Dr. Watson Holmes Jackamara

Mudrooroo’s Aboriginal detective Dr. Watson Holmes Jackamara is one of the most interesting characters in Australian detective fiction. He is certainly a lot edgier than Arthur Upfield’s Aboriginal detective Napoleon Bonaparte, although Jackamara owes much to Bonaparte. Jackamara is the subject of an artist’s book that I’ve been working on for far too long now, which I must finish in 2008 (my first New Year’s resolution!). In Mudrooroo’s Christmas story ‘The Healer’ (1991) Jackamara dresses up as Santa Claus (very appropriate for Christmas Day!). Following are four of the seven little linocuts for the artist’s book Dr. Watson Holmes Jackamara (L-R: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Jackamara’s namesakes; Napoleon Bonaparte, Jackamara’s predecessor; Jakamara as Father Christmas; and the unnamed crooked Queensland businessman/politician in The Kwinkin by Mudrooroo):


Big Chief Little Wolf vs. Sammy Stein

Recently I purchased an autograph book that once belonged to John E. Forrest of Marrickville N.S.W. In 1947 he collected the autographs of many local and overseas sporting identities, including the boxers Ken Bailey and Vic Patrick; the cricketer Keith Miller; the wrestlers Al Costello (who wrestled with Roy Heffernan in the USA as the Fabulous Kangaroos), Dutch Hefner, Sammy Stein (also a NFL footballer), and Big Chief Little Wolf; and even the photojournalist Frank Hurley who, when he wasn’t photographing the Antarctic with Ernest Shackleton, was photographing the wrestling. It’s a great collection of 42 signatures.