Dillon Naylor and I were going to launch the Kickstarter campaign for his new book Batrisha and the Creepy Caretaker on Halloween. Without going into the details of it, the launch took place a few days early and has already racked up half the proposed funds. Here's a place where you can learn more about it: Click here. I'd write a bit more about it, except I have a Doctor's appointment tomorrow ... before my afternoon shift. Let me just be brief. I am excited about this project, and Dillon has been one of the easiest creatives to work with.
I have to admit, I had my doubts the Emile Mercier book would reach it's Kickstarter goal.
But it did! And that was a relief!
I'm presently pressing on getting the final pages ready (including the one where we thank all those who pledged in the campaign), and getting the Rewards ready.
And, added to that, I've agreed to assist Dillon Naylor in getting a fabulous new book under way!
And slowly getting Iron Outlaw ready...
And being asked to go back to full-time at work.
Am I a glutton for punishment or what ...??!
Although these has been much support from within the Australian cartooning and comic-loving community, I'm honestly concerned that the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the printing of the Emile Mercier book is in danger of not reaching its funding goal.
The wonderful promotional TV segment by journalist Alison Paul on Monday night has certainly provided a bit of a boost to Pledges made.
In case you missed it, here's the link here: www.nbnnews.com.au/2021/10/05/emile-mercier-cartoon-book-to-be-published/?fbclid=IwAR1f3B0oSnpEDolF1BZk4RJmhf02bsdMnqXHHHlYF9oRr9gaicJVP9sD46U
However, with less than three days to go -- and remember, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing funding platform that has to finish on the specified timeline -- the project seems to be stuck on 59% of required funding. I've certainly attempted to promote it within social media circles, and with email campaigns. I can't do it alone!
If there was a way of getting just ten of the National Cartoon Gallery's many sponsors willing to back $250 each in the "True Believer" level of support, we'd be almost funded!
Perhaps if each could be offered ten copies of the published book, an opportunity to attend the book launch and exhibition, a limited edition copy of one of Emile's cartoons: would that be tempting enough?
I'm even willing to put all people's names who have pledged into a draw at the launch, and offer my printer's proof copy of the book (a one of a kind) to the person whose name is drawn.
Any other ideas to reach the required total welcomed!!
I'll give you a call later today to discuss...
Many, many years ago, artist Dillon Naylor approached me about working on the new Felix the Cat comic book I was keen on publishing. The venture never took off, although I have had the opportunity to publish some of Dillon's work over the past decade: from stories in Oi Oi Oi! to... this latest venture! I'm really happy to announce the agreement we have reached in publishing the all-ages book, Batrisha and the Creepy Caretaker written and illustrated by Dillon. This is Dillon's finest work to date. I'll tease you a little by sharing the cover, and the back cover's text: "Gloomwood Hollow Cemetery. A dark, forgotten place, visited once a year by its creepy caretaker, Old Joe. Now for the very first time, someone else is there, sitting in the shadows, waiting. A pale, dark-haired little girl and her two-tailed cat, hungering for the perfect scary story." Doesn't that get you a little excited?!
But that's all I am sharing with you for now! Look forward to more details on the Comicoz Facebook page ... soon. This here's the link!
Great to see Ginger Meggs being offered an opportunity to be honoured by Australia Post this week. On behalf of the Australian Cartoonists Association I've written to the Philatelic group who decide who gets a gong and who doesn't, to at least consider another release on Australian cartoonists*...preferably in 2024, when the Association celebrates its centenary. No definitive reply just yet!
* The last major issue of stamps featuring cartoonists was way back in 1988....
It’s difficult in these modern times to recall a simpler, less-complicated time for people that live in Australia’s most populated city, Sydney. The running rampant COVID-19 virus seems to have stripped the humourous heart out of Sydneysiders, and indeed the country. People, everywhere, are increasingly anxious and fearful for the unknown of our future.
Perhaps it’s time to look back at a gentler time, when there was a different sense of community, and there was humour in the everyday. Cartoonist Emile Mercier was able to find such joy and shared it daily with his cartoons in the Sydney newspaper The Sun from 1949 to 1968. There were no politics in his drawings, rather he highlighted the everyday places and people that are the soul of a city – the drunks, the privileged, the housewives, and the alleys, the buildings, the sporting events, and more. He also captured an inner-city Sydney now long gone, with the terraced-houses, backyards, with the cafes and pubs.
Mercier was well-qualified to comment on the humour he saw in the city. He came as an outsider, from New Caledonia where he was born in 1901. His father threatened to cut him out of the family fortune if his abandoned his heritage. Emile remained determined; he wanted to carve out his own future when he arrived in 1919.
As he did. Mercier worked in a variety of occupations including a spruiker at the Royal Easter Show, a deck hand, an office boy, and many others, before he was encouraged to become a full-time freelance cartoonist. His cartoons and comic books reflected his love of people, and what he saw as the strangeness of the Australian way of life.
ir streets, their homes, and always with a humour that steered far from politics. After twenty years as the newspaper’s daily cartoonist, Mercier retired in 1968. He passed away in 1981, leaving behind a collection of his works and a cartooning legacy that continues to be recalled by many devotees to the craft.
For many years after Emile’s death, his son Michael had pondered on what to do with thousands of his father’s original artworks. A couple of years ago, he decided on donating them to the National Cartoon Gallery, in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. The Gallery holds the largest collection of original cartoons in the southern hemisphere and seems a fit and proper place for housing them.
