The 1970s are regarded as a fallow period in the history of Australian comics, which had been decimated by the advent of television broadcasting in 1956 and the readmittance of imported American comics in 1960. It was in this challenging environment that Gerald Carr (1944 –) emerged as one of the few Australian comic [...]
While there is some scholarship on comics in Australia, and the history of Australian comics, this field of visual culture remains relatively unexamined. In the latter half of the twentieth century, comics such as the long-running Ginger Meggs by Jimmy Bancks, the Barry Humphries inspired “Barry Mackenzie” character (though drawn by the English artist [...]
The Crimson Comet was a rare example of a successful Australian superhero, who flourished at a time when American comic-book heroes such as Superman and Captain Marvel dominated Australian newsstands throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Yet like many successful Australian comics of the post-war era, The Crimson Comet was portrayed as an ostensibly American [...]
Cyclone Comics with an irreverent, knockabout spirit, embodied the creative excitement and commercial frustrations which underscored the fitful revival of Australian comic books throughout the 1980s.
The historical significance of Australia’s first-ever comic book, Jimmy Rodney on Secret Service, has little to do with the contents of the magazine itself, but rather the circumstances which led to its publication. In 1939, the Australian government banned the sale of imported American magazines as a wartime austerity measure. This handed Australian publishers [...]
The most macabre chapter in the history of Australian comics drew to a close on November 29, 2003, when Leonard Keith Lawson died of a heart attack in his cell at the Grafton Correctional Centre. A generation of children once knew him as the creator of The Lone Avenger, but none of them could [...]
Australia shares with the United States an historical experience of frontier expansion marred by violent clashes between armed outlaws and the forces of law and order. This may explain why American portrayals of the “Wild West” in pulp magazines and motion pictures found readymade audiences in Australia during the first half of the twentieth [...]
Vumps, Australia’s first “comic paper” published in 1908, is a study in contradictions. The front cover depicted the magazine’s eponymous Australian mascot, Joe Vumps, wearing a flat cap decorated with an American flag, holding aloft his slingshot. The accompanying blurb informs readers that Vumps embodies “Pure Australian Fun,” yet it bore all the hallmarks [...]