John Dixon is 83 years young today! So, Happy Birthday to one of Australia's Greatest Adventure Strip Artists! I sent a gift to John last month: a signed copy of the book '50 Ways to Leave Your Mother (Alone)' by Michael J. Buckley, a family man from Kansas City (USA). The 32 page book has been lovingly created with 'a rusty pen nib, ink and watercolour the old fashioned way'. It marvelously depicts and evokes the wonders of childhood, and I highly suggest you obtain a copy. Or, at the very least, check out the website http://www.60ways.com/
Naysayers will decry me for praising a non-Australian cartoon book, but have a look (at right) at the original artwork and tribute to John's Air Hawk characters that Michael asked me to pass on to John as part of his birthday present. I trust you agree that it is well-depicted and that you will allow me this indulgence on this occasion! John himself 'liked the illustration by the American artist' according to John's wife Sue, when she wrote to me recently. (John obviously opens his presents before his birthday!) They plan to frame it and place it in John's studio.
As to John's health, the up-side is that he still remembers names and faces. The down-side is that he has a new diagnosis (or 'best guess' as Sue likes to call it!) - Dementia with Lewy Bodies, characterised by Parkinson and Alzheimer's symptoms. Any person wishing to send a (belated) birthday greeting (or well-wishes to John and Sue Dixon during what must be difficult times), is welcome to post items to the Comicoz mailing address*: everything sent for John and Sue will be forwarded on.
* John and Sue Dixon, Care of: Comicoz, PO Box 187, MARGATE BEACH, Queensland, 4019 (Australia).
Just in case Readers may feel I have forgotten things John Dixon, I must point out that the December 2011 Issue of the National Library's Magazine (see illustration) has published a wonderful John Dixon article written by one of his biggest Fans, Philip O'Brien!
Philip was kind enough to pass on two copies of the magazine to me, so I have been able to forward a copy on to John...just in time for his 81st birthday! If you are interested in reading the article, simply click here. I am sure if you ask the National Library in a kind manner, they may be able to supply you with an original copy of the magazine...if that is what you want. Please let them know you saw the information about Air Hawk on the Comicoz web-page. Here are the contact details to write to: http://www.nla.gov.au/contact-us
So, a Great Big Public Thank You to Philip for keeping the wonderful works of John Dixon, and Air Hawk in particular, in the public eye...
I pass on this information to all who have a Graphic Novel they think is as good as (or better than) those presently in the marketplace...
Australian publisher Allan & Unwin are, according to their web-site, from February 2012 seeking submissions for Graphic Novels. Called the Friday Pitch, interested parties are required to place a chapter of their creation to the company every Friday. Successful applicants know within a couple of weeks if A&U are in any way interested, which is a pretty quick turnaround. Check their web-site for details....
Comicoz may even put in a couple of proposals this month....!
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