Many of the Readers of this Blog (and of Comicoz' Facebook page) have been aware that my Cairns-based daughter has not been well. While she is not yet out of the woods (by any means), she was well enough to suggest that she have a Dad-Free Day later in my stay. I wandered the muggy Cairns city streets last Wednesday and came across this ally-way in Grafton Street that was filled with some marvellous graffiti artwork. I know some people find graffiti vandalism, and I admit to finding most tagging mindless, but I do enjoy the visual side of the craft when it produces works as good as these. So good, that I just had to share just some of the artwork in the ally with you... Of course, I have no idea of who the artists were, so I shall simply have to reproduce these public displays of art without any of the owner's permission....!
Soon after spending time in the ally, and continuing to wander along Grafton Street, I discovered KerSplatt Comics and Collectables (see link here). They had, I was informed, just recently moved to this new location. The shop is spacious, with a wide variety of (mostly American) comics on display. The owner was knowledgeable enough to make some recommendations for the casual buyer (and did well to fend off a couple entering the store seeking out copies of The Phantom). Towards the back of the store are boxes of $2 comics (of mostly superhero fare) that might appeal to the casual buyer and those seeking to fill in or complete a collection.
There were a couple of more recent copies of From Above by Melbourne Artist Craig Bruyn (link here), but not much else in store that was Australian. I was informed that no local comic was being produced (that the owner knew of). But stores like this are good in a smaller community, as they do tend to foster talented (and not so talented) artists and writers who yearn to draw their own stories. I did (politely) point out to the owner the absence of Oi Oi Oi! He, in turn, was polite enough to mention that he had never heard of the title, but was also kind enough to allow me to send him a sample on my return to Queensland's south-east (home).
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