MENDES Ross Allen

Born 1927 in Toronto.

He and Gerry Lazare attended Oakwood Collegiate in Toronto in the early 1940’s.

This is how Gerry remembers their first encounter.

“I met Ross on a St. Clair streetcar going downtown to deliver some early comic pages to Bell in 1942. He sat down and introduced himself and said he loved my comic strips and wanted to do the same and could I advise him on how to proceed. We became close friends for many years.”

Gerry introduced Ross to Bell Features where Ross created the heroine “Polka Dot Pirate” and hero  “Captain Future”.

Mendes’ first job was with Wookie, Bush and Winter. Both Jack Bush and William Winter were top illustrators and painters. Bush became part of the famous post-war group Painters Eleven. Winter was a regular illustrator at Maclean’s magazine before he became a full time painter. There Mendes learned commercial art.

He married and went to Europe for ten years. He painted in Spain and England. He worked in London England. He became Art Director at Cockfield and Brown. Just before returning to Canada he worked in South Africa.

He became Art Director at Financial Post and began teaching at the Ontario College of Art while still in advertising. He split his time between the Ontario College of Art and painting.




Content serial:

Active Comics, 28, no date: “Tophat ‘n’ Tales”: 51-54.



Email from Gerald Lazare February 14, 2011.


From a conversation with Ross Mendes during the “From Freelance to Cerebus” cartoon exhibit at the Brant County Museum in Brantford Ontario, in the summer of 1991.