Comment is one of two little magazines dedicated solely to avant garde art and literature published in Melbourne during World War 2. The better known of the two is Angry Penguins with nine issues published between October 1940 and June 1946.
Comment was published by Comment Publications and edited by Cecily Crozier who was born in Melbourne on 21 July 1911. This website is dedicated to Cecily and went live on the centenary of her birth.
Cecily’s father was a mining engineer and worked overseas for many years, with the family living first in Burma, then London, and then in the south of France where Cecily was educated until at age 18 she returned with her family to England. Then followed two years in London where she worked as an artist’s model, and several years in Alexandria where she designed and made clothes before returning with her mother to Australia once the war began. Deciding that Melbourne lacked an avant-garde literary magazine, without further ado and with little experience but much enthusiasm, in 1940 she and her cousins decided to publish one.
Comment first appeared in September 1940 a month before Angry Penguins, and 25 more issues were to follow until declining subscriptions, the fatal flaw with so many little magazines, saw the last issue appear in the winter of 1947 when 150 subscribers could not be found who were prepared to part with the six shillings annual subscription. Mostly designed by Cecily’s cousin Irvine Green, the twenty six issues of Comment are beautiful works of art in their own right. Only one is on ordinary white publishing paper, wartime austerity seeing to that, but rationing restrictions were overcome by using brown wrapping paper which lends the small slim volumes with their tipped in photos and artworks, and their strikingly coloured linocut designs, a charm that makes them unique amongst World War 2 publications in Australia.
Just as Comment published material from new writers in the 1940s, from time to time aCOMMENT will do likewise. ‘Am and Tripe: The Turners in Adelaide is one such offering.
Posts on Comment so far include:
Proposed posts on Comment, either in preparation or planned, include:
Cecily’s favourite Comment
Cecily reads Shapiro’s The Place of Love
Cecily’s Choice: A Comment Revisited
The Covers of Comment
Harry and Lis and Karl and Cecily: A love quartet