Just to keep everyone posted on the Monty Wedd NED KELLY book.... Roger (Staria and Torkan) Fletcher has already kindly written a fabulous Introduction for the book.
And in the next couple of weeks Comicoz will begin a crowd-funding campaign on Pozible, with a whole range of wonderful goodies on offer....
I had an email from Sue Dixon last week, updating me on John's progress and I share it with all those who care about this great Australian adventure strip artist....
"It has been 3 weeks since John was hospitalized for 3 days with pneumonia. It really took a lot out of him and has advanced his Lewy Body Dementia. He still knows people and has short conversations. Cindy drove down from LA and met me at the hospital. Her 3 day stay turned into 10 because I became ill and she took care of the both of us.
"John needs help with everthing. As long as he can make it up the stairs once or twice a day we will continue to stay upstairs and sleep until the time comes for him to sleep downstairs. Between the illness and rearranging the furniture I have neglected my emails."
Anyone interested in sending a (now belated) birthday greeting to John (or kind wishes to Sue), please post to me:
Nat Karmichael, Comicoz
PO Box 187
MARGATE BEACH 4019
I shall forward all correspondence received on to the Dixons....
On Australia Day last month, celebrating my daughter's 30th birthday, a group of the 'oldies' in the party of family and friends began to reminisce about what we were doing when we individually reached that milestone. When it was my turn to share my reflections, I confessed that I was unable to recall. (It was a long time ago, I protested!) However, since Natalie's Celebrations, I have engaged in more research - and discovered what I must have been doing around that time. Here is the evidence: a month after my 30th, I have dated the first Introduction to the First Issue of John Dixon's Air Hawk Magazine....
Let's engage in a bit of maths now. At that time (in late 1987 - early 1988), John Dixon would have almost been 54 years of age - about the same age (give or take a year or two) that I am today! And the newspaper version of Air Hawk had ceased running new adventures only one or two years beforehand... Let's run this a little further: what was John Dixon doing when he turned 30? It was 1959...and in the year ahead, there were troubled times in the Australian comic book publishing industry - the restrictions on imported overseas (American) comics was about to be lifted, television had taken a foothold in popular culture, and the Sunday version of Air Hawk was going to be appear in the newspapers for the very first time...
It is now over thirty years since new Air Hawk adventures appeared in the daily newspapers, and in May 2013 it will be the fifty year anniversary of the daily version's first appearance. This Passing of Time has made me realise that there is now a generation of Australian comic book Fans who know nothing of this Classic Australian Newspaper Strip. I think I have been focused for too long on a bottom line that the Air Hawk book needs to run at a profit in order that it continue publication. The point is, Comicoz now has a publishing-printing arrangement with Lightning Source and print runs can be limited to whatever is needed in the marketplace. Look, if 100 people want to see further Volumes of the book, then Comicoz should be printing 100 copies of the book... The need to have the collected adventures out there, even in limited quantities, should override the economics of the venture.
On John Dixon's 84th birthday, Comicoz is happy to announce that the next volume of Air Hawk shall soon re-commence. And if that means only 100 people jump for joy, at least that is 100 happier people in the world. Count me as one of them: my batteries are re-charged! I am sure John Dixon is another!
Happy Birthday, John: Air Hawk is coming back...!!
When I last looked (oh, about last Saturday morning) I had read and replied to all my emails, allowing me to begin work on Monty Wedd's Ned Kelly book! All of the original artwork has been photographically reduced into bromides (to the same dimensions as they originally appeared in the Sunday Mirror). I now begin the task of scanning each of the 146 episodes into the computer (at 1000 dpi) in preparing them for the printer. Given that the Air Hawk book was scanned at 300 dpi, 1000 dpi will ensure that all the details of Monty's artwork will be able to be savoured! Here's the first (and so far, only) one I have scanned. This has been reduced to be seen on your computer screen, so some of the details may not be readily apparent here. Just to give you an idea, the size (as it will reproduce on the printed page) is about A4 Landscape. Now that I have shared all this with you, I had best stop waffling, and get working! So, if you will kindly excuse me, I shall away...
The National Library of Australia is presently planning to build a comprehensive collection of Australian publications 'to ensure that Australians have access to their documentary heritage now and in the future'. This is a similar goal to those espoused by Comicoz. ("Comicoz is committed to preserving a permanent collection of Australian comics and comic strips; with a need to recognise comics' contribution to and depiction of our Australian culture.") The only difference being the larger scope of the National Library's objective...
The Library set up Pandora, an Australian Web Archive, in 1996 'to enable the archiving and provision of long-term access to online Australian publications' that meet the National Library's 'collecting scope and priorities'. This Comicoz website-come-Blog that you are now reading has recently been invited to be included in the Pandora Archive, and I have informed the National Library today that we would be honoured to be so considered.
What this means is that a copy of this Comicoz web-site will be placed into the Pandora Archive and this will allow members of the public access to it 'in perpetuity'. Given that all illustrations that I have included on this Comicoz web-site have (usually*) been approved by the Copyright Holder, I doubt that there would be any Copyright Holder not willing to allow their illustration to be included in the Pandora Archive. IF there are, please contact me (so that the Copyright Material can be deleted). I should make this disclaimer now: That if any person or organisation who owns material subject to Copyright and not owned by Comicoz, and allows me permission to use any such illustration or photograph for the purpose of inclusion on this Comicoz web-site, then by inference they are allowing Pandora an extension of this right to preserve this material into the National Library of Australia's Archives.
* I have to say 'usually', as occasionally I have included an illustration or photograph with an unclear knowledge of who is the present Copyright Holder. For example, the older photographs of John Dixon when he was a young man. Anyone with an interest in learning more about Pandora's Web Archiving background, please click here.
I'm all for leaving this Comicoz web-site, a personal record of my (successful and not-so-successful) attempts at publishing and other historical comic-related thoughts, for Posterity when I leave this mortal coil. So, from 2013 I say: "Hullo to all Future Australian Comic Historians!"
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