There are two news items to share with you today. Firstly, Graeme Cliffe's fabulous book on Australian comic book history has arrived from the printer, and secondly, the Kickstarter project associated with it has reached its target goal in under a week! Many thanks to all who have taken part in the campaign. For those who come in late: details of the book, including all special limited editions that are only available in the campaign, can be found here in this link: http://kck.st/2Ed11j5
Graeme and I are meeting this morning to discuss the project. Firstly, we are going to begin the process of shipping out copies to everyone who has pre-purchased copies from the Comicoz web-site over the past twelve months. It is only fair that those who have pre-paid for copies receive them first. (The Kickstarter participants will have copies posted after the campaign concludes on 15 June.)
Australian comic book retailers, who may have noticed the solicitation in the latest issue of Diamond Distributor's Previews (on page 305!), may be somewhat reluctant to order an Australian book from America only to pay for it to be shipped out again to Australia! So to address this issue, yesterday I sent a letter to each and every Australian comic shop that I was able to identify -- all 35 of them! -- and suggested that they buy discounted copies from Comicoz directly. I know most of their product is usually American comics, but I really do hope most retailers support this local publishing venture....
American politics is also raising its ugly head too. Are USA imports from Australia going to be hit with the same 25% tariff that the Chinese have to endure? This might make the book uneconomically viable to ship there. On the other side of the spectrum, the fact that the Australian Dollar is presently dropping might prove to be a small windfall.
A local Book Distributor has also expressed interest in carrying some of Comicoz' books (Bold Ben Hall and The Men Behind Superman) and I am hoping that that interest extends further to include From 'Sunbeams' to Sunset too. From a marketing perspective, a couple of journalists from Brisbane's Sunday Mail and the Daily Mirror in Sydney have expressed an interest too. As you can see, it's not just a matter of deciding to publish a book these days -- there are so many factors to take into consideration!
Click on the above link to take you to our Kickstarter campaign!
As promised, readers of this Blog are hearing the news here. The Kickstarter campaign for THE book on Australian comics is due to launch tomorrow! If you want to have a sneak peek, here's the preview link to it (with details of all the Rewards on offer):
IF you are one of the champions who pre-ordered the book earlier and would like to exchange it for one of the higher Rewards, get in touch with me and we'll talk about working this out. There will be a few options available:
Maybe when we are into the campaign proper (or following the campaign), I'll release the full original footage that was shot by Keith Chatto while John Ryan and his family lived in Sydney in what is the probably the mid-1960s. As a historical document of the times, and of Australian comic history, it's an important one that needs to be shared....
Remember, share this with your friends! Launch date is tomorrow!
Graeme Cliffe and I have heard from our Agent. From 'Sunbeams' to Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Australian Comic Book (1924 to 1965) is arriving … this week. To encourage people to go to the Kickstarter project, I am temporarily turning off the option of ordering here at the Comicoz web-site this morning. I have still to finalise the Kickstarter campaign with just a tweak or two of the text pieces, so it is only a matter of time that it begins. I'll still announce it here first. I imagine Graeme will start the process of addressing copies to all who have pre-ordered the regular edition of the book over the weekend. IF you have pre-ordered the limited edition (of either 40 or 100-copy versions)* they will be sent with the others at the end of the Kickstarter campaign.
*This means you, James! :)
The editing of this film has taken me a few days (in between work and family time) to get to the point that I am happy with it. And this is the vision you will see on the Kickstarter campaign for Graeme's book. The original footage of John Ryan and some of the other artists was supplied by his wife Jan. Yesterday Jan gave the approval to use the original footage and confirmed that the cameraman was the late Keith Chatto, a giant in Australian comics in his own right. I'd appreciate any help in being able to identify the fourth artist towards the end of the material, and certainly Jan said she wasn't sure. The other artists (in case the rolling credits went too quick for you) were Jim 'The Potts' Russell, John 'Air Hawk' Dixon and Bob 'Boofhead' Clark. Given John and Phil Belbin were good mates, Jan thought it might be him. I'll have to ask his son Graeme, who I caught up with on the day of the Ledgers....but that is a posting for another day! Today, I hope to finish off the text to the Kickstarter campaign. I had hoped to launch today, but it isn't likely: we're having a belated Mothers' Day lunch with our son Will (who stars in this video) and then there will be work. Be reassured, here will be the first place to find out when the campaign gets underway....
Because I have not posted here for a couple of weeks, please don't think I am doing nothing! Besides working night duty (which I detest!), work is going ahead with Graeme Cliffe's book, From 'Sunbeams' to Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Australian Comic (1924 to 1965). The books are due to arrive from the printer within the next two weeks, and all who have already pre-ordered will obtain their copies soon. Special Limited and Numbered Editions (of 40 and 100) will be available shortly via Kickstarter. More news on that soon. I finished the video for the project late last night.
As you can see from the above illustrations, there will be special slips made available in the limited editions. The limited 40-copy edition, is going to feature slips by former comic artists Peter Chapman, John Jensen and Norman Clifford. What makes slips these of immense historical interest, is that these have all been signed (with original signatures) by these men... and that two of the three (sadly) have since passed away. All special editions (the 40-copy and the 100-copy) are going to be signed by the creative personnel involved in the book's production: Graeme Cliffe (the author, naturally enough), and the Designers Neville C Bain (cover design) and Ryan McDonald-Smith (the book and everything else), and Publisher Nat Karmichael (ahem, me).
The book was listed on the latest Previews catalogue by Diamond too:
We're hoping to make a special offer to Australian comic retailers, to make it more economically viable to purchase copies directly from Comicoz (via Graeme) rather than through Diamond; and I shall work on that over the next week.. To keep up to date on the book's progress, please check back here regularly!
Despite having internet and computer difficulties, with the help of neighbour Gordon, friend Barney, and Phil Judd and Designer Steve Panozzo, I've managed to Edit another issue of Inkspot for the Australian Cartoonists' Association..... If YOU are a cartoon fan and want to support Australian cartooning, why not become an Associate Member (at only $66 a year, including GST, its money well spent) which gives you four fantastic issues of Inkspot. ($125 plus GST if you're a Professional Cartoonist. (Pensioner rate is $66, and there's also a Special Membership Rate for anyone who's relative was a professional cartoonist....)
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