On March 27 2009, Comicoz entered into a long-term publishing agreement with Australian Adventure Strip Legend John Dixon in relation to all of his "Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor" material. During the year, contact has been made with people important to John over his lifetime and many have agreed to supply biographical interviews and articles for the planned First Volume of "John Dixon, Air Hawk and The Flying Doctor"...the working title of the first Comicoz paperback.
The year has been taken up mostly with preparing the book for publication. In early May, famous graphic artist Eddie Campbell agreed to work on the cover artwork. My preference would always have been for John Dixon do a cover, as he had from 1988 to 1990 when Comicoz published six issues of "John Dixon's Air Hawk Magazine". Sad to relate, but it seems John is unable to do much artwork these days.
As an aside, there were a few significant milestones for John in 2009: John and Sue Dixon celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary, John turned 80, and it was 50 years since the first publication of Air Hawk! Congratulations from all at Comicoz! John supplied the evidence that it was the Perth "Weekend News" that first published his Air Hawk strip...not the Sydney "Sun-Herald", as commonly thought. It may have been due to the late John Ryan's authorative work "Panel By Panel" (1979) that the incorrect information has been propagated over the years...
Speaking of which... While working on gathering biographical interviews for the Air Hawk book I spend a wonderful morning speaking to the late John Ryan's wife Jan about her memories of John Dixon as well a her late husband's work. One end result - besides an article, based on our chat - is that Jan has given in-principal approval for Comicoz to reprint and update "Panel By Panel". Although little progress has been made on this project to date, my enthusiasm for seeing this seminal Australian tome back in print is unbounded! If you know any Australian comic book or strip artist/writer/publisher (anyone!) involved in the industry... get them to get in touch with me as soon as possible!
About September, I began the process of attempting to locate all "John Dixon's Air Hawk Magazine" subscribers to alert them to the news on the upcoming book. Many sought to ask questions about the project, and I honestly have not had the time to attend to atheir mail. (I particularly feel bad about not finding the time to reply to John Clements, who has some information that I know I would dearly appreciate including in the first John Dixon book....)
In order to answer the many questions put to me by all the wonderful Fans of Air Hawk, the idea came to produce this Comicoz web-site that you are now reading. I must thank the talented Aaron Moore who has given his invaluable time and assistance in getting this project running... Most of my spare time in December has been gearing this site ready for launch into cyber-space!
I'll be back with more news next time!