president’sparlay speak of this Stanleys for years to come, so get the order form, sign yer name on it and get it back to us super quick! You do not want to miss this weekend.
Number 59 Spring 2009 www.cartoonists.org.au 1300 658 581 --- ACA Board --Patron Vane Lindesay (03) 9523 8635 President Jules Faber email@example.com Deputy President Jason Chatfield firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary Kerry Anne Brown email@example.com Treasurer Grant Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Secretary Peter Broelman email@example.com Vice Presidents Steve Panozzo (NSW) firstname.lastname@example.org Rolf Heimann (Vic/Tas) email@example.com Paul Zanetti (Qld) firstname.lastname@example.org Simon Kneebone (SA/NT) email@example.com Mick Horne (WA) firstname.lastname@example.org ABN 19 140 290 841 Inkspot is produced four times a year by the Australian Cartoonists’ Association.
PO Box 318 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
ACA AFFILIATED ORGANISATIONS National Cartoonists Society President: Jeff Keane Secretary: Rick Kirkman
Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain President: Terry Christien Secretary: Richard Tomes
President-General: Marlene Pohle Secretary-General: Peter Nieuwendijk
Australia Post Registration PP 533798/0015
Inkspot Editorial Team Steve Panozzo, Jason Chatfield, Peter Broelman and Mark McHugh Many thanks to all Inkspot contributors! Cover illustration by Yaroslav Horak
Caricature by Bruce Petty
Hey Everyone! Man, time gets away from us. Already, at the time of writing, we’re less than eight weeks away from the biggest Stanleys in the History of the World! We have a massive line-up of cartooning superstars to come and hang out with as the Stanleys hit their silver anniversary and the ACA itself celebrates it’s 85th birthday! Two big names in cartooning that will be coming “Down Under” for the Stanleys include world famous editorial cartoonist and native Aussie, Pat Oliphant, who will be joining us all the way from New Mexico in the US. Pat is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a long-time veteran of political and world events and will be speaking and signing books for us. Tom Richmond, the brilliant MAD artist and caricaturist will also be coming from the States to give us his caricaturing wisdom with talks and workshops to help anyone wishing to upgrade their caricaturing skills. That’s one I definitely won’t be missing! This year also sees us running an exhibition, The Insiders Political Cartoon Exhibition, from 10 November through to 30 at the ABC’s headquarters in Ultimo. ACA Members will be exhibiting their work and the Friday morning of Conference will see us launch the exhibition in style! Oliphant himself is sending works for the show, and being at the ABC, it’s bound to get plenty of media attention. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re also welcoming a further collection of fine cartoonists from across the sea to join us for the weekend, give us talks and sign books and generally make the weekend an exciting and International affair! It’s going to be so huge that people will
Almost everyone will also know that inaugural nominations for the long-awaited Australian Cartooning Hall of Fame closed on 30 September. This “virtual honourboard” on the ACA website will allow members to nominate any cartoonist from the history of Australian cartooning. The Hall of Fame Committee is carefully choosing from the nominations received and may induct up to three persons per year. What’s excellent about this is that it gives props to not only contemporary cartoonists but just as equally to those who have gone before us. Considering the Stanleys are only 24 years old, there have been a lot of great cartoonists in Australia alone who have left their mark on our profession without accolade. As part of this year’s Stanleys celebrations, we’ve teamed up with the GoComics website to bring you a cool competition! Comics Sherpa is a site for new and professional cartoonists to try out comic strips and garner interest and critiques from the public. And we have a year’s worth of hosting (usually US$99) to give away! To be in the running, submit two strips via email to email@example.com. ACA Conference delegates will receive a form with which to register their vote. Submissions close at 5:00pm (ESDST) on Thursday, 5 November! Finally, the 2009 Stanleys Organising Committee is feverishly putting the final touches on a weekend that will blow you away! This is our big opportunity to get together, meet some megastars of international cartooning, have a few drinks and write the whole thing off on tax. How often do you get to do that? Plus, don’t forget – Roger Fletcher and his band will be back again this year to rock the Stanleys. They wailed in Coffs Harbour and they will be back bigger and better and they will kick ass, so if you’re on the fence, that should have just tipped you over onto the ‘Yes, I’ll be at the Stanleys’ side! Grab yer form, get yer handle on it and get it in the mail pronto! Stanleys 2009 is gonna ROCK! See you there!
PARZ! Whomever said “print is dead” got it dead wrong. At least, based on the number of books by cartoonists popping up all over the place, it would seem that the humble paper tome is undergoing a renaissance.
Green Sheep & Hands
Part of the Indigenous Literacy Project 2009, launched by Therese Rein on 26 May, is the Book Board Project which delivered 240 books to children in remote Aboriginal communities. Judy Horacek’s These Are My Hands and Mem Fox’s Where is the Green Sheep? (illustrated by Horacek) have both been chosen to be part of the campaign, leaving Judy feeling “very proud”.
Sales of Australian books are healthy, despite a raging battle between the Australian Federal Government’s Productivity Commission and Australians for Australian Books (a coalition of authors, publishers and printers) over territorial copyright for books in Australia. The Commission delivered a report earlier this year in which it recommended that Australia abolish territorial copyright for books. If the Productivity Commission’s report is adopted by the Government, say AFAB, the viability of Australian publishing is at risk. Territorial copyright was confirmed under the Copyright Act in 1991. It allows Australian publishers who have bought the right to an overseas book the exclusive right to sell it in Australia IF they publish it within 30 days of overseas publication. The territorial copyright legislation has enabled the Australian book industry, long the poor cousin to the UK and US book industries, to thrive. Some 60% of books bought in Australia originate in Australia now - compared to 10% in the 1960s. More than 5,000 people currently work in the Australian book industry, from authors to illustrators, designers, printers, distributors and booksellers. According to AFAB, these rules provide Australian publishers with the security to invest in new books, underpinning their development of Australian talent, while ensuring new books come on the Australian market quickly and booksellers can buy the titles they need. To read more about the battle, go to http://www.ausbooks.com.au/
Literary Festival in England. He has agreed to share his experiences with overseas publishers at one of the ACA’s future Melbourne meetings - pencilled in for October 6th at The Retreat. We’re looking forward to it!
John Clarke has flicked through Mark Lynch’s new book, Smile (Exisle Publishing, ISBN 9781921497278, $19.99). So has H.G. Nelson. And their opinions are on the bright blue cover. “Smile raises a laugh with the eyes,” says H.G., “but the real movement is in the trousers.”
“Flock” by Judy Horacek
In the meantime, her exhibition of prints, Everyday Fairytales, opened on 18 September at Helen Maxwell Gallery in Canberra. It features 29 works, all screenprints - some from rubber stamp impressions, some from photographs. Some works have been screenprinted in colour, some were handcoloured, and lots were in black and white. The exhibition is the culmination of Horacek’s recent ArtsACT Creative Fellowship. The show is on until 17 October.
Leigh Hobbs’ latest production, Mr. Chicken Goes to Paris (Allen & Unwin, ISBN 9781741757699, $24.99), has hit the bookshops. It’s one of four books that have been picked up by the prestigious British publishing house Bloomsbury, together with Horrible Harriet, Hooray for Horrible Harriet and Old Toms Big Book of Beauty. Hobbs has also once again been asked to be a presenter at the Cheltenham
In selecting the one-word title, Lynch could well be issuing the reader with an order or, more likely, committing to print a contracted mission statement. As Lynch’s track record proves, he’s not failed a mission yet. Read Rod Emmerson’s review on Page 20
Car-Ma Sutra, Part 2
The Open Road, Adam Long’s new exhibition at the Frances Keevil Gallery in Double Bay, Sydney, is being touted as the art exhibition that ladies can bring their blokes to that they’ll actually enjoy. And here’s hoping they do! Described as “a creative car ride”, Long’s show is a marriage of art, sculpture and motoring. Equally at home in a living room as much as in a “man cave”, it’s on at Art Sydney, Moore Park - Stand A1 - until 25 October.
