Tuesday, April 29, 2008

GINGER MEGGS Cartoons - Jimmy Bancks (7)

Ginger Meggs has the historical dominance as Australia’s largest published ever comic. Jimmy Bancks created the character of “Ginger Meggs” in 1921 and it was the first published full-scale comic in Australian newspapers.

Bancks left school at 14 and started work as a full-time artist whilst studying at Julian Ashton's Art School where he took lessons from Julian Ashton and Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo. He worked as a caricaturist and cartoonist and had an ability to produce amusing illustrative sketches of his contemporaries and surroundings.

The Ginger Meggs character was unmistakably Australian by his characteristics and has become a nostalgic figure just like Paul Hogan, Dame Edna Everage etc.

It was decided that there would be very little colour in the comic strips due to the limited colour printing available. Because Bancks could use only blue, red and yellow with his black line work, red seemed a logical colour for Gingers hair. The parting of the hair was parted in the middle to create symmetry of the face. Bancks kept the colour scheme constant by giving Ginger red shoes and red pants as well. When the strip went into full colour he did not change the colours.

Bancks way of creating successful comic strips was his belief that the key to a successful page layout is balance and proportion. He worked on an aging art white board and penciled in the strip, carefully lettering the dialogue and colouring everything with his use of pen in his final Indian ink strokes. He also used an increased strength of line, use of large black areas and devised graphical elements into his strips to show the diversity of the comics.

Ginger Meggs legacy has continued long after Bancks death in 1952, by the more modern Ginger Meggs artists of Lloyd Piper, James Kemsley, Jason Chatfield, and Ron Vivian.












Sydney Savages by Adrian Ashton

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