Just a shout out to say thanks to Glenn Ford, co-publisher of Frew, who is going to give a free full page advertisement in the upcoming Giant Size Phantom for Graeme Cliffe's book, From SUNBEAMS to Sunset, The Rise and Fall of the Australian Comic Book (1924-1965) soon to be published by Comicoz. The layouts are about half way through completion, and Diamond Distributors (the world's largest comic book distributor) are going to be asked to see if they are willing to carry the book.
I have had many queries about the book, so perhaps I ought to say a little here. "Is it an updated edition of Panel by Panel" is a regular question. And a fair enough question too, given that at one stage I was planning on reprinting that volume, with some editorial corrections and amendments. But the short answer is "No".
From 'SUNBEAMS' to Sunset has been a project of Graeme's for over twenty years. Over those years, he has visited many of the old Australian artists and cartoonists (and their families) and spoken to them about their craft. He has searched them out from old telephone books, Government records available to the public, newspaper clippings, anything and everything. Graeme has visited libraries, comic collectors. You name it, Graeme has researched it!
I would wager my home: if there is something to be known about Australian comic history to 1965, Graeme will know it! To the Nth degree! He will be able to tell you how many Australian comics Hal English illustrated. You don't know Hal English? Graeme will be able to tell you! And all those years of research are now covered in this one volume.
Although Panel by Panel will remain the first book on the topic, this volume will be THE definitive authority on Australian comic history. I have known of the existence of Graeme's research since my first book on an Australian comic artist (John Dixon's Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor) came out in 2011. However, I had no idea of the scope of his work until he more recently shared the manuscript with me, asking me if I would be interested in assisting him in having it published.
The book is written. The cover artwork has been designed. The dust-jacket is ready. The first eight chapters have been prepared for the printer. I'll seek out Graeme, and see how much he will allow me to share before the book is sent to the printer... So, stay tuned!
I went to the first ACAF - a couple of years ago now - and I would have dearly loved to have gone to this one. But, there are these books to work on....perhaps for the next ACAF....?
Here is the latest copy of Inkspot, the journal of the Australian Cartoonists Association that I edit. This cover of David Rowe is by the very talented Judy Nadin. The magazine is available to Libraries around the country. If your Library does not stock it, please tell the chief Librarian to get in touch with me, and I will ensure a copy is posted on.
This is the ninth issue I have edited now, matching the nine issues of Oi Oi Oi! I edited. I know it may not seem like much, but an awfully large amount of hours goes into the making of a magazine, especially when one tries to ensure it comes out regularly (in this case, quarterly). The magazine contains a couple of articles I wrote. (I was really pleased with the article of Tony Thorne's animation work/Award. Tony's work appeared in the first and fourth issue of Oi Oi Oi! and it was great to see he continues to be as creative as ever...)
This edition of Inkspot also contains a eight page comic by Gary Chaloner that was going to appear in the next issue of Oi Oi Oi! The magazine also covers a lot of the fun of the ACA's annual Award night held in Old Parliament House, in Canberra last November....
One of the fun events within the Stanley Awards, is the Silent Auction, where one can bit on some wonderful cartoons, past and present. This (below) is one of a few cartoons that I bid on (and won) that - to me - seems to perfectly sum up the year politically, and a cartoon that will be a reflection of not only the night but of the times. So, it was one I really wanted to win! The cartoon is by Mark Knight, with my original kindly personalised by Mark (that I shall edit out of here).
Next year's Stanley Conference and Award was going to be in Brisbane. I put in a lot of hard yards to get it there, sourcing cartoonists to appear and venues to hold it. But, in the end, it was decided that it should return to Canberra in 2018...and 2019. Ah, well....!
Bunker Cartoon Gallery
PO Box 1483
COFFS HARBOUR NSW 2450
Re: Support for Rotary Cartoon Awards 30th Anniversary
Inaugural Cartooning Festival
As an Australian comic historian and comic publisher, I’d like to offer my support in your great initiative and plans to hold a Cartooning Festival in the beautiful city of Coffs Harbour, to accompany the 30th Rotary Cartoon Awards. That the Awards have been held continuously for thirty years, shows how enamoured many Australians are with the medium – but a Festival would widen the community’s interest in this special art form.
Such a Festival would not only highlight the wonderful collection of well over 23,000 cartoons that you hold in your Gallery – that in itself a marvellous achievement – but it would lend Coffs Harbour being recognised nationally and internationally as being the premiere cartooning city in the southern hemisphere. In short, it would be acknowledgement for all the hard work your staff and volunteers have put in throughout the years and a triumph for cartooning! Count me it!
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