Little Golding Books
He’s been called cerebral, satirical, and sometimes downright hilarious. We call him Matt Golding. His publisher thinks he is one of the country’s wittiest observers of modern life. We tracked down Scribe Publications’ commissioning editor using sniffer dogs and sophisticated scanning equipment. Once cornered (and injected with sodium pentathol), he sang like a canary. “His beautifully drawn cartoons,” he dribbled, “with their distinctive wash style, can be found on fridge doors and noticeboards all over the country.” www.cartoonists.org.au
Doc Rat character is a hit both within and outside the medical profession, to the extent that a third collection of Doc Rat strips, Try Again, Doc (Local Act Comics, $15.00) has been released to the
full colour vinyl billboard. What’s unique about the billboard is that it forms a major part of a public art project, supported by the City of Yarra, called STRIP, in which the work of both well-known and as-yet “undiscovered” cartoonists is displayed for a month. Among the cartoonists taking part are the afore-mentioned Matt Golding and Craig Hilton (below), as well such luminaries as Andrew Weldon, Matt BissettJohnson, and John Ditchburn.
eager masses. If laughter is the best medicine, Hilton may find himself out of a day job very soon.
Three-Second Thoughts (Scribe Publications, ISBN 9781921640124 , $27.95) is a brilliant new collection of wry and perceptive observations about how we live, work, and play - the Scribe people call it “sophisticated silliness of the highest order from one of Australia’s favourite cartoonists”. Quite apt.
Hung, Drawn and Cornered
On the side of the Corner Hotel in Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria is a 1.3m x 4m
Dark Horse Cries Uncle
Dave Follett’s been a busy boy. Not content with self-publishing a 52page black and white collection of his Kookabarry comic strips, he has also printed up a 24-page promotional version of his “opus”, Uncle Silas, which will be published by Dark Horse Comics early next year. To that end, Follett has been feverishly drawing away on all 126 pages for Volume 1 of his Uncle Silas project
So much so, and because he took the Single Gag gong at last year’s Stanleys, Golding has participated in helping create the ACA’s own stimulus package - a promotional postcard (below), designed to promote Australian cartooning.
ABOVE: Matt Golding’s STRIP contribution which was on show during July-August BELOW: Doc Rat graced The Corner’s wall during August-September
He somehow manages to juggle medicine and cartooning in a way that very few have attempted, but Craig Hilton pulls it off with panache. His alter-ego
Costello’s Still a Vote-Winner: Cartoon Earns $6,000 Prize
and, having finished all the linework and dialogue, has now set to work on the colouring. For updates on Dave’s progress, log onto http://unclesilas.blogspot.com and http://www.davidfollett.com
Mark’s Wee Book
We’re not sure what possessed Mark Guthrie to write and illustrate a lively little book called The Stinky Poo Grubs (Koala Books, ISBN 9780864619075, $13.99). We’re not sure we even want to know, except kids seem to like books with words like fart, poo, and toilet in them. Parents seem to like them too, because they buy them and make them very popular.
ABOVE: Fiona Katauskas at Sydney’s TAP Gallery INSET: The winning cartoon photo: Lindsay Foyle
You want what? Six grand for a gag cartoon? It’s a nice idea for a “what if...” - and most people would quite understandably tell you to “dream on”. But Sydney cartoonist Fiona Katauskas earned herself a $6,000 cheque by winning the 2009 newmatilda.com Prize for Political Cartooning. The prize was announced on 25 June at Sydney’s Tap Gallery, venue for an exhibition of the competition’s entries. Her winning cartoon lampoons Peter Costello’s childish appetite for attention. Presiding over the final decision was an “expert panel of satirists” which included Sydney Morning Herald sketch writer, Annabel Crabb and cartoonists Bill Leak and Peter Broelman.
Second ($1000) and third ($500) prizes went to Melbourne cartoonists, Andrew Weldon and Luke Watson, respectively. Weldon’s cartoon “Something Less Swiney” and Watson’s “Are You Stimulated?” picked up on popular current affairs themes. Launched in August 2004, newmatilda. com is an Australian website of news, analysis and satire. Believing that robust media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, newmatilda.com is fiercely independent, with no formal affiliation with any political party, lobby group or other media organisation. The annual cartoon competition offers the largest prize pool for political cartooning in Australia. Uniquely, the competition is also interactive - newmatilda.com readers have the opportunity to vote online for their favourite cartoon in a series of 10 heats.
Russ Cuts At least on THAT score, Mark looks set to make a mint. Look out, Wiggles! Guthrie’s book is about a kid called Alex who tells his sister, Isabella, that the creatures that live in the depths of the porcelain bus are out to get her. So she decides to wage war on the toilet. This book is choc-a-block full of potty talk and there’s not a politician to be found!
Russ Radcliffe has spent yet another year sitting in a corner with the safety scissors, cutting out his favourite cartoons and sticking them in a book. Next to the ACA’s Year Book, it’s the best record of the year’s events seen through eyes of one’s colleagues. Best Australian Political Cartoons 2009 (Scribe Publications, ISBN 9781921640070, $29.95) is the latest in a very successful series - and long may it continue.
Rotary Coffs Up; Matterson Cheques Out With submissions from 24 countries, the 21st annual Rotary Cartoon Awards were presented at Coffs Harbour's Bunker Cartoon Gallery on 5 September. Coffs Harbour's involvement with Australian cartooning goes back to 1989 when the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City kicked off a competition featuring $19,000 in cash and prizes. That year, Dean Alston won Cartoon of the Year and took home combined winnings of $3,000 and a resort holiday. Twenty years later, Coffs has not only the nation’s only cartoon gallery but one of the nation’s best collections of cartoons, with the cataloguing of more than 15,000 images having been completed by dedicated volunteers only a few months ago. The 2009 Rotary Cartoon Awards boasted a prize pool of $10,000 - a staggering feat in the face of economic uncertainty, which says much about the resilience of the men and women of Coffs Harbour's Rotary community and the enthusiasm of their sponsors. As well as the regular categories - cartoons with either political, "open" or sports themes and best comic strip - there was a prize for the best cartoon with the theme of "Fire, Flood and Drought". This year's international award category was "Global Financial Crisis". David Pope was 2009's big winner, taking out Cartoon of the Year and a cheque for $3,000. But the prize for the most trips to the podium went to Neil Matterson. Well done, chaps! The categories and winners were: Best Political Cartoon First prize: Neil Matterson Merit: John ‘Polly’ Farmer Best Cartoon Sporting Theme First Prize: Neil Matterson Merit: Tony Lopes Best Caricature First Prize: Peter Lewis Merit: David Rowe Best Open Cartoon First prize: David Rowe Merit: Neil Matterson
FROM TOP: David Rowe has his palm read by Elizabeth Rothman, CEO of Baringa Private Hospital; Neil Matterson making his eighth speech of the evening after being elected Mayor of Coffs Harbour; Having scored a merit prize for Best Comic Strip, it’s hard to tell whether it’s Jules Faber or his shirt that was the most surprised; David Pope doubles as his own microphone stand; Peter Lewis is stunned to learn that Neil isn’t a finalist in his category; Mark Lynch can’t let a year go by without winning SOMETHING - and he still manages to look amazed!
Best "Fire, Flood and Drought" theme First Prize: David Pope Merit: Neil Matterson Best Comic Strip First Prize: Mark Lynch Merit: Jules Faber Best International Theme: "Global Financial Crisis" First prize: Jovan Prokopljevic (Serbia) Merit: Mark Lynch (Australia) Cartoon of the Year David Pope Unofficial reports from Coffs Harbour Airport next day make mention of Neil Matterson flying home using home-made wings constructed from cheques.
