My name is Nat Karmichael. As the video indicates, I am passionate about Australian comics - comic books and comic strips! When I first considered how to present myself for this crowd-funding campaign for your perusal (when the video was made in early 2016), I was unsure whether I should talk about it formally (and risk appearing stuffy and remote) ... or should I be laid back (and have you think I don't care if you support this venture or not)?? In the end, I decided just to be myself: PASSIONATE!!
Meeting Monty Wedd
I first met Australian writer, historian and artist Monty Wedd (and his wonderful wife Dorothy) back in 1988 at the annual Stanley Awards for the (then) Australian Black & White Artists' Club. Monty and I got talking about many things, including one day having some of his works collected in book form. Unfortunately, as always seems to be the case, Life got in the way and the plans were left for another day. Sadly, soon after our discussions reconvened, Monty passed away in 2012.
Moving on with the plans...
With the full blessing of Monty's Family, I was given permission to continue working on the plans. In early 2014, the first volume of Monty's work was published. Ned Kelly was released and distributed to many Australian booksellers. The following year it was awarded the Bronze Ledger 'for excellence in Australian comics'. (See http://ledgerawards.org for full details.)
Bold Ben Hall
Bold Ben Hall is planned to be the second volume of Monty’s collected works. A draft of the dust-jacket's cover is presented here on this Kickstarter page. This volume will be a companion piece to Ned Kelly, measuring exactly the same dimensions – a massive 36 cm in width and 25 cm in depth. (That’s a really large volume!) This Kickstarter campaign is designed to raise the funds for the first hardback printing of this work, with a print run limited to only 1000 copies world-wide.
What sets it apart…
Bold Ben Hall collects each and every episode of this Australian Sunday newspaper feature for the very first time. The strip first appeared forty yeas ago in 1977 – and then ran for over seven and a half years. This is not a made up tale. Monty personally visited the Australian towns featured in his historical re-telling and researched every aspect of this Australian bushranger's life. The story is retold in a visual (comic) format about the history behind the events, and Monty told it in astonishing detail. In page count alone, Bold Ben Hall is over three times larger than the first Ned Kelly volume! What makes this book unique, solely from a production viewpoint, is the fact that most of the four hundred pages have been reproduced directly from Monty's original artwork!
Where the project is now
As you might imagine, this has been a massive undertaking! I have spent the past two years working on this project. Right now, all the original artwork's pages have been photographed and are ready for the printer. The miscellaneous pages, like the introductory page and the acknowledgement pages -- just about everything! -- have all been prepared and are set to go! Some minor adjustments are going to be made to the dust-jacket's artwork and the names of every Kickstarter who pledges funds will need to be added to pages within the book, and then it will be ready to go to press. The plan is to have the project all ready to be presented to the printer directly after the end of the campaign period.
What is needed from you
This is an unprecedented campaign, both in target required and in scope of what is being sought to be reproduced for what many consider an Australian comic book or graphic novel. (And within a really short campaign time frame!) Many booksellers baulked at carrying Ned Kelly, due to its unorthodox size. There is every possibility that a larger book like this proposed Bold Ben Hall volume may not be accepted by any Australian book distributor. The best thing you can do is to support this project to ensure you obtain your copy, because that will help the project reach its goal. You can also share it with your friends and family (and your Facebook friends and family!), because the more people who know about the project the greater the chance of the project attaining its goal....
Why this will succeed...
I am a doggedly determined (my wife says obstinate) individual who has worked on many Australian comics, and comic-related projects previously. I have been making Australian comics since...well, my first comic was published in the 1970s. In my lifetime, I have published 18 comics (nine since 2014) and this will be my seventh comic-related book (all since 2011), and have edited eight copies of the Australian Cartoonists' Association's quarterly journal Inkspot over the past two years. (The video was produced when I had finished editing only my second issue!) I'm not saying this to big-note myself, but merely to let you know that I have a determination to see projects through to their conclusion. Here are photos of some of the comics I have published in recent years....and some I am working on. More details of my past ten years in comics can be read on my blog at www.comicoz.com
Thanks so much for reading this far!
Risks and challenges
The main risk and challenge for a project of this scope is, naturally enough, not reaching the target goal. It is nearing the holiday season, after all!
However, there are enough Rewards on offer to ensure that there is a great chance of attaining that figure, with many of the Rewards available that might make future gifts... I have already placed a lot of my own money into the project already; that's how confident I am of reaching the goal. But you'd expect that, wouldn't you? As I have already said, I am passionate about Australian comics!
The work is so close to going to print. The adjustments to the cover art will be addressed while the Campaign is underway. I'll share during the Campaign the final artwork and dust-jacket. Once the Campaign is closed, there should be only minimal delays in sending the final product to the printer. (All that has to be added once the campaign is closed, is adding the list of names of all the great people who have put their hard earned money to this project.)
I DO pride myself on my great communication skills, so if you have ANY questions about ANY aspect of the project, please communicate them to me. I will be only too happy to answer any queries....Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (54 days)