I've been meaning to post these two videos for some time now. They are both by Sarah Stephenson. I first met Sarah when she took part in a zine-comic workshop that Jeremy Staples and I presented at The Edge (almost a year ago now). The two video were taken on two different occasions earlier this year (the first on February 11th at 4 p.m. and the second on March 8th at about 12 midday-ish, when I was a little late finding the venue). Sarah arranged to meet me at the two separate locations to video interview me, and she had a set of pre-arranged questions that she asked her subject (so it wasn't an interactive interview as such). I gave Sarah the leads to the Brisbane comic book/strip artists for the second video and suggested she do a further interview with female artists/cartoonists in our local (Brisbane) Community. (I know she has met with Alisha Jade for that one, although I am not sure who else she has spoken to. I'm assuming that that video is presently unfinished. If I hear that it completed, I'll include it later in this Blog.)
Although some may wonder about the value of these two pieces, I see them as of being of greater future importance. They capture information not often aired by creatives and are also a visual record of the zine and comic book scene in Brisbane at this time. Thus, they may be of some value to future comic (or zine) historians interested in examining perhaps the early scene here in Brisbane. Brisbane's comic scene is certainly not as vibrant as (say) Melbourne's (or even Sydney's) community, and it is not presently even recognisable as a community (although I can see ZICS as beginning to formulate that role here).
Recently, I was reviewing my Blogs from about five years ago, and I noticed I made an entry on the local comics that were present on the scene then. So, really there has always been an undercurrent of comic publishing in Brisbane. (When I use the term comics I also mean, by extension, zines too.) Thinking back to younger days, I can still recall The Cane Toad Times, a most marvellous local publication; and going back to an even more personal level, there was the "rivalry" between Ian Gould and myself to see who could create the best comics under the banner of 'The Australian Comics Group'....
I had a brief discussion with a Brisbane-based creative at the Gold Coast Supanova (just before we set up on the second day) talking about Brisbane having a need to have the local equivalent of Melbourne's Squishface Studios in our community. I had a similar desire to see this happen locally following the Australian Cartoonists' Association's visit through Squishface late last year, but I know that I am always too busy (due to the need to maintain a good relationship with my wife and family, my work, and my comic publishing) to be the one to set it up. Although that's a feeble excuse, isn't it? My feeling is that there is a need to have it apart from the local comic shops, but also in a place of high pedestrian traffic (to ensure it is a visible presence in the community); and whether it is personal bias or a need to look objectively at the options, I thought Fortitude Valley would be the most suitable location...
Comics are important, not only nationally, but locally too. They allow for creative expression within a society (whether they reflect or challenge the status quo or are simply produced to entertain). As many have heard me say, they are as important as a community's music and motion picture industries, and while they may not be as visible within local communities, their presence needs to be nurtured and allowed to flourish. Comics' presence within a society remains a vibrant and healthy sign of a modern-day creative, artistic community as a whole....
For those who may be curious, I should mention that the normally bubbly and bright Dr Paul Mason was suffering from a cold when Sarah interviewed him!
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