Dudley Watkins / Ken Harrison appearances:
1936 - present
weekly in The Sunday Post
night, sleep tight,
dinna let the bugs bite!
An' dinna miss oor wee mite
In yer Sunday Post... a'right?"
Indecipherable to many southerners, but an
icon to those north of the border, that
young Scottish loon Wullie has been scuffing
around the backstreets of Dundee
since 1936. Wullie and his associates The
Broons were born in the studios of
DC Thomson, and they first appeared in the pages
of 'The Sunday Post' before
branching out into biannual publications.
Both the weekly strips and the annuals
are still published today, 60+ years on. And
you can also get your hands on
tie-in calendars and more.
Wullie is a snotty-faced kid, always bored, always
skint, and always looking for
something to do, some way to cause mischief or
get out of a family gathering, or
some way to get rich quick. Every Wullie strip
opens with the lad perched on his
upturned bucket, or on occasion, just the
bucket on its own because Wullie's
'awa' playin' or 'awa' tae school...' or something
Wullie and his family reside in Dundee, or possibly
Glasgow. The precise setting
isn't identified, but the location is clear and
instantly familiar to anyone who has
grown up in a Scottish town. Wullie spends far
too much of his time dodging
the local bobby, PC Murdoch. His best friends
are his pets, Harry the terrier and
'Jeemy' his mouse. The appeal is in the simplicity.
It's only when you travel to
Scotland that you realise just how iconic
Wullie is. It seems that everyone
knows him, and better still, everyone knows someone just
like him. Why, he's
as Scottish as a fish supper and a can of
Like The Broons, Wullie was originally drawn
by the masterful Dudley Watkins.
After his death in 1969 the publishers made do
with reprinted strips until 1979
when other artists were drafted in, principally
Ken H Harrison. The strips are
faultless. Panels feature full-figures, in
the classic style. But the current strips
aren't locked in some olde worlde timewarp;
Wullie now embraces modern fads
and fancies, as required, like computer games
and their ilk...
Braw And once you've spent all your
hard-earned pennies, you can move on
to Gavin's fab pages. He has a strip history
and cover scans presented
amidst a pleasant purple surround with tartanised
buttons. Gavin's done
the same thing for the Broon family, too,
and he includes a fab biography
of the late, great artist Dudley Watkins...
publisher, with info on all the newspapers, comics
and magazines they produce...