At the age of 14, Mendoza followed in the footsteps of Phil May and became a pavement artist. An early job was working on the staff of a big theatrical poster printer, whilst doing cartoons under a pen name for a political party on the side. His poster work was widely known. He tried to produce original designs and felt these were his most successful, although more often than not he was hamstrung by conservative fears of advertising agencies who wished to design to type. Mendoza looked for the poster technique to be adopted by Press advertisers, with, in general, more pictures and less copy. He worked under the nom de plume ‘Flam’ in the Sunday Express, designing a comic strip on ‘The man you’d like to kick’. The character was revived in the war to be used in poster form, and submitted to ROSPA. ROSPA looked for a more sympathetic character, which was designed. Naming the character took more thought, initially suggested as ‘Little Johnny Green-Pants’, he became ‘Percy Vere’.
Philip Mendoza illustrated a number of books in the 1940s, including Biggles Charter Pilot in 1943, and many paperback covers for all genres, signing his work under many aliases, including Gomz, Ferrari, Garcia, Grimaldi and Zero, before he became a comic artist between 1948 and 1970. The first all-colour, all-picture comic, The Mighty Atom was designed and drawn by Mendoza in 1948, which demonstrated his versatility.
Information collated from: Mendoza, P., ‘Young Artists Should Start Training on a Newspaper’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 123, No. 1,599, January 13 1944, p.50; Mendoza, P., ‘Hints for Beginners – by Mendoza’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 123, No. 1,599, January 13 1944, p.54; The Book Palace, ‘Philip Mendoza Art from the Book Palace’, http://www.bookpalace.com/acatalog/Home_Philip_Mendoza_Art_343.html, accessed October 4 2003. Read blog entry.