Jimmy Bancks

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Jimmy Bancks
(1)Ginger Meggs Park Hornsby.jpg
Plaque in Ginger Meggs Park, Hornsby, which was named after Bancks's character
Born James Charles Bancks
(1889-05-10)10 May 1889
Enmore, New South Wales, Australia
Died 1 July 1952(1952-07-01) (aged 63)
Point Piper, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation Comic book/strip artist, commercial artist, book illustrator,
Nationality Australian
Period 1913-1952

James Charles Bancks (10 May 1889 – 1 July 1952) was an Australian cartoonist best known for his comic strip Ginger Meggs.


James Charles Bancks was born in Enmore, New South Wales, Australia on 10 May 1889, the son of an Irish railway worker, John Spencer Bancks.[1] Bancks left school at the age of 14 and found employment with a finance company. His first illustrations were accepted and published by The Comic Australian in 1913, followed by The Arrow in 1914. This encouraged Bancks to submit work to The Bulletin, where he was offered a permanent position, which he accepted and remained until 1922. Throughout this period he was studying art under Dattilo Rubbo and Julian Ashton and supplying freelance cartoons to the Sunday Sun.

He created Ginger (later Ginger Meggs) for the Sunday Sun and Sun News-Pictorial. Bancks created The Blimps for the Melbourne Sun in 1923, and this daily strip ran until 1925, the year when he launched Mr. Melbourne Day by Day for the Melbourne Sun-Pictorial.


On 15 October 1931 Bancks married Jessie Nita Tait[2] (daughter of theatrical entrepreneur, Edward Joseph 'E.J.' Tait[3]) at Darling Point[1]. She first worked as fashion adviser to her father's enterprise, since 1933 she published the column “Fashion Parade” in The Australian Women's Weekly[4]. Jessie died in childbirth on 22 November 1936[5][6]. In 1938 he married Patricia Quinan in Yuma, Arizona in the United States.[1][7] They adopted a daughter, the artist Sheena Bancks, who married the actor Michael Latimer.

Bancks died on 1 July 1952, from a heart attack at his home in Point Piper, New South Wales.[1][8][9]

On July 26, 1997, the Mayor of Hornsby, New South Wales, formally named a park in Hornsby after Bancks's character Ginger Meggs. The area had an association with Bancks because he used to spend time there in his childhood. The park is located in Valley Road, adjacent to a creek that was named Jimmy Bancks Creek.

Selected writings[edit]

  • Ginger Meggs (1922–1952) – cartoon
  • Impressions of the Artists' Ball : In Line and in Rhythm (1922) – poetry
  • The Sunshine Family : A Book of Nonsense for Girls and Boys (1923) – children's fiction
  • Party Impressions (1929) – short story
  • The Man Who Knew Mailey (1930) – short story
  • Blue Mountains Melody (1934) – musical


  1. ^ a b c d Andrews, B. G. "Bancks, James Charles". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Wedding at St Mark's". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 16 October 1931. p. 12. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  3. ^ van Straten, F. "Tait, Edward Joseph". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Early Death of Jessie Tait". The Australian Women's Weekly. IV, (27). Australia, Australia. 5 December 1936. p. 11. Retrieved 4 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. ^ "Obituary". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 23 November 1936. p. 11. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Wife Of Ginger Meggs Creator Dies In Childbirth". The Daily News. Perth: National Library of Australia. 23 November 1936. p. 7. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Ginger Meggs Wedding". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 22 April 1938. p. 4. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Death of Creator of Ginger Meggs". The Cairns Post. Cairns, Qld: National Library of Australia. 2 July 1952. p. 3. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Jim Bancks at AustLit

External links[edit]

  • Bancks, James Charles. The Golden Years of Ginger Meggs, 1921-1952, edited by J. Horgan. Medindie, S.A.: Souvenir in association with Brolga, 1978.
  • Ryan, John. Panel by panel: a history of Australian comics. Stanmore, N.S.W: Cassell Australia, 1979. ISBN 0-7269-7376-9
  • Strickler, Dave. Syndicated Comic Strips and Artists, 1924-1995: The Complete Index. Cambria, California: Comics Access, 1995. ISBN 0-9700077-0-1.