Sticky Institute once again took over Melbourne Town Hall for its annual Zine Fair, as the closing event of Festival of the Photocopier 2015. Over 100 zine stalls, run by zinemakers and distros from across Australia and The World, were present in Melbourne's biggest room for one afternoon only. It also gave me a chance to catch up with Geelong icon, all round top guy and artist Glen Smith who was there with long-time associate and world renown ‘zine and group printing organizer/artist David Dellafiora.
On a day where the mercury was already smacking 30 degrees by noon the Melbourne Town Hall was a pleasant place to be. A line of punters was all ready to enter before the kick off and when I entered it was evident that this event had come a long way since my first visit in 2008 when it was held on a Saturday morning in the Degraves Street subway out front of the Sticky Institute. Today there were rows of keen artists and activists all willing to show off their wares as well as publishers and comic artists.
I must state as my good lady wife pointed out that this was a collection of the friendliest group of people you could come across in a market type atmosphere. Everyone was pleased to meet you and encourage you to look through their works; many had freebies and special offers. Everyone was pleased to have someone view his or her work. No precious types here. I remember creating my first ‘zine back in the late 70s, it consisted of lots of glue, scissors and visits to the Mount Waverly library with a pocket full of 5 cent pieces. It was great to see that little has changed when it comes to the process considering all the social media tools at our fingertips. A lot of people love the tactile and grass roots style of doing it yourself.
Highlights were of course catching up with Glen and his collected works. We met artist Tim Molloy and bought his Ledger Award winning Mister Unpronounceable for a bargain. Having a pleasant conversation with horror print legends Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr (SCAR Studios). I also caught up with the lady embroiled in last year’s Supanova controversy when her book was removed from sale (mind you it was on open display today and no one gave a shit) Scarlette Baccini and bought her beautiful (and totally inoffensive) little book BUG, a mini comic dedicated to her little sister. All up it was a wonderful couple of hours and when we left it was great to see the crowds had swelled immeasurably with local comic anthology Oi Oi Oi! winning a prize for something I just didn’t catch. I’ll update later.
My thanks to Danny Nolan for allowing me to reprint his Report on the Festival of the Photocopier, taken from his original Blog, that you can read by clicking here....
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