Another reader question from Ginger Meggs fan @Dennis11 through GoComics:
Q: Why do some characters have two separate eyes and others have double-eyes like Sonic the Hedgehog?
Thanks for the question Dennis!
Well first off, the double-eyes thing hasn’t always been part of the character designs in Meggs. originally Ginger had two empty ovals with lines through them, which was a stylistic choice by the creator, James C Bancks back in the early 20th Century.
There were a few other instances of those lines being read as ‘eyes’ and there was certainly a lot of American strip influence back then. Australia was relatively new to the comic strip game compared to the US.
When James Kemsley took over as 4th writer and artist on the strip, he did very gradually change the look of the characters to bring them in line with more modern cartoon characters. This was around the time of Dennis the Menace’s cartoon TV series and the rise in prominence of the Simpsons (back when Bart was the ‘main’ character, not Homer.)
As you can see above, james kept some of the features from the Ron Vivian and Lloyd Piper-era Meggs, but tidied up some of the lines, gave him modern sneakers, and gave him two solid pupils inside one double-wide eye.
Of course, not all of the characters have this design. Min, Mike, Tony and Benny still do, but Aggie, Dad, Mum, Coogan, Canehard, Penny, Rahul and everyone else all have separated eyes.
Slowly but surely, Ginger’s eyes have been moving closer and closer to their original separated eye design, but a change like that can’t be made abruptly in a strip this long-running. Do I intend to bring all the characters into line on the same separated eye design? Probably, yes. If for no other reason than they all look like they belong in the same universe. Having some characters look that different can be a little confusing when they’re in the same panels together.
Am I going to make it look like the Sonic the Hedgehog reboot? …uh. No.