Art Copyright Josh Santospirito
Although I am still spending most of my time working on Comicoz' NED KELLY Pozible Project (see here), I am also reading some Aussie comics that I come across (still mostly through the web).
One that I want to Recommend you read, is "The Long Weekend in Alice Springs" (cover pictured left). The pages are unnumbered, but (from a quick count just now) runs for a total of 150 pages all in black on a soft yellow paper stock. It is a paperback, size of a small journal (about 15 cm x 21 cm) and illustrated throughout by Joshua Santospirito.
The book is based on an essay of rambling (?)thoughts over a long weekend in Alice Springs by psychologist Craig San Roque. Roque analysed his own culture and mused on its impact on other cultures, especially the local indigenous population he came in touch with when working there at The Alice (and while writing the essay in 2000).
Joshua and I share the same profession - we are both Mental Health Nurses. Whilst I have not worked in Central Australia, one summer I spent three months working in the Torres Strait, and I found myself spending time seeking to make some sense of my own personal cultural dislocation. Santospirito said he came across Roque's essay, and found "it very useful for reframing all the seeming chaos around him" while working in Alice Springs with Central Australian indigenous communities. (He now lives in Hobart, Tasmania.)
As a form of "cathartic meditation on the world" Joshua began adapting the essay in comic book format in 2007. The result has now been published, with the first print run already selling out! Fortunately for you, Dear Reader, a Second Print-Run has ensured the book is available to order by clicking here.
This will not be a book for those readers whose taste runs exclusively along the lines of superhero types. But for those of us who seek to have the local graphic 'comic' medium aspire to greater heights, with Australian messages and stories to share to the world, this is a brave and ground-breaking tale that deserves your support. At $35 (plus postage and packaging), I found it a worthy read and a wonderful distraction from my present-day Ned Kelly pursuits. Longer term, I believe "The Long Weekend in Alice Springs" will be considered an Australian Graphic Novel Classic, tackling topics few have seriously attempted to date. Order it now, so you can read it next weekend - wherever you live!
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