Today's Dillon Naylor's birthday, and it seems an opportune time to share (a little belatedly, I confess) that Dillon's work Batrisha and the Creepy Caretaker was awarded a Bronze at the Comic Arts Awards of Australia ceremony, held in Adelaide last Friday night (on the 15th September). And more great news! His latest book, Rock n Roll Fairies, is due to arrive at Comicoz headquarters next Tuesday. I'd like to say more about my time in Adelaide, and some of the other projects... but ... work in busy and I am going to leave that for another day. In the meantime: Happy Birthday, Dillon and Congratulations on the Award!!
While Dillon Naylor's Rock n Roll Fairies book is being prepared at the printer, I'm busy preparing other books and comics. I can't stop myself! There's a wish to have a book released successfully internationally, and to this end I have other books and comic plans at the early stages of development. Air Hawk (Volume 2, Issue 1) is presently being designed and will be prepared for the US and international market. I have a book filled with international (female) cartoonists bubbling under the surface that - with my fellow publisher - we need to find a name for. In another case, I have been given the license to reprint a 1960s work that I will start work on in 2024 that an internationally renown writer will pen an Introduction to. And I am exploring the rights to an American comic strip that only appeared in Sweden! It all sounds so mysterious that I can't spell a lot of these out, doesn't it?
There's also some other books that were/are planned that I have my finger in. I'm (still) waiting on Lindsay Foyle to write this book on Ginger Meggs (or his cartoonist creators at least). And a book on Ron Vivian by his son-in-law that needs some guidance. Peter Player has promised me his kids graphic novel (that won the Comicoz-Wedd Mentored Graphic Storytelling Award last year) is "still on track", and Rob Feldman has shown me a great comic that has given me great ideas...
In the meantime, I also should be preparing for the Papercuts Comics Festival in Adelaide ... and the Comic Arts Awards of Australia. There's a couple of reasons for going. I was really impressed with the professional nature of the event when I last attended (pre-COVID in ...2019 I think it was), and I caught up with so many creatives that I had communicated with but had never met before. This time, Dillon's other book that I published, Batrisha and the Creepy Caretaker, has been shortlisted for an award. Click here for more details. And, just yesterday, I was honoured to be asked if I would be able accept an award - a Ledger of Honour, no less - for a creative not able to attend. (Of course I said "Yes"!) So, I better start working on a short speech... !
I'm also hoping to catch up with artist Michal Dutkiewicz while in Adelaide. Michal was going to illustrate the cover to a (still-planned) Air Hawk hardback volume, as well as the earlier-mentioned cover to a "still being worked on" book on Ginger Meggs' creatives by Lindsay Foyle. (I enclose a couple of roughs Michal did for the cover for the book.) I was also keen to discuss the on-going Verity Aloha series Michal had promised some years ago that had perpetually seemed to be on hold. But that's not the reason I want to catch up on the guy: I want to be able to say "G'Day, how are you?" to the fella, after learning that he is now not able to see well enough to draw. Sadly, all those projects will just be dreams or taken over by other artists. Michal has had a rare talent, and his loss to the comics community will be greatly felt. (At least he hasn't passed away! It almost sounds like I am painting his obituary!) Sometimes there are more important things than comics...
I'm pleased to say that Dillon Naylor's book Rock n Roll Fairies is at the printer. Well, mostly. There's one tweak that designer Ryan McDonald-Smith are planning (that we're going to keep as a surprise for Dillon). But it should be ready by Monday ...at the latest.
Last Saturday, I attended the Comicstreet Brisbane Indie Comics Market, held in the Queen Street Mall. It's been a while since I've attended a comic event (not counting the Zine Fair at the Museum recently). As I have once said before, it's one of the finest comic markets in the country. The event is not swamped with the commercial trappings of the commercial cons, the market is in a high traffic area and people who are not into comics come along initially to satisfy their curiosity. It was so much fun: I only wish I had taken more photos!
One thing it has stirred in me is the passion to produce more comics! Thant's not to say I'm saying goodbye to the books I have focused on over the past ten years (or to the ones still in the planning stages), but just that there's a joy to publishing a comic that I have missed. And one that lead me down this path that I seem to have neglected: Air Hawk. Let's just say that I'm interested in following a few leads to see where this passion takes me. I'm doing a little market research on the socials (Facebook, mostly), as well as talking to people whose opinions I value: Matt Emery, Jeremy Macpherson, and Jeff Battista...
To be continued ...
Sometimes it's nice to acknowledge a New Zealand artist's work. Roger Langridge (born 1967) has been working in comics as a writer and illustrator for more years than I imagine he would care to admit. I like his writing. I love his illustrating. And I always like it when he does both! Here's the first page to a story he has written and illustrated for Mega-City Max, a one-shot magazine anthology for 2000AD. Out now! I'm going to try to find a copy for myself. Once I do so, I'll let you know how much it retails for...
Walter the Wobot? Weally, Woger! I love it! Someone who doesn't take life too seriously!
Launching today! Get you order in today! Here's where you can snag an early bird price! Do it today! You don't want to miss out! Buy a copy (or three!) for the December holiday season!
Click here to find out more!
