Sunday, February 16, 2014

Merton Lacey (16th February - 29th July 1996)

 

Animator/film maker/artist Merton Lacey was born today in Purulia, India in 1902.

Lacey was a newsreel cameraman for Fox Movietone News in Calcutta and between 1926 and 1940 made more than 40 short cartoon film advertisements which ran in India, Burma and Ceylon. Lacey was also artist, cartoonist and publicity manager for The Calcutta Statesman and created a comic-strip mongoose character called 'Benji' that appeared on the Children's Page. In 1947 Lacey immigrated with his family to New Zealand.

An animation created by Lacey at the Auckland Zoo is recorded in the New Zealand Film archive from 1930 although I'm presuming this is erroneous as Lacey presumably wasn't in New Zealand at that time.


Lacey contributed a half page comic strip Nez and Zena to the short lived New Zealand Pictorial magazine during 1954-1955. Lacey also had two comics featured in George F H Taylor's Christmas Annual, Eddie and Tu in Adventure on Wheels (14 pages) and Eddie and Tu and The Treasure (3 pages). I consider the square bound Christmas Annual (published circa late fifties) the first large collection of New Zealand comics with over 100 pages of George F H Taylor's comics alongside Lacey's work. During the seventies Lacey was also involved with the New Zealand Woman's Weekly.





1 comment:

Debajyoti Guha said...

I recently came across two of Merton Lacey's cartoons published in Calcutta Municipal Gazette. No dates are given, looking at the style, it seems the cartoons were done around late 1930s or early 40s.