From a comic book perspective, I seem to have purchased more comics than I have done in recent memory. I have tended to buy fewer Marvel and DC titles, mainly because, for the main, I have found the stories somewhat formulised. The common denominator appears to be the striving for as many sales as possible, with innumerable variant covers artificially boosting sales on select titles, and a fan base that is prepared to accept this nonsense. As a result, my purchases have been more along the lines of independent releases and in the form of graphic novels. Many of the purchases have been less from retail outlets and more from on-line social media opportunities.
Australian comic buys have been opportunistic but no less thrilling. By far the biggest excitement was the acquiring of most of the original artwork to Iron Outlaw, an Australian comic series that ran in the early 1970s. Such was the state of my busy-ness throughout the year, I don’t think I even had the chance of sharing the find on this Comicoz blog! How did I obtain it? Someone in Melbourne alerted me to the fact that the works were sitting in an Opportunity Shop, and would I be interested in it …??!
Also in between the holiday break, as Lead Judge I also oversaw the judging of the Ledger of Honour Award. This is such an honour, and now the second (or is it third?) year I have been given this responsibility. Given my passion for Australian comics, I suppose I have a closer link to the Ledgers, so I am thrilled to be a part of these fledgling Awards (now only in their fifth year). As Lead Judge, I am bound by oath not to reveal the winners … just yet … so keep your ears posted to the ground. Click here for the link:http://ledgerawards.org/ Two books I published last year (Bold Ben Hall, An Authentic Biography Narrated and Illustrated by Monty Wedd and Truth, Justice and the American Dream: The Men Behind Superman by Thomas Campi and Julian Voloj) are in the final long list of nominees for the Ledger Awards, with a Short List of Nominees to be announced sometime soon.... The ceremony itself will be held on the Friday of the Anzac Day long weekend, at a Sydney venue.
Exciting projects for the future: working in collaboration with the Reverend Michael Mercier and the National Cartoon Gallery (the Bunker) to produce a book of Michael's dad, Emile Mercier's cartoons. The groundwork for this was laid in the past two years, when I assisted in the negotiations between Michael and the Bunker. Another project I began consulting on -- a non-comic one, believe it or not! -- is a book on the 40th anniversary of the Ipswich branch of Zonta. These are some of the ups for the year ahead. And the downs from last year?
I've harped on it before, so there is no need to say much more than the collapse of my books' distributor, Dennis Jones and Associates, was the biggest disappointment of 2018. My sales now rely on people learning about the books and this web-site/blog.... I had a commercial agreement with a Perth-based company called Bee Modern to upgrade this website, with specifications of what I was after, and for reasons I must still explore, nothing came of it, except for being somewhat poorer in cash...
Above, Bold Ben Hall by Monty Wedd. And to the right is the Thomas Campi (artist) and Julian Voloj (writer) collaboration, Truth, Justice and the American Dream: The Men Behind Superman.
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