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Nick Asbury

Thanks Adam – we did come across that link, but weren’t convinced because there was no mention at all of Country Fair or animal illustrations, which seemed weird. This John Hanna seems to be a humorous, black & white newspaper cartoonist, although I guess he could have done something like this on the side. The dates he was in London seem to match up (Country Life illustrations are all during the late fifties). It says he usually operated under the name “Wiz”, but a search for “Wiz” and “John Hanna” unfortunately doesn’t seem to turn up anything of use.

Peter Ashley

This is that really odd thing where you think someone's broken into your house and rifled the bookshelves. I bought a run of these superb magazines a few years ago at a Northamptonshire book fair. I hadn't heard of them before, I've heard nothing since. Until now. I too will join the research teams out there tracking down Mr.Hanna. But wasn't he in Four Weddings And A Funeral?

Nick Asbury

I suppose he could have knocked out a few illustrations in between takes.


I've got a stack of these magazines, they are gorgeous covers, though I draw the line at cutting them up to frame; they are really interesting to read as well, which is why I've got an article and photo of John Hanna, from the August 1955 edition. If you'd like me to scan it and email it to you, let me know.

Nick Asbury

Hi PG - a scan would be great if it's not too much trouble. Email address is mail@nickasbury.com

You're right about the contents of the magazine - it's a very good read. Enjoy looking at all the old adverts as well - might have to post a few up.


I'd love to know more about this when/if you get a name; these are great! Very Charlie Harper-ish, but more detailed.

Nick Asbury

Now have at least three people in Australia trying to track down more information about John Hanna and his work, so hopeful of more information soon. Will post up here if so.


These are real beauties - if you find anyone who can supply prints, please let me know!



I would love to read the article on Hanna. if you get a chance please send it my way!

Nick Asbury

Hi Rob - the article is in the next post, here:



what does 2'6 of the open air mean?

Jenny Duff

Hi, thought you might like to know that I've been given an opportunity to produce table mats using the images from Country Fair by John Hanna - you can see the range at http://www.jennyduff.co.uk/collections/country-fair

Nick Asbury

Thanks Jenny, they look great. Just blogged about it here: http://asburyandasbury.typepad.com/blog/2012/10/remembering-john-hanna-.html

Max Hanna

Delighted to find this website as I am the son of John Hanna. My father started as a cartoonist, mainly with the Argus in Melbourne, until he emigrated to England in 1947. He got a job in the art department of S. H. Benson, the first advertising agency to be registered as a limited liability company, famous for it's Guinness advertising and for employing Dorothy Sayers in the "literary" department. About 1950 he went freelance and mainly designed posters and other ad material for a variety of brands such as Walls ice cream, Sugar Puffs and Peak Frean biscuits. His Walls ice cream "deckchair" poster is visible on Walls ice cream UK 1950 Prints All Posters.co.UK. He was a member of the Society of Industrial Artists, now renamed the Society of Chartered Designers, and some of his work is featured in their 1951 publication Designers in Britain 3. Worried about the increasing use of photography on advertising he accepted the offer of a job as art director of an ad agency in Sydney in 1961. After a
few years he went freelance again which enabled to extend his work to book illustrations etc. One of these books was about folk dancing written by his daughter Nicky Lo Bianco. He lived in Avalon Beach, near Sydney, until he died in 1992. He also painted some landscapes, one of which hangs on my bedroom wall in Oundle. My sister, who lives in Melbourne, as I returned to England in 1967.

Nick Asbury

Lovely to get your comment Max - thank you. It's a fascinating story that I feel like more people should hear. If you don't mind, I'll also drop you an email separately.

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