Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Hooligan

Canadian cartoonist Peard Sutherland's first published cartoon (1908) in an unknown Winnipeg newspaper. Image courtesy Glinda and Rill Sutherland.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Peard Sutherland (1902-1954)

Vancouver collector Peard Sutherland (see biography HERE) became a cartoonist at a young age. Most of the following were published when he was only 15. They appeared in the Canadian Courier, United Briefs, Toronto Globe, and Toronto Star Weekly. One cartoon appeared in American Boy. Thanks to Glinda and Rill Sutherland.

The Sutherland library contained a notable collection of English and French literature, philosophy, poetry, nature, mythology and art history. He had a notable collection of juvenile fiction featuring a complete set of the Oz books and Henty’s historical boys fiction. He had a special love of British story papers and annuals that were his passion as a boy.

Peard and Rill Sutherland

Rill and Glinda Sutherland

Monday, August 15, 2011

Normand Hudon (1929-1997)

Normand Hudon was a fine artist, illustrator, editorial cartoonist and comic strip artist. In the fifties and sixties Hudon's work was popular in English and French periodicals across Canada.

Hudon drew a comic strip called ‘Julien Gagnon,’ as Remy, starting 16 May 1948. In 1949 Harry Cherney and Norm Hamilton produced a daily strip for Le Petit Journal called ‘Le détective Lanson’ and Lanson was the hero of a full page adventure called ‘Le Cirque Moréno’ signed Normand Hudon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wright's 'Charlie Boy'

Nipper appeared in the London Sunday Pictorial as 'Charlie Boy' and was a favorite with little Prince Charles. Image from The Australian Women's Weekly 19 Nov 1952. Obituary from the Windsor Star, 4 Jan 1983.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stew Cameron (1912-1970)

William “Bible Bill” Aberhart was manna from heaven to Canadian cartoonists of the “Bible Belt” in the mid-thirties, in the depths of the drought and depression. Aberhart was a large, corpulent, pasty-faced flim-flam authoritarian with a background as a high school teacher and radio evangelist. He bore more than a passing resemblance to Mussolini and took on an even closer resemblance as the cartoonist Stew Cameron warmed to his task of skewering him in the Calgary Herald. Aberhart believed in the Rapture, the Anti-Christ, the devil, end-time biblical prophecy, the Second-Coming, and the weird economic theories of Major Douglas, British economist and originator of Social Credit.

Under Aberhart, who had never held office, Social Credit swept to power in 1935. He did this by promising a $25 a month dividend for every adult male or female citizen of Alberta, and the day after his victory bums were already dropping off boxcars in Calgary and Edmonton searching for the “dividend” offices, and people with money made a fearful rush on their bank accounts, moving their money out of reach in the East. Aberhart issued Scrip in the form of dollar bills which came to be known as “baloney” bills. By Christmas 1936 ‘Scrip’ was dead in the water and on February 27, 1937 Aberhart admitted his credit plan was a failure.

Stewart Cameron studied art at Mount Royal College and his early cartoons appeared in a variety of Calgary newspapers. He designed a Conservative pamphlet tiled The Amos and Andy of Social Credit then tried his hand in Hollywood, employed by Walt Disney around the time of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Cameron returned to Calgary drawing political cartoons for The United Farmer and the Eastern owned Calgary Herald. Arch Dale, editorial cartoonist for the Winnipeg Free Press (also owned by Southam’s chain), had been skewering Aberhart’s $25 “dividend” for months before Cameron took up the pen. On July 4 1936 Cameron’s first Aberhart cartoon appeared in the Calgary Herald. Cameron’s depiction of Aberhart was based on firsthand sketches made at rallies at Aberhart’s Prophetic Bible Institute.

Between the two cartoonists Aberhart knew no peace but Cameron’s cartoons were so effective that it was said Stew Cameron had to leave his office by fire escape and back alley to escape the attentions of angry Social Credit supporters. It may be pure invention. Ted Byfield told the story of some newspaper boys selling J. J. Zubic’s anti-Aberhart The Rebel, who were beaten by a gang of Aberhart’s evangelical female adherents. One unsubstantiated story (in “The Hecklers”) said that Cameron’s house was bombed by SC members. None of his biographers mention this and I could not verify it through newspaper reports.  In response to the cartoons, and attacks in the Herald and The Rebel, Aberhard passed a draconian press gag-law which led to Aberhart’s downfall although Social Credit ran the province until 1947.

On October 2 1937 Social Credit tabled the Accurate News and Information Act which “provides for the muzzling of all Alberta newspapers and for using the same organs as mediums of “Social Credit” propaganda.” By 1938 Aberhart was trying to shut down the RCMP in Alberta and replace them with Social Credit “police”. At a meeting in Melville, Alberta, 6 men were tossed out by “20 or more special ushers” wearing police armbands. The ushers were employed by the Social Credit Association and had no connection to the regular police force. Aberhart’s experiments with Social Credit and his peculiar brand of fascism was watched with horrified interest in Australia, Britain and Australia. The British Press refereed to him as “Little Hitler.” Aberhart died May 24, 1943 at Vancouver. 

