Saturday, June 2, 2012

Paper Trail

The Caravan of Comics yoinked from caravan of comics.

The Caravan of Comics cartoonists have completed their jaunt around American and Canadian comic events. David Blumenstein recaps their adventures here and Matt Taylor writes about the caravan here.

Melbourne Publisher of fine comic books, Milk Shadow Books, have announced a book of Fil Barlow's Zooniverse on their publishing slate. Barlow has been regularly producing animations for the monthly loopdeloop animation challenge, Have a look at his work here.

 Mr Unpronounceable Copyright 2012 Tim Molloy

Tim Molloy has teased an image from his follow up to his first book with Milk Shadow Books, It shines, It Shakes And Laughs. Molloy's new book will collect previously published Mr Unpronounceable Adventures and feature new material.

Dylan Horrocks is the featured cartoonist on Comic Strip Tees with a character, Alice Brown, from his current web serial The Magic Pen. In a recent blog Horrocks noted Alice Brown would be a featured character in books two and three of The Magic Pen trilogy. I'm not sure but I think this is the first he has mentioned of The Magic Pen being a trilogy. Eagle-eyed comic fans will recall this Alice Brown image featuring in Dunedin anthology Dud a couple years ago. Comic Strip Tees are only available for a month so order yours now.

Colin Wilson is featured on episode ten from series two of The Living Room.

Khulan copyright 2012 Katie Houghton-Ward

Katie Houghton-Ward has teased an image from an upcoming installment of her series Khulan. Khulan debuted in the July 2011 issue of Heavy Metal with inks by Simon Morse. Morse commented this was likely his last comic work before fully going full-time in the tattoo world.

A new publisher in New Zealand, Faction Comics, are producing an anthology and are looking for contributors here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not Australasian Comics: Isometrics - Romero

Isometrics the newspaper strip was based on a book about isometric exercise called How to Exercise Without Moving A Muscle by gridiron football player, coach, and executive Vic Obeck. Obeck features throughout the strip describing and occasionally demonstrating his exercise techniques. The scripting is by Ridwan Aitken with artwork by Enrique Badia Romero. Romero is more well known to English audiences for his collaboration with Donne Avenell on Axa which featured in The New Zealand Truth throughout the eighties. Romero also illustrated Modesty Blaise prior to New Zealand artist Neville Colvin and succeeded him when Colvin retired from the strip.

Isometrics featured in The New Zealand Herald during the seventies and a collection was printed and published by Wilson and Horton in 1975.

A S Paterson Cartoons from The Dominion

Daily cartoons by Alan Stuart Paterson from his time as the first staff cartoonist at The Dominion from 1925 to 1950.

Monday, May 28, 2012

John Joseph McNamara

John McNamara self portrait showing travel between Woking (England) and Wellington (New Zealand) 1969

John McNamara was born 18th April 1918 and began his illustration career in his teens drawing caricatures of film, sporting and local personalities for numerous magazines including Paramount Theatre of Stars (1935), Standard (1936), Radio Record, New Zealand Sporting Life and Referee, Junior for NZ, Boys and Girls (1937-38), Clarion (1938), Cappicade (1937-39) and Katipo (1940). McNamara was a member of the New Zealand Cartoonist's Association which appears to have only existed for several years prior to World War Two.

 Life among the Japanese at Featherston. The New Zealand Listener, 11 January 1944.

After the War McNamara was Prinicipal cartoonist for Wellington morning daily The Southern Cross (1956 - 1951). McNamara's cheeky little Maori character was a recurring feature of the paper.

McNamara moved to England in 1950 and found work in British newspapers. The full extent of McNamara's work in England is unknown. McNamara worked for Amalgamated Press drawing issues of Thriller Comics, ranging from adaptations of Westward Ho!, The Red Badge of Courage and Hopalong Cassidy to the adventures of Dick Turpin and Robin Hood.  Two other early strips possibly published in the Daily Mail featured "Bats" Belfry, which had a horse racing background and involved bet setting and detective work, and an adaption of C. S. Forester's character Horatio Hornblower.

From the mid fifties to the early seventies Mcnamara illustrated the newspaper strip Paul Temple based on the popular BBC radio serial. McNamara died in Surrey in February 2001, aged 82.

 Original art featured in Southern Cross newspaper (1946-1951)

Caricature of radio broadcaster Colin Scrimgeour 1937

One of the most popular crime series of the 1950s and 1960s was Francis Durbridge's Paul Temple. Featured in the London Evening News since 1951, originally drawn by Alfred Sindall and subsequently by Bill Bailey with McNamara assuming illustration duties from 1954 until 1971. In the final years of the strip McNamara adjusted the look of his lead character to resemble Francis Matthews, who portrayed Temple in the Paul Temple BBC TV series (1969-71).

