Percy Cocking (1881-1964)

Percy Cocking´s eponymous heroes Weary Willie and Tired Tim from Illustrated Chips - late 1920s or early 1930s - original board (detail)

Percival James Cocking was born in London on 10 March 1881.

His first job after leaving art school were drawings for the Amalgamated Press for whom he worked for the rest of his life.

His first regular feature being Sunbeam the Innocent (Chips, 1903). He went on to draw Mulberry Flats (Comic Cuts, 1906), the unwieldly titled Tom the Ticket of Leave Man (Comic Cuts, 1910) which became Jolly Tom the Menagerie Man from 1917.

1918 saw the first appearance of Jackie and Sammy the Terrible Twins (for Comic Cuts but based on the Katzenjammer Kids).

However Cocking's magnus opus was Weary Willie and Tired Tim - two homeless (and hopeless) tramps that first appeared on the front page of Chips in 1909. This strip was first drawn by Tom Browne, but Cocking continued the strip for an incredible 40 years - in fact until the last issue published in 1953.

Although in the 1950's he moonlighted for Martin & Reid and Gerald Swan using the nom de plume "Jack Daw".

Cocking's work appeared in other AP titles such as Funny Wonder, Jester, Jester & Wonder, Butterfly, Lot-o-Fun, Joker, Sparkler, Jolly, Jolly Jester and Crackers. He died at the age of 82.

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