Hart Amos—A 1977 profile by John Ryan
He sold cartoons before freelancing for Murray
In 1938 the work situation was far from strong and Hart decided to follow the lead of many others in joining the army.
He enlisted as a signaller in the 7th Field Artillery and by the time he was discharged he had attained the rank of Lieutenant. During the war years Hart served in New Guinea and Dutch Borneo, but prefers only to talk about the humourous side of his service. Perhaps this has something to do with the death of his brother while in action in 1943.
Discharged on 21 December 1945 (Hart says he has no intention of ever forgetting the date!), he still wanted a career in the art field and was soon trying to peddle his work to the publishers of the day. He sold cartoons to Rydges, Quiz and other magazines before starting work as a freelance for K.G. Murray.
Despite the fact that he had never drawn a comic strip before, one of his first jobs was to produce a full comic book. The book was titled The Lost Patrol and, not surprisingly, it dealt with the fortunes of Australian soldiers fighting the Japanese.
Though crude in execution, the artwork displayed a distinct flair which was a harbinger of things to come. There was an obvious understanding of the medium, even if the intricacies had not been fully grasped. The strip displayed the fascination for detail on weaponry and mechanical things which were to become something of an Amos trademark. In short, he appeared to be a natural comic strip artist.
Soon Amos was involved in producing comic books, covers and magazine illustrations for K.G. Murray almost exclusively, even though he was always a freelance and never a company artist.
Such titles as The Moon Mirror and Stark, the Stoneage Man preceded Kidnap Cavern, the first story in KGM's series of Climax full-colour comics.11AusReprints note: Moon Mirror is also in an unnumbered issue that is part of the Climax series....
For this same series he drew Queen of the Green Men (which gave us a glimpse of the beautiful women he could draw) and Hurricane Hardy.22Prior to illustrating Devil Doone, Amos' major comic works for KG Murray were as follows: "The Lost Patrol" (A...