Saturday, 5 October 2013

My early inspirations

Around the time I began this venture, I visited my old army cobber, Dave Brett in Toowoomba. Dave and I were on the same Army Illustrator’s course in 1997, and would talk comics and artists and stuff ‘til the cows came home. He proudly showed me a book he’d bought from Mr Monty Wedd, called “The Making Of A Nation”, which old Monty had signed for him. I was working in Sydney at the time, so on my way back there I dropped into Monty’s castle outside Williamtown RAAF Base, near Newcastle. I bought my own copy of Vols 1 and 2; which, I’m glad to say, Monty signed for me. After reading Mr Wedd’s work, I knew I had been handed the inspiration and format for my own book. If I could do half as good a job as him, I’d be over the moon.

I toyed with the idea of doing my book in portrait format, but I had aspirations of selling it to a newspaper as a weekly strip, and so, only landscape is really acceptable to achieve this. Also the landscape format allows for wider panels which better suit the maps I’d be drawing.

With regard to Mr Wedd (who regrettably passed away last year), his strip “Ned Kelly” is currently in the process of being published in book format by Nat Karmichael. Many people who read the newspaper Sunday comics in the 70’s will remember this work. More info, and also how to get yourself a copy, is available on Nat’s blog Comicoz.
Monty also wrote and drew “Bold Ben Hall” which was another cracker.

With regard to the written content of my book, it is heavily influenced by Mr C.E.W. Bean’s Australian Official War History Vol 1 The Story of Anzac. Most histories of the campaign that I’ve read draw heavily from this source. It is possibly the first point of reference for any Australian writing a book on this subject.
I bought 5 volumes of this set from the Australian War Memorial in the mid 70’s. Each volume cost $2.50! Yes, only two dollars and fifty cents! (They’re between $40 - $90 to buy now) They were among the last ones left in there stock. As it was, I missed a couple of volumes, but Angus & Robertson re-released them in the early 80’s, so I bought Vol 1, and I also acquired another two volumes at garage sales.
Bean’s writing style is relaxed and makes for easy reading. I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to anyone. Of course, because he was there on the day of the landing and soon after interviewed many survivors, it is a highly credible source. This matched with Bean’s dedication to preserving an accurate record of the event instills it with an air of unmatched authority.

My poor old volume had become so tired from me thumbing back and forward through the pages over the past couple of years that I had to do some repairs on it as the cover was separating from the book. After a bit of glue all is well and the book is ready for a lot more use.

No comments:

Post a Comment