No postings here for a while then, I suppose.
While you are waiting for Normal Service to be resumed, check this out: http://pozible.com/project/201241
Off to Brisbane's Supanova today and the weekend...just as my computer decides to crash!
No postings here for a while then, I suppose.
While you are waiting for Normal Service to be resumed, check this out: http://pozible.com/project/201241
Although these books have not yet arrived at Comicoz Headquarters (indeed, the proof of Australia! has not even arrived!), word is: they are not too far away! The Comicoz Store is ready to take your Orders now, if you wish. Just Click here.
Or, if you would like to know more details about the books first, please Click here.
And, if it's comics that float your boat: this is where you should click: Right HERE!
ACCEPTING THE BEST COMIC STRIP AWARD
In 1981, I was living in Canberra when I first read this new newspaper comic strip called "Swamp". I was so taken by its humour and cartoon style that I immediately wrote a letter to the newspaper's editor (that's how we communicated in those days before emails), asking for more details about the feature. To my surprise, I received a response and learnt that Gary Clark came from my hometown of Brisbane. Gary might be surprised to know that I still have that first piece of correspondence, written by Yvonne, his wife.
On my return to Brisbane in 1982, I met Gary for the first time in person and a friendship developed from that first meeting. However, my visits to Gary were not positive ones: we tended to talk about comic strips, cartoonists and other topics, and Gary got so little work done that Yvonne limited my visits to three per year.
Last month, knowing Gary would not be attending the 2015 Stanley Awards, I asked Gary the "what If" question -- what if he won this Award [Best Comic Strip]? Gary did not feel he would win, but said I could accept it on his behalf if he did.
Ladies and Gentlemen, before I accept this Award on behalf of Gary Clark, I'd like to acknowledge all the Yvonne's in this industry. All the partners of the artists and cartoonists here tonight and the partners of those not here. I think you'll agree, they put up with a lot.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honoured to accept this Best Comic Strip Award on behalf of a great cartoonist and a true Friend, Gary Clark.
INTRODUCING THE 2015 JIM RUSSELL AWARD
Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen.
The Jim Russell Award is, I believe, the most Special Award in the annals of the Australian Cartoonists Association. It is an Award that can be won by an individual or a corporation, it can be won by someone whose work is not in the Year Book, and it can even be won by someone not a Member of the Australian Cartoonists’ Association.
It is special not because it is the only one that non-cartoonists, like myself, ever have a chance of winning! But it is special because it is the only Award that is chosen, not by popular vote, but by the Committee of the Australian Cartoonists’ Association.
The Committee considered most carefully the Award for 2015. Which individual or corporation was thought to have contributed most to, or advanced the cause of, cartooning in Australia? We considered very carefully the candidates….
Tony Abbott? Nah.
The winner of this year’s Award has influenced more than mere cartooning in this country – the impact extends to other aspects of Australian culture. Yet, the recipient of the Jim Russell Award for 2015 is attending the Stanley Awards for the very first time tonight.
Our winner personifies mateship; the Australian ability to be able to laugh during tough economic times; and not just at the absurd situations that we can find or place ourselves in, but the ability to be able to laugh at ourselves in spite of the adversity surrounding us. We tend to overlook the mild profanity uttered by the beneficiary of this year’s winner of the Jim Russell Award; in fact, we have overlooked his contribution to the cause of cartooning in Australia, not just this year, but for the past 83 years.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with much honour that I announce the Committee’s decision: the winner of the Australian Cartoonists’ Association’s Jim Russell Award for most significant contribution to Australian cartooning and to Australian culture for 2015 is …
The Stan Cross cartoon “For Gorsake, Stop Laughing: This is Serious”.
Many people who have read my recent editorial in Oi Oi Oi! #6, may believe that I harbour a deep animosity towards The Phantom comic and all who work within their Sydney office. I thought today I could attempt to dispel those myths and let it publically be known where exactly I stand.
Although the comic is published in Australia, I personally do not consider it an Aussie comic. The character is licenced from an American company. For the main, the comic reprints stories that have been published earlier in its publishing life or from comics first published in Scandinavia or from daily and Sunday newspaper strips collated into comics from its American syndicate. I consider the publication in the same light as I would former Australian reprint companies like Murray Comics or even the present company that endlessly reprint comics based on the television show, The Simpsons. (For those who can remember, Murray was a Sydney company that reprinted mostly large black and white volumes of what we now know as DC Comic characters.) When I, as Comicoz, eventually get around to reprinting and updating John Ryan's Panel by Panel volume, there will be little detailed analysis of The Phantom comic (or of any other organisation that reprints non-Australian material).
