Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dudley D. Watkins

Today marks the centenary of the birth of Dudley D. Watkins, the original artist of Desperate Dan, Lord Snooty, The Broons, Oor Wullie, Ginger, Mickey the Monkey, Biffo the Bear, and many more. The Nottingham-born artist also illustrated numerous adventure stories for the comics and many would consider him the best artist D.C. Thomson ever had. (Certainly the company respected him enough to allow him to sign his work for several years; a rare privilege for British comic artists at that time.)

Dudley passed away in 1969 and such was the strength of his style that reprints of Desperate Dan continued in The Dandy for many years afterwards. Even today, newer artists on The Broons and Oor Wullie "ghost" Dudley's style rather than be allowed to forge their own; Watkins' look being definitive.

The artwork of Dudley Watkins was always a pleasure to behold. A mixture of realism, natural humour, and a gift to portray slapstick, his strips delighted generations of children and will never be forgotten.

Above: Two pages by Dudley Watkins from The Dandy No.325, dated August 17th 1946.


Peter Gray said...

Dudley D Watkins deserves his own book...

Showing all the characters he did for comics and books...its amazing 3 of his characters are still going strong today under new artists...Desperate Dan..Oor Wullie...The Broons..

With Lord Snooty making 50 years...Ginger..Mickey the monkey all lasting a long time.

Lew I hope you can show more of his work on your blog...he did some great posters in annuals..etc..

Lew Stringer said...

I can't really upload a lot of strips here that are still in copyright, so I'd rather focus on covers, photographs of items, and obscure things like old ads etc.


dennis the menace said...

oh its a shame copyright law had to come in and ruin anything he was a gerat artist and some of his lord snooty strips were reprinted in 90s beanos.

Lew Stringer said...

Copyright law ruins nothing. It serves to protect creators and/or publishers.

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