End of the Line Long regarded as the editorial cartoonist’s friend, specialty paper Duoshade is being discontinued by it’s Cleveland-based manufacturer, Grafix. According to Hayley Prendergast, President of Grafix Consumer Products, the paper has grown more difficult and costly to produce whilst, over the years, demand has declined significantly. It’s long-lived popularity stems from the ease with which cartoonists, illustrators and artists could highlight and enhance drawings with shade and tone. Duoshade eliminates the need to cut and paste mechanical screens or make tedious crosshatching by hand. The paper has two patterns printed on it in different invisible inks. When you buy the paper, you also get little vials of developer fluids that make the invisible ink visible. After creating your drawing in black ink, you employ the developer fluids. One developer fluid brings out a single-line shading, simulating (roughly) a 25% shade. The second fluid brings out a darker, cross-hatched pattern, simulating a 50% shade.
WIldly popular in America, Duoshade board was championed in the 1960s by cartoonists such as Pat Oliphant and almost everyone followed suit. In Australia during the 1970s and 1980s, Duoshade became a standard cartoonist’s tool, employed by Paul Rigby, Alan Moir, Paul Zanetti, Frank Benier, Darren Pracy and Bill Mitchell (among others) in their daily cartoons. The emergence of computer programs such as Adobe Photoshop have rendered Duoshade almost obsolete, yet there are still some cartoonists who have stuck with it. Michael Ramirez remains faithful as do some Aussies - Dean Alston, Greg Smith and Vince O’Farrell in particular. There have been suggestions that recent concerns, especially those concerning the carcinogenic effects of the chemicals used in the developer fluids, have hastened Duoshade’s departure from the artistic landscape; however, they’ve now largely been rendered moot. Like the effects of computer font libraries on Letraset’s rub-on Letrafont and Letratone before it, technology has stepped in and ensured Duoshade’s extinction.
A 1976 cartoon by Paul Rigby, demonstrating the judicious use of Duoshade in an editorial cartoon. Today, the moody atmosphere of a cartoon is more commonly rendered on computer.
The Hills are Alive...
Incredibly, this cart was NOT sponsored by Coles
News South Wales’ Central Coast came alive 16 August for the 3rd annual Meggs Billy Cart Derby. Incumbent Ginger Meggs cartoonist, Jason Chatfield, was guest of honour and was accompanied by James Kemsley’s youngest son, Ginger lookalike Sebastian. The event’s main objective was to raise funds for the United Way Central Coast Community Chest. City streets were blocked off as Gosford locals and tourists joined in the carnival atmosphere. More than 60 Carts were entered, of all shapes, sizes and made of everything from traditional wood, to fibreglass and metal - and even disused shopping trolleys! Trophies and prizes were awarded in three age groups, with special prizes awarded for corporate teams and for “Weird and Wacky” entrants.
Gosford Mayor Chris Holstein with Seb Kemsley and Jason Chatfield
Chatfield lets gravity take over
The incredible hand-made trophies
By George, Sprod’s an Odd Bod Indeed It’s difficult to imagine that the confines of a POW camp at Changi Prison during World War Two could refine and develop the wit and perspective of one Australia’s greatest cartoonists. But for George Napier Sprod the harsh realities of war would shape a unique view of life that would lead to world wide acclaim. Sprod was a regular fixture at ACA events and functions, and often ended up being the centre of attention. Little did some people know that he carried with him a harrowing story of survival and triumph. When he died in April 2003, we lost a unique character with an amazing life story that is now being celebrated by an exhibition and new biography.
At the opening of Cartoons by That Odd Mr. Sprod on 9 October are (l-r) Peter Broelman, Christine Finnimore (Director of the Migration Museum), Dr. David Sprod and Catherine Manning (Museum Curator)
The Migration Museum in Adelaide is celebrating his life and works in a new exhibition, Cartoons by That Odd Mr Sprod. This show includes rare drawings and notebooks done while in Changi, which are on loan from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. It also features a range of his later cartoons which document Sprod’s post-war observation of ordinary suburban life. Curated by Dr David Sprod, George’s nephew, this major retrospective puts on public display for the first time the legacy of a lifelong collection of truly unique cartoons. Born in 1919, Sprod grew up in South Australia during the Depression. In the summer of 1938-39 he left home riding his “rattly Malvern Star” bicycle, heading for Sydney some 900 miles away to fulfil his dream of being a cartoonist. He left a note in the letterbox which said, “it will be one less mouth to feed”.
From Sydney he enlisted in the Army but was captured by the Japanese when Singapore fell in 1942. He spent the next three and a half years as a prisoner of war in Changi Prison and on the notorious Burma Railway. During his internment, Sprod began to practice his own style of art and humour in direct contrast to his abysmal reality. He began publishing a journal of his cartoons called Smoke-Oh, which was distributed to men in sick bays. He then teamed up with fellow POW Ronald Searle (and others) to publish a fortnightly prison magazine, The Exile. His experiences of this period were later recollected in a book, Bamboo Round My Shoulder (1982). Despite his success as a creative artist - his images from the post-war period were on the cover of the then iconic The Australian Women’s Weekly - Sprod still dreamed of success as a cartoonist. In 1949, he shipped out to London, the home of British institutions like Punch, then at the height of its fame. Here he followed in the footsteps of fellow Australian cartoonists such as Norman Lindsay, Will Dyson and David Low. It was a huge coup for the twenty-nine year old Sprod, and a tribute to his skills, to get into Punch when every cartoonist in the English-speaking world was dying to be published in it. He has the distinction of being the only artist in his time to have walked into Punch’s office as an “unknown” and to have immediately sold four of his drawings. Within six years he was firmly established at Punch and a household name. Sprod’s work is deceptively simple - black lined, single frame cartoons. Unlike a strip that uses several frames to reveal the story, Sprod’s cartoons are effective in a single cinematic frame. Their naivety and simplicity resonates with children’s art and their unsophisticated ideas parallel the brutally honest and uncensored vision that children bring to this world. Cartoons by that Odd Mr Sprod is on show at The Migration Museum, 82 Kintore Avenue, Adelaide until January 2010. The exhibition has been curated by his nephew, David.
George receives his smock in 1994 from then-ACA President, Lindsay Foyle
Cartoonists Hose Down Fire Sale
John Elliott is torn between purchasing Mark Knight’s evocative and poignant bushfire cartoon and the generously-donated and gloriously-preserved head of Rolf Heimann
Saturday, 7 February 2009, is a day Australia will remember for years to come. Horrendous bushfires destroyed the lives of many living in townships throughout Victoria, earning the name “Black Saturday”. The fires resulted in Australia’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. 173 people died as a result of the fires and 414 were injured. ACA members rallied together, donating thousands of dollars worth of cartoons and books for sale, culminating in a selling exhibition in May to raise money for the inferno’s victims. Organisers Rolf Heimann and George Haddon secured Melbourne’s magnificent heritage-listed Block Arcade for the show, entitled Cartoonists on Fire, which ran from the 25th to the 30th of May. ACA Patron, Vane Lindesay reports...
Although our plans appeared to be a bigger bite than we could masticate, we did raise over $11,000 at the rate of over one thousand dollars a day for the two-room school in the tiny town of Strathewen, obliterated on Black Saturday with a reported loss of over 25 percent of their population. Money was also raised from the sale of books donated by members and on-the-spot caricatures. Russ Radcliffe, publisher of Bruce Petty’s Parallel World, generously donated a number of those books to be sold. “His sketchbook sold so well that we had to make the rounds and get more from the boxes all over the place. We could have sold more, if we’d had them”, said Rolf Heimann. Full credit for this successful and exciting event event must be awarded to Rolf, George and the committee for organizing the securing of a venue, collecting members’ works, the framing and mounting, the printing and distribution of publicity hand bills, display stands, and rostering personnel to man (and woman) the exhibition. Lila Heimann and cartoon “groupie” Dina Mann did all the catering for the grand opening - and if the black pun can be excused, it all “went off like a house on fire”. A cheque has been presented to help the Strathewen Rural Primary School to re-establish its former community life.
