24th December 2017
I must confess to being a poor correspondent, and no amount of excuses should be accepted by you. If it is of any consolation, you are the first that I am writing to. I know that I still have [others] to put pen to paper to, even though I’m sure it won’t be until 2018 that I am likely to do so.
Just under twelve months ago, following my plans to edit a Phantom issue of Inkspot, the Publishers at Frew asked me if I would ask [others] if they would give permission for Frew to publish some of your brother John Dixon’s older works.
They readily agreed, and the results are in your hands. Of course, there was no obligation for Glenn Ford (one of the present Frew owners) to ask permission to reprint the Catman stories. They were, after all, something they published a long time ago, and I assume they still have the rights to. Still, it was good they asked. The Crimson Comet on the other hand, was owned by John’s earliest comic employee, Mr Edwards, and his next of kin are a present mystery, but people may also argue that John had some moral ownership of the character. So they asked again.
The bottom line, I suppose, is that some of John’s work has again appeared on the Australian newsagent stands; something that pleases me no end. The publishers have kindly supplied complimentary copies of the magazines (the reason I need to forward them on and write to you and John’s family). I know I have a bias, but I shall say it anyway: compared to some of John’s contemporaries (also enclosed in these volumes), John’s work positively shines. I hope you enjoy reading them.
Not only is my mailing late, but also my opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas. I was never one for good timing. Instead, I shall wish you a Happy New Year, and I shall resolve to – perhaps – be a better correspondent in 2018!
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