Monday, January 27, 2014

Brodie Mack - Free Lance Covers 1916

Brodie Mack illustrated covers for Wellington newspaper The Free Lance for first eight weeks of 1916. While still a teenager Mack provided covers and cartoons for The Free Lance during 1915-1916.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Brodie Mack

Brodie Mack (Edward Brodie Mack 1897 - 1965) was the first New Zealand cartoonist to appear in American comics with his collaboration with Archie E. Martin (under the pseudonym 'Peter Amos) Kazanda featuring in six issues of the Fiction House series Rangers Comics #23 - #28. Kazanda originally appeared in Australian comic books from the NSW Bookstall Publishing Company.

 Brodie Mack Illustration from Australian Woman's Weekly

 Brodie Mack Illustrated cover for the New Zealand Freelance

Mack contributed cartoons and illustrations to the New Zealand Freelance before immigrating to Australia to take up an executive position with Fullers Theatres Ltd. representing their interests across Australasia.

Along with twenty four predominantly Sydney cartoonists including fellow New Zealander George Finey, Mack was a founding member of The Black and White Artists' club, now the longest running cartoonist's association in the world.

Army News Jan 15th 1942

June 15th 1941

The Australian Woman's Weekly June 3rd 1939

Army News Feb 5th 1942

In Australia along with his Fullers commitments Mack was a prolific artist contributing cartoons and illustrations for publications across Australia. These included, Army News (Darwin), Smith's Weekly, The Daily Mail, The Australian Woman's Weekly, Aussie, The Sydney Truth, Sunday Sun, Perth Sunday Times, The Budget and The Bulletin. Mack also produced sporting cartoons for The Daily Telegraph over a record twenty-six years from February 1937.

Established in the thirties The Brodie Mack Correspondence Art School was frequently advertised in newspapers and magazines across Australasian for the next two decades. A versatile draughtsman, Mack was equally adept at drawing realistic illustrations as he was big feet cartoons. One of New Zealand's most well respected and prolific cartoonists Peter Bromhead was a subscriber to Mack's course in the fifties. It would be interesting to know the influence of Mack's course on other cartoonists of the period.

Sources: , , , Mack, Edward Brodie, 1897-1965 :ANZAC Day (April 25th) - It's first anniversary. Can we ever forget it? Free Lance, 20 April 1916.. Various artists :Collection of newspaper clippings, photocopies and bromides of cartoons by Minhinnick (A-311-1), Mack (A-311-2) and Bird (A-311-3).. Ref: A-311-2-001. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

June Mendoza Interview

June Mendoza with three of her children, Ashley and Lee seated; Elliet standing in left foreground. A portrait of her four children is in the background

June Mendoza was born in Melbourne, Australia,1927, to an artistic family, pianist, composer Dot (née) Mendoza and musician John Morton. June focused on an art career from twelve years of age, taking life drawing at fourteen. By seventeen June was illustrating book jackets, magazine illustrations, town-planning exhibition artwork, record sleeves, some portraits and the adventure comic strip Devil Doone.

Mendoza immigrated to England in the early 1950s and worked for Hulton Press producing illustrations and comics for Eagle's companion title Girl. After five years June transitioned into full time portraiture with subjects including Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Sammy Davis Junior, Sean Connery, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II (twice), HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Sir William McMahon, Prince Edward, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Sir John Major, Sir John Gorton 1972 (official Parliamentary portrait acquired 1972 – the first and only official portrait of a Prime Minister by a woman artist).

 June Mendoza with paint palette in front of her portrait of Sammy Davis Junior.

Panel from Diana and Debbie are Dieticians featured in 1950's Girl Annual by Hulton Press.

In mid 2013 June answered a few questions for me via email.

Do you recall what your first professional illustration job was and how old you were at the time?
Hopeless with dates, But discounting portraits, which I was already doing by the time I was 12, I remember a big job on a Town Planning exhibition for some architects when I was about 17, which involved humourous, but relevant, illustrations accompanying text, on about ten large panels.

How did you get the job of illustrating the first episodes of Devil Doone?
Can't remember, But I had this ability to repeat likenesses of the characters in different situations and with different expressions.

Do you recall any other cartoonists that were active during the time you drew comics in Australia?
No. Except the beloved Les Tanner, of course;  but he was something else.

Devil Doone for K.G. Murray's Man Junior Magazine.

What brought you to England and what were the first comics you worked on there?
The world was on the other side, and we all wanted to be there. I took over from a splendid comic artist on the already running and popular 'Belle of the Ballet" for Hulton Press. Alan Stranks, who was doing 'PC 49' for them recommended me--- again, because of this likeness thing. Then I ended up doing all sorts of things for them.

Why did you use the pseudonym Chris Garvey for some of your work for Girl?
I think it was just to keep my portrait work separate from the commercial stuff, and I kept it ambiguous plus the surname of an amazing human being  in my life, who died very young.

Did you read or have a familiarity with comics before you started drawing them in Australia?
As a kid I had my weekly, eagerly awaited comic to devour;  can't remember its' name, but I do remember another I loved called Film Fun  which featured mostly British actors,entertainers etc, amongst which was a regular strip featuring Lupino Lane.  Amazingly, by pure chance, I ended up, in my actressing days, working with him in the West End and on tour, in his famous show ' Me and My Girl ' Lovely man.
News of my first portrait to be accepted by the Royal Soc. of Portrait Painters was on tour with him in Cambridge: we all went to the pub after the show and celebrated.

Were there any particular differences or demands you encountered upon entering the English comics industry?
Only that I was now working in full colour, and needed to learn how to apply this to deal with the vagaries of the printed result.
Are there any particular standout memories from your time in comics?
Matt, too long winded.  I did about five years of it inc.  years of  ' Belle of the Ballet' ;   serial on Joan of Arc [ fascinating ] ;  ' Petruschka, 'the ballet;   a cooking series; and misc. illustrations, covers etc.
But portraiture was the prime, constant accompaniment  throughout -------- from the age of 12.

 Panel from Diana and Debbie are Dieticians featured in 1950's Girl Annual by Hulton Press.

The three Illustrations below are from a Girl Annual accompanying an article on the work of British film make up artist George Blackler. All signed under June's Pseudonym Chris Garvey.

 George Blackler applies make-up to Alec Guinness.

 Yoko Tani made up as an Eskimo for 'The Savage Innocents'

 George Blackler provided 'Moko' for Maori actors in the film production of John Guthries novel, The Seekers.
Trailer for June Mendoza portrait painting DVD

Sources: Special thanks to Phil Rushton, Devil Doone scan courtesy Ausreprints, Devil Doone history at Comicsdownunder , Artist June Mendoza with [her] portrait of Sammy Davis Junior courtesy June Mendoza, ,  June Mendoza seated with her arms around two of her children, Ashley and Lee; Elliet is standing in left foreground. A portrait of all four children is in the background courtesy June Mendoza,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Korero Vol 2 No 9

Selection of Illustrations from New Zealand wartime publication AEWS Background Bulletin Korero Vol 2 No 9, May 8th, 1944. Artwork is credited to Korero staff artists,  Scenic depictions of Fairlie look like the work of Conrad Freiboe with other contributions possibly the work of Ken Alexander and Russell Clark.

Illustrations and cartoons from Korero Vol 2 No 17. Illustrations and cartoons from Korero Vol 2 No 4.