BTW the caricature of Gabbo is quite famous and has been republished a few times.
Sorry about the poor resolution.
This is the last comic strip that I have at the moment but will hopefully acquire a few more in the weeks to come, however it is very time-consuming searching through old newspapers, whether online or on microfilm, just to find these little gems. Of course if I do find them online I then have to reconstruct the cartoons after I download them, just one of the quirks with these things being saved as PDFs. This also explains why they don’t always look perfect when they are publish. (I really have to get some Photoshopping skills!)
Here’s a Wells cartoon from The Age, June 5th 1953, just after Collingwood became the first team to defeat them since round 8 1952. In that period Geelong put together a string of 23 victories in a row. In fact Geelong had been undefeated in 26 matches in a row, due to a draw with Essendon in round 11 1952. Essendon were also the last team to beat the Cats in a match at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground three weeks before that. This unbeaten run is still an AFL record.
I have always thought that the tradition of WEG’s Premiership posters began in 1954 when the Bulldogs won their one and only Grand Final… BUT reading the Herald from the Saturday afternoon of the 1953 Grand Final (September 25th) there was a curious little paragraph about hoards of Collingwood fans descending on the Herald vans to get their victory posters with the Magpie on it. I wonder if these posters were drawn by WEG and can be considered the first WEG true WEG posters but are not considered as such because it looks as though they were given away free of charge. I wonder if any of these are still in existence too?
These are the earliest scans I have of Wells’ cartoons, from the Herald October 10th 1930 and October 13th 1930. These aren’t the best quality and I had to get them through the State Library Victoria who have lots of old newspapers on microfilm. Unfortunately Mr Murdoch doesn’t want old editions of his newspapers to be available online, even for research purposes, unless he can change an exorbitant fee for them being viewed.
1930 Grand Final Preview
It’s fun to look through all these old newspaper cartoons and the articles to do with Collingwood but I am not really doing this for my enjoyment. I have a little project in mind and am doing this research in order to help me. The reason I am doing this is because I think that there is a story to tell about Collingwood’s 1953 premiership team, but it hasn’t been told yet. It was a significant premiership because it broke what was until that time our longest premiership drought, was the only premiership played in by Bob Rose and Lou Richards who were two of the most significant members of the Collingwood family and because it was the last Collingwood premiership seen by legendary coach Jock McHale and Collingwood identity John Wren, both of who passed away within a month of the Grand Final win. It’s also a story that I want to tell or at least find out about for myself. Currently I find it frustrating reading any of the official history books that come out on the Collingwood club. All seem to be written by Michael Roberts and all seem to feature ‘cut & pastes’ from each other, meaning that you will read snippets from one book in another, usually worded in almost the same way. It becomes quite monotonous.
Anyway this may never amount to anything as I’ll probably get bored before anything significant comes of it, but I will see how things turn out.
In my research I discovered that The Argus employed a cartoonist named Angus Mac to cover the 1945 VFL season, whilst Armstrong was their long serving political/current affairs cartoonist. Angus Mac to my knowledge only worked for the Argus in 1945 as in the editions from 1944 & 1946 that I have read I cannot find his work. It seems that he was employed to copy the style of the Herald’s then cartoonist Sam Wells, who in 1950 ended up at The Age after he was replaced by William Ellis Greene (WEG).
Anyway here is Mac’s look at the rough 1945 Preliminary Final in which Carlton beat (and battered) Collingwood in a match that many remember as being more violent than the famous ‘blood bath’ Grand Final between the Blues and the Swans a week later.
This is from The Age, June 2, 1950 before the Magpies played the Bulldogs.
This would have been Phonse Kyne‘s first year as coach of Collingwood. Also featured are Bill Twomey, Jack Hamilton, Des Healey, Lou Richards, Bernie Shannon, Peter Lucas, Stan Smith, Charlie Utting, George Hams, Bob Rose, Bill Rose, Bill Nolan, Jack Thompson, Gordon Hocking, Neil Mann, Jack Purdon, Bill Tebble, Neville Broderick and head trainer Ern Reay.
By the way Collingwood beat the Bulldogs by 72 points in this round 7 clash, although later in the year Footscray almost caused an upset when in round 18 they lost to the Magpies by just 2 points.
1950 was not a great year for either Collingwood or Footscray. The Magpies would finish the season in 7th place whilst the Bulldogs would finish 10th. Essendon was premiers in 1950.