However, given Emile Mercier was the chronicler of the everyday Sydneysider, it seemed a travesty to just to store them and have them forgotten. In these grim times, the world – and, especially, Sydney – is again in need of his humour to lift the spirits of people.
Member of the Australian Cartoonists Association and comic book publisher Nat Karmichael was entrusted to work on bringing a collection of Emile’s cartoons to greater prominence. Enlisting the support of a small group of cartoonists, academics, and some everyday Australians, Nat and his team selected many cartoons for publication.
The result is a book, soon to be released, called Emile Mercier: A Selection of Cartoons is in the end stages of production. Queensland-based Karmichael has launched a short crowd-funding campaign to raise funds for the project. “With all the anxiety and distress in the world today, there’s an even greater need to be able to laugh at ourselves to lift our spirits and hope for a brighter future” Karmichael said.
That’s exactly what Emile Mercier hoped for when he left his home in New Caledonia, arriving as an immigrant to Sydney just over one hundred years ago, and it’s his humourous slant on life that is again going to be shared with Sydney, and the world.
Emile Mercier: A Selection of Cartoons
ISBN (softcover): 9780994362339
Includes a short biography by Lindsay Foyle, former editor of The Bulletin, and an Introduction by Emile’s son, Michael Mercier. The book contains some never-before-seen personal family photos of Emile.
Get your copies early! The link to the Kickstarter campaign can be found here: http://kck.st/3kS78hx
After the campaign, limited copies can be obtained from the National Cartoon Gallery or at all good bookstores. Books will be distributed nationally by Novella Distribution.
For media enquiries contact Nat Karmichael at email@example.com
I always like to inform my Blog readers first. So, here is where you can click to go and check out the Emile Mercier Kickstarter campaign: kck.st/3kS78hx
For readers of my Blog only: I have this morning submitted my Kickstarter for the Emile Mercier book to benefit the National Cartoon Gallery. We're due to get approval on the last day of this month ... Happy to take your feedback!
Many people my vintage (and younger?) might remember Ian "Molly" Meldrum (a television 'personality' on Channel Two) urging music-lovers to go out and purchase a particular Long Player (a record, a devise used to play music from) that had struck his fancy. I can now offer similar advice. Since my last blog, I've been offered an account with United Book Distributors, allowing me to be able to purchase books on a wholesale basis. This in turn is going to allow me to channel any profits made into my personal book publishing. Interested in seeing what's on offer? Click here for all Graphic Novels and Manga. I can allow you, as a reader of my blog, an 'Introductory Offer' of 20% off retail price (does not include shipping, and cannot be offered to overseas readers, sorry). Let me know which title/s strike your fancy, and then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you more details. (No minimum amount needed to order.) "Do yourself a favour; do it today!"
Here are just some of the books on offer... Click here! for more books to select from....
Lately, there have been a proliferation of Australian comics being published and marketed locally via a range of crowd-funded sites. And, really, it's quite easy to see why. As I found out the (financially) hard way with Oi Oi Oi! -- there is no future in publishing and releasing comics the 'traditional' way via local Australian newsstands. Newspaper circulations are dropping, as more people obtain their news via the immediacy of television and, even more so, other social media platforms. As a result, newsagents are slowly going out of business. The only comics found there these days (in Australia, at any rate) are reprints of Mad magazine, occasionally 2000 A.D., and The Phantom, the latter of which is surviving because the publisher has - at last - acknowledged that there is a talent pool of local artists and writers willing to contribute to the character, and there still remains a loyal readership. For how long, though?
There is certainly a lot to like about the ability to market a comic book via crowd-funded sites. At the present time, it seems to suit most participants. Set-up costs for writer-artist-self-publishers are relatively small, and there appears to be a dedicated consumer base willing to support and successfully fund most campaigns of late. And while Comicoz was one of the earlier pioneers of the crowd-funding model to fund some of its high-quality comic-related books within this country (and with plans to soon market some new books through this method), I'm increasingly concerned that this particular marketplace is slowly becoming saturated with comic product, local and international. With the increasing number of publishers entering the market, there will need to be an increasing quality of product (and incentives) to attract potential readers, and I fear that there remains a limited or even decreasing number of potential supporters of the medium.
One of the problems is that I don't believe the reader-base is expanding. Comics are not the entertainment staple that they were when I was younger. As a result, there are less and less younger people knowing how to read comics. The big two comic book publishers (DC and Marvel) seem more intent on focusing their efforts on catering to collectors, with their various covers of the same issue. The other side of this, is that there is an increased diversity of product (that is, not mere superhero comics). Although this diversity seems to be the province of the smaller publishers, enthusiastically entering the market to create perhaps the biggest range of comic available to readers since the advent of the direct-market system.
Another problem (locally, at least) seems to be the ever-present scourge of COVID-19. From lockdowns to people losing regular work, people are finding money tight. While the government paints a rosy picture that the economy is going to bounce-back once "we get to the other side", I fear that the many small businesses, the local comic shop retailers who support the comic medium, will struggle to stay afloat. Compounding this concern, is the recent decision by Marvel and DC (and other publishers) to leave Diamond Distributors. While I have no problem with an increased competition within the marketplace, I wonder if there will be smaller discounts offered by the new distributor, Penguin Random House, thus putting a bigger squeeze on the local comic book store. From the major publisher's perspective, it increases the visibility of their product (and hopefully sales), and perhaps makes the comic medium (particularly the graphic novel) more aligned with literature -- which is something the industry has long wished for.
...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.