Ron Vivian

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Ron Vivian
Born Ronald Charles Vivian
(1914-02-19)19 February 1914
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died 5 September 1973(1973-09-05) (aged 59)
St Leonards, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Ginger Meggs

Ron Vivian (1914–1973) was an Australian cartoonist who is perhaps best known as having drawn Ginger Meggs after the original creator, Jimmy Bancks died in 1952.


Ronald Charles Vivian was born on 19 February 1914 in Sydney, New South Wales,[1] to Charles Cecil Vivian and Vida Francis.[2]

Vivian enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in January 1942 and served in Australia and New Guinea during the Second World War.[3] Vivian was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-45 and Australian Service Medal 1939-45.[3] Upon his return he was appointed to the Victorian Air Board where he illustrated many RAAF magazines before returning to civilian life.[1]

He worked as an artist for Sir Frank Packer's Australian Consolidated Press (ACP), drawing political cartoons for the The Daily Telegraph, illustrations for The Australian Women's Weekly[4] and other Consolidated Press publications. When Jim Bancks died suddenly of a heart attack in 1952, Packer held a competition among several artists to select a suitable person to continue to draw Ginger Meggs.[5][6] Numerous artists submitted trial pages and in the end Vivian's entry was chosen over others including Dan Russell[7] (whom Packer thought that his brother Jim Russell had drawn instead).[8] He then drew the comic for ACP's Sunday Telegraph from April 1953 for the next twenty one years, until his death in early 1973.[6] Vivian remained true to the Bancks style and concept[7] and the only difference was the signature, with the strip carrying the identification 'Created by Bancks', as he was not permitted to put his name to the drawings.[8][9]


Vivian was married with two daughters, Belinda Jillian (who married Dr Philip Norrie – the inventor of Resveratrol (anti-oxidant) Enhanced Wine) and Valerie


  1. ^ a b Kerr, Joan (19 October 2011). "Ron Vivian". Design and Art Australia Online. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Vivian, Ronald Charles". NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "War Service Record – Vivian, Ronald Charles". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Have a Good Time!". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 30 November 1946. p. 35. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  5. ^ The World of Comic Art. 2. Hawthorne, California: World of Comic Art Publications. 1966. p. 34. 
  6. ^ a b Laws, John; Stewart, Christopher Robert (2004). There's Always More to the Story : John Laws' Favourite Australian Stories. Sydney, NSW: Pan Macmillan. pp. 261–262. ISBN 978-1-4050-3628-3. 
  7. ^ a b Ryan, John (1979). Panel by Panel – An Illustrated history of Australian Comics. Cassell Australia. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-7269-7376-5. 
  8. ^ a b Foyle, Lindsay. "Ginger Meggs – History". Jason Chatfield. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "99/4/78 Minnie Peters, Ginger Meggs girlfriend, doll/ figure, plastic/ metal, Australia, 1921–1952". Powerhouse Museum – Collection. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 

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