How Canada’s 1st major cartoonist Portrayed Canada in 1873


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The first number of Grip appeared in May 24th, 1873, a magazine published by a very young J. IV BENGOUGH, which endeavoured to publish political cartoons drawn by the publisher himself. Mr BENGOUGH for the 1st. cartoon of The Grip pictured Canada as a woman drawn as above. The cartoons characterization of Canada it’s quite confusing and today’s age.

After the read more a statement by the cartoonish about a  anthology of his comics.


Here, O Public! here they are! You have been clamoring in the most impor-

tunate and flattering fashion for a re-issue of the Cartoons of Grip, and out

of pure good humour, I have gone to work and re-drawn them for you, be-

cause, you must know, these destiny-shaping pictures were not originally engraved

upon wood, but were produced by lithography, and in due time each was utterly

erased from the stone to make way for bill-heads and cigar labels. This has been

no light task, but of course my good will towards men, together with the

anticipation of being an author and writing an “ introduction,” made it a labour

of love. Now, the fact of the public request aforesaid will spare me the usual

editorial humiliation of an introductory apology ; and I need say nothing here

about the subject matter of the sketches, as I have written an explanatory note

(comprehensive and lucid enough I hope) opposite to each, and, therefore,myprefatory

remarks are complete—with,by the way, a word to the Critics. Dear Critics, I defy you

to do your worst. This work, as you know in your heart of hearts, is above criticism.

There are no errata to be found in the text, and no false perspective or other defects in

the drawings. If you hit upon anything that may persuade you to the contrary pray

don’t write it. Come and see me personally at No. 2 Toronto Street, where I have

hung my basket, and every Saturday croak “ Never Say Die ” to an ever increasing

circle of patrons. But what an ungrateful rook I am to be sure, thus impudently

chattering to those who have shown me nothing but generosity during my career,

and to be thus boring the generous Canadian Public who have, with unexampled

goodness, bestowed their favours on Their humble Raven,

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