Norman Frederick Hetherington’s 93rd Birthday
Google Australia today features the Norman Hetherington Google Doodle. Norman Hetherington was a famous Australian born Artist, Cartoonist, Teacher, Puppet designer and Puppeteer. Ask any Australian who “Mr Squiggle” is and you will find out just how well-known “Mr Squiggle” and Norman Hetherington was and the impact his puppets had on Australians.
Norman Hetherington was born on the 29th of May 1921 in Lilyfield, New South Wales, Australia and he died on the 6th of December 2010 at the age of 89 in Greenwich, New South Wales, Australia. He is mostly remember for “Mr Squiggle” the long-running Australian children’s television show Mr. Squiggle, and as the sole operator and voice of its star performer, the Mr. Squiggle marionette.
Interestingly Norman Hetherington formed part of the First Australian Army Entertainment Unit during World War II. Boosting Australian Troops morals during the war. One of his best acts included visiting some of the troops before the show, and making sketches of them, personalizing his show to the specific troops, making his shows even more personal and entertaining.
Norman Hetherington attended classes at the National Art School and once the war was over, he continued his studies attending four after hours classes during the week. At 15 years he sold his first cartoon to “The Bulleting Magazine” and become a regular contributor to the magazine. He used the pet name “Heth” to sign his cartoons adding the last two digits of the year to “Heth” to mark the year in which he did the cartoon.
Norman Hetherington interest in Puppets started in 1935 when his father bought him the “Popular Science Monthly” USA magazine edition. This particular issue contained instructions on how to create a puppet and sparked Norman Hetherington interest in the art.
There is no denying that Norman Hetherington made a huge impact on kids in Australia, and his puppets, cartoons and teachings had a great impact on Australian Kids, and many will think of him fondly today!
This in an exact copy of the article written on Google. I am not yet sure who wrote it (so I have not presently acknowledged Copyright), but I thought it was good enough to share here for posterity. I have written about Norman previously, and have not opportunity to add any further comments at this time. Except to say he was a wonderful gentle, soft-spoken man and is dearly missed by his Family and Fans.
Comicoz is Nat Karmichael's publishing imprint. Nat is committed to preserving a permanent collection of Australian comic and comic strips. He feels that there is a need to recognise comics' contribution to and depiction of Australian culture.
Since 2011, Nat has self-published over twelve comic-related books and was Publisher-Editor of
Oi Oi Oi! -- the last series of nationally-distributed comic books of original stories to appear on Australian newsstands. He is a member of the Australian Cartoonists Association and edited the Association's journal Inkspot for 14 issues from late 2015. For numerous years he has been the Lead Judge in the Ledger of Honour Awards for the Comic Arts Awards of Australia (formerly the Ledgers). These days Nat dreams of retiring from his occupation as a Clinical Nurse in the Psychiatric Emergency Centre in Queensland's largest public hospital, so that he can spend more time with his long-suffering wife and their six children and fourteen grandchildren. And perhaps publish some more comic-related books.
Comicoz acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay respects to elders, past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.
Australian Publications since 1976:
1 x Poster
19 x comics (one a co-production with Cyclone Comics in 1988/9, one a co-production with Cowtown Comics in 2022)
2 x Paperback books
10 x Hardcover books