Years ago (oh, about 1990, give or take a month), when publishing Air Hawk Special, the first Air Hawk comic book exported to the USA and UK, I made the crucial mistake of not getting a printer's proof before the comic was printed. After all, Issue Three and Four's cover had turned out perfectly; and besides, I didn't want to have to wait for the proofs to arrive (via post in those days!) from Sydney..."Everything will be all right," I thought.
Learn a lesson here, would-be comic book publishers! ALWAYS have the printer's proofs!
Due to the distance (Sydney seemed such a long way from the Redcliffe Peninsula in those days!) there was a major breakdown in communication between myself and the printer. Someone who shall forever remain nameless (mainly because I don't know who it was!), re-inked over John's work and printed from my colour guide. (As opposed to printing from John's work and using my colours as a guide!) I found the photocopy of the original artwork last month (when trying to 'clean up' my office) and I include it here for posterity. I don't know if you can see the difference on a computer*, but as John said at the time, when he saw the finished product: "It looks shitty". Certainly, the most embarrassing moment I have had to deal with, in reprinting John's work in the past.
And one I don't wish to repeat. So, when I was given the opportunity to view proofs for Volume One recently, I jumped at the chance! And am I glad I did! There were quite a few glaring errors, so I have spent the past week - with Carlene down south again! - correcting them.
* The difference in the artwork is in the lower right hand corner: Janet's hair, the arm of Jim Hawk holding her were all re-touched; and ALL of the coloured GUIDE was printed over the top of the art, making the whole page look incredibly muddy and, well, BAD. At the time it was a major disappointment.
Co-incidentally, the story John's artwork illustrates ("Yowie") will appear in the Second Volume of John Dixon's Air Hawk and the Flying Doctor! I did seriously consider re-using John's artwork (and I may yet reprint it inside), but after seeing Michal's artwork I felt there was no option: it is absolutely stunning! In fact, I am so excited about it, I have decided to deliberately NOT include it in colour on this web-page until after the Volume is published. To include it here would devalue the impact it will have on all Air Hawk Fans when they see it for the first time!
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