A Big shout-out to all Mothers out there! It's Mothers' Day in Australia, and perhaps one of the strangest ones we're most likely to encounter in our lifetime. Some states in Australia (wrongly, in my opinion) have decided to relax some of the restrictions that have been put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (I suppose History will judge, as there is no exact science or precedent in how we move from here.)
One of my wife's "bones of contention" in the Karmichael household has been my "music-come-media room" (our converted garage) and the state of it. Carlene finds and refers to it as my "junk room", mainly to the state of its disarray (untidiness to some); and I must admit to some embarrassment at times when visitors come and view it, especially when its state is used to mock... Anyway, last November, I think it was, I made a comment on Facebook that I was going to make a concerted effort to tidy the room up within a year.
Although work in the Hospital has been busier than ever, the social distancing and isolation has been good for us. I've left the Editing role of Inkspot (the Australian Cartoonists' Association's journal) to caricaturist Steve Panozzo, who's doing a pretty good job. My Ledger of Honour team sorted out this year's recipients reasonably early. And, even though I had some publishing plans that I was hoping to move on, the Australian Dollar and the pandemic has left me somewhat less enthused. So, essentially, I am left with no comic-related projects to work on (apart from my monthly commitment as a Committee Member of the ACA, and working on ideas for the upcoming ACA Centenary in 2024). Home life has involved gardening, reading more comics and graphic novels than I usually do ...and working on getting my room tidy…!
I have to say that Carlene has been reasonably patient in allowing me to work on the project, and that I have come to realise I have far too many comics than I perhaps need. To date, I have catalogued 3,257 comics (and counting), and so a future culling might be likely. Graphic novels and my Australian collection have not been counted just yet. I spend one full day a week here (and some time before work shifts), and I am reasonably happy with both the solitude and the progress I am making. For those interested in knowing, there is a phone application that I am using to catalogue the collection and you can see it by clicking here. I obtain my supplies (bags and backing boards) from BrisVegas Comics (link here) -- feel free to tell owner Mark you learnt of his store through this posting, and I am sure he'll do you a great deal.
One of the joys of meeting and making friendships with cartoonists, has been learning that they have an unparalleled generosity of spirit. I want to make special mention today of American cartoonist Jeff Keane, who visited Australia for the first time almost eighteen months ago now. Last Christmas he sent a 2020 Family Circus Calendar and I thought today was an ideal opportunity to share his Mothers' Day cartoon for May with you here, dear reader .... Although we are all socially isolating, I trust you are finding things to do to keep yourself occupied that (maybe) you have been promising yourself that you will 'get around to doing when you have a spare moment'. Here's the time to seize that moment ...!
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