Monday, September 3, 2012

The Five Greats - No. 4 - Ken Reid

Ken Reid, born on 19th December 1919 in Manchester, is quite 
possibly the greatest cartoonist Britain has ever seen. 

Even though he was a fantastic illustrator all his life, in the early years he struggled to get a job, and so went knocking on every door of all the publishers in town. He managed to get some small jobs, but to earn a living he needed something big! He eventually got work at the Manchester Evening News, where he drew The Adventures of Budge, which was a story abouy a budgie. Unfortunatly, Ken realised he wasn't particulary good at drawing budgies, and so gave him a companion who would later become the main character - Fudge.

In 1953 D.C. Thomson asked Ken if he wanted to draw a new character called Roger the Dodger for the incredibly popular Beano, and of course he said "yes"! Not long after he was asked to draw Angel Face for The Dandy and, even though he didn't really like drawing females, he took up the project.

Not long after Angel Face was replaced with Grandpa, and Bing Bang Benny would add to Reid's workload! Then, in 1958 he started drawing his all time favourite strip - Jonah!

In 1964 Reid left D.C Thomson to work for Odhams, on their new comic - Wham! It was there he drew some of his best ever work, with characters such as The Nervs, Frankie Stein and Queen of the Seas.

Ken Reid passed away in March 1987, in the middle of drawing a Faceache strip. We have never seen a cartoonist quite as unique as Ken, and we probably never will again.

For more information on Ken Reid simply click here for a downloadable book (the book will download automatically when you click the link).
An original Ken Reid page seen in Comics Britannia!


Peter Gray said...

back from my lovely holiday in Portland Weymouth...

some great example to see these..

George Shiers said...

He's a truly fanatstic artist isn't he! The full colour Jonah strips at the top of the post were repinted in Buddy in the 80's from late 1950's Beano comics.

James Spiring said...

Grandpa cannot have replaced Angel Face as Grandpa is a Beano character.

George Shiers said...

What I meant by that is that Ken Reid started drawing Grandpa, and stopped drawing Angel Face. So Grandpa replaced Angel Face in Reid's workload.