Remembering John Ryan
It would be remiss of me not to mention John Ryan this month. It was forty years ago that John, the Grandfather of Australian Comics, passed away shortly after his seminal book Panel by Panel was published.
On or about the date, I got in touch with his wife of the time, Jan, and arranged a meeting with her and Australian comic writer-researcher Graeme Cliffe. Graeme thought they had never met; but Jan knew otherwise! Way back, earlier this decade, they both attended the launch of my first book, John Dixon, Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor....
John was pivotal in both our comic lives, so it was nice to remind Jan of the great influence he had on us personally, and of course the whole medium both locally and internationally. Jan, in turn, was able to regale us with tales of long ago, when she and John entertained the giants of the Golden Age of Australian comic books in their Sydney home before their move to Brisbane in 1970. John Dixon, Stan and Reg Pitt, Paul Wheelahan, Keith Chatto, Phil Belbin, Monty Wedd: they may appear simple entries in both John and Graeme's books, but Jan was able to talk of all these people in a wonderful personal way, because they were all friends in the day-to-day life of the Ryan household....
The visit was capped off by being able to present Jan with a copy of Graeme's book From 'Sunbeams' to Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Australian Comic Book (1924 to 1965) (available now by clicking here).
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