Is this really the best that Australian cartooning can offer? Look at this motley rabble - Russ Radcliffe, Jason Chatfield, Andrew Weldon and Mark Knight, pictured at the City Museum at Old Treasury, Melbourne (absent is First Dog on the Moon). All were guest speakers at the Behind the Cartoons event as a part of the Behind the Lines: The Year’s Best Cartoons 2008 travelling exhibition from the National Museum of Australia, Canberra. www.cartoonists.org.au
My Comic Collection’s Bigger Than Yours... The Jewish Museum of Australia in Melbourne recently played host to the Superheroes & Schlemiels (Jews & Comic Art) exhibition. The exhibition was created by the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme (Paris) in cooperation with the Joods Historisch Museum (Amsterdam). At a special ACA members’ evening on 5 May, Lazarus Dobelsky, a comic book devotee, former fanzine editor and Melbourne-based solicitor who has contributed material to the exhibition from his personal collection, hosted a very special viewing of the exhibition for ACA members.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know and Didn’t Think to Ask Many ACA members have been asking how one becomes a Viscopy member - so here’s a guide to some frequently asked questions. Who can join? Membership of Viscopy is open to all Australian and New Zealand visual artists and others (such as artists’ estates) who own or control copyright in visual works of art. Viscopy represents a wide range of visual artists including painters, sculptors, photographers, illustrators, cartoonists, craftsmakers, potters, architects and many others. Membership is open to all artists whether you practice full time, as a hobby or as a student and regardless of your commercial success. What does it cost to become a member? It is free to join Viscopy. Once you become a member, Viscopy will deduct a proportion of any royalties we collect for you to cover our administration costs. Our current charges are: · 25% of any royalties we collect in Australia and New Zealand · 10% of any royalties we collect from other countries around the world 10 www.cartoonists.org.au
What services does Viscopy offer to members? Viscopy offers two rights management services to members. You can choose to join either one or both: 1. Copyright licensing Viscopy can manage the copyright in your art work on your behalf. We do this by providing copyright licensing services to customers in Australia and New Zealand who wish to make copies of art works. Art works can be used in a wide variety of ways including books, websites, greeting cards, posters, newspapers, magazines, television, exhibitions, catalogues, merchandise, novelty products, advertising and film. If you become a copyright licensing member, Viscopy will negotiate the terms of the licence with the customer, ensure that your work is licensed properly and collect a royalty (determined according to our standard licensing rates) on your behalf. 2. Statutory licensing Sometime rights are licensed collectively under statutory schemes which are set up under law. Viscopy participates in two statutory licensing schemes in Australia: · Photocopying of books, magazines and newspapers in educational institutions, companies & public sector organisations. This scheme is operated by Copyright Agency Limited.
· Copying of broadcasts (mainly television) for use as educational resources in schools, colleagues and universities. This scheme is operated by Screenrights. Viscopy negotiates a share of the royalties generated from these schemes on behalf of visual artists. If you become a statutory licensing member, Viscopy will assess your entitlement to a share of these royalties (based on survey data) and pay you accordingly. If I become a member will Viscopy own my copyright? No. If you join Viscopy, you will continue to own your copyright. If you become a member, you will give Viscopy permission to represent you and license your copyright according to our stated terms and conditions. We understand and respect your right to be consulted about how your copyright is licensed. Our two services operate slightly differently and it is important that you read the terms and conditions which apply to each before you join. Can Viscopy represent me internationally? Yes. Viscopy has 45 international partners working in 39 countries around the world. If you join Viscopy, you will benefit from representation in these countries. Any royalties which are generated for you overseas will be paid to Viscopy for us to pass on to you. Because the local society will deduct their own costs from any royalties they collect for you, Viscopy’s administration costs are lower and we reflect this by charging you 10% on money received from overseas. Will I definitely receive money if I join? Not necessarily! If we license your copyright through our copyright licensing service or if your work comes up in the surveys of the statutory licensing schemes, you will receive payment. When will I be paid? Currently, Viscopy pays our members twice a year: 1. Royalties collected between 1 January and 30 June will be paid on 31 August 2. Royalties collected between 1 July and 31 December will be paid on 28 February If we have collected royalties for you, we will send you a letter and a royalty statement which sets out in detail how your work was licensed, how much we collected for you and our charges. You will receive the payment directly into your nominated bank account within 5 days of the letter. What are the advantages in becoming a member of Viscopy? · Peace of mind. Copyright can be complicated. Our staff members are copyright experts and will ensure that your rights are properly respected and appropriately rewarded. · More time to make art. Licensing can be time consuming. Becoming a Viscopy member relieves you of the administrative burden involved in licensing. · Stronger bargaining position. Negotiating to protect your rights can be challenging for an artist working alone especially if the customer is a large organisation with a lot of bargaining power. Viscopy is a known and respected copyright licensing organisation. We have been licensing copyright for over ten years to customers throughout Australia and New Zealand and we represent over 50,000 artists. · Potential to earn money. Many of our members receive royalties regularly. Whether large or small, most artists agree that royalty payments are welcome additional income.
· International representation. It is very difficult to control your copyright internationally. Membership of Viscopy means you are represented in 39 countries around the world. · Access to other services. Viscopy regularly provides information and guidance for members on the latest developments in copyright. We also operate a Gallery at our Sydney premises which provides opportunities for members to show work as part of our annual exhibition program. · A chance to have your say. Viscopy needs strength in numbers in order to campaign in support of artists’ rights. Becoming a member helps us to stand up for artists. If you are interested in actively participating in our work, you will have opportunities to be elected to the board of directors. How do I join? A membership form is included in our information pack which can be downloaded from our website, http://www.viscopy. com, as can Viscopy’s Constitution. Viscopy is bound by the Code of Conduct for Copyright Collecting Societies which can also be downloaded from our website. If you would like printed copies of these documents or have any questions please contact Viscopy’s Membership Manager Andrew Leslie on (02) 9310 2018 or by email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Knight-Time for Grand Final In 1954, Bill “WEG” Green created a poster to commemorate Footscray’s VFL Premiership victory. It was so popular that it kick-started a tradition that continued uninterrupted until WEG’s death in December last year. All 55 of WEG’s posters are on display at the MCG’s National Sports Museum until 1 November. In the meantime, the Herald-Sun’s Mark Knight has inherited the role of poster artist, honouring WEG’s legacy. “It’s a huge honour,” Knight said, “WEG established an incredible tradition with the posters so I was a bit intimidated, but also tickled pink and over the moon to do it.”
Poster reprinted courtesy Herald-Sun
Stripped For Action Interviewed by Steve Panozzo and Mark McHugh With invaluable assistance from John Clements The 1940s were boom years for Australian comic books. The Australian Government had enforced import licensing regulations to control the amount of American dollars that could be spent, and preserve them for spending on war materials. A ban was placed on the importation of American comics, as well as syndicated proofs, thus preventing the possibility of even fresh local imprints. Wartime restrictions on the supply of newsprint also prohibited continuing titles, resulting in countless “one-shots”, starting with Jimmy Rodney on Secret Service (1940) by Tony Rafty. This development meant lots of work for Australian cartoonists - making their mark in the 1940s were names such as Monty Wedd, Hart Amos, Hal English, John Dixon, Peter Chapman, Eric Jolliffe, Keith Chatto, Stan Pitt... and a young buck by the name of Yaroslav Horak. Born in Harbin, Manchuria in 1927, Yaroslav Horak was the son of a Czech father and Russian mother, the family migrated to Sydney just prior to World War Two. Beginning in 1948, he began a stellar career as a comic book and strip artist, which eventually took him to London and the world of British Secret Service agent, James Bond 007. Beginning with the serialisation of The Man With the Golden Gun in 1966, Horak was to illustrate the James Bond comic strip non-stop for a further 14 years. Titan Books have, to date, released 16 volumes of the iconic James Bond comic strip in compilation form. Beginning with Casino Royale in 1958, the comic strip series graphically 12 www.cartoonists.org.au
presented each of Ian Fleming’s original novels. John McClusky handled the artwork for the first 13 stories. The strip was commissioned by the Daily Express, but was later resident at the Sunday Express and the Daily Star. Some strips were created specifically for syndication throughout Europe. Having finally serialised all of Fleming’s novels, as well as Kingsley Amis’ one-off hit, Colonel Sun, the James Bond strip would begin to take on a life of its own. In 1968, Horak began drawing the first of 28 original Bond adventures written by Jim Lawrence. Except for a four-year break (during which the artwork was again handled by McClusky), Horak continued with the strip until 1984, when it was abruptly terminated by the Daily Star.
