This & That

Phillip Adams:


In the Golden Age of the Age, when Graham Perkin was not only its editor but arguably the most famous newspaper editor of the modern era I was not merely a columnist but an editorial advisor. I pointed out to Perkin that newspapers had to evolve into viewspapers as a matter of urgency – that that lump of damp newsprint lobbed on the lawn at dawn's early light contained news that was already at least 12 hours out of date. That the urgency of broadcasting, via both radio and television, meant the newspaper was losing its traditional role. The viewspaper would succeed it, but by placing greater emphasis on interpretation, context, analysis and, yes, entertainment. Newspaper columns like mine were comparatively rare at the time but, pretty soon, papers were responding to the promise – to what has become a terminal problem – by adding immensely to the number of pundits. I also argue that the newspapers had to look different – that news photographs were no longer enough. That one daily cartoon (and a few comic strips up the back) were insufficient to enable newspapers to compete with the visual medium of TV. I talked to Graham about the need to have marvellous illustrators who would provide graphics that were not simply illustrations of a given text but enrichments. And I urged Perkin to add to the Age's team the extraordinarily gifted Arthur Horner. Having marvelled at his artistic skills I didn't simply urge that Perkin hired Horner – I demanded that he do so. And I'd negotiated a contract with Perkin that meant that every column I wrote had to have a graphic arts component. So my reward for pushing Horner's barrow was that, quite often, he shared my space. And, as I recall, he also helped illustrate at least one of my books.

Given that I'd been lured into the Australian by my old friend Bruce Petty, I would later persuade the Age to hire him at a time when he'd fallen foul of Rupert Murdoch. As I had myself. So I've always regarded my greatest contributions to the Age as the recruiting of Bruce…and the incomparable Arthur.


Some observations on Arthur Horner by: Phillip Adams and Terry Lane.

And others as I contact them




From Terry Lane:


I have been agonising over your request and this is what I think...

I have re-read the introduction to Uriel and, although I shouldn't say it, I am sufficiently pleased with it not to want to add or subtract a word. I am certainly happy to let you use it either in its entirety or edited.

However, I had attached an alternative -- or supplementary -- piece. Use it or not as the mood takes you.

I have also attached two Uriel panels that relate to either or both articles.

Somewhere I have a drawing of me that Horner did when I was removed from 3LO in 1977. It is a Green Guide newsagents poster. I have hunted high and low and can't find it, but if it turns up I will scan it and send it to you.

Congratulations on doing such a wonderful thing. May your name be praised in Ironicus forever!



Terry’s Note follows.





Arthur Horner was a great artist, but being a graphic artist of the cartooning type there was always the danger that his work would be under-rated and lost. How many dead cartoonists get the retrospective they deserve, so that generations that never knew the first interations of their work get the chance to appreciate essentially ephemeral works of genius – here today, in the newspaper, gone tomorrow, in the garbage.


The preserve-absolutely-everything interweb is the great gallery in the Cloud and it is wonderful to see the works of Horner hung on its walls.


Like most of my generation I met Horner in the fantastic world of Colonel Pewter. I didn’t know that Arthur was Australian at the time, and I certainly was in no position to meet him in person. But one of the great privileges of working as a radio interviewer is that, if you sit still long enough, eventually every person you have ever admired will come into the studio for a chat.


Arthur was of that cohort of expatriates who were lured back to Australia by the cultural and political promises of the Whitlam era. Not surprisingly his disappointment at subsequent events coloured his Australian work. Malcolm Fraser lurks in background as the squire/dictator of Nareen. I wish that Arthur were alive today to see the astonishing transformation of politics that places Mr Fraser well to the left of the Australian Labor Party. Even Uriel, the minor recording angel, could not have predicted that in 1977.


It was an honour to know Arthur Horner and to have been the subject of some of his drawings. This delightful interweb gallery will keep his art and name alive, I hope forever.