ROY WILSON (1900-1965)

Roy Wilson's The Tiddliewink Family as they appeared on the front page of Jingles No.17, dated 5 May 1934 - original board.
Roy Wilson's Pitch and Toss as they appeared in Funny Wonder & Jester dated 21 February 1942 - original board, preparatory artwork.
Roy Wilson's Happy Andy and his Playful Pets as they appeared in Tip Top & Butterfly dated 19 July 1947 - original board, preparatory artwork.
Roy Wilson's Hook, Line and Sinker as they appeared in Wonder dated 13 December 1952 - original board, preparatory artwork.
Roy Wilson's Terry-Thomas as he appeared in Film Fun dated 29 November 195x - original board (detail). Terry at La Scala.

Roy Wilson was one of the finest artists ever to work for British comics. He contributed to Amalgamated Press/Fleetway/IPC weeklies for 45 years (1920-1965).

Wilson was born in Kettering Northamptonshire and the family (he had three younger brothers and a sister) later moved to Norwich. During the 1914-1918 war he was a Junior Draughtsman on the Air Board Staff; shortly after the Armistice he was demobbed. In 1920 he met Don Newhouse an established comics artist and he became Newhouse’s assistant; a relationship that continued for most of the decade.

Later Wilson was introduced to Len Stroud who was editor of Merry & Bright. Stroud recognised his superior talent and persuaded him to submit work under his own name rather than that of Newhouse. The result was that from then on and throughout the 1930s Wilson became the leading artist of the AP humour comics, his art usually appearing on the front page as well as the inside pages.

Titles his work appeared in included Butterfly (Chimp & Jerry 1926, Steve & Stumpy 1931, Molly & Mick 1931, Two Little Orphans 1933, Moggie the Mouser 1936, Honey Potts 1937), Funny Wonder (Oozee the Wonder Bird 1925), Funny Wonder & Jester (Pitch & Toss), Crackers (Happy Harry & Sister Sue 1933), Jingles (Tiddleywink Family 1934, Stymie & his Magic Wishbone 1948, Jimmy Jolly's Magic Brolly 1949, Magic Tinderbox 1951, Hansel& Gretel 1952), Sparkler (Tuffy & Tim 1935, Robin Hood 1937), Golden (Lieut Daring & Jolly Roger 1936,) and Happy Days (At Chimpo's Circus 1938, Dimple & Dumpling 1939). During the 1939-1945 war he was a member of the Home Guard.

Throughout the 1940s his work appeared in Wonder (Private Muggins – which related to his experiences in the Home Guard, as well as Marmy and His Ma, Helpful Henry and Captain Hook, Navigator Line & Cabin-Boy Sinker), Radio Fun (Stymie and His Magic Wishbone - reprised from Jingles, George the Jolly Gee Gee 1938, Tommy Handley 1941, Wilfred Pickles 1947, ) and Tip Top (Happy Andy And His Playful Pets 1939, Wildflower & Little Elf 1948, Sunnyside School 1949).

In the 1950s he drew ‘personality’ sets for T.V. Fun (including Reg Varney 1956 and taking over from Reg Parlett on Sally Barnes and Jimmy Edwards) and Film Fun (Jerry Lewis 1957, and Bruce Forsyth 1962). His last set was Morecombe and Wise in Buster.

Roy Wilson died of cancer in June, 1965. Roy Wilson brought quality and class to British comics. He was the most influential artist of his time and was the finest of all the pre-war comic artists.

His wife was thriller writer G.M. Wilson (1899-1986). She was also a contributor to comics from 1932-1956: she wrote Roy Keen stories for Butterfly and the Inspector Stanley and Jane X stories for Radio Fun.


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