During our chat at his home in Sydney’s northern suburbs, which he shares with his second wife Jacie and their dog Dax, it became quickly apparent that Horak was completely unaware of the amount of James Bond work he had actually completed. INK: Just looking at the sheer number of strips, you took over from John McClusky in 1966, who drew 1,600 daily strips. You drew more than 4,200 dailies over the space of 11 years. You were the main guy. YH: It was all a bit of a blur - I don’t remember the sheer volume of work. I was churning them out, but I loved it. Nothing to do with money or anything. Horak leafs through some pages of the books. Particularly upsetting for Horak is that, whilst McLusky’s original art was returned him, Horak’s has not. Nor does Horak receive any royalties from the constant re-use of his work, having signed a contract assigning perpetual copyright to the Daily Express - a lesson for all of us. YH: Wow. You know that I don’t get one cent from these? They’ve got my name on the front cover; the book is full of my artwork and they didn’t even ask my permission (to use it). We’ve been through all this with the lawyers and I’ve just thrown my hands up in the air and said, “to hell with it”. It’s just terrible. INK: The content is at least 50% you, yet everyone else is getting money. We’re interrupted by the squawking from lorikeets on the back verandah, that looks out onto lush bushland in suburban Lindfield.
INK: Do you catch them? YH: No - I don’t try to. I don’t catch anybody... except Jacie (laughter). These books are amazing - I haven’t really seen this artwork for years.
While Horak absorbedly flicks through the volumes, reacquainting himself with his own creativity, Jacie joins us. JH: I bought a number of them as gifts for Yaro’s nieces and nephews - I think I spent about $300 at that big Japanese bookshop in the city. Talk of the Japanese bookstore, Kinokuniya in Sydney’s CBD, inspires thoughts of Horak’s childhood in Manchuria. YH: You know, I was born in Harabin, Manchuria and the Japanese came in with swords and they were fierce as anything - they killed everybody, mainly the Chinese. My father said, “I think it’s time
RIGHT: James Bond in action (1975)
YH: They’re beautiful, but they make a lot of noise. We often have brush turkeys wandering in here.
“The Czechs are such a peaceful people - they’ve been through too much to be any other way”
for us to go”. And we did - we just left. INK: And you ended up in Sydney. YH: Yes. Bit by bit, we ended up in Sydney. But I’ll never forget that. I was standing right next to him and these Japanese just came in. They were very disciplined, but they were nasty. My father had built this business up from nothing; he was a Czech, and turned up in Manchuria with nothing, and started this metal business. He made anything from metal to order. INK: Did you do any formal art training? YH: I started to muck around with art when I was about 19. I went up to East Sydney Technical College when Douglas Dundas was head of the art department there. Dundas looked at my work and said, “You don’t have The Germ”. What he meant was that I didn’t have what it takes. We used to live in Paddington on Moore Park Road when we came from Manchuria. We had a very nice flat overlooking a garage - it’s still there. Nothing’s changed.
“Dundas looked at my work and said, “You don’t have The Germ”. What he meant was that I didn’t have what it takes” Because my mother and father spoke Russian, there were Russians and a few Czechs around - not the bouncing ones! - so somebody just gave us a flat. That was how the Russians and Czechs all helped each other. My parents always helped people. The Czechs are such a peaceful people - they’ve been through too much to be any other way. INK: Does the artistic talent come through the family? YH: No. I’m the only one. Anton, my son, does this and that but hasn’t shown any real artistic talent as such.
Horak’s first employer, publisher John Edwards, couldn’t get his tongue around “Yaroslav” so he apparently conducted a straw pole around the staff who came up with Larry. He signed his work “Larry Horak” until he went to London in 1963. INK: You got your first commission when you were 21, didn’t you? You were getting £2 a page working for the publisher H. John Edwards... YH: Something like that (laughter). But we did it for love! INK: You did Rick Davis, which was a detective adventure series.. YH: Yes. That was my own creation. INK: ... and The Skyman, described here as a “mysterious costumed flyer”... YH: Yes - ALSO my own creation! (laughter). It sounds great! INK: Then you went to work for Syd Nicholls and he paid you £4 per page... YH: And he was a nice guy... a really nice guy! Syd Nicholls was a genuine innova-
BELOW: Jet Fury lets fly at the Imperial Japanese (1949); OPPOSITE PAGE: Captain Fortune walks into a sticky situation (1960)
tor. He was a really superb fellow... Jim Russell was very different! But Syd gave us all breaks - it really started my career. You know, he paid us more than anybody? I loved him, he was always fair... he drank a little too much, but he was a thoroughly decent man. JH: Jim Russell was really charming. I remember being at the Journalists’ Club when I met Yaro, which was at Tony Rafty’s farewell who was retiring for the “nth” time from the Sydney Morning Herald. We had lunch with him about six months ago - he’s amazing for 93. YH: Rafty was different to me - we didn’t really do anything together. His stuff was mainly lovely caricatures and gag cartoons, whereas my stuff was mainly usually pretty serious strips. INK: Looking at this amazing list of comics you drew.... for Syd Nicholls you drew an adventure series, Ray Thorpe and another science fiction comic, Ripon - The Man from Outer Space... YH: Rip-on, Rip-off (laughter)... now, that’s a helluva long time ago...
INK: You drew Jet Fury for Pyramid Publications and when that company folded, you shifted to Melbourne, working for Atlas Publications... and in 1954, you created The Mask - The Man of Many Faces. YH: That’s right. What a career... who is this guy? (laughter) According to Gerald Carr, The Mask was apparently created after a flash of excited inspiration at 1 o’clock in the morning. He was a character with a skull-like face shadowed by a hat (the hat was very important). The Mask could spookily change
“Syd Nicholls was a genuine innovator. He was a really superb fellow... Syd gave us all breaks - it really started my career ”
his face to resemble any character at will in his obsessive fight for justice. When he showed it to an editor of Melbourne-based Atlas Comics, the editor exclaimed “That’s great!” The Mask was a huge seller for Atlas and Horak rightly believed that he had hit the big-time until Queensland put a ban on the comic. They considered a full mask as evil. Horak abandoned the comic book in disgust and returned to Sydney to do freelance illustration for K.G.Murray and Woman’s Day. INK: When the Jim Carrey movie came out in 1994, you were concerned that they were ripping off your concept. JH: Hmm - the character was my idea. It’s quite a while ago now, and I can’t remember the details, but my son Anton worked very hard to make a case. In the end I just had to throw my hands up and move on. The Mask was just another one of those things that happened very late at night - the concept was flexible and easy to do; another one of those things that just popped out of my head. I mean back then, you worked for peanuts and you just grabbed ideas from anywhere. www.cartoonists.org.au
INK: Now, about your move to London. You just... upped and left? YH: Yep. INK: Did you have a job to go to? YH: Nope. I’ve never had a job to go to! (laughter). It’s quite possible I was just an Anglophile. I just loved London and wanted to go. INK: Your Bond strips feature a lot of action, racy panels, semi-naked and nude women and lots of violence. Did that provoke any uproars or negative response? Because the way you have the physicality of the characters is remarkably fluid - there’s a lot of wonderful movement there.
ABOVE: Yaroslav Horak in his home studio
Jet Fury was like that. INK: And then you produced a Sunday strip called Captain Fortune... JH: Well, that came off the back of a TV show. It was a good strip - it was the first time something had been done in conjunction with a television show. The TV show came first and the strip was an adaptation - something which had never happened before. Usually it was the other way ‘round! And he was a guy who just appeared on television doing... well, nothing! (laughter) Captain Fortune ran from 1957 until 1962. He also drew a full-page comic strip for Woman’s Day called Mike Steele... Desert Rider, which is considered to be
“There was no sense that the strips would be censored or anything like that. They weren’t “dirty” drawings or anything - they had a purpose.” be the point at which Horak’s maturity started to show in his work, as he started developing his unique artistic style. He continued to supply Mike Steele stories when he moved to England, where he drew three-page adventure stories for D.C. Thompson, as well as war comics for Fleetway. As was the practice there, he drew from supplied scripts.
