Well, after MONTHS of talking, it has finally happened! On May 22nd, Comicoz signed a Printing and Distribution Deal, which was accepted by the other party late yesterday (Friday) afternoon! I was working late at work, and didn't arrive home until close to midnight, so I have only just learnt now of the news myself!! And aren't you glad I shared this exciting news with you??!
What it means: this is an opportunity to see all future Comicoz' books being made available in the USA and Canada, and also in Europe and Great Britain ... and (hooray!) ...Australia! So, it is about time I got cracking and worked on some further titles, don't you think?!
On that matter, I am hoping in the next couple of months that I should be able to share with you about some all-new all-Aussie titles appearing to join our publishing roster...!! Stay tuned, the best is yet to come...(as they say in the classics)...!!
Sad to relate, but I need to report on the passing of an Australian Comic Book Icon, Monty Wedd, who passed away last Friday while we were on our way to Longreach. (Curse not taking my computer: I have only just now learnt of his passing.) I had known he had been unwell for some time, after Dorothy (and then son Justin) sent me news of his illness around Christmas last year... Monty was a kind, generous man, always willing to pass on information about Australian artists and cartoonists older than he was! One summer he kindly posted me his conversations ('interview') with Australian Artist/Cartoonist Syd Miller (I must dig it out sometime)...
Rather than go into details about his life*, let's remember that old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words....
*Anyone interested in learning more about Monty's life story, please click here ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Wedd
These images, I should point out are Copyright The Estate of Monty Wedd, and I am presently seeking permission to use them here and in a newspaper article I am working on...
Comicoz has had a long association with Monty. In John Dixon's Air Hawk Magazine (Summer Edition of 1989) readers were invited to purchase copies of Monty's book "The Making of a Nation" (see above advertisement), and all copies in stock sold out... So much so, I didn't even end up with a copy myself!! Just before Monty's passing, Comicoz was in discussion with Monty's family about future possible projects. With all due respect for Monty's family, discussions will be suspended in order to allow the family to properly grieve ....
This is where Carlene and I have spent the past few days: Longreach in Outback Queensland. Just in case you may not have read my previous Blogs ... we were there donating an original piece of John Dixon's Air Hawk artwork for the opening of The Royal Flying Doctor Service's exhibition at The Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame on Saturday May 5th (2012). If you have never been to Longreach, let me heartily endorse the town! No clouds in the sky, no traffic lights, no McDonald's Restaurants or Kentucky Fried Chicken (one Eagle Boys was the only fast food outlet we came across!) ... a marvelous trip into time, where the locals seem to know each other and are always up for a bit of a chat. Look, when you are next travelling to Longreach (and everyone must at least once in their lifetime), make sure you stay at the Abajaz Motor Inn (click here for a link). We were made to feel wonderfully welcome by our hosts Liane Michell and Rodd Halkett. Even even though everything in town seemed to be within less than an hour's walking distance (and we are slow walkers!), it was never too much trouble for Rodd to take time out from his washing chores to pick us up from the Airport on Friday afternoon (yes, we flew in) or drop us off into the middle of town (on more than one occasion). This is not a paid advertisement...!!
Besides the opening of the Royal Flying Doctor Service's Exhibition on Saturday afternoon, the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame also hosted the 22nd Annual Drover's Reunion over the whole weekend. For a 'city-slicker' I found this fascinating, as we had an opportunity to watch some of the Drovers engaged in many competitions with each other! While we were enjoying our lunch, there was a competition to see which Drover was first to light a fire and boil the billy! After lunch, we saw first-hand the fierce competition in making Damper. To the left is a picture of Carlene hoping to pick up some worthwhile tips in this unique Aussie tucker! Our pick for the winner? Drover Mick Gallagher (pictured below)! Although there was opportunity to talk to a lot of the 'Old Timers', we didn't take the chance to ask Mick any more about himself. Of other things like where he now lives, where he used to Drove, how often he manages to get to Longreach and how many times he has been to the annual Get-Togethers (and all manner of other questions that just didn't eventuate last Saturday afternoon)!! So, if you ever see Mick, please let him know we want to know these things!!
Here is what John Dixon's original AIR HAWK artwork looks like on closer inspection. I know I have shown this art in a previous posting, but this photograph illustrates a little more clearly some of the no-bleed opaque white John Dixon used on correcting and finishing his work. As the artwork was donated for posterity on the Friday (i.e. the DAY BEFORE the Exhibition opened!) there was no time for the Curator to label the item. Hopefully, that will take place sometime in the future ...
Of course, there is more to Longreach than just The Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame! On Sunday, just before our flight home, Carlene and I spent some time looking over The QANTAS Founders Museum. ThisMuseum, based around the original heritage-listed 1922 Hanger and actual aircraft, is dedicated to the story of Qantas and the men of vision who saw the potential in air travel as a means of overcoming the problems of long distance travel in the Australian Outback. I found it a most inspiring exhibition - the dreamers who brought their visions to a reality! Just before we left Longreach and flew back home, so inspired was I, that I decided to donate a copy of John Dixon, Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor to the Qantas Founders Museum's Library ...
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