Australian Cartoonists Art Dump #1


New Zealand born artist Unk White cover for The Australian Woman's Mirror, July 17, 1957. Unk White produced some of Australia's first full page colour comics and illustration in 1930's newspapers.

From interior credit:

Our Cover - Artist Unk White has captured what is perhaps half the delight of a holiday - the planning of it. Most of us of course can only dream of that voyage overseas; though we may still look at travel folders. All can really plan a holiday.

Serial adventure strip The Spanish Sword from Australian Woman's Mirror featured above. Artist unknown.

Edith Alsop (1871 - 1958) original painting mounted on board. Alsop was initially active as a cartoonist/illustrator in the early twentieth century before moving into printmaking and fine arts. I'm not sure what this illustration was from, possibly unpublished. Found a couple weeks ago in a basket of old English annuals at a local market.

Two stunning pages in sequence from Will Donald comic Perilous Journey. Scans courtesy of Geoff Harrison.

Original illustration accompanying one off book of Persian poetry by Will Donald. Photo courtesy family of Will Donald.

Original painted art board by English Illustrator Walt Howarth (1928 - 2008). Howarth produced numerous annual covers and illustrations over a sixty year career. Example above from a UK reprint comic of Australian character The Phantom Ranger originally published in Australia by Frew.

Two covers for western digest size story magazines by prolific golden age comics maker Peter Chapman (1925 - 2016).

Australian reprint of US newspaper strip Scorchy Smith. Cover artist unknown.

Three painted Wally and the Major covers by Stan Cross.

Mystery New Zealand Cartoonists #1 UPDATE: John Cecil Hill

Digging through boxes and folders of treasure that threaten to engulf my apartment, I've accumulated a few New Zealand cartoonists that I'm seeking information on. I have biographical notes for some of them but would appreciate any new information folk might have on these artists. I found these 1937 cartoons in a custom bound collection titled Political Cartoons. They were compiled for the New Zealand Minister of Employment in Labour's first cabinet, Hubert Thomas Armstrong. The volume contains cartoons from The Evening Post, The Auckland Star and The New Zealand Herald. The Collection is filled primarily with the work of Sir Gordon Minhinnick but there are also many examples from The Auckland Star that are signed J.C.H, a cartoonist completely unknown to me.

Update: Via a FB post by Dylan Horrocks, Kristian Thompson has identified J.C.H. as John Cecil Hill. Kristian pointed to a Victoria University page with brief biographical notes on Hill.

Canterbury University Capping Mag Covers - 1960s

University Capping magazines alongside University magazines themselves were a point where many New Zealand cartoonists saw their first work published. Student cartoonists featured in Capping magazines during the 1960's and 1970's published radical material far outside the guidelines of mainstream publishing. Some of this work was insightful political and social commentary, some was misogynist, xenophobic and politically incorrect by modern society's standards. The gallery below displays covers from the University of Canterbury Capping magazines of the 1960's.


The Cartoonists Part Four

The several page article 'The Cartoonists' appeared in the weekly New Zealand Heritage magazine published in the early 1970's and eventually collected as a set of Encyclopedias.

Read The Cartoonists Part One

Read The Cartoonists Part Two

Read The Cartoonists Part Three

In the conservative newspapers for which they worked Minhinnick fitted naturally, whereas Low was a radical, an oddity who made his own rules. Minhinnick dryly pointed the political difference. "It is often written of a cartoonist that he 'crystallises and reflects the opinions of the common man'. If Low ever did that it was by coincidence. What Low crystallised and reflected were the opinions of David Low, and if the common man or anyone else didn't like it, they could do the other thing."

Gordon Minhinnick

Minhinnick considered Low's cari­catures as being not merely recog­nisable but ludicrously unmistakable —the very essence of the person. Yet he discerned in Low the quintessen­tial imp who would not have cared overmuch had he been wrong, and he quotes Low as saying that the first essential of caricature is that it should be a lark.  Low would have liked that. He wrote in his own introduction to H. R. Westwood's Modern Caricatures: "Satirists who approve beauty and goodness by idealising the persons and policies of their friends do so, of course, at the expense of the satirical essence of their art, and become accordingly dull. Satire can-not live with hero worship, and poetry is no part of the caricaturist's function. However the ethics of satire may be tortured in argument, it is difficult to hold that the satirist has any moral obligation to his fellows but to throw bricks at them."

Nevile Lodge with self portrait at his drawing board

Where then are New Zealand's brick throwers? Minhinnick was one, though he seems to have mellowed with age. In the New Zealand Herald of July 15 1938 he depicted the Prime Minister, M. J. Savage, drinking a glass of State control, while Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler reach out for the bottle at his elbow. The caption is "The Spirit of his Ancestors". In that year, it is safe to assert, at least 60 per cent of Minhinnick's readers must have hated him for that.

By April 15 1969 Minhinnick was drawing — for example — Sir Edmund Hillary in an "Attempt on the North Face of Mt. Muldoon", and his brick is thrown accurately but with markedly less force. Nothing like George Finey's wicked caricature of Gordon Coates has lately been seen. It is as though New Zealand's cartoonists in the end are moulded by their audience—a people who expect cartoons to be funny rather than biting, who set limits well within those imposed by libel laws.

This 1971 Lodge cartoon is typical of the "average" New Zealanders he is most at ease in depicting, those whose primary interests are rugby, racing and beer.

Nevile Lodge (Evening Post) and Eric Heath (Dominion) consider that newspaper readers have become more rather than less sensitive since the flowering of New Zealand cartooning in the 1920s. "I am amazed at how outspoken those men were," Nevile Lodge has said. "We could not get away with it today. Their barbs seemed to be aimed at the character rather than at his ideas or policies."