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Chatfield vows to take Ginger Meggs through 100th birthday

The Sun Herald has a review of the history of the Ginger Meggs feature that started in 1921. Jason Chatfield recently took over the strip after James Kemsley passed away last December. While the Australian youth are not reading Ginger Meggs like the generation before them, Jason vows that he’ll carry the strip beyond its 100th birthday in 2021.

Regarding the passing of the torch from James to Jason, Jason said,

“I suppose that as a result of us working so closely together we became very similar in terms of our work, style and humour. So towards the end of his life, I must have seemed to him the obvious choice to take over the Ginger Meggs legacy.

“The faith Kems showed in asking me to do it meant more to me than anything else, and the fact that he asked me meant that he knew he was dying, which to me was devastating.”

After accepting by email, he phoned Kemsley. “He could no longer talk but his wife Helen put the phone up to his ear and I said, ‘You don’t have to worry, mate, Meggs is in safe hands. He’s going to go well beyond his 100th year.’

“I saw him in the Prince of Wales Hospital less than a month before he died and, when I said goodbye, I shook his hand and he sort of pulled my hand back, held onto it and looked me straight in the eye. And although he couldn’t speak I now realise what he was trying to tell me – that he was saying ‘All my hopes are in you. You’re it.”‘

Community Comments

#1 frank white
August/17/2008
@ 2:09 pm

This is a really moving story Alan , thanks for covering it.

#2 Rob Smith, Jr.
August/18/2008
@ 1:36 pm

Bravo, Jason Chatfield! You continue a great legacy and a very important cartooning achievement. To 2021! Lead on!

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