2009: The Comicoz Year In Review
This is the First Entry from Comicoz Founder Nat Karmichael seeking to keep you up to date in the projects Comicoz in working on...
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. Now all of this is great but one very important thing to remember for your bucks party Perth is to go to the experts Perth's best girls for all your entertainment.
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!
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 was 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