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"Thor Thumb" from The Topper', 1972

Murray Hone Ball (b. 1937 in Fielding, the Manawatu, New Zealand) spent some of his childhood in Australia and South Africa, and worked for the Dominion and Manuwatu Times newspapers in New Zealand before going freelance as a cartoonist and moving to England in 1968. He found work with DC Thomson and IPC: some of the strips he drew  include "Boss of the Backyards" (1972) for The Dandy, "Thor Thumb" (1972), "Janet the Gannet" (1978) and "Ghastly Manor" (1980) for The Topper, "My Pal Cuddles" and "The Cheddar Mob" for Bunty, and "The Chumpions" for Cor!!. He created Stanley the Paleolithic Hero, a bespectacled, left-wing caveman, and the longest-running cartoon to appear in Punch, as well as Bruce the Barbarian and All the King's Comrades for the same magazine. At some point in the 70s he returned to New Zealand with his family, where in 1976 he created Footrot Flats, a daily strip that was syndicated to newspapers all over the world and lasted until 1994. In 2002 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit.


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