On April the 10th at the State Library of Victoria, the annual Ledger Awards took place. Here is a run-down of all the winners and grinners:
The two Platinum Awards (which the comic-come-booklet commemorating the occasion for some reason left out) were awarded to the late John Ryan (as detailed in my previous Blog) and Brisbane-based Alisha Jade. Alisha has published many mini-comics in the short time she has been in the scene (all of them well-written and a delight to the eye), as well as her serialised Seven books (that runs in Oi Oi Oi!, with the fifth volume having just been released). Alisha also organised the recent Minicomicon at the Edge (also recently detailed on this Blog), at Southbank. Her speech was impassioned and well-received; her Award, well-deserved.
Following these presentation, there was a performance by the talented Christopher Downes (on artistic duties) and Joshua Santospirito (music accompaniment), all while a poem (The Shipwright and the Banshee) was being displayed on the screen above. While it was sometime difficult to decide what to watch (does one read the poem or focus of Christopher's unfolding imagery?), I felt that this was far greater entertainment value than the previous year (an interview and question and answer session that no longer has stuck in my memory).
Then, before too long, the Ledger Awards were again in full swing. The Bronze Awards were presented first, and the six winners were:
Frankie Holliday by Nick Lawson (click here for the link).
Gente Corriente by Vincent Zabus and Sydney-based Thomas Campi (link here). I don't think there is an English version... yet.
Monster Zero by Frank Candiloro (link here).
Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye by Tim Molloy (link here).
Ned Kelly by Monty Wedd (no link needed, surely?!).
Squishface Brunstown with various artists from Melbourne's Squishface Studios (link here). I don't think any more copies are now available...
Here (at left) is what a Bronze Ledger looks like! With thanks to Monty Wedd and his Family, it was a great honour to accept this on behalf of his family and all who worked on the Ned Kelly book....
The Silver Awards followed. The two winners were:
Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land Save Xmas by Dean Rankine (click here for the link). Not an Official Link, but a link to allow you to obtain a copy of the magazine.
Very Quiet, Very Still by Chris Gooch (link here).
Supanova Pop Culture Expo is funny animal. I really enjoy the opportunity to meet other Australian artists and cartoonists (and fellow publishers) who are putting out their new comics. I like the opportunity to offer them membership of my beloved Australian Cartoonists' Association (on whose table I sell my wares). I enjoy the wonderful camaraderie of the other Members of the Association for the weekends. And I enjoy the opportunity to try to get the Comicoz message out to new buyers or talking to punter who have seen the Oi Oi Oi! comic in the stands.
But I become somewhat melancholy and ill at ease with the knowledge that I am preaching to a small percentage of the large crowds, who have mostly come for reasons other than comics. Most have come to celebrate the pervading Americanisation of our culture and give it no thought, and this leaves me with so many mixed feelings that I (frequently during the course of the Supanova days) become so saddened that I vow to never go again... Which, of course, never happens. I go to Melbourne's event, then a week later I am the Gold Coast's...
Yet there are many bright spots. One (in Melbourne): discovering (in a retailer's box of discards) a mint copy of Captain Sunshine from 1979 for only $10....and then being able to go to Colin Wilson's stand and getting the Master himself to personalise it with his signature...never, ever to go on eBay....
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