It's one of my old mates' birthday today. (I started this blog on the 13th of October.) He's sixty years old. We went to school together. It's my birthday in a couple of months. December. I'm going to be sixty-two. Time. I am so conscious of time, the more it ticks on, but mostly of late. I'm realising (perhaps due to my Mother, my sister and my wife's sister and aunt all passing in the past two years) that I too am mortal. These days, I have more years behind me than in front of me. Which leaves me a dilemma. What further am I going to leave behind?
With the last book I published, From Sunbeams to Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Australian Comic Book (1924 to 1965), written by Graeme Cliffe, a mate I have known since I returned to Brisbane in 1982, I feel satisfied that of all the books I have published, this book is the one to stand the test of time. That it will be a seminal work in its field. I offered a special bargain price in October on Facebook about it. (IF you've come from Facebook, seeking a copy of the book, please click here. Somehow, though, I feel I have reached my publishing pinnacle. How can I surpass this?
I enjoy the comic shows that I am able to attend (when work allows), and I no longer worry about the sales I make (or don't make). It's now about the camaraderie with the other artists and cartoonists who are seeking to share their comic stories with the public (and with me, as I will always buy something that looks good or reads well). It's about meeting the punters, some who may know my works and the many that do not, some who arrive and are pleasantly surprised, and flick through my books and either buy or do not buy. The Bendi-Con was fun, not only because I caught up with daughter Lora and her children, and Will's children too, but because it was my first time at that show. (Thanks Peter. Thanks Pedro.)
The Papercuts Comic Festival was a great experience too. Not only did I immerse myself in the nostalgia of returning to beautiful Adelaide for the first time in about forty years, but I found attending the Talking Pictures seminar to be most inspiring. There were many comic friends I met for the first time, many I caught up with again, and yet many that I did not have time to get to know. Adelaide made me realise that there is such an undercurrent of creative comic talent within this country that most of us (even those of us in the comic community) do not realise. I left inspired... yet still wondering: where to from 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.