Here's a great big unashamed plug for Comicoz' Choice for Australian Original Comic Book of 2012.
(I'll have to make this an annual 'Award', seeing as I suggested Tony Lopes' "Insanity Streak Striving For Quantity" as deserving as Best Value at the 2011 Australian Cartoonists' Association's Workshop. In essence, in my opinion, it was the Best Australian Original Comic Book of 2011. You can check my December 2011 blog entry to read what I said about Tony's book then or you can click here to order the book now.) But, on to my personal favourite of 2012...
I have absolutely no financial interest in the book 'Kinds of Blue', which was written and produced mostly by Karen Beilharz of Sydney. Karen has written most of the short stories in this anthology, and they have been illustrated by a wide variety of talented Australian artists (you can read about them here). All of the stories touch on the subject of Depression, but they are well written and I certainly did not feel that the topics were in any way maudlin (as some may feel befits the topic). The artwork combined as a seamless whole with the writing, something that happens too rarely in the medium. The fact that there are so many contributors (fourteen) that worked on the project to produce such an overall high standard is testament to some fine editing by Karen. Many of the featured artists are not known within the Australian comics community, and Karen herself has not published any other Australian comics in the past. But don’t let this fool you: this volume is professionally presented and produced, and is as fine a comics debut as I have read in a long time. The fact it is Australian fills me with hope for the potential of the local medium. I cannot recommend this volume highly enough. The book is printed in full colour, a paperback of regular comic book size, and runs for 88 pages in total. If you want to preview some of the pages of the book, click here, but I think you should go the next step and actually buy the book and support a quality local product (and you can do just that by clicking here). NOTE: COMICOZ had no financial interest in the production of this book and these are all unsolicited comments.
And here we are at the end of the year. Well, actually, it is the beginning of a new one, so Happy New 2012, dear Reader. I usually take stock and spend the period of time between my birthday and New Year reflecting on the year past (as I may have done on this web-come-blog on past occasions). However, I scored the trifecta at work this year – I worked on my birthday (something I try to avoid), Christmas Day and then night duty on New Year’s Eve/Day! Can you believe that?! I hope it was a sign of any bad fortune from the previous year’s passing – and I don’t believe there was any – rather than an indication of what is to come!!)
Reflecting on the year, Carlene and I certainly had a lot on our plate and re-reading some of the Blog entries all in one go, I can read into the fact that we were somewhat unsettled during the year. I had grand designs (now abandoned) of moving to work at Coffs Harbour earlier in the year. More recently, we had a daughter marry and another gave birth; and just before these momentous occasions we finally did move home (from Margate to Margate!). This move certainly set me back in responding to a lot of my emails, as it took a while before we had our internet server up and running. (I have recently moved from 5000 unread emails down to about 1000!) During the year I was also shown the wonders of modern phones/tablets, so this is a possible future ‘investment’ for the Karmichaels in 2013…!!
Here's an example of Rob Feldman's talent...
I won’t dwell too much on the Comicoz events of 2012. Certainly, no comic books were published; and Mrs K is still not keen on the idea of any future comic books being published (as I related in a Blog last November). (Although, when the timing is right, I plan to talk to her about Posible crowd-funding! Comicoz has also signed a contract with Lightning Source, to allow our books to be printed and distributed overseas.) From Comicoz’ perspective, we made two journeys to two different locations to donate some of John Dixon’s original artwork for posterity to two different organizations (The Bunker Cartoon Gallery, Coffs Harbour and The Stockman’s Hall of Fame, in the new Royal Flying Doctor Service’s Museum at Longreach).
However, the year has produced some events happening behind the scenes that I have not discussed on the blog to date. I was able (after a 20 year search) able to locate the next-of-kin and direct descendant of one Pat O’Sullivan! I shall say no more, for those who know what that means…!! Comicoz is also seeking to finalise an agreement with the copyright holder of a significant Australian and some wonderful comic-based works. (I know I am teasing you, but you will have to be patient….!) I suppose this is why I am looking forward to 2013 rather than reflecting on the year past (despite its joys)…
The most exciting Comicoz news that I can share with you, is the expected publication (via Lightning Source) of Rob Feldman’s comic book (with the emphasis on book) debut in 2013. I know I have been gushing about Rob’s works for some time now, and I know I am so looking forward to seeing and reading the 80 or so pages he will be submitting for publication by Comicoz! I really urge you to see his talent – become a Fan or a Friend on Facebook, but do not leave too many messages lest he be distracted from his task of completing the book!! Click here to see Rob’s Facebook page and I dare say you will be there for a while…! For which reason, I best be off: to check on today’s entry myself….
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