Kanga's Ko Comics, by Jim Russell

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.

The Potts, by Jim Russell

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 and Russ Johnson both hold the world record as longest-running continuously active cartoonist without the help of an assistant, each with the same amount of time: 62 years! Though in Johnson's case he worked on a monthly basis, while Russell had to produce daily episodes. On second place in the ranking we find  Fred Lasswell who drew the daily comic 'Barney Google' for 59 years, though with the aid of assistants. At the third place we find the Englishman Frank Dickens, who drew his daily gag comic 'Bristow' completely on his own for 51 years on end. Fourth place is for Charles M. Schulz who drew the daily 'Peanuts' comic strip between 1950 and 2000 for 49 years on his own, though he did use assistants for the separate comic book publications. Fifth we find the Belgian cartoonist Marc Sleen, who drew the daily newspaper comic 'Nero' without assistance for 45 years continuously (1947-1992) (and had ten other comics series running in between for 18 years!).

Jim Russell and Stan Cross
Jim Russell (right) and Stan Cross at
The Potts' 50th anniversary in 1970

more about Jim Russell

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