With immense pride I can now announce that Comicoz will have an official presence at Australia's Biggest Cartooning Conference: the Stanley Awards being held on November 11th and 12th 2011 at the Mercure (818-820 George Street) in Sydney.
I have accepted an invitation to speak to the assembled Members of the Australian Cartoonists Association, their Guests and all Visitors about John Dixon and Air Hawk. If I make no further postings on this web-site for the next month you will know why - I am busily preparing a speech and performance that I hope will have everyone talking about for...well, at least until afternoon tea!!
The Cartooning Conference is open to the General Public, so if you are in the Sydney area and are willing to pay to hear me (and many others) speak, read on....here's what's on offer....
The Cost to attend the Conference is $80 per Non-Member per day, but when you look at what's on offer how could you not begin to budget now for a two-day stay? (I've begun to save my pennies myself!) Bookings close November 4th: so be quick!
Saturday night will be the Awards Dinner, and this is always a great opportunity to catch up with friends. I must admit I have not attended an Awards Dinner since 1993, so I have a lot of catching up to do! (Somehow that might explain why Mrs Karmichael has decided not to attend...!!)
If you are interested in attending, Click Here for the Registration Form...
Well, there seems little likelihood I shall be able to attend the Ashcan Issue 3 Launch, as I am presently in the grip of a rather severe Cold/Flu. Whatever its name, it is a nuisance; I was due to work tonight but this is going to be my second night calling in Sick. Still, it may been a chance to catch up of reading the Weekend newspapers (a luxury I rarely enjoy). For those of you who work Monday to Friday, you cannot begin to understand how I often wish I could savour the pleasure of sleeping in on a Saturday morning (after spending a late night Friday having listened to a band) and spending all Saturday morning (and part of the afternoon) reading the newspaper from cover to cover.... Ahh, yes, I am a shift worker, and this is just but a simple day dream...
Another Dream remains. That every Australian reads and knows the adventures of John Dixon's Air Hawk. I find that every bit of publicity helps in getting that message out there. A few months ago The Weekend Australian (in the August 6-7 2011 Edition) published a review of Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse presently being reprinted by Fantagraphics Books. It somewhat peeved me at the time that they could choose to review this book and not the Air Hawk that I has sent Cefn Ridout, their comic reviewer, some weeks earlier. I think I was annoyed, and wrote a Letter to the Editor expressing this annoyance, that they saw fit to review an American Book over a local product that I saw as being - modesty aside! - of equal if not greater merit. (Needless to say, the letter was not published.)
However, I felt less aggrieved when I saw Cefn's assessment of Mandy Ord's Book Sensitive Creatures in this weekend's Weekend Australian. It was a well-written and favourable review, and I shall most likely pick up a copy when I see it in the bookstore; not because of Cefn's review, mind you, but because it is an Australian product and I am a sucker for supporting our local comics product. The benefit of the review is merely that it has alerted me to the fact that the book is out there. Otherwise, I would have been totally oblivious to it!
I suppose this is the thing: for Air Hawk to be read and known by every Australian - as I feel it deserves to be - I have to get the message out there. Obviously, having a review in The Weekend Australian is no guarantee of sales: people are going to have to want to buy it before that happens...
So, it was a nice surprise to see a positive book review of John Dixon, Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor appearing in this quarter's Aero Australia magazine (Number 32, October - December 2011 Edition). Again, I am uncertain at this stage whether a positive book review translates into sales (the magazine, after all, has only been on the news-stands for a short while, so it is too early to tell); but at least it is alerting some Aussies that the book is out there! So, to all at Aero Australia, many Thanks for your kind words. Aother reason I was pleased with the contents of the review, was because of the accuracy of the content. Despite sending out Media Releases to Media Outlets, I have always been surprised at the number of factual errors that tend to creep into reporting. Case in point: the Redcliffe and Bayside Herald article reported that "Mr Dixon....[moved] to California where he eventually got married and had three children". I tend to let things like that ride these days; no point in perhaps biting the hand that feeds you, et cetera. Or should I? (John has two children: Andrew and Jaydi.)
Do I need to say more for everyone who lives in the Brisbane region?! I hope I am not working....!! For more infomation, click here...
I bought my first Fred Negro comic in the late 1970s or early 1980s (Trash Can Comix) and I can't say that much has changed over the years. Fred has a writing and artistic style that is all his own, and that you either like or do not. (I don't think there is much in between.) Week in and week out for over 1,000 episodes now, Fred's PUB comic strip has appeared in Melbourne's weekly Inpress street press, as well as (more recently) another strip in Brisbane's Time Off (another free music-based weekly).