I particularly find the present practise of reprinting The Phantom's first 200 issues (from Issue 200 chronologically down to its First Issue) exactly as the comics first appeared, including the advertisements of the day, appalling. Sure, I can understand that the earlier issues are rare and hard to find - and when found, are not cheap to purchase - and that Collectors will appreciate the opportunity to have them in their collection. But the fact that the decision was made to reprint the comics as they first appeared seems somewhat hypocritical, to my thinking, when editorially the more recent editions of the comic boast at how they are now reprinting and correcting older versions of the comic that previously had panels edited out or that were incomplete. What might have been a better approach (in my opinion), might have been the complete and unabridged reprinting of the newspaper strip consecutively from the 1936 beginning. Had these been collated in volumes like the Replica Series, not only would the local Phantom Phans have been satisfied, but I believe there would have been a greater overseas demand for the comic, particularly from US Comic Historians. As it sits, it seems to be an opportunity lost.
Rather than everyone thinking that this writing is pure professional jealousy on my part, however, I thought I should acknowledge aspects about Frew's Phantom run that I admire. Let's face it, you don't get to publish 1,768 issues (and counting) of a magazine -- any magazine, let alone a comic magazine -- in Australia, or even the world, without doing something right! The Phantom's fantastic unbroken run just has to be admired...it is an astonishing achievement. Present Publisher, Dudley Hogarth, in Issue numbered #1740 (44 pages, out on sale now at most newsagents, for $5) acknowledges his predecessor Jim Shepherd in his editorial. "There is never a day in this office that I am not reminded of his legacy either by direct reference ie Jim did it this way, or simply because his cheery smile is beaming at me from a photograph taken many years ago..." (Dudley's italics).
For those that feel I am antagonistic towards the people behind the publishers, let me assure you this is far from the truth! Jim Shepherd was most supportive of my Air Hawk comic book venture in the late 1980s, even allowing me to run an advertisement for Issue #7 (that never saw print). Jim also harboured a desire to write comic stories. He was most enthusiastic about that idea becoming a reality when I once visited his Sydney office. He informed me that King Features (the syndicate behind The Phantom) had agreed to allow him to write a Phantom story based in Australia. The story in the current issue is the fourth story that Jim wrote (reprinted and 'remastered' from its original appearance in #1131 in 1996). The artwork, by Sydney-based Glenn Ford, is full of energy and still shines today. (I particularly like the splash panel on page 6, and the sequence on page 33. The pub scene on pages 10 and 11 is the best example of Jim and Glenn working in sync. It's a good read!)
For all my criticism of The Phantom, personally I do believe Jim continued to change the comic during his tenure, and for the better. Jim allowed a wider variety of Australian artists to illustrate the covers, a practise I am pleased to say that continues to this day. He was keen to expand Frew's boundaries, publishing a short run of Mandrake comics that ultimately proved unsuccessful. For reasons that I can only put down to the fact that it is a good read, The Phantom continues to do well in Australia. I confess, I read it as a child: and enjoyed it! Certainly, most major newspapers around the country carry the daily strip. (I am unsure if that is because of the popularity of the comic, or whether the comic continues its popularity because of the strip. For today's readers, what comes first?)
Long-time readers of this Blog will remember my writing, when I was reporting Jim's sudden passing, wondering how the future would go for the comic. I have yet to communicate with Dudley, although I shall do so after this posting, even if to alert him to these comments of mine. I have been pleased with his editorials to date. (I know how hard they can be to write, and I only have to write quarterly ones in Oi Oi Oi!) His frequent two page letter columns (appearing in most issues) are friendly, and give readers a sense of belonging to a community.
And yet, having acknowledged those positives about The Phantom, I am somehow left expecting more. As Australia's longest published comic, appearing on the newsstands more frequently than any other local comic, I see so much potential that the publication could offer the local scene. There could be a section in The Phantom devoted to some of the comic or zine-related activities happening in Australia, or there could be reviews about (or even links to) some of the locally produced comics. I had planned for OiOiOi! to do just that, and I acknowledge my own hypocrisy in making these suggestions -- I know from my own editorial experience that sometimes there just isn't time. Sometimes there is only time to get the next issue ready...
