Hart Amos—A 1977 profile by John Ryan
From Hurricane Hardy to Devil Doone
Hurricane, with his bright, red hair crashing down over his forehead like a Bondi breaker, appeared in two colour comics as well as a black and white back-up feature in a number of other reprint comics.
Magicat (the mightiest cat in the Universe!) was Hart's contribution to the funny animal field and represented a very slick drawing performance. At the same time, he was also drawing 1-2 page fillers such as Fore & Aft,11In early issues of Superman.... Hambone The Hunter22In comics such as Superman, Climax Colour Comic and Taxi O'Hara Comics.... and Doc Foozle.33In early issues of Superman....
If you want a job done, ask a busy man. Hart was asked to take over the drawing of Devil Doone,44See comicsdownunder.blogspot.com.... a comic strip which ran each month in the girlie magazine, Man Jr.55Man Junior (later renamed Man Jr) was launched by KG Murray Publishing in 1937, as a pocket-sized companion to its...
Doone was the brainchild of Brisbane radio copywriter and short story author, Ron Carson Gold. Handled briefly by Carl Lyon and then June Mendoze66The Devil Doone comic strip was originally illustrated by June Mendoza (b.1927), who signed her work "Mendoza". She... [sic], the first Doone story to carry the Amos signature appeared in August 1946. Hart continued to draw the strip until the middle of 1969.
Apart from appearing in the magazine each month, Devil Doone was reprinted in comic book form; running 47 issues in various formats before Man Jr. folded. All issues up to number 44 contained work by Amos, with this last issue also carrying contrasting examples of the pathetic attempts of two local artists to try and fill Hart's shoes. The shoes were far too big.
Devil Doone owed as much, if not more, of its longevity to Hart's smooth, professional approach and page appreciation as it did to Gold's basic script. Because of the restrictive nature of the 12-panel format and Gold's tendency to overwrite, Amos was given carte blanche to alter the script as he saw fit. It is an option that he exercised regularly and, often, quite severely. Many years before he left the strip, Hart had Devil give up smoking... yet Gold never noticed and continued to script Doone taking a puff.
It was his work on Devil Doone with which most readers on both sides of the Tasman [Sea] would identify Hart Amos. But he saved his best work until last.