FITZMAURICE J. B. (Ben)
“It is my humble opinion that if a man is to be a cartoonist, it will just happen like cholera, typhoid or measles, but my advice is – don’t be one – don’t go out of your way to meet trouble.” The Hecklers: 80.
Born 1873, in England.
He immigrated to Canada when he was 16 years and tried several occupations including farming and logging but soon turned to commercial art, painting show cards for various establishments. Seeing his work the Daily Province [Vancouver] asked him to try cartooning. He became the first cartoonist of any stature in British Columbia to work on a regular basis. In 1909 he went to work with the Herald [Montréal] but he was back with the Daily Province by 1916. He was at the height of his popularity during the First World War. He created both “Horace the Pig” and “Mrs Carranza the Goat”. The first was inspired by a government campaign to encourage Canadian to raise more pigs, and the second by other government campaign to bring Mexican goats to Canada to raise milk production.
He was one of the wordiest cartoonists, often using a cartoon strip style in which he used hundreds of words. He was a staunch supporter of the status quo. He attacked both Bolshevism and women’s suffrage.
He died, 1924 still working for the Daily Province.
The Hecklers. Writ. & Ed.., P. Desbarates & T. Mosher. McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 1979: 80-81, 236.