THE IMPORTANCE OF EDITORIAL FEEDBACK – Murray Ball, the cartoonist who delighted and offended his readers

Feilding, Manawatu Times and the desire to become a cartoonist

Wallace Cadwallader Footrot and his dog, two independent rebels who did not understand authority, were the protagonists of his cartoon Footrot Flats. In 2002, Murray Ball was award the New Zealand Order of Merit. Born in 1937 in Fielding (Manawatu, New Zealand), he spent his childhood between Australia and South Africa. In New Zealand, however, he worked for a couple of newspapers before moving to England to be a cartoonist. His character Stanley, a Paleolithic hero, was publish in Punch, a renowned English humor magazine. His first cartoons, in the 1970s, also had socialist political overtones.

Copying some of Walt Disney’s characters, his vocation as a cartoonist was born in childhood. Among the stripes, Murray Ball drew, we remind you of 1972’s Thor Thumb and 1980’s Ghastly Manor. He invent a cave dweller with glasses, Stanley the Paleolithic Hero, and Bruce the Barbarian. In New Zealand, he created the comic Nature Calls in 1975, but it was not until the year after that, he published the Footrot Flats strip in a Wellington afternoon newspaper.

Returning to New Zealand with his family, Murray Ball created a daily strip, Footrot Flats, in 1976, which ran until 1994. In the mid-1970s, he decided that a cartoon about a farmer and his sheepdog could be a good idea to change things in our daily life. Not only did his Footrot Flats comic strips continue to appear in book form until 2000, but they also inspired a theatrical musical, animated film and theme park.

We want to remind you that he wrote an illustrated novel, the verses of which parody a ballad from 1996, The Ballad of Footrot Flats. The tributes due to Murray Ball include the great influence he exerted on Australian cartoonists who, in fact, still remember him as a funny and generous man, as well as terribly serious about the issues of inequality. With millions of copies of books sold in Australasia, his Footrot Flats strip achieved tremendous popularity in the mid-1980s.

Throughout his life, he never hid his obvious intention to use his comic characters to change the world. In New Zealand, Murray Ball lived in Gisborne, with his wife, on a rural property. His health conditions, aggravated by senile dementia, became precarious in the last years of his life, until his death took him at the age of 78, in the early spring of 2017.

The sole purpose of this site is to spread the knowledge of these creative people, allowing others to appreciate their works. If you want to know some already published cartoonists, you can type The intellectual properties of the images appearing in this blog correspond to their authors.


Check Also

FROM CARTOONIST TO MASTER OF FIGURATIVE ARTS – Carlos Orozco Romero, from Centro Bohemio in Guadalajara to international art exhibitions

Not only cartoonist, but also muralist, portraitist and landscape painter He began his artistic career …