ALLAN SALISBURY (SOLS) and SNAKE

Full Disclosure Statement.

I like snakes.  I have had several over the years.  Usually, I pick them up when out and about and keep them for a while before letting them go.  I did purchase a Rosy Boa one time and our family had her for many years.  She eventually got to be about eight feet (around 2.4 meters) long and was a great hit with the little kids at Library Story Hour.

The Front cover of the US edition.

US Book Front

And the back.

US Book Back

The next two are Australia publications.

Snake Fix Cover

Sanke Fix Back

Best Of #1 Cover

Best Of #1 Back

I don’t know where I got the US edition of Snake, but I got the other two at “The Book Exchange” in Alice Springs, NT, Australia.

Alice Springs Bookstore

Let us go straight to the source to learn all about Allan Salisbury-courtesy of his own website:

Born 1949 in a small country town in the State of Victoria, Australia. Became a cartoonist by accident, had infact planned to go into Car Tuning. Draw under the name of SOLS, which looks pretty stupid, but is quite comfortable once you get the hang of it. Have created 3 humour strips, “The Ludicrous Life of Lennie the Loser”, “Fingers & Foes” The Little League of Disorganised Crime and my current daily comic strip “Snake Tales” that has been running since 1974. Have worked with two major US Syndicates over the years that have distributed my cartoons worldwide, published numerous books and been involved in character licensing. Member of the National Cartoonists Society of America and The Australian Black & White Artists Club. Lived in Melbourne, New York and currently work from a studio in Riverside, on the beautiful island State of Tasmania, Australia. Married, wife’s name Brenda, three kids, Kylie, Kate and Clare…(maybe I’m not holding my mouth correctly).

According to “Design & Art Australia” which bills itself as a “Database and e-research tool for art and design researchers” Allan Salisbury, comic strip artist, draws the Snake strip. It began as The Old Timer and changed to Snake Tales in 1978. There is some speculation that the earlier cartoons may be signed ‘SOLS’.

Speculation?

Take a peek at google images, and you get some SOLS images, and a whole lot of non sols image.  However, that is true for almost any image search.  Plow on through; there are some good SOLS related images.

Wikipedia has a summation of the strip and characters and is worth a look for background.  The reference to Lady Snake and her bra may or may not be correct.  But, what the heck, we are talking Wikipedia here.

Alan Salisbury now lives in a suburb of Launceston, Tasmania, AU, called Riverside.

For those of you who are more graphic oriented than text orientated, I present,

Launceston,  Tasmania, Australia

I e-mailed Salisbury with a question on his strips in the 70’s, as I thought I remembered seeing them in the US.   He replied on 9/16/13,  that the first syndicate was Field Enterprises who had “The Wizard of Id and “BC”.  They also carried his strip “Fingers and Foes…the little league of disorganized crime.”    United Media who had “Peanuts” and “Garfield” took on “Snake” in 1982 or 83, he couldn’t remember the exact date.  He is still drawing “Snake” and it appears in many countries, but not the US.

From “Snake Fix #6” an interesting comment:

Snake Goes To Washington

Here is a blog on corporate America and comics and the bloggers take on United Features Syndicate, which I assume is the later name for United Features. 

I recently read that Australian newspapers are cutting ‘high priced local artists’ in place of cheap imports.

The article mentioned Swamp (but not Snake) as an example of high priced locals, and Fred Bassett and Garfield as an example of cheap imports.  Dogs and Cats?    In any case, below is a scan of the comics page from the “ntnews” (that is what the masthead says maybe it should be Northern Territory News) that I picked up on a visit to Darwin last February. As you can see, Swamp and Snake both run in that paper.

ntnews

The article continues,

More commonly, modern cartoonists build a following online and then making money selling merchandise related to their artwork. However the rich history of the Australian comic strips remains under threat.

With that said, both Gary Clark of Swamp fame and Allan Salisbury of Snake fame have web sites.  The Swamp web site is more organized and commercial.  I visit it to get the daily cartoon strip.  The Salisbury site is helpful, but rather disorganized.  There is however, a link for an email to SOLS, and he is generous in his time to answer questions.

In my e-mail to SOLS, I  should have asked, but did not, about the background of breast covering for the females in the strip.

Lady snake appears covered in the above newspaper strip from the ntnews, (maybe Darwin is prudish?), but not in the Snake Fix book.  That book, however, was copyright 1983 and contained reprinted cartoons from several Australian Newspapers, some which are still in publication.  The 1984 US book, also has her uncovered.

We assume the US readers were considered adult enough to handle the blatant display of uncovered mammillary glands which was also true of the home folks of the 80’s.  Today, these folks  need to be protected from all that ‘stuff’.

Let us leave the Darwin paper, and bounce around with lady snake from an earlier, freer, time.

Breast Stroke

Flower In Boobs

Best Foot Forward

Two Adams Apples

The Female Native, I have not seen her referred to otherwise, is in all three books.

Here she is uncovered for the US book, date of strip, 1977

US Uncovered Boobs

And covered for Australian readers. Same date

Female With Bra

So, maybe SOLS thought that the US could handle unfettered boobs, while the Australians could not.  Or, maybe it was beyond his control.

Well, enough salaciousness.  Or lack of.  On to some more cartoons.

From “The Best of Snake No. 1” we have the following introduction strips.

Best Of Intro Cartoons 01

Best Of Intro Cartoons 02

Sometimes SOLS can get a bit snarky.

Best Of Snarky

Best Of Snarky Again

The Flying Doc is in many of the strips.

Best Of Flying Doc

A couple of general cartoons.

Best of Cartoons

A little Anthropomorphism

Snake sees a Snake

Not a Dog

We close with the destruction of the fourth wall; obviously before the third child.  Gee, I wish I could have come up with a ‘two’ and a ‘one’ to tag onto that sentence.

SOLS family reference

Oh, and for Snake lovers everywhere, a 1994 photo of Lady Rose, our Rosy Boa.

Lady Rose Two

Hiss

About visualhumor

Enjoy viewing and collecting visual humor from around the world.
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7 Responses to ALLAN SALISBURY (SOLS) and SNAKE

  1. Pete says:

    Thanks for the memories! I don’t suppose you have a certain Snake strip in your collection… Snake is in a garage, and is interrupted by the owner telling him to ‘get out of my garage’… and Snake replies with something like ‘sorry, my mistake… I’m a carport snake’? My brother and I used to love that… would love to get a copy!

    • visualhumor says:

      Hi Pete,
      Thanks for the question. I have looked through the books, but cannot find that strip. Sometimes, though there is an element of self awareness, such as someone asking the Doc why he is in the strip, and he replies, that someone has to do the sick jokes.
      There was another, where one character wants to get some money from the bank and they tell him that he has been in too many strips. He replies, ‘so what?’ and they tell him that he is overdrawn.
      Anyway, if I do come across that particular strip I will shoot you an email.
      Thanks for the comment.
      Ted

      • Pete says:

        Thanks very much for taking the time to look through your books, Ted. I really appreciated it. I’ll keep searching on my end! Cheers 🙂

  2. visualhumor says:

    Hope you find it.
    If you do, let me know where you found it.
    Ted

  3. Ruthe says:

    I have a copy of Snake Fix no6 and wondering about price?

    • visualhumor says:

      Well, Ruthe,
      I don’t know what value it would have on the open market. I usually pick my cartoon books up at used book stores, and garage sales, and the value is whatever the seller wants.
      Sorry but I cannot suggest a price for you. Perhaps, some reader out there would have a better idea. Anyone?

  4. PW says:

    My favourite was on the beach. Life Saver……..Death Adder.

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