YH: No - there was no sense that the strips would be censored or anything like that. They weren’t “dirty” drawings or anything - they had a purpose. INK: You certainly demonstrate dramatic draughtsmanship. A lot of the underwater sequences in the strip are magnificent and seem to have been framed with a cinematographer’s eye. YH: You know, I’ve never had anyone point this out to me before! There was no pre-emptive discussion, the pictures just happened. We were doing a daily strip, so you didn’t muck around. As I said before, I just loved it. I’m looking at it now wondering, “did I do that?” INK: But that standard of illustration in a daily strip is astounding. And it’s incredibly dramatic - lots of shadow at work here. How far ahead did you draw your strips? YH: Six weeks ahead... well, most of the time. I very rarely got stuck, it was so quick. That’s the best way to do it. I just treated it as a lot of fun.
INK: Of course, doing a daily strip is a problem when you want to take time off for a holiday. You would have had to work extra hard to get ahead for something like that. YH: Yes, that did worry me a bit. Also it might have inflamed the condition of Maggie - that was my first wife - to the point where I realised she had a problem. I loved Maggie and then, something happened, and she went off the rails. That was sad. I like to think of her as still being around. She helped me a lot too, in the beginning. She was overtaken by manic depression, you see? I didn’t cause it, but still feel some responsibility. JH: They call it bipolar disorder these days, but of course you can control it with medication. YH: When I started doing James Bond, I had to jump a lot of fences to get an “OK” on some things. And after a while, when my wife wasn’t well, I had to look after her and things started to get a bit heavy.
such as advertising? YH: I don’t like advertising. Period! I had friends who introduced me to Fleet Street and James Bond and all that - it was all based on friendship. I was very lucky. They were contacts, but not forced contacts - they were friends. That’s how it was. And I didn’t need to do any advertising work, so I could just focus on the strips. I occasionally did a book - I did one on card playing with Omar Sharif. I did another book based on a golf strip, but that was about it. London was full of nice people. Maggie and I went to quite a few parties and events - she was well at the time. Her illness developed later. But one thing I remember quite clearly, early on, was going to see Marlene Dietrich. When she came on stage, she blew us all away. She was so good. That was probably my favourite experience in London. I mean, I saw her films living here, but to see her in real life - you had to go to London to see all these people for real.
“At the end of the day, I really think I was mainly influenced by the whole thing. I mean, Bond was big - really BIG - and you just got swept up by it all”
I had a beautiful studio in Fleet Street, above El Vino; it was fantastic. It’s still there, it’s a wine bar or a restaurant. And in the same building was Peter O’Donnell’s place - he created and wrote Modesty Blaise; Jim Holdaway was the artist. Peter was on the fourth floor. He was very good to me and a very gifted writer. My studio was on the top floor at the back. INK: Did you do other kinds of work,
Horak drew all his James Bond dailies to a size favoured by many cartoonists - a 21” x 6” format. Using only a brush to ink his work, he would use a cigarette lighter to burn off the brush’s pointed tip so it was squared-off at the end. In 1973, Horak left London to live in Spain,and began drawing Bond from
abroad; he then moved to Holland and finally landed back in Australia. INK: The question has to be asked - who was your favourite James Bond? YH: They were all pretty good in their own way. Sean Connery was great when he started. But I drew the character my way, and although I suppose I was influenced by the films, we had all been exposed to the novels before that. At the end of the day, I really think I was mainly influenced by the whole thing. I mean, Bond was big - really BIG - and you just got swept up by it all. INK: Script writer Jim Lawrence said, in 1989, that his characterisation of Bond was shaped by the way you drew him. YH: Really? You know, we never argued about anything - I think we were both
INK: That’s why it seems so unfair that, 40 years later, they can still hold up your contract and say that you’re not entitled to any royalties as they continue to make money out of it outside it’s existence as a syndicated newspaper strip.
ABOVE: Yaroslav Horak relaxes at home with Dax
comfortable with what the other was doing. Doing Bond was a joy. INK: Now, here we are, 40-plus years after you started drawing the strip and they’re releasing these compilation volumes. YH: I was a freelancer. I had no thought about the future of anything I was doing - I just grabbed it as it came past. I loved it and just got stuck into it all. This came up like any other job and I said, “Yeah, I’ll do it” - that’s all I said - and I signed on. And it’s only later, when I went and asked for some money, that they shoved the contract in front of me. It’s my own bloody fault. INK: There’s no way that, 40 years ago, they could have imagined the depth of interest in the Bond comic strips, to the point of republishing them as graphic novels and making a mint? Because this was a newspaper strip. YH: No - nobody expected this.
YH: Sure. But I’ve never been a “grabber”. I think I’ve always been a nice guy. My father was a nice guy. And I’m proud of that. Dad
“Jacie saved me really. I was in no man’s land. If it weren’t for Jacie, I’d be dead” went through a terrible time in the First World War but always remained a nice man. A lot went on, but he didn’t want to talk about it. INK: A lot of us were big fans of Cop Shop. YH: That ran in the Sun-Herald. I think it was a very good strip. I wrote the stories for Cop Shop as well as illustrating it. Although I didn’t write the TV series it was based on, the strip and the script for it were all mine. It was a good strip. I think it deserved a wider audience, though - it should have been syndicated.
JH: The strip ran parallel with the series, so it wasn’t really an adaptation. Somebody said that Yaro’s strips were better than the TV storylines! YH: That’s nice feedback! Jacie’s lovely. JH: I have my moments... YH: She’s got style and strength. That’s what appealed to me when I met her. That was almost thirty years ago - Jacie saved me really. I was in no man’s land. If it weren’t for Jacie, I’d be dead. She pulled me out of the gutter, really. INK: Jacie, have you become part of the creative process, in the sense that do you both work in partnership, bouncing ideas around, giving your input? JH: Well, I’m the second memory these days (laughter). Yaro has tended to work within himself. I grew up in more the commercial side of things, working in advertising, so I was used to the teamwork and the concept of brainstorming ideas. However, Yaro preferred to get immersed in his own thoughts. He never asked for story ideas - although he did ask me to help with some Christmas cards for clients, etc. which I laid out, but when it came to the stories it was all him. YH: I think everybody was like that, though, at the time. I wasn’t unique. Alex Raymond was like that, for example. He was a great influence for me. He did beautiful stuff. JH: Yaro was just launching Andea at the time we met, another of his own creations. She was 400 years old and looked like she was 24. She wore a big cape and the stories always included an Andean condor, with it’s huge wingspan. INK: Where were you working when you returned to Sydney?
