ca. 1944. Large signed WWII color caricature likely of Canadian Guy Granville Simonds, acting commander of the First Canadian Army, racing to Tokyo on roller skates, and pulled by a kangaroo sporting a sign reading "motor transport".
Simonds (1903 – 1974) was the mechanically gifted developer of an effective armored personnel carrier nicknamed the Kangaroo because it protected the men it transported in its "pouch". Kangaroos were necessary to reduce the large infantry losses being experienced; they greatly reduced the exposure to enemy fire and allowed infantry to arrive at the front in a less exhausted state. Kangaroos were used in the European theater by Canadian and British troops from about August 1944 through the end of the war.
The portrait of Simonds is carefully executed, showing him in profile with neatly cropped hair and trim mustache. He carries a large assortment of repair tools under his arm, is wearing roller skates and is pulled by his kangaroo. Simonds skates through a tropical landscape which includes somewhat mysteriously, a palm tree and a cactus. A deliberately misspelled sign "To Tokio" points the way. The kangaroos were so successfully used in Europe that it is likely they were considered for use in the Pacific, with this caricature expressing that hope. Signed "Forrest Evans" at the lower right.
Pen and pencil sketch, the colors bright, outlined in pen and filled in with colored pencil, on art board, with mat laid down. 14 x 10 1/2" Very good condition. Item #22596