H. John Edwards by James Zee
…and original Australian comics
Edward's publications boasted some of Australia's best comic artists—John Dixon, Albert De Vine, Royce Bradford, Jeff Wilkinson, Larry Horak, Lloyd Piper and Paul Weelahan.
John Dixon—best known for Hawk and the Flying Doctors—began a long association with Edwards when the artist's route took him past the offices of H. John Edwards while on the way to competitor, Frank Johnson Publications.
Dixon drew over 150 issues of Tim Valour for Edwards, as well as 50 issues of The Crimson Comet. He produced numerous short fillers and covers, and followed Albert De Vine as artist on the long running The Adventures of Biggles, based on the works of Capt. W.E. Johns.11p.85, John Ryan Panel by Panel....
Biggles proved profitable for Edwards, with issues (mainly by De Vine) licenced to Strato Publications for reprints in the UK. The success prompted Edwards to create a spin-off, Gimlet, based on Johns' 10 children's books about Captain Lorrington 'Gimlet' King, a British commando. Artwork was initially by Royce Bradford and later taken over by Jeff Wilkinson as artist and writer.
Jeff Wilkinson initially met H.J. Edwards in Sydney following naval service in the Second World War. Edwards invited proposals, leading to the ongoing relationship. His first work was 'Dusty Malone', a back-up in Tim Valour 7, about a government pursuing gunrunners in Hong Kong.22Kevin Patrick, Jeff Wilkinson: Phantoms and Shadows at comicsdownunder.blogspot.com.au (retrieved 28 April 2013). Kevin reports Wilkinson reflecting: "When I... Wilkinson also drew several later issues of Biggles.
Yaroslav Horak approached John Edwards in 1948 and secured work drawing comics at £2 per page. Edwards was responsible for Horak's nickname when he couldn't pronouce Yaroslav and Horak began signing his work as Larry.33p.82, John Ryan Panel by Panel. See also francejohn.pagesperso-orange.fr (accessed 29 April 2013).... Horak created Rick Davis (in Action Comic) and The Skyman (in Tim Valour) for Edwards.
The work of other Australian artists can be found in Convicted Comic (Jeff Wilkinson and Albert DeVine), Police Patrol (L. Holland and John Dixon) and in reprint series such as Darling Love (John Dixon and Lloyd Piper). Paul Wheelahan also produced covers for H. John Edward's Fiction House line.44p.208, John Ryan Panel by Panel....