Continuing my Blogs about the wonderful array of female Artists and Cartoonists appearing in the Second Issue of Oi Oi Oi! that is out on many Australian newsstands next Thursday...
In today's Blog, I will discuss the various thoughts I had that went into the selection process of choosing these two artists' work for inclusion in the latest issue.
Sarah Catherine Firth (above) can be found online by clicking here for her link, and you will find all manner of information about her there. To cut a long story short, Sarah is based in Melbourne and has a variety of artistic works that traverse a wide range of mediums. Her passion for running a series of comic workshops for indigenous children in Jervis Bay piqued my interest, and her passion for "using drawing, visualisation and storytelling as a powerful engagement tool for education, business innovation and problem solving" struck me as an artist who believes in her work.
On accepting Sarah's work for this Second Issue of Oi Oi Oi! I am well aware of the controversy that some of the contents of her story may bring to some readers of the magazine. I am aware, too, that there are those that will decry its inclusion because it does not meet their perception of what comics are about. That is, it is not suitable for children. And there may be potential readers who chose not to buy the magazine because of Sarah's story's inclusion.
I have included it, because I am not planning on censoring any artists' or cartoonists' works. As I mention in my Submission Guidelines, I do have the "option to reject any material that I feel does not meet my subjective standard"...of "art that may not be up to scratch, or stories that maybe dodgy from a legal viewpoint, or stories that contain pornographic illustrations that might render the issue subject to censorship by authorities." I do not feel Sarah's story fails this test. I have included Sarah's story, because I believe the art and the story have merit.
Madeleine Karutz (above), on the other hand, nearly didn't made the pages of the soon-on-sale Second Issue of Oi Oi Oi! for completely different reasons...
She told me she was a student studying Media Arts and Law, and had had her comic work published in Voiceworks, a national youth magazine that (to be honest) I had never heard of even though (I have since learnt) it has been published regularly since 1988! Don't be ignorant like me: click here for the link to the magazine!
Madeleine then wrote a synopsis of her proposed work with some visuals to give me an idea of her art style. I was interested, so let her know her proposal had been accepted. Then I received some some seriously understated emails from Madeleine...
With the deadline of June 30th imposed on artists and cartoonists, and all other submissions from all the other artists and cartoonists already in, the next email from Madeleine (on June 22nd) confirmed my fears: "I've got three of the eight pages done and inked...so what is the deadline looking like?" I decided to prepare a stand-by story...
On June 30th, right on deadline, Madeleine's story arrived. Have a read of it when Oi Oi Oi! is released on Thursday. There was no way I could not publish it. Read it yourself, and tell me if Madeleine is not one of the most assured new comic talents in this country...
...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.