This is a project that researcher and author Graeme Cliffe has spent more than twenty years on. Looking for information, he has searched private collections and Australia's public libraries, and made profuse notes as to the local content (such as the appearances of Ginger Meggs and Fatty Finn) in the comics of this forgotten era.
From 'Sunbeams' to Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Australian Comic Book (1924 to 1965) is the story of Australia's original comic book industry, from its origins in humorous strips which were published in Sydney early in the twentieth century, through to the industry's demise in the nineteen sixties, when other entertainment sources proved more popular.
What do you know about Australia's glorious comic book past?
In 1954 there were about seventy-two million comic books being sold in Australia? Seventy-two million! Today a variety of entertainment mediums are offered to Australians, and there are very few local artists working in the industry. What led to this decline? What were some of the titles that were so popular years ago?
Graeme's book From 'Sunbeams' to Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Australian Comic Book (1924 to 1965) seeks to answer all these questions.... and a whole lot more!
The book is a massive 250 plus pages with a colourful dust jacket. It is published in a large 330 mm x 250 mm size, and is profusely illustrated with the covers of more than two hundred of the comics included in the text. It includes numerous quotes from the comic books themselves, and biographies of the artists, writers and publishers who worked in the medium. Also included is a fourteen page index, which covers more than 2500 topics. From 'Sunbeams' to Sunset is the most detailed examination of Australian comic books -- ever!
Where the project sits right now...
This is a book of immense historical value to all who love the comics medium. Money has already been committed to the project to ensure that it is published! In fact, as this is typed, the work is now finished and ready to be delivered from the printer! We're launching this extremely short Kickstarter campaign to not only increase awareness of the project both locally here in Australia and overseas, but also to allow fans of the medium's history to share in some of the rich rewards we have on offer and that have been prepared especially for this Kickstarter campaign!
This installment (in the Special Limited Edition) features artwork and the original signatures of Australian comic artists from the past that Graeme has written about: Peter Chapman, Norman Clifford and John Jensen. What makes this Special Limited Edition eminently more collectable, is the fact that (sadly) both Peter and John have now passed away. There is a strictly limited number of copies available with these signatures, which were obtained for the sole purpose of their inclusion in this book! Please note that the signatures were obtained by way of signed stickers, which will be affixed to the books.
There will also be a little less-expensive Signed and Numbered Edition (of one hundred copies) that will be signed by the four people who creatively took part in bringing this historical book together, Graeme Cliffe (the author), Ryan McDonald-Smith and Neville C Bain (the designers), and Nat Karmichael (the publisher).
Stretch Goal THANK YOU: $6000.00!
I just want to shout out a great big THANK YOU to all people who have backed this project to date! By means of showing my appreciation, I'm going to add a fantastic Stretch Goal to the Campaign, that I shall detail below. With only a couple of days to go, there's every chance we may not make it: but "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained" as they say in the Classics!
UPDATE! The books have now arrived from the printer! They will be shipped as soon as this campaign ends! To celebrate the success of this Kickstarter campaign, and in an attempt to push the Stretch Goal to a total of $6000, I'm going to offer each and every Backer a copy of one of my favourite books in the Comicoz catalogue when we reach this new target -- Trundle by Neil Matterson. This hardcover book is over 174 pages long, and features one of Neil's little-known comic strip from the late 1980s. It is an all-ages book, full of wonderful whimsical humour that everyone will love....
Who am I?
My name is Nat Karmichael, and I am a member of the Australian Cartoonists' Association.
I have been involved in comics in this country since I was a teenager -- I'm now in my early sixties! -- having self-published 18 comics, 1 poster, and ten comic-related books in my lifetime. Yes, self-publish: I really believe in comics both as an entertainment medium and as a pictorial reflection of our Australian culture. I proudly edit the Australian Cartoonists' Association's quarterly journal Inkspot. (I'll soon will be working on my 15th edition for them!)
Those who know me realise I am passionate about the comic medium, and that I always want to publish only the very best quality books and magazines related to Australia's comic artists. I am proud to add From 'Sunbeams' to Sunset to those books which I have published under my imprint, Comicoz. Here are some of the tomes I have published over the years:
Risks and challenges
There are no foreseeable risks I can identify.
The books should be arriving from the printer soon after this project goes live!
Graeme and I (and Neville and Ryan) are looking forward to sharing this book with EVERYONE!
- (30 days)