Saturday, January 28, 2012

Maurice Bramley

Maurice Bramley was born in New Plymouth, New Zealand in the late nineteenth century. Bramley migrated to Sydney in the 1920's and worked as a commercial illustrator for newspapers and magazines from the 1930's through to the 1950's. Bramley worked on a wide range of material from advertising campaigns to newspaper and pulp illustrations. Later he depicted Marvel superheroes on the covers of Australian reprints of familiar titles like The Avengers and Strange Tales. From the late fifties to the early seventies he worked in Australian comics including stints on war and western titles for Page Publications and Horwitz Publishing House.

Examples of Australian comics Bramley illustrated

Australian comics historian Kevin Patrick has researched Bramley extensively and written about him here and  here and here and here.

Daniel McKeown wrote about Bramley here and provides examples of his pulp and comic cover work.

In the fifties Bramley and his wife Dell lived in Tuross, New South Wale. The Tuross village website feature details of Bramley's career here.

Below are samples of his fifties illustrations for Pocket Book Storyteller Weekly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Magic Tree - Mark Tapsell

Te Ao Hou/ The New World was a bilingual quarterly published by the Maori Affairs department from 1952 -1976. Seventy-six issues were produced of 'interesting and informative reading for Maori a marae on paper, where all questions of interest to the Maori can be discussed,' as stated in the first issue. Starting in 1955, issues 12 -14 contained a comic serial, The Magic Tree, by Mark Tapsell.  The Magic tree is described as a made up story from vague references overheard by the artist and displays a dynamism and layout atypical of local comics from this era.

The Rajah's Secret - Betty Roland

The Rajah's Secret written by Australian Betty Roland and illustrated by Charles Paine from Girl Annual #5 published by Hulton Press 1957.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Early New Zealand History In Pictures

Part of the Pageant of New Zealand Series published in 1961 by Wellington publishers A. H. & A. W. Reed. Early New Zealand History In Pictures was written and illustrated by Charles McKenzie, combining myths and legends with historical stories about the early days of New Zealand.


Early New Zealand History In Pictures courtesy Geoff Harrison

Comic Con Article Australasian Post March 6 1986

The above article on the Australian Comic Con at Sydney Opera House in 1986, billed in some quarters as Australia's first comic convention, although I believe there may have been a couple smaller events held earlier. Special International guests included Will Eisner, Brendan McCarthy, and Jim Steranko as well as Australia's own Peter Foster and Frantz Kantor. Photographed and quoted in the article is young comic fan Christopher Sequeira who went on to become a veteran of writer of Australian comics with contributions to many projects since. In recent years Sequeira has established Blackhouse Comic's flagship title The Dark Detective Sherlock Holmes as well as projects for the American market under DC Comics, Marvel Comics and Boom! Studios.

Article courtesy Geoff Harrison

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Upcoming Australian Comic Events

Jan 26th

The bastard child of last years is NGV studio residency by several comic creators is Squishface Studio's , 'Australia's first open comics studio'. Spearheaded by Mr Ben Hutchings the official launch date for Squishface is Thursday 26th January with comics, prints and artwork available from resident artists on the day.

Have a look at the studios here

28 Jan

Fairfield residents Nicki Greenberg and Bernard Caleo and Northcote’s Michael Camilleri are amongst local comic folk featured at The Homecooked Comcis Festival in Northcote. A live podcast from 3ccr's The Comic spot will feature as well as workshops and comic themed entertainment for young folk.

More info here



Following on from the successful combined comic launch of Big Arse in 2011 is Big Arse 2. With an expanded line-up of books and a new venue, Sentidor Funf in Fitzroy, This years launch is another example of the burgeoning Melbourne comic scene that now see's comic launches/exhibitions/conventions  happening on a monthly basis.

K. W. Country

K.W Country front cover

A 20 page full colour comic published by The New Zealand Wildlife Service, Wellington, in 1984.  If I remember correctly I bought this through my primary school. It made a huge impression on me as a youngster, brutally depicting the Black Robin's fight for survival as they faced extinction. K. W. Country was beautifully illustrated and hand coloured by Don Nathan. Only found on Chatham Island, the Black Robin's population was down to only five surviving birds during the eighties. Thanks to the Department of Conservation efforts which are depicted in this comic population figures are now up to 200.

K.W. Country back cover.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Karl Wills Interview Mar 2003

Moloka was a free zine produced in Napier and Hamilton, New Zealand, during 2002-2003. Initial issues were A5 size before shrinking down to a dinky A6 size. Content mainly consisted of band interviews, pin ups, and occasional comics with the general tone of the zine being antagonistic. Interview subjects were often ridiculed and afforded little respect as well as interviews accompanied with frequently inappropriate illustrations. The following interview with Karl Wills is a typically tongue in cheek affair with Wills responding in kind.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Eric Resatar Article NZ Herald 1978

New Zealand comics pioneer Eric Resetar passed away on Wednesday 21st December 2011. 

Adrian Kinnaird tribute at his NZ Comics site From Earth's End

Rod Macleod tribute posted on The Auckland Art Gallery Blog

Article about Eric from the New Zealand Herald Saturday July 8 1978.

Article courtesy Geoff Harrison

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

World Patrol Adventures of Mark Steel and Dawn Randal

Starting in the first issue of Junior Digest in September 1945 World Patrol, Adventures of Mark Steel and Dawn Randal ran for five years concluding with the December issue of Junior Digest in 1950. Junior Digest was published in Christchurch by Trio Publications and featured a mixture of stories, articles, cartoons and comics. World Patrol was a Sci-Fi serial steeped with elements typical of the time, rocket ships, anti gravity, aliens and exploring space all featured over the years. Like a lot of material from this time, authors and artists are not credited. Later episodes became more text oriented, sometimes with only a few spot illustrations, with the concluding episode in 1950 having evolved from a comic serial to full prose. Occasional editorials hint towards illness preventing World Patrol from running in later issues as a full comic strip and after it was concluded in 1950 it was not replaced.

First episode of World Patrol Sept. 1945

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Lost City and the Adventures of Russ Denver


There is very little information available about Conquest 'The Magazine for Youth' produced by A.W & A.H Reed in the 1940's. Conquest appears to be composed of entirely New Zealand articles, stories, gag strips and pulp style illustrations. Of special interest is a serial adventure comic strip, The Lost City and The Adventures of Russ Denver produced by the Auckland advertising agency of W. Haythorn-Thwaite.

 Tourism Ephemera produced by Haythorne-Thwaite Ltd
The Haythorne-Thwaite studios produced print advertising, tourism material, and television commercials and merged with The Wardlaw Advertising Agency in 1968 to form WHT Advertising and Marketing Ltd.