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Bill Goodie makes his return

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

It has been 20 years since Bill Goodie and his “outrageous” nature graced the pages of the Times-Age, and his creator, cartoonist Jim Field, is happy to see him back.

“I reckon to look at your first Bill Goodie cartoon, you can equate it to jumping into an icy cold pool – it’s a shock, but after a while you begin to like it and you begin to want it all the time,” Mr Field said.

He began drawing cartoons for publishing during the early 1960s while he was stationed as a policeman in Palmerston North.

“I just felt I needed something to get my mind off the job,” he said.

This prompted his first cartoon in 1963 with a leading character named George.

He was printed weekly in the Listener magazine up until 1973, and Whitcoulls published a book of the cartoons during the decade.

“George was a little hen-pecked husband, his wife was the dominant figure, he was very popular but I got tired of him in the end and I wanted something a bit different. So I decided to do a complete reversal of him,” he said.

“So Bill Goodie was a little drunken no hoper, a womaniser, but much loved by the public because for all his faults — he represented a cross-section of so many people.”

Bill Goodie was originally known as The Square when the cartoons featured daily in the Manawatu Evening Standard from 1974 to about 1985.

“He became famous almost immediately, because he was so outrageous — people just related to him.”

During the decade of The Square, a group of women protested outside the papers’ office to stop the publishing of the cartoons.

“That was the best free advertising I ever got,” Mr Field said.

Then he moved to Wairarapa to work as a police dog handler, but left the job in 1988.

“I was Masterton’s first police dog handler, and people know me for that, but they remember me more for my Bill Goodie cartoons,” Mr Field said.

From about 1985 Bill Goodie started to appear daily in the Times-Age as a reformed version of The Square.

Bill Goodie was named after one of his police mates in Palmerston North.

Mr Field drew thousands of Bill Goodie cartoons up until 1995, which he has slowly updated for his relaunch in the Times-Age.

“He likes his beer, and it was always a half gallon flagon, and now I’ve changed it to cans, just stuff like that.”

Mr Field’s cartoons will run Monday to Saturday in the Times-Age.


  1. Hi Jim, will there be another book coming out. I cut out every cartoon and post them to my friend in Auckland she just loves them, as do we.

  2. Hi Jim, it’s Donna dellow from westwood stables, still have the cartoon you did of all us staff, been trying to track you down for years, hope you see this and hope you are doing well

  3. Jim, great to make contact with you after so many years, even if it is via your local Newspaper. Spent some years tracking you around NZ. Can’t wait to see some of your work. My best T Shirt is still a white one purchased in Palmy at the 30th Anniversary of the AOS

  4. Good to see it’s up and going again will try and follow but as now in Australia a little harder to follow good luck will try and catch up sometime. Stan Broad cheers mate

  5. Hi Jim, good to hear the revival of your cartoon’s, remember ‘The Square’ in The Manawatu Evening Standard’….. a great cartoonist and Signwriter…

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