Recently Fred released 'The Best of Fred Negro's Pub, Volume One', a 32-page (one page in colour, all the rest in Black and White), A4 sized tome that is coil-wire bound. I had planned on purchasing my copy at the book's launch at Brisbane's Beetle Bar. When I arrived at the Bar sometime after 2300hrs (following an afternoon shift at work), I was told that Fred's band wouldn't arrive until 12 midnight - far too late for my 0645hr start at work the following day. So I ended up purchasing my copy via the internet. To be honest, I really can't recall which site I used to buy it from now!
The copy I received had its Introduction Page (by Tim Rogers) printed upsidedown. I'm not sure if all copies had a similar fault, and I don't think it was intentional. It certainly didn't detract from the end product; if anything it added to its DIY charm. Do I recommend you buy a copy? I bought a copy, but I suggest you consider the facts. FIrst: cost. The book says copies are available for $15 plus $5 postage from firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . Second: is this the type of comic you like? If you are not familiar with Fred's work, I would suggest you look at some of the recent strips by clicking here first. Then, finally, it's really up to you!
And from a totally different end of the publishing spectrum....the second book I'm reviewing today...
Brendan Boughen (going by the name Jim in this volume) was an Air Hawk subscriber from the late 1980s when Comicoz was publishing the strip in comic book form as 'John Dixon's Air Hawk Magazine'. For those who were not around in those days, Issue Six was labelled as 'Issue Sex' and had a front cover that featured a fabulous model called Michelle on the front.... Oh, look, I know you want to see it again, so I shall enclose it (below). The comic found its way into the hands of comic readers for the first time, and sold in good quantities...
However, there were some readers who didn't like the photographic cover, and most vocal were many Air Hawk subscribers! One of those was a young Brendan Boughen!
Reading the Introduction to Jim's book (Gone Astray), I suppose I can now understand where he (as Brendan) came from all those years ago. Brendan/Jim spent "the first 30 years of [his] life" dedicated to the Church, and it was only when he finished university that he began to "question everything". This paperback book is a record of a guy called Jeff's spiritual journey that Brendan says parallel's his own path over the past ten years.
Brendan believes that "both (cartoons and religion) are paths to uncovering truth and revealing the meaning of life. But while religion is about finding order and solace in the face of the apparent random swirling chaos of the universe, cartoons are about laughing in the face of that terrifying reality."
Mrs Karmichael (who is not overly religous) laughed out loud at some of the cartoons in this 96 page paperback. Although I found the style of the cartoons a little simple, the ideas and messages behind them make the reading experience worthwhile. The book's size is 21.5 x 15 cms, and it is available for A$30 from Brendan/Jim's website here. Price includes postage and packing all the way from New Zealand. Check out the website to see some of Jim's work before you buy, and while you are there send him a message that you learnt of his work through Comicoz!
Finally, warm Congratulations! to Jim from all at Comicoz for winning the Bronze Award in the Humour Category at the Australasian Religious Press Association’s 2011 awards (see the cartoon in Jim's Blog dated September 12th 2011).
Disclosure: Comicoz has paid for a full-page advertisment in the following publication.
I have mentioned the Australian Zorro on a previous posting, and I am happy to report that - supposedly! - the Second Issue is now out on Australian news-stands. I say 'supposedly' because I have yet to see it! But I must say that this is one local Aussie comic that I am really looking forward to reading! There are not enough original Australian comics on our newsagents' shelves, and I will unashamedly give Two Thumbs Up to anyone willing to give it a go and put product out there on the marketplace. Does it matter that the product is licenced from an overseas source? Not really, I think, when the stories have been written here and marketed for our shores.
Published by Sorab Del Rio's publishing arm Silver Fox Comics, this comic has a magnificently drawn colour cover, with (black and white) action-aplenty going on inside (I was able to sneak a peak of a few pages here and you can too). Sight unseen, I am going to Highly Commend this comic to you.
Zorro Issue 2, 36 pages and only $4 (include postage and packaging) by clicking and paying here if, like me, you have not found it at your local newsagent.... As I shall do right now....
It is about time I started writing a few words about some other Australian comics available out there, dear Web-Reader. If you are aware of any new Aussie product, please let me know so it can be shared with the world on these Web-Pages. What is worth your while, and what will waste your while, you need to know and I need to tell..... So over the next few days or weeks I shall attempt to alert you to some Australasian comics or Australasian comic-related products and/or happenings that I am aware of.
First up, I suggest you race to the newsagent and seek out this little beauty! EEK! is a 24-page black and white comic in the Horror genre like the the Warren magazines of the early 70s or DC's 'Witching Hour' or the early 50s ECs. I suppose what I am saying, is it has been done before and is nothing new. However, the stories by Jason Paulos are well-written, well-paced and a whole lotta fun! The colour cover artwork and the interior art (also by Jason) show how far he has pushed himself as an artist since his early Hairbutt the Hippo days. This volume is now available in newsagents for only a measley $3.00 and has been published by those good folks from Black House Comics. I rate this comic highly: Good Value and Great Entertainment and I suggest you check it out today!
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