BELOW: A shocked truck driver discovers that his truck can fly, controlled by extra-terrestrials, who require it for their own purposes in Andea (1985)
LEFT AND BELOW: Prime examples of Horak’s love of authenticity are demonstrated in the degree of reality he employed in the James Bond comic strip - these panels are from The Xanadu Connection and Shark Bait (both c.1980)
YH: Well, it varied. I had a very nice studio at The Rocks in Sydney, in the Argyle Art Centre. JH: You went through that enormous wooden door, then over those beautiful cobblestones; above the next doorway to the left was a barred window with a pot plant in it, and that was Yaro’s office. YH: How I got that office was through a friend of mine, a Frenchman. He was an architect and had a big floor of about 50 architects working for him. JH: Then a big credit crunch came and he had to cut back to about two of them. YH: Jean was a very clever, good-looking man. Six foot four. We were very good friends. He was behind transforming the old Argyle Woolstore - he saved it from demolition. If it wasn’t for him, they would have ripped the place out and concreted it up. JH: When we first met, Yaro was living at his Mum’s apartment in Chatswood, then when we got married we lived in Avalon for six months and then we lived Yaro signs for a young fan at the ACA booth at OzCon 7 in 1997
in Brighton-le-Sands for six months - all that time, Yaro was commuting to The Rocks every day. INK: We were looking at some of your Bond strips earlier and noticed the detail in the reality of the strips - buildings, ships and cars for example. How did you draw those? Did you trace the images on a lightbox? They’re accurate. YH: My lightbox was very good for collecting dust, mainly. I rarely used it. I did collect a lot of reference photos, but things were always drawn by hand. JH: Yaro also used to have model cars and trucks to work from. On his desk at The Rocks he had a dear little tank, which you could stick a matchstick in it and you could fire it (laughter). YH: I liked the authenticity. INK: Some of the street scenes in the Bond comics are astounding. YH: Oh, I loved London. I took a lot of black and white photos as reference. Lots of street scenes, for example. INK: Yaro, have you worked in other areas of art? YH: Briefly. I’ve done a few paintings. JH: Your one of Beth Nicol was submitted for the Archibald Prize, but hung in the Salon des Refusés. So that was good. YH: Beth was lovely. She was Australia’s first female newsreader, you know. (Beth Nicol was an Australian radio broadcaster, who entered radio as an announcer on Victorian radio in 1945. Upon
joining Sydney’s 2GB in 1952, she became Australia’s first female newsreader. She left radio in 1962) INK: It’s sad to think that, with very few exceptions, adventure strips are almost non-existent - the only ones running in Australia, for example, are Roger Fletcher’s Torkan & Staria and, of course, The Phantom, which is American. YH: To be totally honest, I think we’ve had our day... don’t you? We’ve had a terrific run. I think the comic strip concept may have run it’s course, actually. I hate to say it, but the way they are being treated in the newspaper is very sad. I think we’ve had our heyday. But then again, I hope I’m wrong! At this point, Dax decided that he wanted to go for a walk. INK: Thanks for your time today, Yaro. YH: That’s quite OK. It’s been fun talking about all this stuff. Really. Come back anytime! REFERENCES Ryan, John. Panel by Panel. Stanmore: Cassell Australia Limited, 1979 Shiell, Annette (Ed.). Bonzer - Australian Comics 1900s-1990s. Redhill: Elgua Media, 1998 Hagen, Dan. “Stripping Bond” in James Bond: Colonel Sun. London: Titan Books, 2005 www.cartoonists.org.au
drawing with the other. This ambidextrous, astute lifestyle has allowed him to concentrate on his work minus a plethora of corrosive pressures. It has also earned him the label of “a clever bastard” by fellow scribblers. He is recognised by Australian cartoonists as the leader of the pack when it comes to gag cartoons.
by Mark Lynch Exisle Publishing ISBN 9781921497278 $19.99
SMILE MARK LYN CH
‘SMILE RA ISES A LAU GH WITH TH E EYES BU T THE REAL MO VEMENT IS IN TH TROUSERS E .’
– H.G. NE LSON
‘JUS T W H W UPLIF E NEE AT D.A N A M TING B OOK AN – JO CALLED LY FROM HN CLA NCH.’ (AKA RKE FRED DAG G)
When cartooning phenomenon Gary Larson first introduced us to his “paranoid” observations of humanity in The Far Side, it sent a ripple effect through the cartooning world. What he had done was draw attention to a new form of cartoon humour which was immediately popular, clever and very funny. The Bulletin magazine recognised this, and created a panel for cartoonists to try their hand at this new form of thinking. The Underside was born. Yet among the existing stable of regular contributors that dotted the magazine was the work of a precocious QANTAS flight attendant, Mark Lynch. He already had the gift of introverted humour. I mention all this because this is where I first saw his work. We are talking many moons ago. It was fresh, often convoluted and left you smiling. His Bulletin exposure led to him becoming the backup cartoonist for The Australian newspaper’s editorial cartoonist, Bill Mitchell. Many awards and thousands of cartoons later, he is no longer with QANTAS. Yet those years of traversing the planet have allowed him to observe the human condition at its best and worst — the perfect toolbox for a sagacious satirist. These days he runs a shrewd portfolio of business interests with one hand while 20 www.cartoonists.org.au
This latest work, titled Smile, is testament to this. Rubber-stamped and officially approved by both John Clarke (a.k.a Fred Dagg) and Bronte-surfing mate H.G. Nelson (of comedy duo Roy and HG), this is classic Lynch — some 140 pages of irreverent, intelligent, yet sometimes corny observations of the inane and sublime; it’s worthy of a home on New Zealand shelves as much as suburban Sydney. An example — “Are we there yet?” asks a walking fish in a revamped evolutionary timeline. Or Noah on the Ark being privately informed that the “unicorns are gay”. A coffee table collection of great one-liners over a kaleidoscope of contemporary subjects, anyone can read this and reverse a frown. What isn’t mentioned anywhere is that when all the book-work is laid to rest and profits calculated, Lynch then peels off a cheque and sends the lot to charity. He’s done this with recent books. A postscript here: I have also lost count of the times where I have been in a Sydney ballroom knee-deep in wit and sarcasm and full of well-primed cartoonists, where the drawing of the night award has gone to him. All but on one occasion, a few years back, where I have a foggy memory of breaking the Lynch hoodoo and winning a carton of fine wines for my troubles. I foolishly trusted Lynch to hang on to my prize for me to pick up when next in Sydney. He had the decency to keep the corks and a cheesy smile.
Rod Emmerson This article is reproduced by kind permission of the New Zealand Herald
Watching the Watchmen by Dave Gibbons Titan Books ISBN 9781848560413 $49.95
Never heard of Watchmen before the movie was released this year? OK - I’ll put my hand up, too. For someone who has grown up with comic books (I learnt about anatomy from copying drawings of superheroes) and still has a storage bin filled with Iron Man, The Phantom and Fantastic Four comics, I was amazed that a comic book title, seemingly worshipped by millions, had slipped under my radar. Hell, it won a Hugo Award. Flicking through this book, it’s easy to see why the Watchmen became so popular - they’re different. Yes, they’ve got costumes like most other superheroes, but what becomes clear as one reads up a little is that they are the result of a radical re-think of the superhero genre - a concerted effort to insert some sense of contemporary anxieties and to critique the superhero concept per sé. Watchmen takes place in an alternate United States where superheroes helped America win the Vietnam War. Freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most costumed superheroes are in retirement or working for the government. It was only ever designed as a 12part series, published during 1986 and 1987, effectively and officially classed as a “graphic novel” when it was re-released in a compilation form. Watching the Watchmen is a imaginatively-assembled history of the creation and evolution of a seminal comic book event. Watchmen began with a 1980 meeting between artist Dave Gibbons and writer Alan Moore (who also created V for Vendetta) at a comic book convention in London. Gibbons was pretty popular at the time, having spent several years illustrating Doctor Who for Marvel Comics in the UK. Itching to get his creative teeth into a substantial script, he contacted Alan who had a revolutionary notion,
book as such, but rather a work of science fiction, an alternate history. Accordingly, I was particularly determined to make Watchmen look different from the super-hero comics of the time and proposed the nine-panel grid that is the backbone of it’s visual narrative.”
and... you get the idea. Needless to say, they become the comics world’s version of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The third page in Watching the Watchmen consists of a photograph of page one of Moore’s type-written concept outline and in four brilliantly-written paragraphs, it sets the scene. Moore wants the world the characters exist in to be “far more realistic in conception that than any superheroes’ world has been before”. He postulated that the presence of a superhero would actually affect the real world psychologically. Would the “actual manifestation of a real being with powers similar to a god” promote feelings of inadequacy in people, or inspire the blossoming crank religious groups who worshipped superheroes? How would the media respond - would they try to buy the rights from superheroes to the manufacture of dolls and lunch-boxes in their image? “If this country (England) had a loyal member of the military with the abilities of Captain Atom,” he wrote, “I think it’s fair to say that our foreign policy would have perhaps been far less cautious. Being realistic, I think that in the real world, the government of America would be similarly inclined.” Heady stuff for comic books. Gibbons then admits to the epiphany “that Watchmen was not a super-hero
Watching the Watchmen is a rich, layered chocolate cake of a book - there’s almost too much to digest. 270-odd pages of inspiring text, rough drafts, concept sketches, alternate (and amazing) versions of pages, schematics, colour charts and musings by the author. It is by turns insightful, humorous, wistful and ultimately self-deprecating. Gibbons has included such treasures as his illustrated notes made during a phone conversation to Moore after reading the initial script. There’s also a piece of paper that both Gibbons and Moore doodled on, during a Sunday morning chat about the project. One side of the paper is Gibbons’ super primitive designs for the Watchmen characters, and the other side is Moore’s own loopy ideas. Frankly, this book could have disappeared up it’s own arse if it wanted to and nobody would have minded - but it doesn’t. It’s not full of itself. It’s just... a wonderful celebration of an incredible artistic collaboration.
