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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Chronology of South African Comic Books - 1920s to 1940s

In 1924 Henry Winder drew "Duggie, Lemmie & Hi-Ti", which was probably South Africa's first Comic Strip for children. It appeared in the Rand Daily Mail for 3 years and featured animal characters (a rabbit, a lemur and a crow). His next strip was "Pippin, Twinkle and Budge" in 1928 (a dog, a cat and a grey mole) for the same newspaper.

In 1927 Edward Ridley drew "Piet, Jock and Auntie - or The Veldies on Tour", which was also an early Comic Strip for children, for The Outspan. The strip appeared weekly from 1927 to 1941 on the children's page.

In 1934 Jacobus Esterhuysen drew "April en Jannewarie" for Die Volksblad for 5 years. In 1937 he drew a second strip called "Twak" about the adventures of his pet dog. 

Here is a sample strip from April en Jannewarie:
In 1935 Alfred Hayes drew "Young Folk"  for The Cape Review.

In 1937 Eben Leibbrandt drew "Troue Vriende" and "Sonkie en Sampie" for Die Brandwag. In 1948 he drew "Krato die Oermens" for Die Brandwag

Here is a sample strip from Troue Vriende:
In 1938 David Marais drew "The Ace" for Sunday Express.

In 1938 Joseph Montgomery drew "Spic & Span" for Rand Daily Mail.

In 1938 Manuel Santana drew "Koos the Cop" for Sunday Express.

In 1940 Albert Humble drew "Trompie", about the antics of a little black dog,  for Die Suiderstem. Also in 1940 he drew "Krulbol-hulle" for Die Kleinspan section of Die Huisgenoot

Here is a sample strip from Trompie:

In 1941 H. Marriott-Burton drew "At the children's Outspan" , featuring the characters "Nutty the monkey, Humpty the tortoise, Aunt Hilda the hippo and Uncle Wattie the warthog" for The Outspan until 1950.
Here is a panel from one of his strips:

Here are covers of The Outspan Weekly Newspaper from 1942, 1945 and 1948:

 In 1937 J.H. Rabe started producing the first comic strips to appear in the Afrikaans Press: "Jan Rap" (1937), "Ontwikkeling" (1938) and "Daan Donsies en Hendrik Horrelpoot" (1947).

For further information see:

In 1939 T.O. Honiball produced "Oom Kaspaas", later "Jakkals en Wolf" (1942) and "Faan Brand" (1946) and "Adoons-Hulle" (1948).

2 Sample Strips of Jakkals en Wolf from Die Jongspan:

Sample Strip from Faan Brand from Die Jongspan:
For further information see:

In 1941 Victor Clapham drew "Grompot" - the gunner with a grouse - for Sunday Times

in 1940 Bob Connolly drew "Stella the Steno" for Rand Daily Mail for 5 years.
Appearing in Die Jongspan during the 1930s was a comic strip called "Knapsak and Klonkie", by A.P. Du Toit. In 1939 he published a children's comic book called "Ons Vriendjie" - probably the first of its kind in South Africa. 
Cover Images of Ons Vriendjie 3; 5; 6;


He produced 3 books of his strips, published by Nasionale Boekhandel:
Knapsak en Klonkie op die maan (1942)
Die Klawervier (1946)
Knapsak en Klonkie in die land van die Tassieblaar (1950)
For Further Information see:
A.P. Du Toit 

In 1941-1943 Monty Wilson produced "The Adventures of Intambo and Mafuta" and "Humorous Native Studies". 
For further information see:

In 1945 Victor Ivanoff drew "Kalie die Kuiken" and "Jors voer die Oorlog" for Die Brandwag.  

In 1946 C.P. Mocke drew "Die Kaskenades van Bles" for Die Jongspan.

Here is a sample strip from  Die Kaskenades van Bles

In 1946 W. Leendert Akkerhuys drew "Die Goue Been" for Die Jongspan.

Here is a sample strip from Die Goue Been:
  In 1947 David Macgregor drew "Bobbie and Betty" for English and Afrikaans Newspapers for 2 years.

In 1947 Wolf Von Loeben drew "Oom Piet Vertel" for Jeugland

In 1948 Gerald Norton drew "Stukkies & Stan" for Mining News

Here is a sample strip from Stukkies & Stan:
In 1948 Ivor van Rensburg drew "The Adventures of Prince Thala" for Bantu World.

In 1948 Roland Wentzel drew "Boetie en Adoons" for Volksbylaag.

Here is a sample strip of Boetie en Adoons:
In 1949 Frank Purcell drew the comic strip "Did you know that?", dealing with South African natural history, appeared in The Cape Argus.

For further information see:
Frank Purcell

Thanks Mahdi at  Readers Den for this section on the availability of Foreign Comics in South Africa during this period:

From what I gather, US comics were initially imported in the early 1940s (one of my oldest customers, now passed on, recalled buying a very early Superman off the shelf) but by late 1940s/early 1950s these imports had vanished, except for Humour Comics and Classics Illustrated.  I suspect this was related to the Horror Comics scare and the publication of Wertheim's "Seduction of the Innocent". 

The Entertainments (Censorship) Act of this period in South Africa's history would have made it more difficult to import Foreign Comic Books. 

If anyone reading this has further information on this period, this would be most valuable .

See Also:
Chronology of South African Comic Books - 1950s 
Chronology of South African Comic Books - 1960s 
Chronology of South African Comic Books - 1970s 

1 comment:

  1. hi George this is a great blog. thank you. do you have a view of the cartoonists post this period?