JOHN L. JUKES(1900-1972)

John Jukes' Jewel & Warriss as they appeared in Radio Fun circa late 1940s - original board (detail)

 

John Leslie Jukes was born in Ladywood, Birmingham in 1900. His first visit to the headquarters of the Amalgamated Press was on a school trip when he was 15 and he was astute enough to leave his name with an important editor there.

Around 1919 he received a letter from the editor of Merry & Bright, Fred Cordwell, enclosing a joke and asking him to illustrate it. He did and received five shillings in payment. He went on to attend Art School where Arthur Ferrier was a classmate. He might have gone on to start a career with the AP but, instead he emigrated to Australia where he spent the next few years drawing for Sydney newspapers. Returning to England in th 1920s he offered his services to the Amagamated Press.

By 1931 he was drawing several sets a week for Comic Cuts, Funny Wonder, Wonder, Crackers, Butterfly and Chips. Some of his best work was on the front page of Joker when he drew Alfie the Air Tramp (1932), originally created by Gerald Pain and carried on by Albert ("Charlie") Pease.

From his home studio in Bournemouth he contributed to a large number of comic sets throughout the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. During the war he was an Auxiliary Policeman on the beat. Between shifts he contributed a great deal to Radio Fun working on personality sets such as Tommy Handley (1945), Jewel & Warris (1949) and Norman Wisdom (1952). He went on to draw Shirley Eaton - yes, the same Shirley Eaton that was covered in gold paint in the film Goldfinger - for TV Fun.

Shirley Eaton (seated on suitcase) from TV Fun early 1950s- original board (detail)

A change in editorial styles in the mid-1950s caused him to leave the Amalgamated Press. He worked for the UK's War Office and also the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) - both drawing assignments.

He returned to comics after retirement when he did the Belle Tent sets for Whizzer & Chips in 1970. He died in 1972 in Cornwall. John Jukes was one of the finest artists of the Golden Age.


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