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Hall of Fame: Dudley D Watkins

BCA Hall of Fame

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.

HoF 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.

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Thought Bubble is the UK's largest annual event which celebrates sequential art in all its forms, including everything from superheroes to independent and small press comics. They are an non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting comics and graphic novels as an important cultural art form. Taking place at a variety of venues across the city of Leeds, their aim is to cater to both long-term comic book fans and those who have never picked up a graphic novel before!