Showing posts with label Australian cartoonist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australian cartoonist. Show all posts

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sir David Alexander Cecil Low (7 April 1891 – 19 September 1963)

David Low photograph from The Political Cartoon Gallery.

Today marks 123rd anniversary of the birth of one of New Zealand's most influential political cartoonists, David Low. Born in Dunedin and educated in Christchurch, Low sold his first cartoons at 11 to The Christchurch Spectator. Low worked for a variety of papers throughout his teens and twenties before moving to Sydney in 1911. After a career in Australian newspapers in 1919 Low moved to England where Low's cartoons in British papers proved an immediately success. Low's antipodean upbringing and attitudes provided a satirical bite in his work in contrast to his peers whose work was still rooted in staid Victorian society. Before and during World War Two Low's stinging depictions of Adolf Hitler and Mussolini led to his work being banned in Italy and Germany, and his being named in The Black Book, a list of prominent Britons to be arrested upon the successful invasion of Britain by Nazi Germany.

From Dr Timothy S. Benson essay on Low.

"A few months later, Bruce Lockhart, as foreign correspondent of the Daily Express visited Germany to interview Hitler. During the interview, Hitler surprisingly mentioned Low in conversation and was full of praise for him in his mistaken belief that the cartoonist's attitude was anti-democratic because of the way he derided politicians and parties in his daily cartoons. According to Low: "At the time I was upbraiding democracy rather drastically for its attitude to European events and Hitler got the impression I was anti-democratic." Hitler then asked Lockhart if he could arrange for Low to let him have some originals to decorate the Brown House, the national headquarters of the Nazi party in Munich. When Lockhart relayed Hitler's request to Low upon his return, the cartoonist obligingly sent a couple as from in his words 'one artist to another'.

Read full David Low essay by Low Historian Dr Timothy S. Benson.
Read New Zealand cartoonist/historian Alan Moir's essay on David Low.

Gallery of Low's work on Te Pikitia tumblr. 

David Low cartoons from the Billy Book.
The Billy Book: Hughes Abroad, collected 50 satirical drawings by Low about the wartime visit by Australian Prime Minister William Morris Hughes to Britain and the Western Front to attend the Imperial War Cabinet from June to August 1918. Copies of the book received by various English editors led to the book became a bestseller and critical praise.  This also led to Low moving to England to take a salaried job at the London Star newspaper in 1919.

David Low cartoons reprinted from British papers in Australian newspaper The Worker (1921).


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cameron Laird Interview

In the last leg of it's funding campaign on Kickstarter the Crayfish is an adventure comic set in Australia created by writer Cameron R. D. Laird and artist Adam Rose.

From The Crayfish synopsis,

"The year is 1950. The place, King Island, Australia. Norman Williams -- a hearing-impaired, WWII veteran -- lives with his technologically and mechanically savvy younger brother Gerald on the failing family farm. Over the years King Island has become increasingly targeted for its abundance of natural resources, array of possibly bountiful shipwrecks and other such riches. Norman will do anything to stop those that wish to destroy the island, and its inhabitants' way of life. An aim which can only be achieved, by becoming The Crayfish."

The Crayfish on Kickstarter.

Via email I asked Cameron R. D. Laird a few questions about The Crayfish.

What inspired you to use a period setting for The Crayfish?

I’ve always loved the 30s, 40s and 50s eras, the fashion the music and the grittiness of technology amongst other things. The great thing about writing is that you can create anything you want and set your story at any time or place that you want. So I did. Also The Crayfish was always going to be set in a post-war era, so the 50s were a perfect fit.

Exploitation of natural resources is very relevant to modern Australia, what brought this element to your story?

I always wanted there to conflict on the Island, stories need conflict, but I didn’t want to necessarily have a “supervillian” or anything like that. Essentially, King Island is a place that has a lot of varied natural resources and I wanted to use that as a key reason for bad things to happen. It wasn’t until I had written the first issue and thought up a few more stories that I noticed how someone might think they were a commentary for current world events. I don’t mind that at all though.

Can you talk a bit about how your collaborating with artist Adam Rose?

I have actually never met Adam in person. Every contact we have had has been thanks to the internet. I’m talking hundreds of emails and thousands of Facebook messages. Our collaboration started when Adam sent me a couple of drawings of The Crayfish. I had posted a few times online desperately seeking an artist and he answered the call. We quickly got into our relationship of back and forth. He would send me sketches of characters and locations and ask what I thought, I would tell him what I thought and he’d go away and refine and refine. Before long we had a style and character designs that we were both happy with. He’s a really easy artist to work with. And his art is freakin’ good too!

Was kickstarter always a factor in getting the Crayfish made?

We decided quite early on that the plan was to crowd-fund the comic. We saw that a lot of other comics were having success with it and I thought, “Why not The Crayfish?” We eventually settled on Kickstarter and we couldn’t be happier with the support we’ve received.

How are will The Crayfish be distributed?

A good portion of the first print run will go straight to pledgers and then we hope to distribute through comic book stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. We already have a few stores that are keen to stock the book. We will also set-up an online store which people will be able to order the book through, so no matter where you are, you’re going to be able to grab a copy.

You've hinted at a second issue of The Crayfish on your Kickstarter, can you talk a bit about future plans for the comic? is there an end point or complete arc planned?

At the moment I’m working on Issue 2 and we’re looking to start production on that as soon as possible. Short answer: there is no clear end in sight for The Crayfish. Each issue will have a self-contained story but with an overall arc woven through. I want people to be able to enjoy every issue whether they’ve read the previous ones or not and I think the self-contained nature of the books will allow that. That’s the plan anyway!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

John Dixon Gallery

Gallery of John Dixon Comics in celebration of his 85th birthday today.

 (Keith Chatto cover for Air Hawk.)

(Keith Chatto cover for Air Hawk.)
 Images © 2014 John Dixon