Hart Amos—A 1977 profile by John Ryan
Preface by Kevin Patrick
Despite his long association with the K.G. Murray Publishing Company, very little is known about the late Hart Amos (2/12/1916 – 8/6/2000), a talented and prolific artist who produced countless covers for Murray's range of American reprint comics.
However, as the following 197711This article was originally published in Strips No.4-5 (combined issue, 1977), a New Zealand comic magazine published by
Amos was apparently averse to being recorded for interviews,33Despite his reluctance to be interviewed, Hart Amos did write a brief autobiographical sketch for Cartoonists of Australia (View Productions,... so this article, largely unseen for thirty years, provides a valuable insight into his life and work.
- 1This article was originally published in Strips No.4-5 (combined issue, 1977), a New Zealand comic magazine published by Colin Wilson, which showcased new work by local artists and published installments of John Ryan's column, "Bidgee".
- 2John Ryan (1931-1979) was a pivotal figure in the history of Australian comics' fandom. Not only did he publish Australia's first comic "fanzine", Down Under, in 1964, but his pioneering article, "Down Under—with the Comics", earned him an American "Alley Award" for Best Article (Fan Category) in 1965. Ryan's ongoing column, Bidgee (after an Aboriginal word meaning "the wind that tells"), was widely circulated in American and Australasian fanzines throughout the 1960s and '70s. Ryan was asked to write entries on key Australian comic artists and characters for The World Encyclopedia of Comics (Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1976), before writing his own pioneering book, Panel By Panel: An Illustrated History of Australian Comics (Cassell Australia Limited, Stanmore NSW, 1979). Sadly, Ryan died in December 1979, just months after his book was published. Since his death, Ryan's comic book collection (along with his related papers and manuscripts) has been formally acquired by the National Library of Australia in June 1981, where it remains housed to this day.
- 3Despite his reluctance to be interviewed, Hart Amos did write a brief autobiographical sketch for Cartoonists of Australia (View Productions, Pty. Ltd., Sydney, 1983), which was edited and published by Richard Rae.