An Online Museum for Australian Cartoons

Cartoons, Political

Mick Armstrong’s War ! Vol 1

The first casualty in war is Truth! And Cartoonists get extra pressure put on them to turn out Propaganda work for their Governments. Mick Armstrong did this, so successfully that his work was published all over the Allied Army’s Countries.

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  • Dr Philip Norrie June 12, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Dear Sir,
    My father-in-law was the late Ron Vivian who was a staff cartoonist for ACP. He was arguably Australia’s greatest cartoonist because he did cartooning in four different categories.Prior to WWII he was the youngest cartoonist in Australia to be given his own cartoon strip – Jimmy Gale [Australia’s version of the Phantom for want of a better comparison]. Then in WWII before Pearl Harbour, after which he was allowed to “join up” [he served in the RAAF in PNG for two tours of duty], he did Winnie the War Winner strip for the Australian Women’s Weekly.He also did art work for the RAAF when they eventually found out that he was an artist/cartoonist. After the war he was the political cartoonist for the Daily Telegraph and finally after Jimmy Bancks died he did Ginger Meggs from 1952 until he died in 1973.Unfortunately he was not allowed to sign the Ginger Meggs strip ,like later cartoonists could – he had to be in the shadows of Jimmy Bancks and the strip was signed “Created by Bancks” !
    No other cartoonist has had such a diverse career and I think it is time that Ron came out from under the shadow of Jimmy Bancks and stood out on his own.
    The following provides some interesting “food for thought”for you.
    1] In 2021 it will be 100 years since Australia’s longest running cartoon – Ginger Meggs began and it will be also 100 years since the RAAF began.The RAAF Museum at Point Cook wants to do a RAAF art exhibition and Ginger Meggs exhibition at Point Cook because of Ron’s unique duel involvement.
    2] It is 75 years since Sparrow Force was sent into Timor to fight against the Japanese. Most of the force was either killed or captured but about 250 fought on as a guerrilla force but they had no way of contacting Darwin to let them know they were still alive and still fighting. More importantly they wanted to tell Darwin they badly needed supplies of boots,malaria medicine [quinine], money and ammunition. Eventually they cobbled together a radio to make this so important initial and later continuing contact with Darwin and guess what they called the radio ??? Winnie the War Winner after Ron’s character !!!!! This is a unique and untold piece of Australian and cartooning history which I want to tell on behalf of Ron.
    My wife has about 100 original Jimmy Bancks Ginger Meggs cartoons and about 100 original Ron Vivian Ginger Meggs cartoons and 46 original Winnie the War Winner black ink on white cardboard cartoons.
    I want to write a book about him and all his cartoons etc – can you help ??
    Regards,
    Dr Philip Norrie MBBS,MA,MSc,MScSc[Hons],PhD,MD
    Conjoint Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, Universities of NSW and Newcastle

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