Another thing that I would like The Phantom editorial team to consider (and if Dudley reads this far, maybe he could give it some thought): allowing back-up comic stories, maybe not related to The Phantom. There are so many Australian artists and cartoonists who are looking to see their tales told. Here, at least, I know I am not being a hypocrite! I know Oi Oi Oi! allows this to happen, but I believe there is more room for more players in the market place to do this. If this latest issue of The Phantom can carry an Australian writer and artist, why not every issue running (say) five to eight pages of original Aussie comic stories?
If you want to support a project getting a locally produced Australian comic featuring Aussie Artists and Cartoonists regularly on the newsstands, please click here for more information:
Last November: Lindsay Foyle, former Editor of THE BULLETIN and COMICOZ Publisher Nat Karmichael 'discover' the Holy Grail of Australian cartooning. Sadly absent was Sydney Cartoonist ROB FELDMAN who was instrumental in bringing the work back in the public eye (and who had work commitments on the morning of the 'discovery').
See the ORIGINAL 'Stop Laughing - this is Serious' Stan Cross cartoon for the FIRST time EVER in Melbourne, and in it's FIRST public showing since 1933. This Historic Cultural and cartooning EVENT may NEVER be repeated.
Hurry! For bookings:
If you CANNOT get to Melbourne to attend this event (or if you can't afford it or are otherwise just TOO BUSY), perhaps you could consider READING about it? The FULL story will be published in a Special Nostalgia Edition of my comic OI OI OI! that is ONLY available by Pledging here: http://www.pozible.com/project/201241
Eevien Tan drew the cover
Inside Contents: Hippity Dippity Hippo by Magic Sweater.
Part 4 of Alicia Jade's Seven
Mars, Science Fiction tale written by Mitchell Hall and illustrated by Josh Spencer
Gavin Thompson's Burnard The Bunyip
Eat to Live, another Science Fiction story; by Ben Michael Byrne
Touched by Veronica Rooke
A autobiographical tale from Dillon Naylor
This on-going Australian comic book series celebrates a special milestone with the release of this late Spring-early Summer issue in late October 2015.
Editor-Publisher Nat Karmichael says that there has not been a nationally-released original Australian comic book series to have reached a sixth consecutive issue since the late 1980s.
“The big difference is that this issue of Oi Oi Oi! has been produced to reflect reader demands,” Karmichael said. “This edition marks a big turnaround editorially, with all stories especially chosen for their real family-friendly fare.
“From a delightfully funny fantasy story featuring a fun-character called Hippity Dippity Hippo by a Melbourne cartoonist who only wants to be known as Magic Sweater, to a most contemporary Science Fiction story ‘Mars’ by a Sydney-based artistic team, or to a warm wordless story about a bunyip called Bernard from Canberra cartoonist Gavin Thomson, this Sixth Issue of Oi Oi Oi! has something to entertain every Australians everywhere.”
Karmichael said that there are further plans ahead to build on the Fan-base of this comic, by including and soon introducing an all-new on-going colour fantasy storyline and a typically Australian super hero adventure series. “Comics are once again beginning to be re-discovered by Australians looking for an alternative form of entertainment,” Karmichael said.
“There are so many talented Australian artists and cartoonists with different Australian stories to tell, and Oi Oi Oi! is now offering both readers and comic creators a vehicle to share this unique form of storytelling.”
If YOU would like to be a part of the future plans for Oi Oi Oi! please check out our Pozible Campaign by clicking here: http://www.pozible.com/project/201241
This is the fantastic untouched artwork to appear on the cover to a Special Nostalgia Edition of Comicoz' OI OI OI! Artist Glenn Lumsden's comic work has not been seen for.... well, for too long a time. Have a look at this beautiful piece of work and see if you don't agree that Glenn is back and better than ever!
