I have long-harboured a dream that there should be a permanent place for a comic museum, perhaps not unlike the National Cartoon Gallery in Coffs Harbour (link here) and the Australian Cartoon Museum in Melbourne (opening up again in Docklands soon). The earlier incarnation of the Australian Cartoonists' Association once held a building in Sydney (many, many years ago). But there has never been a comic-specific one. I have mentioned this on Facebook previously, so apologies to anyone who has heard this all before and feels I am repeating myself!
I imagine such a gallery not only housing and displaying original comic pages (hopefully with an Australian emphasis), but also containing a comic book retail outlet (to raise funds for the on-going upkeep and publicity of such a structure), an extensive library (to allow for comic researchers to study comics of the past), and an opportunity to have some practitioners of the craft to be able to live-in for a period of time (like an artistic residency).
Some of these are already being carried out overseas these day, such as the Canadian Comics Open Library (see link here) and creators of graphic novels in France (link here, if you can read French). There's also an increasing acceptance (at last!) of comics as an artistic medium in some circles of literature, with even countries like Britain and the US now starting to record and reproduce some of their comics from years gone by. Here are just two examples, in links here and here.
Carlene came across a piece of Real Estate recently that seems to be an ideal place to consider bringing this dream to a reality. Suffice to say, I am making some preliminary enquiries. Or is it all simply a fruitless dream....?
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