The DC Thomson Art Of Dudley D Watkins

DC Thomson, publishers of the iconic British comics The Beano and The Dandy, has launched a new gallery  showcasing artwork from the publisher’s glorious comic book history, as part of newspaper The Courier’s new website.

Work included by The Courier includes a gallery of the work of Dudley D. Watkins, creator of Oor Wullie, the Broons, Lord Snooty, Desperate Dan and principle influence on Frank Quitely.

But the first gallery looks at other works, including Smarty Grandpa from The Dandy and Peter Piper And his Magic Pipes from The Beano, both direct influence on The Broons and Oor Wullie strips to come and should inform a few Self-Swipe Files. There’s also a number of his colour Christian-themed painted work, much less known but equally remarkable.

There is also a remarkable amount of violence towards and on behalf of children. And cockfights? Blimey.

Also this morning, a second gallery specialising in his work on Lord Snooty sees, amongst other strips, the working vlass gang of kids led by the young Lord (yeah, class politics was all over the place in Lord Snooty) take on Adolf Hitler. The modern scans also  show that Watkins had trouble drawing Hitler’s hair, and had to white it out and start again.

But this was no idle fun for the creator. Dudley’s name was added to a list of British people to be executed by the Nazi regime if they’d successfully invaded Britain. He was playing with live ammunition here.

I’ve only sampled a few pages. Dive in, enjoy what’s there – and expect specialist galleries for Broons, Oor Wullie and Desperate Dan to come. Also planned if this is successful is a number of galleries on the works of Leo Baxendale…

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