Saturday, June 27, 2015

Oz Comic Strips and Cartoons - Part 1

A visit down memory lane: comic strips and cartoons from past Australian newspapers and magazines.  In these days of electronic news, communication and greater sophistication, cartoons and comic strips seem to have disappeared.  How many recall their heyday?

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Chesty Bond was the fictional cartoon character and trademark for the clothing company Bonds. Originally created in 1938, Chesty appeared in an advertising cartoon strip in the Sydney newspapers until the 1960’s. Chesty became a superhero when he put on his Bond’s singlet.


The model for Chesty Bond was footballer, private detective, bouncer, underworld figure and standover man Tim Bristow:


Sadly, in 2009 Pacific Brands, the owner of Bonds, shut 7 of its factories and sent all of its manufacturing to China.

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While talking of cartoons, does anyone remember the comic strip Boofhead?

Boofhead is a slang term for a stupid person, albeit with a slightly soft aspect.

The Boofhead cartoon character was no exception:


I am unaware as to whether the Boofhead strip generated the slang term or whether the character was named after an already existing term.

Created by Robert Bruce Clark, the Boofhead strip ran in the Daily Mirror until 1970.

Clark repeatedly requested to be allowed to take art lessons to improve his style and was repeatedly refused – in the words of another ad, later adopted by Mortein . . . 

By the way, TV game show host, Club Pres and football commentator Eddie McGuire recently criticised indigenous footballer Adam Goode’s “war dance”, saying inter alia that it was aggressive and that it should not be seen again. In 2013 McGuire had apologised for saying that Goode could be used to promote the film King Kong. The latest comments prompted a response from the NSW State Parliament which passed the following motion:

This House condemns Mr Eddie Macguire [sic], the President of the Collingwood Football Club, for:

(a) his comment that "This is a made-up dance, this is not something that has been going on for years.", and

(b) being a continual boofhead.

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Some other Oz cartoons from bygone days, who remembers these? . . . 

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Paul Rigby’s daily social comment cartoon in the Daily Mirror:



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Eric Jolliffe, who died in 2001 aged 94, was a contributor to the P magazines (Pix, Post, People) and later to the SMH with strips that would today be considered racist and stereotyping but which were popular in their day:



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Ken Maynard (1928-1998) was also a contributor to a P mag, the Post, giving Australian culture the Ettamogah Pub:


Today there are recreated Ettamogah Pubs in Sydney, Albury-Wodonga, Sunshine Coast and Cunderdin.


Maynard used to draw the galahs as wearing boots, the corrugated roof of the pub being too hot for bare feet:


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Bluey and Curley began life as a pair of Australian soldiers in World War 2:



The strip continued to 1975 when Les Dixon retired. He had drawn it for 18 years, the characters being the creation of Alex Gurney.  Dixon took over the strip after the death of Gurney.




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