The Adventures of William Mug, by Zif Dunstan (1913)

Zif Dunstan was one of the pioneers of Australian comics and a staff artist of the International Socialist. He was the author of the comic strip 'The Adventures of William Mug', that appeared in the paper from 19 July 1913 until 26 September 1914. It was one of the first actual comic strips in Australia, and had no follow-up until Stan Cross started using the genre in 1920.

Born George Edward Dunstan in Daylesford, Victoria, he came to Sydney at the end of the 19th century. He married a vaudeville actress, and became an artist for John Norton's Truth and Sportsman, where he eventually assumed the pen name Zif. He later also drew postcards, did contributions to magazines like Jury, Melbourne Punch, The Australian Worker, the Bulletin and the Sunday Times, and worked as a journalist.

He started his association with the Socialist Federation of Australasia and its publication the International Socialist in 1912, and continued it until the final issue in 1922. Zif Dunstan contributed to the Common Cause in the 1920s and 1930s, most notably with the 'Bill Mug' strip. In 1922 he moved to Cessnock and set up as a signwriter, while also painted trade union banners for the Communist cause.

Series and books by Zif Dunstan in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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