Sunday 21st of October 2018

revisiting the future of australia in cartoons past...


From Leunig (1976, Nation Review)...

slave labour

slave labour

from Atchinson (1977, Adelaide Advertiser)

public parks...

public parks

From Molnar (1966 SMH)



From Nicholson (1977, The Age)



From Bruce Petty (1967 — Australia - and how it works)

of aborigines, women and white religious bigots...


B.E. Minns, painter, cartoonist and illustrator, was born on 17 November 1863 near Dungog in the NSW bush (according to birth certificate, Australian Dictionary of Biography & Sothebys - cited as 1864 [ sic ] by Rainbow, Christie’s, etc.), son of Irish-born Bridget Murray, aged 17, who in 1869 married his father, George Minns, a farmer. The family lived near Inverell, where Minns began his art career at the age of 14 taking drawing lessons from an “old lady in the town” (Lindesay, 1979, 13). Aged 17 he went to Sydney and entered the legal offices of Abbott & Allen, where he metCharles Conder and they decided to share a studio.

Minns studied art at Sydney Technical College under Lucien Henry , joined A.J. Daplyn 's life class at the Art Society of NSW and took lessons from Julian Ashton . Conder, already employed by the Illustrated Sydney News , got Minns his first job on this paper. Minns also drew for the Sydney Mail (William Moore, Lone Hand 2 March 1914, states that the two started on the ISN – repeated by Renniks and theADB – while other sources state his earliest work was for the Mail ). Both men then drew for the Town and Country Journal , e.g. Minns 5 April 1890. On 9 June 1888 Minns married Harriet Ford in St John’s, Darlinghurst; they had no children.

Minns’s pro-suffrage cartoon, Just out of reach 1891, shows a woman carrying a baby chained by 'woman’s sphere’ and unable to reach a club labelled 'The Ballot’ to defend herself, her baby and other small children against fierce snakes released from boxes labelled 'Whiskey’, 'Seduction’, 'Gambling’ and 'Cruelty’ by four men who are each standing safely on top of a box. It was published in Vita Goldstein’s Women’s Suffrage Journal 1/7 (December 1891) with the above title and is the only cartoon ever used. The artist was acknowledged on page 8. The original, unsigned, drawing was presented to the State Library of New South Wales [SLNSW] by J.T. Fischer on 13 April 1937 (Mitchell Library [ML], transferred to SV/80 in August 1999 from SV*Cart/26: colour transparency digitised 2000).

Read more:

fake fake fake news

downer lies

By Gus Leonisky (YD, first of April, 2005)


the truth, nothing but...


Gus Leonisky (c. 2000 — vaguely published)

sustainable energy...


Gus Leonisky (c. 2003 — vaguely published)



Making it a political matter

BOSS COCKIE: " Give you a job? Why, you're the fellow that set fire to my grass last season!"

TRAVELLER: "Yes; but surely you won't let a man's political opinions interfere!"

(By George Lambert, 1898, The Bulletin)

George Washington Thomas Lambert (1873-1930), artist, was born on 13 September 1873 at St Petersburg, fourth child and posthumous son of George Washington Lambert, an American railway engineer, and his English wife Annie Matilda, née Firth. Soon after his birth the family moved to Württemberg, Germany, with his maternal grandfather, and then to England where George was educated at Kingston College, Yeovil, Somerset. The family decided to migrate and George, reaching Sydney with his mother and three sisters in the Bengal on 20 January 1887, soon went to Eurobla, near Warren, a sheep-station owned by his great-uncle Robert Firth.

After eight months Lambert returned to Sydney to work as a clerk with W. and A. McArthur & Co., softgoods merchants, and in 1889-91 in the Shipping Master's Office. He attended night classes conducted by Julian Ashton for the Art Society of New South Wales but returned to the country and worked as a station-hand for about two years. These two relatively brief experiences of bush life gave him an enduring love for horses and rural themes. Back in Sydney he met the illustratorB. E. Minns who advised him to consider becoming an artist and he returned to Ashton's classes, while working by day as a grocer's assistant. Ashton's teaching emphasized draughtsmanship, studying casts from the antique, then drawing from life. At this time American illustrators such as W. T. Smedley and Charles Dana Gibson were also popular. These several influences are seen in Lambert's early work, including pen-and-ink cartoons for the Bulletin, to which he began to contribute in 1895, and illustrations for three books published by Angus & Robertson. His earliest extant portrait, of A. W. Jose, belongs to this period.

From 1894 Lambert had exhibited with the Art Society and the Society of Artists, Sydney, but his first interesting, if sentimental, painting 'A Bush Idyll' dates from 1896. His important picture, 'Across the Black Soil Plains', which modestly expressed a nationalist sentiment through the honest labour of horses, won the 1899 Wynne prize and was bought by the National Art Gallery of New South Wales for 100 guineas. Lambert had a growing appreciation of the 'excellence of craftsmanship' of old masters, albeit observed secondhand in 'Judgment of Paris' by his English contemporary Maurice Grieffenhagen at the Art Gallery. In 1900 he won the first travelling art scholarship awarded by the Society of Artists from funds made available by the government.


read more:

hustling and kissing babies...


Gus Leonisky (c. 2000, vaguely published)

preparing the ground for trump...

peace americana

Gus Leonisky (c. 2003, vaguely published — can find it on this site)

worse than hell...

worse than hell

(Scene: The Elysian Fields)

ST PETER: "And what do you want?"

APPLICANT: "To come in."

ST PETER: "Who are you?"

APPLICANT: "Why, I'm Mister Jones."

ST PETER: "Of...?"

APPLICANT: "Rockhampton."

ST PETER: "Well, I'm dashed if I know what to do with you. You can't come in here from Rockhampton, and it's no use sending you to hell."


G. R. Ashton (1898, The Bulletin)


G. R. Ashton: Painter, illustrator and cartoonist, came to Australia at the encouragement of his brother Julian Ashton. Remained in Australia for 14 years mainly working as an illustrator for various newspapers, developing a skill at political cartoons, which he later utilised back in London in an unusual music hall act doing lightning sketches of the likes of Roberts, Buller and Kruger.

He was born and raised in Cornwall, fourth of the five children of Thomas Briggs Ashton (1808-1866), an amateur painter, wood engraver and dealer in artists’ supplies from Philadelphia, and his wife Henrietta, daughter of Count Rossi. His eldest brother was the painter Julian Ashton (1851-1942). After studying at South Kensington School of Art, George joined the staff of the London Graphic at its inception and worked for it as an illustrator for seven years. Sent to South Africa in 1877 to draw the Kaffir War (1877-78) for the Illustrated London News , he joined the Cape Mounted Police and fought in the last Frontier War in 1878 and in the Zulu War under General Buller in 1879. G.R. Ashton came to Melbourne in 1879, encouraged by Julian, who had arrived six months earlier. They both worked on the Illustrated Australian News and together covered the capture of Ned Kelly at Glenrowan. George found that 'there was plenty of work to be done. There was no trouble making from £20 to £30 a week, but it soon went, as everyone spent freely in the boom period’ (Moore ii, p.113). Both brothers moved to the rival Australasian Sketcher , and George also drew for Bohemia and the Illustrated Sydney News . Ashton married Blanche Brooke in Melbourne, daughter of the actor and theatrical entrepreneur George Coppin.


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