This entry, Dear Reader, has been a little late in coming. In order to clarify information about some of Comicoz' plans for 2014, there is fair amount of forward planning involved. There has to be an agreement between various parties, copyright matters to be worked through, and just a whole range of issues that will have no opportunity to be discussed today. Suffice to say, it takes a bit of time, and I suppose I have been a little distracted recently by advance copies of a book called Ned Kelly, Narrated and Illustrated by Monty Wedd... due to arrive today....
However, the first thing that I want to share with you is that the long-anticipated reprinting of Panel by Panel, the seminal work on Australian comics will take its first baby steps towards re-printing. In 2014, I will be re-designing and changing different aspects of this Web-Blog. The Comic Related News tab will still be front and foremost on the page, because you, Dear Reader, are entitled to click on to this page and know immediately the latest comic news from these parts. However, in the coming months, I will -- with the full co-operation of the copyright holder -- be transcribing the entirety of John Ryan's book on the Australian Comic History tab, and this part of the Comicoz site will be a treasure trove for all seeking to learn about our local Comics History (to 1979). This tab will be moved to the Second position on the web-page.
While this information will be useful for all who seek this history (and it can be used as such, as long as the correct Copyright permission is sought and given), it will be published on-line for a limited time like an Australian Comics Wikipedia with the express purpose of allowing each and any comics historian to inform me of any inaccuracies carried within the text. Since John Ryan's book, there has been a greater interest in learning more of our comics past. John had a limited time to write and prepare the book (and did a phenomenal job in the short time he was allowed by the publisher), and perhaps this was the reason some inaccuracies are known to have crept into the book.
Let me give you one example: On page 85 John Ryan states "...John Dixon was able to break into the newspaper field in June 1959 with his Air Hawk and the Flying Doctors. The strip made its first appearance in the Sun-Herald followed two weeks later in the Perth Weekend Mail...." John Dixon has sent me a photocopy of a newspaper dated May 1959, clearly indicating that -- despite what John Ryan believed -- the Perth Weekend Mail was the first newspaper to carry his Air Hawk strip.
The idea shall not be to discredit John Ryan: the purpose will be is to simply correct any inaccuracies found in the book's text. So when the book is re-printed (as John Ryan's Panel By Panel: An Illustrated of History Australian Comics -- New Amended and Updated Edition), it continues to remain the seminal reference book in this speciality field. The longer-term goal of publishing this work will still involve much work -- copyright clearances of more recent comic and comic strip work, and accurate assessment and documenting of the changes in the local industry in the 35 plus years since the book was first published, are just two examples. So, getting the initial text correct is the goal of the next 12 to 18 months. Watch this space!
So, maybe now it's about time that I talked about the books to be printed by Comicoz that are closer on track to being published in the near future....
Ginger Meggs is known and loved by the Australian public, perhaps more than any other Australian comic strip character. For the first time in this character's long history, this famous Australian Comic Strip is now able to be read in every major capital city's newspaper!
But what of the men who have illustrated the Ginger Meggs strip over the years? What are their stories? What are their backgrounds? These are questions that have long-intrigued cartoonist and former Bulletin Editor, Lindsay Foyle. And these are the questions he hopes to answer in his brand-new book to be published by Comicoz... With plans to incorporate many examples of the comic strip, books and art from over the years, many taken from Lindsay's own private collection, it is hoped this will become the definitive book on Ginger Meggs and his creators...
Besides comic strips, and comic strip characters, Comicoz is also enamoured by some of the wonderful comic books that have been produced over the years. Besides reprinting some of the classic Australian comic strips from the past, Comicoz believes that some of our comic books are equally deserving of being re-printed...
Three issues of the Brisbane-based anthology Eureka! appeared in 1988. The adventure serial Verity Aloha, created, written and drawn by Michal Dutkiewicz was a Fan Favourite, but has never been reprinted together in its entirety. After Michal did such fantastic work on the recent Air Hawk and Ned Kelly covers, I asked him about the possibility of returning to this character.
So, it is with great excitement that I can announce here today that Michal is returning to Verity Aloeha and that a volume of her re-printed and brand-new adventures will be published by Comicoz! Many who know Michal's work, appreciate the detail he puts into his characters (most especially the ladies!)...
Since our initial discussion, Michal recently told me: "I have been working on finalizing the plot elements for the prologue and new chapters. I have written pages and pages of notes and it is coming together. Meantime, I am still scanning old pages and touching up, sometimes relettering pages...."
Anyone who knows Michal, also knows he goes with his mantra: All the Best. He gives nothing but his best, and this will be a book to savour! Look forward to it being added to the Comicoz roster in the future. In order that Michal does not feel pressured, no anticipated or arbitrary deadline for the book has been set -- which will ensure that this will be some of Michal's finest work in years!
Dare I state the obvious, Dear Reader? These are exciting days for Comicoz and for Australian Comics! Pleased to have you on board! Keep reading here for more news in the months ahead!
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