There is a fascinating idiosyncrasy within New Zealand cartoonist’s depiction of Australia during the Great War. Running parallel to comradely images of fresh-faced ANZACs marching together, New Zealand cartoonists produced acrimonious sketches of their neighbour and ally as dysfunctional and even disloyal. These representations might be considered as charting the limits of neighbourly sentiments and good-natured humour. This article surveys the context, in history and humour, behind these depictions and questions how they fit within the wider panorama of New Zealand’s war effort and the humorous irreverence conventionally considered to be a key aspect of the trans-Tasman relationship.
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