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For other uses, see Sols (disambiguation).
Allan Salisbury
Born Allan John Salisbury
Kyabram, Victoria, Australia
Pen name Sols
Occupation cartoonist, illustrator
Nationality Australian
Period 1974–present

Allan Salisbury (born 1949), known professionally as Sols, is an Australian cartoonist, best known for his newspaper comic Snake Tales.[1][2][3] Salisbury's other creations include Lennie the Loser and Fingers and Foes, the latter helping to establish Salisbury in the United States.[4]

Allan John Salisbury was born in 1949 in Kyabram, Victoria, after completing his secondary school education Salisbury took a job at the Cyclone Company in Melbourne, where he eventually became the company's advertising officer. It was there that he began working on a comic strip, The Ludicrous Life of Lenny the Loser. He then went to see William Ellis Green ('Weg') at The Herald, who suggested that he get an agent to represent him, recommending Sol Shifrin. Shifrin agreed to represent him but suggested he develop a strip with dialogue. As a result, Salisbury created Fingers and Toes (sub-titled The Little League of Disorganised Crime), an American gangster strip set in the 1930s. It became the first Australian comic strip to be purchased by a US syndicate, Publishers-Hall, without being published in Australia. The strip debuted in March 1974, appearing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas News, Philadelphia Enquirer, Miami Herald, Vancouver Sun and Winnipeg Tribune. Fingers and Toes however encountered a number of problems with its US publishers, including its portrayal of a drunken judge, occasional muggings and US anti-violence campaigns (which resulted in the gangsters guns being painted out). The strip was dropped by mutual agreement towards the end of 1974.

Salisbury then created a new set of characters with an Australian background. His strip, Old Timer, made its first appearance in The Daily Telegraph in October 1974. In July 1975 The Sun News-Pictorial included it as a trial replacement for Les Dixon's Bluey and Curley, following Dixon's retirement. Over time Salisbury introduced a range of new characters including Snake, in 1976, who gradually took over the comic to the point where in 1978 the name of the strip was changed to Snake Tales. The comic has been cited as the "first new Australian comic since the 1930's" and also as "the start of a different era in Australian cartooning".[4] His work was the basis for the "Art and Sols" exhibition at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in late 2006, which in turn formed the basis for the education guide of the same name.[4][5] His strips are held by the Michigan State University Libraries in their collections.[6]

In 2000, the American basketball team Rio Grande Valley Vipers adopted his character 'Snake' as their official mascot, the first time an Australian cartoon character has been so adopted.[4]

He currently resides in Launceston, Tasmania in Australia.[4]



  1. ^ Bateman, Daniel. "Snake's still after his buxom lady", Townsville Bulletin, 15 March 2008, p. 20.
  2. ^ "Biography of Australian artist: Salisbury, Allan". Dictionary of Australian Artists Online. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2008. 
  3. ^ "Allan Salisbury". Lambiek. 21 March 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Art and Sols Education Kit" (PDF). QVMAG Education Services. Archived from the original (pdf) on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-30.  [1]
  5. ^ "ArtInsight September2006". Art Equity. 27 September 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-30. Archived 2008-07-30.
  6. ^ "Index to Comic Art Collection: "Snacht" to "Snaky"". Michigan State University Libraries. 27 March 2006. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 

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