This cover will be appearing on a Special Limited Edition of Oi Oi Oi! that will feature some super special ALL-NEW never-before published classic comic stories from Australia's greatest artists and cartoonists like Bruce Mutard, Jim Stratman, Rob Feldman and Ian Eddy. Some of these stories are over thirty years old! Why are they being published now? Because they are so good! Also inside, there is the first article on the full story on the recent 'discovery' of the original 1933 Stan Cross cartoon "For Gorsake, Stop Laughing: This Is Serious". There had to be a reason why this issue was called the Special Nostalgia Edition!
There is also a reason why this is a Special Limited Edition. You see, this issue of Oi Oi Oi! will ONLY be available to Subscribers or to anyone who makes a Pledge on Comicoz' Pozible Campaign that begins today!
If you have not picked up all issues of OiOiOi! so far, or if you have not Subscribed to date... here's your chance to do so ...and you'll be rewarded with a special copy featuring Glenn's fabulous cover artwork! You can get full details by clicking on this link here... http://www.pozible.com/project/201241
It has been AGES since I last placed an entry on my Blog to let all you good Readers know what has been going on in my world of comics, and for this I must apologies. As the Jimmy Buffett song goes: "If the phone doesn't ring, you know that it is me"...
You may think that I may have been doing nothing, but in fact so much has been happening that I have simply not had time to record it here for you or for posterity. Still, for anyone who may be in the remotest bit interested in my life in October 2015, here's what's been going on...
For starters, not only was I awarded the greatest honour late last month of being made an Honorary Committee Member of my beloved Australian Cartoonists' Association, but I was also given the opportunity of editing the official Members' Magazine, Inkspot...
Much to my dismay, the Magazine, once appearing every three months in our letterboxes, has been left in hiatus for the past three years...with only about three issues seeing print within that time. I have always seen it as an integral part of the Club (okay, Association), and especially valuable for Members who are not connected to the internet or who don't live in the cities, where the Membership may be more active. So, with the wonderful assistance of cartoonist Phil Judd and The Bunker's new Manager Chris Barr (and moral support of cartoonists Dave Emerson and Steve Panozzo), we have recently brought out our first collective issue (see the picture above)... The trick now, of course, is to continue to bring out an issue every three months; and with the experience of Oi Oi Oi! behind me, I know that this will be no easy task...!!
In the meantime, I have also had to manage all Comicoz things as well. The Sixth Issue of Oi Oi Oi! is soon due to hit the newsstands (in about a week's time, so I am told), the internals of Australia!, the beyondblue anthology is at the printer (as Lesley Vamos works on the cover), and -- just yesterday! -- the printer's proof of Neil Matterson's Trundle book arrived from the printer.... Just above is the first public showing of its cover! I am really pleased with the printing and how it looks: a book that many Australian families will treasure in the years to come.
Arriving in the months ahead, too, is a really exciting development in the life of our flagship title Oi Oi Oi! After mulling over the idea for months, I have decided to run a Superhero story in Issue Seven. This will be an ongoing series, and I truly believe the Issue will become a real Collector's Item in years to come, if all goes to plan. I won't say anymore just yet, but because you have read it here, you are one of the first to have read about this exciting news...and one of the first to see the art roughs (just below)....
Animator Yoram Gross was born in Poland on 18th October 1926 and passed away last Monday (21st September 2015) in Sydney. He was best known and internationally acclaimed for his many Australian-flavoured animated Feature films, including Dot and the Kangaroo. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy of films that many of us grew up on. I have taken this interview from YouTube in hope it gets a larger audience. It has been viewed only thirteen times. Let us honour this fine creative person, who shared much about Australia to so many people around our world.
There is more than Football happening in Sydney at this time of the year. As an example...
Bruce told me in an email that "this exhibition is the biggest work I’ve put out into the public since The Sacrifice and it’s actually a comic, but it's one you walk through. There is no page one, so [you] start with whatever attracts you first and start reading. Go at your own pace, double back, move around the 3D panels, however you want. That’s the point of it in many ways.
"Yes, yes, the really big work I’ve been creating is the follow-up to The Sacrifice and it’s well under way, but the above is the culmination of more than 2 years study and research at Monash University for my Masters (done over more than 5 years). It’s one of the many reasons for the delay.
"So, it’d be great to see you at the opening night, or at one of many events I’ll be doing during Comic Con-versation over that week."
So there! Consider that your personal Invitation! Go and then tell me how good it was, and how I will wished I had gone, instead of yelling "Go Broncos!" in front of a television screen....!