Sunday, October 30, 2011

Max and Min the Weather People

Because I work with meteorologists these days, and spend a fair part of my time staring at weather maps and graphs, my mind has turned to a newspaper comic I used to read as a child - Max and Min the Weather People.

This was the rambling and sometimes dreamlike story of Max and Min who lived in the town of Weatherby, and who seemed to have an unspecified psychic connection with the weather. To the very limited extent that I can remember it, this was mostly a pretext for odd semi-plotted dreamlike sequences and some adventurous and somewhat surreal comic layouts. I didn't like it - I was a literal minded kid and it just struck me as stupid and pointless. I suspect I might cut it a bit more slack these days.

Naturally the first thing I did was dig around on the web, expecting to find archived strips and learned articles on comic geek sites - but there's nothing. It actually comes as a bit of a shock to realise there are bits of popular culture which have fallen through the cracks and never made it onto the web.

The tiny bit of information I have comes from "Panel by Panel: An illustrated history of Australian comics" by John Ryan (1979 and thoroughly out of print). All the internet has to say is:

Max Foley:

Late 20th century newspaper cartoonist, illustrator and commercial artist. In 1983 Max Foley was president of the Black and White Artists' Club.

cartoonist, illustrator and commercial artist, has worked mainly as a newspaper artist but also draws political and gag cartoons. His comic strips include Tibby the Lion (ill. Rae, 47), Max and Min: the Weather People (ill. Rae, 48-49) and Cindy (ill. Rae, 51). He was president of the Black and White Artists' Club in 1983.

I'm a bit saddened to see this harmless and inconsequential little strip, which was so much a part of my childhood, has left such a small footprint. I had thought that in a world of collectors, fans and archivists nothing would truly be lost.

The strip ran for 300 issues. Here is the melancholy final episode: