Jim Russell joined the Sydney Evening News in 1928 and became the youngest political cartoonist in Australia. In 1931, the Evening News folded and Russell became a sports caricaturist with the Referee. He soon transferred to Smith's Weekly to spend almost two decades drawing single-block cartoons as well as strips. Russell inherited the strips 'Smith's Vaudevillains' and 'You and Me' from creator Stan Cross, and took over the position of art director in 1940. He changed the name of 'You and Me' to 'Mr. and Mrs. Pott' and altered the tone of the strip.
During the war years, Russell drew the two satirical strips 'Adolf, Hermann and Musso' and 'Schmit der Sphy'. When Smith's folded in 1950, Russell sold a further modified version of 'Mr. and Mrs. Pott', retitled 'The Potts', to the Herald & Weekly Times Ltd. for national and, eventually, worldwide syndication.
Jim Russell (right) and Stan Cross at
The Potts' 50th anniversary in 1970