My (working) life has been so busy this past month, I've barely had time to work on these comic-related projects. However, the proof for both books have arrived. One book has been printed. The other is being reviewed by the creatives involved in its production, so will be printed really soon. Both will be officially released in the new year.
It's always a thrill opening the package of a new proof. After seeing the designs on the computer for (sometimes) months at a time, handling a proof is like seeing your child for the very first time: a sense of wonder, a certain excitement, with all the possibilities inherent in a new 'creation'. And, like children, will I disclose my favourite? No.
I always see it as important to try to get all my graphic novels and comic-related books "out there" in the eyes of the general Australian public. This sometime can feel like a rather pointless "hitting my head against a brick wall" kind of machismo, while Australians (generally speaking) still continue to view the comic and cartooning medium as childish. Whether I am slowing changing opinions, I have no way of knowing, but it's something I tend to persist in doing and probably always shall continue to do.
On the other side of the coin, there are other groups out there, who are also seeking to "spread the word" about the comics medium and the cartooning profession. Given we share similar ideals, it's perhaps not surprising that I've become affiliated with them in some manner over the years. However, while I have put my money where my mouth is, in publishing my own products, I've rarely financially supported these other groups (apart from being a member of the Australian Cartoonists Association, purchasing from other creatives at comic conventions, and, supporting other creatives' selective Kickstarter campaigns).
As I get older, and more inclined to someday consider hanging up my publishing projects (they will be harder to finance when I have to rely solely on the Old Age Pension), I feel a need to encourage and contribute to those groups that I would like to think shall out-last me. So, over eighteen months ago, I made a deliberate choice to sponsor the National Cartoon Gallery each week, and to financially support the publishing of the Comic Arts Awards of Australia's annual for 2020/21 (due to COVID-19 a combined annual for the two years was produced).
The older I am getting (I'm 64 this month), the more I feel a need to contribute to these comic and cartooning mediums that have given me great joy over my lifetime. I'm in the process of working on a major means of doing this, and have consulted other professionals in the field. I'm not going to announce it here *yet. But, along with my annual Comicoz Australian Original Comic Book Award, it will be here that I first announce it ... hopefully on the 5th of January.
Here we are at the beginning of the last month of the year. Time to contemplate which comic or publication I ought to award the Comicoz Best Australian Original Comic for the year 2021. Suggestions welcomed.
There's also going to be a special announcement made here on the day. Keep 5th January in your diary and keep your eyes peeled. And what do these blokes have to do with it?
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