Are you a regular reader to this site? Everyone who comes here gets the scoop before everyone else! This is the top-secret project that Dillon Naylor and I (with artist Ian C. Thomas and my long-time designer-associate Ryan McDonald-Smith) have been working on for the past few months: Rock 'n' Roll Faires. (Want to know some more comic future plans? Keep coming back and reading this site!)
Dillon created these characters for Total Girl magazine around the turn of this century. We've compiled every episode in the six-year run in a new hardcover book that is soon going to be funded by Kickstarter. You heard it here first! The fabulous music in the film clip (above) was performed especially for the campaign by Zac BNJMN & KIARRA, with the amazing animation by Josh Waddell. We're hoping to have the Kickstarter starting real soon: I hope you'll join us in the venture!
It's been a mixed bag of a month. No word on the upcoming Air Hawk title yet. Jeremy Macpherson is busy working on the layouts (in between other things he needs to do to earn a living). And I'm getting back to working on Rock 'n' Roll Fairies by Dillon Naylor (and Ian C Thomas) and Iron Outlaw by Fysh Rutherford and Greg McAlpine. As well as other projects.
Work has put a kybosh on a lot of things of late. What with the need to be the (Acting) Nurse Unit Manager, and then night duty. With long antisocial hours, no comic work was able to be attended. It's one of those things. And, more recently, we had to put Moo, our dear mate of fifteen years, down earlier this week.
Still there were joys earlier in the month. Jeremy Staples organised a Zine Fair to coincide with the Brisbane Writer's Festival. It was the first market that I had done for many a year, and I was able to sell Dillon's comic (Batrisha) and show off his book. The Fair only went for a short time, like three hours in total, but I managed to get a few comics into new homes, making for a worthwhile exercise. Also saw some talented local talents: Knitting Anarchist (who real name I forgot!) and some nice work by Timothy Delaney, as well as meeting Alicia Grady who knows InDesign (always useful to know!) and will take on work...
Somewhere in my dreams I have come up with some more comic ideas. But rather than discuss them here, I know I have to prepare for work (*sigh*). Forty-nine weeks until I retire!
John Danger Dixon (20th February 1929 - 7th May 2015) was an Australian comic book artist, best known as the creator-writer-artist behind the newspaper comic strip Air Hawk. Although I have much news to share about my personal comic doings in the immediate future, I just want to delay announcing those to spend a moment honouring my friend. It was sixty years ago today (on Saturday the 11th May) that the daily Air Hawk strip first appeared in Australian newspapers. It was some twenty-five years later (in May 1988) that, with John's blessing, I published the first Comicoz issue of John Dixon's Air Hawk Magazine.
From the Melbourne Sun newspaper, an article by Olivia Jenkins. Please spread far and wide by sharing ...
"The hunt for original aviation comics by an accidental artist has taken flight as his family works to track down a complete collection of the historic illustrations.
"Aeroplane fanatic Norman Clifford had his first comic published in Melbourne with Southdown Press in the 1950s, where they outsold the likes of Marvel and Disney comics.
"Now, Mr Clifford's daughter Vicki Sach, is on a mission to find as many of her father's original comics as she can after they flew off the shelves in Melbourne when they were first published.
"Mrs Sach said the comics were a local hit that sold out in a hurry because her father began drawing them amid the aftermath of WWII as the Korean War was splashed across newspapers' front pages.
" 'His first comic sold out and he even got fan mail for it,' Mrs Sach said. 'The comic was called Sky Demons and it even outstripped the Disney and Marvel titles of the time.
" 'He knew nothing about storyboards ... he made the stories up as he went and my mother did the lettering.'
"Now 93, Mr Clifford said aeroplanes were always the star of his comics as even main characters came in second to aviation design and flight. 'Airplanes featured as much as the cast,' Mr Clifford said.
"Mrs Sach said she needs the public's help to help her and her father locate original copies of his comics as she helps him write his memoir.
" 'It would be wonderful to see his face as he need the pages (of his comics),' she said.
" 'I'm on a mission.' "
Anyone with information, please contact me either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via this webpage page, and I can put you in touch with Vicki.
Last year's Comic Arts Awards of Australia's Annual has just recently been released. I'm very proud to have supported the project, despite the 'handicap' of COVID. Not only did I chair the Ledger of Honour Award - okay, bragging time, for the seventh year in a row! - I also placed sponsorship dollars into the venture. I really believe in supporting the creatives, past and present, of the local Australian comic "industry".
Meantime, in order to boost my own revenue to allow me to both publish more Australian comics and comic books (with the emphasis on books) and support local Australian creatives, I am now going to start selling some books and magazines that are more commercially available. The time is coming where I won't be working and drawing a wage, so I need to prepare for the day where my publishing ventures have to be somewhat more independent (or less dependent, if you will) of other means. SO, if you have a particular DC title that you would like to order on a regular basis, please get in touch! I'm going to initially offer a pull list of some of the more popular monthly titles from only $7.50 an issue. (What does your comic book shop charge?) First person to do so will score a free copy of the CAAA's Annual! What are you waiting for?!
And, speaking of more Australian comics and comic books ... time won't be far away before I make an announcement about a book I have been working on for the past few months ... and how you can obtain your copy of the book!
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 has been 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