"The man behind popular Australian children's television character, Mr. Squiggle has passed away a year before his 90th Birthday. His career spanned over 7 decades, including cartooning in the Bulletin and most notably Mr Squiggle on ABC television between 1956 and 1999.
"He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1990 'for service to children's television programmes and puppetry'. In 2005, he was presented with the Dean's Award for Excellence in Art, Design and Education (College of Fine Arts, UNSW), for contribution to the media. The Australian Cartoonists' Association presented Norman with a signed artist’s smock in 1989 and award him a Life Membership in 2008 then on 14 November 2009, the ACA presented him with the coveted Jim Russell Award for his Outstanding Contribution to Australian Cartooning. It is generally acknowledged by many of his fellow cartoonists that they were encouraged to pick up a pencil by virtue of being able to watch Mr Squiggle's antics on television each week."
I have taken this story straight from the Australian Cartoonists' Association website (without their permission, I must confess). It used to be known as the Australian Black and White Artists' Club when I was a Member many years ago now. I let my Membership lapse for reasons that are less clear these days. (Getting married again, and not having the funds: I think they were the prime ones.) I'm almost feeling guilty writing this: to the point where I may have to consider re-joining the organisation. If you would be interested in checking out their web-site, take a squizz here: http://cartoonists.org.au/?page=1 I particularly suggest you read the (almost) daily Blog, which is where I heard the news about Norman...
It was at one of the Annual Awards nights that I first met and conversed with Norman. He was a quiet, fine gentle man, in every sense of the word; not at all overbearing and was most generous with his time towards someone who admired his work and was willing to tell him so (erm, me!). He made such an impact that I had to forward my condolences with an "In Sympathy" card to his wife Margaret, as soon as I heard the news.
I last had contact from Norman about a year ago when he indicated he was interested in learning more about the new Air Hawk book I am working on. Yes, he too was a long-time ago subscriber to "John Dixon's Air Hawk Magazine". I am planning on sending details of the upcoming book to those subscribers in the next few weeks, and I am a little sad that Norman now will not be on the mailing list, as not only was he a Fan of Air Hawk, but at age 90 (almost!) he was a contemporary of John Dixon's... There are not too many of that era left: all the more reason to preserve some of the comic strip/book work/history for future Australian generations....
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