Steve Holland has serialised two Paul Temple adventures by John McNamara and Francis Durbridge on his Bear Alley Blog.

McNamara's work on Paul Temple is not generally available in print although many of his stories can be purchased from the All Devon Comic Collectors Club. A Society dedicated to preserving the sadly neglected English newspaper strips, The ADCCC are authorised to sell booklet reprints of Paul Temple and other strips exclusively to their membership. Details are available from The Newspaper Comic Strip Library website.

The following original art boards are for sale from the comicartfans page of Peter Hartung. Click to embiggen to see the exquisite detail McNamara put into his work.

Sources: , , Peter Hartung , Bear Alley Blog. The Unauthorised Version A Cartoon History of New Zealand 1840 - 1987 2nd edition - Ian F. Grant.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Jubilee Publications Romance Comics

Honeymoon Library covers from

I've found very little information about Jayar Studios who are credited in the indicia of these romance comics with, "Drawn and printed in Australia by Jayar Studios and Sungravure Limited for the publishers, Jubilee Publications Pty, Ltd., 81-83 Walker St., North Sydney."

Kevin Patrick of comicsdownunder suggested,  "Jayar may have been in an in-house editorial/paste-up service which produced a staggering array of comics back in the 1950s and 1950s, which may have been affiliated with - or in some way connected to - Consolidated Press (once proud jewel of the Frank/Kerry Packer media empire). Or, it might have had links with Truth & Sportsman/Invincible Press back in the early 1950s."

Kevin also commented on the difficulties in researching this material, "There are probably many short-lived Aussie romance comics imprints I haven't seen, despite being interested in them for a decade or so, now. Simply because I suspect that publishers frequently changed their series titles (and numbering sequence) in mid-run (for various reasons), which causes considerable confusion for we researchers & collectors, decades down the track."

Kevin suggested the actual original 'drawn' component of these comics likely being the painted covers and the interior stories consisting of American reprints, perhaps material from St John Publications romance line. have significant background information and cover scans of Australian published reprints of foreign material.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Paper Trail

Fred the Clown Copyright 2012 Roger Langridge

Fourplay String Quartet's score for Roger Langridge's Fred the Clown comic Nowhere Special that was performed at the Graphic Conference in 2011 is receiving an encore performance today at 12:30pm (Sydney, Australia time) as part of the TedxSydney Conference.

You can catch a live stream of it here.

Langridge has calculated streaming times for other locales:

2am-3:30am Saturday morning,  British Summer time
9pm-11:30pm Friday in New York
6pm-7:30pm Friday in Los Angeles
1pm-2:30pm Saturday in New Zealand

Nice Day For A War Copyright 2012 Chris Slane and Matt Elliot

Chris Slane and Matt Elliot's Nice Day For A War was a recent winner of Children's Book of the Year and Children's Non-Fiction Award at the 2012 NZ Post Book Awards. Slane has also announced their book has gone into a second printing.

More info on Nice Day For a War here.

Interview with Sydney cartoonist Queenie Chan from 2012 Adelaide Oz Comic-Con.

Professor Jane Chapman speaking at Macquarie University last year with her 'Uncurated' lecture 'Comics and the representation of female war-time bravery in Wanda the War Girl (Australia) and Paroles d'Etoiles (France)'. As well as Wanda creator Kathleen O'Brien Chapman also speaks briefly about Sydney cartoonist Moira Bertram.

From the MacQuarie University description of her lecture,

Professor Jane Chapman from the University of Lincolnshire will present Comics and the representation of female war-time bravery in Wanda the War Girl and Paroles d’Etoiles. During the Second World War, an Aussie comic strip character called Wanda the War Girl was more popular than Superman: servicemen even painted her picture on their planes and tanks. What is the appeal of representation of women in 1940s comics as a subject? Why does historical nostalgia attract so many exhibition visitors? 

Wanda The War Girl from Perth Sunday Times 1943

Yoinked from Jason's Yfrog, here's Ginger Meggs cartoonist Jason Chatfield and Garfield creator Jim Davis at the Ruebens in Las Vegas.

New Zealand produced Online Magazine Werewolf is worth checking in on monthly with sporadic cartooning updates. Writer Mike Brown and Illustrator Mat Tait are producing some especially beautiful comics here.