MONTY AND JOHNNY
Created by Les Callan (See CALLAN Les) this series appeared in the Canadian Army’s newspaper The Maple Leaf Northwest Europe Edition 1944-1945. He drew events from the D-Day invasion through France Belgium and Holland to VE-Day, recording both what he saw and humourous stories related to him by soldiers along the way.
“Typical conditions and scenes in the Europe of World War II are portrayed in these sketches. Many of the incidents actually occurred – they are the experiences and stories of individuals and patrols, picked up here and there throughout the campaign from the boys concerned while I shared their rations and ‘liberated’ champagne. As examples I might mention the night patrol returning with ‘Jerry’ prisoners, chickens and ‘pork chops on the leash’ or the hurried dive from ‘moaning minnies’ into a supposed cellar entrance which turned out to be a cesspool.” Les Callan. Normandy and on. Oct. 1945:Intro.
“Johnny” was the average soldier serving in the Canadian Army which was part of Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery’s (“Monty”) group of liberation armies in Europe. The name “Johnny” was probably inspired by “Johnny Canuck”: a popular editorial cartoon figure (See JOHNNY CANUCK, JACK CANUCK & CANADA JACK) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Les Callan an editorial cartoonist and a contemporary of Lou Skuce and C.W. Jefferys in the latter part of their careers would undoubtedly have been familiar with him.
A selection of these cartoons were collected into a book Normandy and on, Les signed over his royalties from the book to the Canadian Paraplegic Association to help disabled soldiers.
BOOK GRAPHIC COLLECTION:
Illus., Les Callan. Normandy and on -. Longmans Green and Co., Oct. 1945.
Normandy and on- . Car., Les Callan. Longmans Green and Co., Oct. 1945.
Normandy and on -. Car., Les Callan. Longmans, Green & Co., Oct. 1945.
The Maple Leaf Foever: The Story Of Canada’s Foremost Armed Forces Newspaper. Writ. & Ed., Barry D. Rowland & J. Douglas MacFarlane. Natural Heritage/Natural History Inc. 1987.
“Les Callan cartoons Troops In Normandy.” Toronto Star, 3 November 1945
Les Callan. Normandy and on -. Longmans Green and Co., Oct. 1945: Front cover.
Normandy and on. Longmans Green and Co., Oct. 1945.
The Maple Leaf Forever, 1987: 91.