Australia! – A Collection of Australian Comic Stories to Benefit beyondblue
On 1st January 2015, Nat Karmichael invited a select group of Australian artists and cartoonists (fifty male, fifty female, of my choosing) to contribute to a comic anthology, with the aim of benefiting beyondblue. All artists were to freely donate their time and talents in contributing to this project (that is, they were not to be paid). The theme chosen was ‘Australia’ and the only limitation placed on the artists was that their contribution was not to exceed five pages in length.
The result was a wonderful array of different art styles and stories, and clearly illustrates the wonderful talent pool of creative personnel in this country during that time era. Some of these artists and cartoonists had not drawn in the medium for years; for some it was the first time they were published. The project even brought Glenn Lumsden back to illustrating comics, and won him a Stanley Award (Best Comic Book Illustrator) with the tale inside! The plan was to donate $10 of the cover price to beyondblue.
You see, in Nat’s line of work away from comic publishing he works as a Clinical Nurse in the area of mental health in a major Brisbane Hospital’s Emergency Department. Many of his referrals are from beyondblue. They really do a wonderful job for our community.
And then something unexpected happened during the production of this book. Nat’s youngest daughter suffered a major mental illness that, over many years later, she has still not recovered and it is likely never will recover from. Nat did not, and to this date, has not really promoted this book, as he too clearly associated what happened to her with its production. But, with about nine hundred copies still in his garage, he feels it’s about time he took control of this fear. Help him clear these copies out at cost price, with $10 still to go to beyondblue. So that’s the background story to the volume….
What do you get? Over 100 pages of comics, some in colour, some in black and white. And a wonderfully produced hardcover book, with some wonderful stories within…. Look at the array of Australian cartoonists and artists involved! There’s a new, previously unpublished Greener Pastures tale. A wonderful gritty crime tale written by Julie Ditrich. And many, many more!! Caution: ‘Some of the stories within … have been written for a more mature readership. Persons with a delicate nature are urged to be selective about reading some of these stories’. The book is respectfully dedicated to Nat’s daughter.