I celebrate my birthday on December 21st, which is a particularly interesting time of the year to choose to do so. (I imagine anyone being born on December the 25th, like Jimmy Buffett for example, has an even more interesting slant on their day than I do, but that is a topic for another day...!) With only ten days remaining in the year, December 21st has - for me, at least - often been a day to take stock and reflect on the year almost past. (If you are able, place Jimmy Buffet's song 'Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes' on as you read this, and you may have a small idea of where my head space is, as I type this....)
Artwork here Copyright 1981 Arn Saba
Comicoz, although it is my publishing arm and dedicated to disseminating information about and publishing all manner of Australian comics, has also been about getting the general message about comics out there. One of my all-time favourite comics series has been 'Neil the Horse', published in Canada by Aardvark-Vanaheim, in the early 1980s. The 15-issue run has never been published-collected in a single volume, a situation that I considered such a serious oversight that I offered to rectify the situation earlier this year when I began engaging in discussions with the copyright owner.
I was serious in my offer: I really thought our world needed to have more laughter and happiness in it, to the point where I was willing to explore the possibility of an Australian Comics Publisher (Comicoz) reprinting a Canadian comic book. (I know Mrs Karmichael is not impressed with talk of more comic-book publishing; she is of the belief that John Dixon, Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor should be making a profit before consideration is even made of entertaining another title being published. But that, too, is a topic for another day....!) Anyway, the news I want to share with you today - a few days after my birthday - is that on my birthday, I decided to relinquish the idea of a collected Neil The Horse volume. With a little personal sadness, I have informed Neil's owner that I am happy to allow Hermes Press the opportunity to reprint Neil's run sometime in the future. After all, if they can bring more laughter and happiness into our world, I can only be supportive.
...acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to elders past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all First Australian peoples.
Over the past decade (2011 - 2020) Nat has self-published ten comic-related books and was Publisher-Editor of Oi Oi Oi! - the last nationally-distributed comic book of original comics stories to appear on Australian newsstands. He edited Inkspot, the journal of the Australian Cartoonists Association for 14 issues from late 2015 to 2019 and is a current member of the ACA's Committee. In his spare time, he is a husband, a father (to six) and grandfather (to fourteen), and works in the Psychiatric Emergency Centre in Queensland's largest public hospital.
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.