Paul Rigby

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Rigby's trademark urchin

Paul Crispin Rigby AM (25 October 1924 – 15 November 2006), usually working under the name Rigby, was an award-winning Australian cartoonist who worked for newspapers in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.[1]

Born Sandringham, Melbourne, Rigby studied art at Brighton Technical School before leaving at 15 to work as a commercial artist, eventually taking up freelance work. Rigby served in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II from 1942 to 1946, seeing action in North Africa and Europe.

Rigby worked in pen and ink on Bristol board. In much the same way that Al Hirschfeld concealed the name "NINA" in his own drawings, Rigby usually included hard-to-find images of a tiny dog and a small boy (referred to as "the urchin") somewhere in his cartoons.


Rigby's first newspaper work was as an illustrator with West Australian Newspapers in 1948. However, his work as a political cartoonist started at the Daily News (Perth) in 1952, where he won five Walkley Awards between 1960 and 1969.

From 1949 his work coincided with that of topical columnist Bernie Kirwan Ward on the back page of the Daily News. The pair published a number of books containing reprints of their popular collaborations.[2]

Rigby worked briefly at Rupert Murdoch's Sydney Daily Mirror from 1969. Murdoch had just purchased English tabloid The Sun and in the same year Rigby relocated to London to work on Murdoch's new acquisition alongside Clive Collins. Rigby also contributed work to the News of the World, the German Springer Group and the U.S. National Star.

Rigby returned to Australia in 1974 to work at the Sydney Daily Telegraph and then moved to the United States to work at another new Murdoch acquisition, the New York Post, also contributing to the Star. He won a New York Press Club Award in 1981 and a Newspaper Guild Page One Award in 1982. From 1984 to 1992, he worked at the New York Daily News.

He privately published a course on how to draw cartoons.[3]


Rigby and his wife had retired to the Margaret River area in Busselton, Western Australia, in 2003, where he died of a heart attack on 15 November 2006.[4]

Shortly before he died he and his family established the Paul Rigby Gallery and Studio, on Caves Road, Margaret River, which showcases his work.[5]


  1. ^ Bryant, Mark (2 January 2007). "Paul Rigby 'Australia's No 1 Cartoonist' (obituary)". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  2. ^ Ward, Kirwan, (1967)Perth sketchbook drawings by Paul Rigby. Adelaide: Rigby, Sketchbook series. ISBN 0-85179-527-7
  3. ^ Rigby, Paul (1987) Cartooning & drawing techniques compiled by Harvey Bean. Subiaco, W.A : 12 Star Product Group. ISBN 0-86414-005-3
  4. ^ "Renowned cartoonist dies". ABC News. 2006-11-16. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  5. ^ "Paul Rigby Gallery and Studio". Retrieved 2009-02-06. 


  • Bryant, M. (2000). Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists. Aldershot: Ashgate. p. 186. ISBN 1-84014-286-3. 

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