Cameron’s Aberhart cartoons were collected in booklet form and his family published 4 books of cowboy cartoons, What I saw at the Stampede, Weep for the Cowboy, Let the chaps fall where they may, and Pack horse in the Rockies: dudes, denims & diamond hitches. Cameron died in 1970 and his cartoons are held at the Glenbow Archives in Calgary, Alberta.

Bible Bill a Biography of William Aberhart, by David R. Elliot and Iris Miller, Edmonton, Reidmore Books, 1987.

Aberhart and the Alberta Insurrection 1935-1940, edited by Ted Byfield, Edmonton: CanWest, 2006. Contains many of the Arch Dale and Stew Cameron cartoons.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Harry S. Hall Original

Graham Partington sends this original Harry S. Hall ink and paint sketch from the forties of his Grandfather Nole G. Barrow in the hospital. Hall drew Men of the Mounted and News 'N Nonsense for the Toronto Telegram.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Johnny Canuck

Johnny or Jack Canuck was coined during the 1830's by English-Canadians In reference to French-Canadians. The earliest use was in 1869 in Grinchuckle (Montreal) in a cartoon by J. Walker founder of Punch in Canada. He was known as Young Canada then, was blond and smoked a cheroot. Sometimes he was depicted as a French-Canadian habitant, in a toque and open-necked shirt. In 1898 he was pictured wearing a Mounties hat. He disappeared about the end of World War II. There was even a weekly review, 1911-1913, edited by W. Rogers, from Toronto, entitled Jack Canuck, “Canada's most popular weekly Paper.”

Leo P. Dowd caricatured Miss Canada in a toque for a 1912 cover cartoon. The numerous Canadian Comic journals were fond of Johnny. Pick, Sprite, Grip, the Moon and Saturday Night all featured him at one time or another and he was a favorite of newspaper cartoonists from the Toronto Telegram to the Winnipeg Free Press, where Arch Dale, of Doo Dads fame dusted him off for a prairie audience in the thirties. During WWII he fought the Nazis in one of the ‘whites,’ in Dime Comics No. 1, February 1942, Leo Bachle script and art.

The Readers Encyclopedia, 1948, Thomas Y. Crowell Company says (erroneously in my view) Canucks was a name given by U.S. to Canadians; although I have no proof I believe J. Walker was the originator, or at least popularizer of the nickname. Canadians do not generally take the nom de plume as an insult.

Miss Canada had appeared as early as 1870 in the Canadian Illustrated News, Miss Canada was a symbol of virtue and morality for the Victorians and Edwardians usually pictured as a Greek Goddess, Britannia or Columbia. She would later adopt the name of Janey Canuck. Occasionally she was pictured as a pretty Indian princess although natives were, and still are, treated abominably by Canadians.

Brother Jonathan was the name given by Americans to New Englanders, referring to the governor of the state of Connecticut, Jonathan Trumbull. The name was also given to a popular story paper. In Canada and (I think) England, he was known as `Cousin Jonathan,' then metamorphosed into Uncle Sam. Off-topic, Uncle Sam's ice-box referred to Alaska and Uncle Sam's heel was Florida. Uncle Sam was, of course, a clever use of the initials U. S. and legend dates it from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. There was also the phrase “Nunky pays for all,” a joke amongst U.S. soldiers. Uncle Sam was used by American cartoonists both glowingly and critically. It is interesting to see the use of Uncle Sam (both for and against) in Canada, Britain, and the rest of the world. During the American-Spanish and American-Philippine Wars, the cartoonists of Cuba, Mexico, and Manila pictured Uncle Sam in less than glowing terms. In Canada he was usually shown as slightly seedy and disreputable, whittling, slouching, and smoking lo-o-o-o-ng cigars (probably picked up in his Cuban adventures.) In the early part of the century he was welcomed in the West as Canada looked for settlers and castigated in the east in the pages of the scurrilous Moon.

John Bull was the national nickname for the Englishman, usually pictured with a bull-dog. The character was derived from a 1712 satire, The History of John Bull, by Dr. Arbuthnot, the original title was ‘Law is a Bottomless Pit.’ Arbuthnot called the Frenchman ‘Lewis Baboon’ and the Dutchman ‘Nicholas Frog.’ There was a Nineteenth century journal, John Bull, and a 1906 British Weekly with the same title.

A brief overview of other nationalities nicknames (from the Reader's Encyclopedia) are Antonio or Tony (Italian,) Colin Tampon (Swiss,) Jean or Johnny Crapaud, Jacques Bonhomme, Robert Macaire (French,) Jean Baptiste, (Quebec French-Canadian,) Cousin Michael, Michel, or Fritz (German,) Ivan Ivanovitch (Russian,) Mynheer Closh or Nic Frog (Dutch,) Paddy (male Irish) Biddy (female Irish,) and Sawney (Scotland.)

Frog was also used (and is still used) as a taunt at both French- Canadians, and, in England a taunt at the cross-channel neighbors’. Napoleon was used by nannies as a bogle-man or bugbear to scare the wee ones to sleep. Astoundingly, the British Press still calls the French “frogs” in print to this day. I saw it used with no regret in an article only last week.