On Friday 13th November 2015, a fourth cartoonist was inducted into our Hall of Fame. Here is a look at the life and astounding career of Dudley D Watkins.
When the Scottish Government introduced their Commemorative Plaque Scheme in 2013 the very first person they chose was Scotland’s greatest cartoonist, an Englishman named Dudley D Watkins.
Dudley Dexter Watkins was born in Prestwich just north of Manchester on February 27th, 1907. Three months later his family moved to Nottingham. His father, Will, was a lithographic print artist who noticed Dudley’s artistic talent early on and ensured that he received extra art classes at the Nottingham School of Art. By age 10 the local newspaper declared him a “schoolboy genius.” His first published work was for the Boots Pure Drug company staff magazine, The Beacon in the early 1920s.
In 1925, after only a year at Glasgow School of Art, the Principal recommended Watkins to the thriving publisher D.C. Thomson. He moved to Dundee and began providing illustrations for prose stories in Thomson’s “Big Five” boys weekly magazines Adventure, The Rover, The Wizard, and later The Skipper and The Hotspur. He was initially offered a six-month employment but Watkins would work there for the rest of his life.