can be reprinted in full. So, if anyone knows where Paul is, get him to contact Nat, here at Comicoz...!
One person's work that you are going to see a lot of in 2015 will be Gary Chaloner. Not only is Gary's art going to grace the cover to the next Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor volume due in 2015 (see above, right), but Gary is also going to reprint the complete adventures of his characters Flash Damingo and The Jackaroo! Back in the Bronze Age of Australian Comics (a term coined, I believe, by Dave de Vries when talking about the 1980s) and into the ninteen-ninties, Gary's character was just about everywhere! If you missed out on those tales back then, here's your chance to see them really shine. Gary has given Comicoz permission to reprint them in their entirety...and to say that I am proud to participate in this reprinting is to seriously understate the issue! Not to mention the pride I have in announcing this here for the very first time!
Comicoz is also proud to announce that our biggest selling title to date (Ned Kelly, Narrated and Illustrated by Monty Wedd) may go into a second printing! Given that I have been told that Channel Nine may be planning a Mini-series on Ned Kelly later in 2015, this couldn't be better timing! And the great news doesn't stop there...!!
The Family of Monty Wedd and Comicoz are presently into some very serious negotiation about Monty's second historical newspaper strip, Bold Ben Hall. With a new distribution deal presently being negotiated (I can't say too much just yet!), there is a good possibility that this planned hardcover -- a companion piece to Ned Kelly -- will be available all around the country in places comic-related masterpieces are just not associated with! Keep your ears peeled on this one!
Finally, leaving the best to last...and ending with a bit of a tease. Neil Matterson is a well-respected Australian Cartoonist. Which of Neil's comic strips (and he has written and drawn a few!) do I rate above all others? (Clue: Try and locate a copy of Issue Six of John Dixon's Air Hawk Magazine from 1988). A planned high-quality hardcover coffee table book featuring the best of this strip, with some autobiographical words by Neil, will make this The Book to share, come Christmas 2015!
And now -- It is Australia Day! Go out and shout and sing....and share this news! Here are promises of some great reading ahead in 2015...and I look forward to sharing them with you...!
...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.