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FROM SUNBEAMS TO SUNSET The Rise And Fall of the Australian Comic Book 1924-1965

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FROM SUNBEAMS TO SUNSET The Rise And Fall of the Australian Comic Book 1924-1965

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$45.00
Highly Recommended. By Graeme Cliffe.

John Dixon and Stanley Pitt. These two brilliant artists are just about the extent of what I know about Austrialian comics. Until this book, that is. Beginning in the 1930s, and with an entire history of its own in the 1940s and 1950s, discover not only covers of more than two hundred comics you’ve probably never seen, but also quotes from the comic books themselves, and biographies of the artists, writers and publishers. A fourteen page index covers more than 2500 topics. It’s the most detailed examination of Australian comic books ever.


Note: Unfortunately the bulk of our copies were damaged in transit, and we are unable to get replacement copies. We will sell our good copies first, and then we'll pull the copies with the bumped corners.


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John Dixon and Stanley Pitt. These two brilliant artists are just about the extent of what I know about Austrialian comics. Until this book, that is. Beginning in the 1930s, and with an entire history of its own in the 1940s and 1950s, discover not only covers of more than two hundred comics you’ve probably never seen, but also quotes from the comic books themselves, and biographies of the artists, writers and publishers. A fourteen page index covers more than 2500 topics. It’s the most detailed examination of Australian comic books ever.

In 1954 there were about seventy-two million comic books being sold in Australia. Seventy-two million! Today a variety of entertainment media are offered to Australians, and there are very few local artists working in the industry. What led to this decline? What were some of the titles that were so popular years ago? Graeme Cliffe's book seeks to answer all these questions.... and a whole lot more! This is the story of Australia's original comic book industry, from its origins in humorous strips which were published in Sydney early in the twentieth century, to the industry's demise in the nineteen sixties, when other entertainment sources proved more popular.

Researcher and author Graeme Cliffe has spent more than twenty years on this project. Looking for information, he has searched private collections and Australia's public libraries, and made profuse notes as to the local content (such as the appearances of Ginger Meggs and Fatty Finn) in the comics of this forgotten era.

This looks closely at my two guys above: Pitt did Yarmak, a Tarzan imitation, and Silver Starr—a Flash Gordon-inspired sci-fi strip that is just—simply—gorgeous, as good as any work by Alex Raymond. John Dixon did a long series of Catman Comics; not the 1940s U.S. Catman, but another character in the fifties who’s also quite good. And that is just the tip of the iceberg here. 

This was a Kickstarter project. There was a deluxe edition that I bought at full retail for myself, but we’re unable to get any to offer to you. You may recall how enthusiastic I am about the era of original Canadian comics from 1941-46. Here we have a far longer period examined, since Austrailia’s Golden Age lasted far into the 1950s...and in some ways I might say better, with a greater depth of talent, more akin to our own U.S. Golden Age, with both talented veteran artists who came aboard, and new youngsters, like Stanley Pitt, who went on to long, successful careers (in his case, first in sci-fi digest cover art, and then into advertising). I love just flipping through the full color covers here, page after page...like a world of vintage comics from the 1940s and 1950s never before seen. Superheroes, detectives, adventurers...they had them all. 

Also here are oriignal interviews with several of the vintage artists, who like our own Golden Age vets are mostly passed on now. Two passed away after signing books for the publisher.

Note: Unfortunately the bulk of our copies were damaged in transit, and we are unable to get replacement copies. We will sell our good copies first, and then we'll pull the copies with the bumped corners.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Item Code FROMSH
Publisher Nat Karmichael
Publish Date 2019
ISBN 9780994362308
Binding Hard Cover
Dimensions 12x10
# Pages 254pg
Color Partial Color
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