In Award Celebrations from the past, I was a (relative) youngster compared to some of the Older Members that I was keen to get to know and introduce myself to. In that way I met (oh, allow me to name-drop!) Norman Hetherington, Tony Rafty, Monty Wedd, Vane Lindesay, Jim and Dan Russell. Now almost 20 years have past, and now I am one of the Older Members (in years)! Sadly, there were not too many 'Older' Members to catch up on this time. Still, one who was there and whom I did manage to catch up with was Vane Lindesay: it had been years since we last had a decent conversation! Vane is due to have an eye operation soon, so I can only wish him all the best for his health and trust the operation is a resounding sucess.
I only took five photographs during the entire two-day event (why photograph when there are friends - old, new, and never previously met - to catch up with?!) and all five photographs featured Connor Maclean (pictured at left, with his Mum Cheryl). Connor had been present during the Two Day Conference come Workshops, and I had noticed him engaging with numerous artists/cartoonists/people throughout that time, without my having engaged with him. You can learn about Connor with an old Ray Martin Interview from Sixty Minutes here.
Sitting at Cheryl and Connor's table, I was able to get to know Connor a little better than I had in the Conference Workshops. (I'll talk of the Workshops in my next Blog Posting.) Connor was at the Award Ceremony to raise funds for his second home, Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital. Some original artwork was auctioned off on the the night and some serious dollars were raised. Even though Connor is not of legal age, I donated my 'winnings' for Best Cartoon of the Night (a case of wine) to Connor's cause. I hope he can raffle it off and add to the amount raised on the night. In some ways, I am of the opinion that the Australian Cartoonists' Association could/should do a little more in the way of generating both funds for Connor's 'home' and some community goodwill/positive publicity for the Association with an idea I have that I shall put to Connor and the Australian Cartoonists' Association in due course (i.e. not here, not now).
Behind the Awards, there is a lot of hard work put into the running of a function as large as the Stanleys, and not enough praise is offered to those who spend (I imagine) a lot of their time to have the whole event run so seamlessly. So, a dip of my lid to all who had some input into the night - it was well worth attending, and there wasn't anyone I could see who wasn't having a good time! I suggest, if you have the opportunity to go next year, don't think about it - just go!
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