Sketching with Jason Seiler (DVD) 110 minutes US$35.00 + Shipping
Covering a wide field of media including digital paint, watercolour and even ballpoint pen(!), Jason Seiler’s two-hour incursion into technique is not only impressive but enlightening. Watching work go from loose affiliations of lines through to finished artwork is a real benefit to those wishing to expand
their range and learn not only the basics of caricature but the use of other media. Seiler speaks with the viewer constantly but doesn’t waste screen time on being yer best friend, and instead lets the camera cover the work as it emerges. Long shots of faces emerging from the canvas don’t bore the viewer as every line slowly builds the work (though the creation is shown in double speed). For anyone interested in learning the techniques of caricature painting in Adobe Photoshop, this is not necessarily a tutorial, but rather just a dynamic example of how Seiler does things in his own method. His tips for capturing likenesses contain some good ideas for both the amateur and the professional alike. If there’s one flaw in the entire DVD though, it’s that Seiler doesn’t do any live demonstrations of women. Whilst a few finished works appear in the galleries, this is still a bit of a disappointment and a glaring omission. In terms of “special features”, there’s a bit of stuff to wade through, though these are mostly galleries of both Seiler’s finished works and sketchbooks. Overall, for someone learning caricature or wanting to improve their game, this is well worth a visit. The links to lessons throughout the disc make it an easy reference point for particular media or techniques, but the disappointment lies in the fact it’s just a bit man-heavy throughout. Still, 4 outta 5.
Jules Faber www.cartoonists.org.au
In Manhattan, Everything’s Archy-Farty this has never been more needed. Tragically, as Manhattan is now simply too expensive a place for artists to live in, the place is often near empty.
Jason Chatfield slums it in Manhattan, talking about red-heads, Ditko and Rockwell with the man who designed the colour of Spidey’s tights
Myself and Jed Kemsley met Adrian and his daughter at the ornate bar one sunny Spring afternoon. The big wooden bar had an amazing sense of history to it, as if you were sitting in the stool that Norman Rockwell would have sat, swilling a brandy while a slew of cartooning legends partied away in a sea of cigar smoke (incidentally, there’s a massive, brilliant Rockwell painting hanging over the bar. I think I lost a good 20 minutes just staring into it with my jaw dangling).
The news is out - after 70 years, everyone’s favourite freckle-faced, redheaded Riverdale teen, Archie, finally chose between Betty and Veronica. And to the surprise of almost everybody, he settled on the wealthy brunette. The story arc begins in issue #600 of Archie comics, which hit the shelves in August. I’ve been holding in the secret storyline since the pen behind Archie, Stan Goldberg, himself broke the news to me in New York in May. Now, before I get too carried away, I don’t go swanning around having lunches in New York with cartoon royalty all the time, and if I tell you I do, be sure to let me know I’m full of shit. This was one lunch I’d never forget. When I was in the small country town of Manhattan in May, I caught up with my mate Adrian Sinnott. Adrian is the Long Island Chapter President of the National Cartoonists’ Society (affectionately known as the “Berndt Toast Gang”) which boasts some of the most legendary and influencial cartoonists of all time.
Adrian is the kind of guy who will go out of his way to make your visit a lifechanging experience, regardless of how much work he has on. The guy is a saint. Anyway, I called him as soon as I got to New York and asked him if he was free to catch up. He is also a member at the Society of Illustrators at 128 East 63rd. The place is an institution for American illustrators, and home to an incredible collection of artwork from ages past. As well as a museum, it’s also a place where illustrators can catch up for a drink or lunch in its restaurant. With the death of newspaper art rooms, cartooning and illustrating has become even more of a solitary occupation, so something like
Adrian arrived as it just ticked over to midday, and as Jed and I had started on the beers. Adrian, of Irish heritage, applauded our enthusiasm. We sat in anticipation of the arrival of someone Adrian had invited along for lunch. He was 77, and had to take a train or two to get there - so we really didn’t mind the wait while we enjoyed our pints. It wasn’t long before the warm smile of Stan Goldberg appeared from the staircase and joined us at the bar. Goldberg, having been the principal artist on Archie since 1968, was a paragon of modesty, insisting that his claim to fame was that he went to school with Steve Ditko. We sat down to lunch while I bent his ear about comics. We two have common ground inasmuch as we both draw iconic red-headed comic characters for a living, but that’s where the commonality stops. Stan is an absolute legend, and leagues more talented than I’ll ever be. We continued ordering drinks and listening to some great stories about his days working with Stan Lee. I later found out that Goldberg had designed the colour scheme for Spider-Man’s costume. I continued banging on about how cool it is that Archie is still as popular with readers despite it being set in a completely different era. Its success, in fact, lies in the appeal of being anchored to that very time in history (something I have always considered about Ginger Meggs - sadly, editors don’t agree).
Under the sentinel-like gaze of a Norman Rockwell original are (from left to right) Adrian Sinnott, Dotti Sinnott, Jason “Omigod” Chatfield, Stan Goldberg and a newly-shorn Jed Kemsley 22 www.cartoonists.org.au
After a top-notch lunch served up just for us, the only people in the entire
place, Stan leant forward and said, “Hey, so you like Archie, huh?” With a big geeky grin, I nodded and sat up.
Caricaturing on the West Side of the Brain
In July, Western Australian ACA members met for a caricature “jam session”, which was recorded and documented by the ever-thoughtful Angie Lyndon for inclusion in Inkspot. Enjoy!
“Well, y’know, we’ve got the 600th issue coming up and it’s gonna be a big one. You wanna know what it is?” The grin became a serious gape. “Well I’ll tell ya - but keep it quiet.” I nodded, energetically. Trying to sound cool, I added (dorkishly), “You got it, Stan”. “Well we’re gonna have Archie finally deciding between Betty and Veronica...” - a smile crept over his face - “... and he chooses Veronica!” I laughed out of shock, “Get OUT OF TOWN!!” I continued to babble on at how cool and significant the whole concept was. After all, so much of the narrative conflict has been about the tension of the 70 year-old love triangle. Ever since our lunch, I’d been wriggling in anticipation of seeing this cover hit the shelves. It’s a 5-parter, and is selling quicker than the Obama Inauguration issue of Spider-Man. It would be pretty cool if, in the final issue of the series, Betty bursts into the church and Archie professes his undying love for her over Veronica, then the two girls go at it tooth and nail, until Jughead declares his passionate love for Veronica, before the quartet marry off and speed away in a cloud of multi hair-coloured dust. But that would just be crazy! Wouldn’t it?
Time Capsule... 1988 The venue was the Friend-in-Hand Hotel in Glebe, Sydney, and the occasion was the Australian Black and White Artists’ Club’s annual Smock Night. On 10 September, 1988, Tony Rafty became the latest recipient of a signed artist’s smock in a tradition that goes back to 1938. After dinner, Steve Panozzo herded the Club’s elder statesmen together for a “class photo”. Pictured are, left to right: Tony Rafty, Norman Hetherington, Jim Russell, Frank Benier, George Sprod, Eric Jolliffe, Paul Parv and relative “youngster” Ken Emerson
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Ian C. Thomas
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