As seems to be my wont from 21 December to the end of the calendar year, I tend to be a little reflective of the time that has passed since we circled the sun yet another time. The one pleasing thing from a creative point of view, has been steering the Editorship of the Australian Cartoonists' Association's journal Inkspot to a fourth issue for the year. (Above is the latest Summer issue with cover art by Judy Nadin and design by Chris Barr.) Without meaning to brag, it is the first time this decade that four issues of the magazine have seen print, so I am pretty chuffed to have been able to pull that off (with help from the contributors, artists and cartoonists, our printer, and the assistance of co-editors Phil Judd and Chris Barr). While I take the lead and all the glory in the role, it really is a team effort. I am really looking forward to keeping to this schedule in 2017, to maintain the progress made. As my last Blog stated, copies of the next issue will be available to Australian comic shops and Libraries around the country, and already much interest has already been shown. (If YOUR comic shop or local library is interested in carrying a copy, get them to drop me a quick email email@example.com)
My work on the Monty Wedd book Bold Ben Hall and the publishing frequency of Oi Oi Oi! has taken a bit of a hit, partially due to my work on Inkspot, but also due to some of the financial issues surrounding the magazine (Oi Oi Oi! has been running at a loss), as well as the state of my distress at some of the people that I care about being struck ill since August. From Andrew Bergen (Magpie writer), my son-in-law, to my wife. And now being added to this list is my Mother, who only learnt about a week before Christmas that she has bowel cancer and had to undergo major bowel surgery last Tueday (yes, just a couple of days after Christmas). This latest turn of events has subdued my seasonal celebrations somewhat. (Having to work on Christmas day, and having just completed night duty hasn't helped too much either!)
Anyway, I DO plan on releasing more issues of Oi Oi Oi! although planning may not take place until about March into the new year....
There are also a lot of exciting publishing plans I have for Comicoz in the new year. Mostly involved in helping see in print books that will add to the collection of Australian comics and comic-related books in this country. The major problem is (as in most years) finding the time to work on them, so my poor wife does not feel neglected!
So, let me share just some of them here! I am more committed than ever in getting Bold Ben Hall in print. Sadly, the movie based on this Australian bushranger seems to have sunk without even much of a ripple (it was in so few cinemas locally, I didn't even have time or opportunity to see it myself). I am sure the book by Monty Wedd will do well. The only thing that might cause some to baulk may be the cover price. While the Ned Kelly story was 145 pages long, and the book retailed for about $50 (or $40 from our web-site), Bold Ben Hall is going to be over 400 pages in length!
Other books that are in various stages of preparation include a third volume of Air Hawk, and collection of Gary Chaloner's past Flash Damingo and the Jackaroo works. I am most excited about a book called From Sunbeams to Sunset that Graeme Cliffe has spent the past eight years (plus) researching. We have (just about) managed to secure copyright clearances for this one, that recounts the history of the Australian comic book. You thought John Ryan's Panel by Panel was extensive? Wait until you see what Graeme has detailled! I am also waiting to hear back from Sydney-based artist Thomas Campi to see how advanced his illustrations for Joe Shuster are progressing. I believe this book shows enough promise to break Thomas in the American market.
I am also trying to begin work on retrospective volumes of both Alex Gurney and Phil Belbin's works as well as the collected comic works of Emile Mercier. But maybe one year is too ambitious, and I may have to delay planning of those little beauties until a little later.... Ahh, the New Year is around the corner. It shows promise of better days! May your New Year be a Happy one, whatever YOU have planned, and I shall look forward to talking to you more about Australian comics when next you venture onto this Blog - Web-site!
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