Since Fathers' Day, I've been hit with the dreaded "Man-Flu" - thanks to son Will! - and today, as is the case in such things, it's the day before I am due back at work that the illness appears to be lifting.... which will be a good thing. (I don't like being sick. I don't mind my work.)
I've spent a bit of time recently reflecting on the past and contemplating where to go from here. For each quarter, over the past five years, I have edited a magazine of some sort. Let me show you.....
On June 23rd, having edited all the files for Issue #86, I penned the following Editorial to announce my 'retirement' (then sent a copy to the ACA Board/Committee). There was not one thing that precipitated the decision. Sure, my sister Flo's passing made me want to spend less time in front of a computer. But Steve Panozzo lost his brother around the same time too. In some ways that drew us closer together as mates, but that wasn't the reason I decided to give it away. I was working on Graeme's book too, and that was taking a lot of my time. It wasn't the realisation that I'm now in my 60s. It was just time, I suppose. I needed the freedom to be able to not have to think about a magazine in three month's time.
"Back in Issue #73 – which, as Lindsay Foyle correctly pointed out, was really issue #72 – [ACA President] Jules [Faber] wrote in his Parlay that a couple of Queenslanders planned to “build Inkspot back to its former glory”. Here we are now, a further fourteen issues since that date. The best and most satisfying part of working on Inkspot during that time has been the fact that we have brought it back from a once-a-year sort-of, maybe-magazine to a quarterly publication that I know many members are proud of.
"Sadly, this will be my last as Editor for the time being. It's just that since I first put out my nationally released comic magazine Oi Oi Oi! #1 in about March 2014, I have edited a magazine each quarter for the past five years. I'm in need of a break and (maybe) a sleep.
"That’s not to say I won’t contribute articles for whomever wants to take it on. And that not to say I won't want to do it again. I might even be ready again after the Stanley Awards!*
"I’d like to thank those Layout Artists/Designers who have worked with me and shared my vision over that period: Phil Judd, Chris Barr, Dave Emerson, Judy Nadin, Cam Winks and Steve Panozzo. And my thanks mostly to Carlene, who has allowed me this indulgence for this long."
I thought I would post this for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, because some cartooning people have been asking me "What's happened to INKSPOT?" And while I had some editorial input into the next issue (which was to be and will be my last ...for quite a while), I don't want to be held responsible for the delay. I'm hopeful the magazine can return to the quarterly schedule that I put in place during my tenure, although I understand those who work on it (for no fee) do have busy lives, and (unlike me) need to have some sleep....
I'm also posting this, because - looking at both magazines from some distance now (even if it's a matter of only a few months!) - the time and effort expended into the magazines have produced an end result that I can honestly say I am extremely proud of.
Since finishing my Editorial duties, I've worked on a couple of non-comic-related projects (see above) for the good women of Zonta Ipswich, and Zonta International who have wanted to share their history with their members. Their Centennial Conference is on this weekend, the same weekend of the Rotary Cartoon Awards in Coffs Harbour. Have a guess: Which one will I be attending?
Answer: Neither! Due to a mix-up at work, I put in a request for the wrong days off. I am bitterly disappointed, but willing to cop it on the chin.
Working on Graeme's book about the History of Australian Comics has left me in a state of wondering … Where do I go from here? How can I top this? Surely, this is the pinnacle of my Australian comic publishing? Certainly, I have to help market the book; something that I plan to do in the not-too-distant future. But creatively, and in a publishing sense, where can I go to top this? It's a question that has had me perplexed for some time … and I have come up with an answer that I will share with you in the times ahead … after I get over this 'Man-Flu'!
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