Monday, 3 February 2014


As most of you will know by now, THE SUNDAY POST has been
giving away a different, free, 32 page magazine about THE BROONS
for the last three Sundays. I've posted about the previous two issues, so it
would be unfair to ignore the latest (and last) one. Here, therefore, are some
images of the incredible KEN H. HARRISON's superb artwork from the
pages of the third magazine. All images, of course, remain the copyright


Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Ken Harrison is a really superb cartoonist - I find it strange that UK comics are struggling yet a regional (in UK terms - National as of course its Scottish) comic strip like the Broons and Oor Wullie sell so well in annuals and in the Post via expensive supplements (including a variety of puzzle books, cook books etc) - I realise that these strips have the pull of the larger circulation of a newspaper to help them but do you think that's all it is down to or is their a market for a comic based on this type of story (not particularly Scottish, but a family type UK historic related strip) ? McScotty

Kid said...

McScotty, I'd be interested to know exactly how well The Broons and Oor Wullie books actually sell these days. I suspect the numbers are well down, although obviously they're still making enough to warrant continued publication (for the moment). After all, Dennis the Menace is surely far more well-known, yet his annual was cancelled a year or two back. I suspect the popularity of The Broons and Oor Wullie is, as you suggest, down to a larger newspaper circulation creating an appetite for the characters. How long will that last 'though? Newspaper circulation is itself in decline these days.

baab said...

I gradually stopped reading the Broons and Oor Wullie after Dudley D. Watkins' work stopped being published.
According to wiki that would have been around 1976.

I had a keen eye for the artwork and the difference was not subtle for me.
I felt short changed.
(even though it cost me no pence)

I recall an Oor Wullie annual, it could also have been the Broons, where one page was Dudley D. Watkins and the next was the new artist throughout the book...... hmmmmm.
I may have just imagined it,but it would make sense.

The artwork above is pretty good though.
Is Ken H. Harrison the artist who eventually took over?

Gey Blabby said...

Based on the examples that you've shown us recently, Kid, I must say that I've been very impressed with Ken Harrison's work. I thought his early work on the characters was extremely poor, but, credit where credit's due, he has matured into a fine cartoonist. His work here is reminiscent of Dudley D., but he has managed to add his own touches, as well. Best of all he seems to be able to capture the individuality of each of the Broons family members.

Gey Blabby said...


Those annuals that you mentioned were the reason that I stopped reading The Broons and Oor Wullie, too. The difference in quality between the reprinted Watkins stories and the new ones by Ken Harrison was so extreme that it became depressing to turn from one page to the next.

Kid said...

Baab, there were I believe, a couple (at least) of other artists who took over once the Dudley Watkins reprints ended and before Ken Harrison took over. Even Bob Nixon had a go later on, sometimes alternating with Harrison, but his style didn't quite suit.


GB, I don't recall seeing a bad Broons or Wullie strip by Harrison, so could you perhaps be mistaking the work of a previous artist for his? I think he's the only artist since Watkins to do full justice to the characters.

Gey Blabby said...

'Puff! Pech!'

I've just been digging out a few of the old annuals, Kid, to check my facts. Some OW strips are signed Ken H. Harrison, some are signed either DP or PD, and some are unsigned. Of these, the ones by KHH are superior to the others, I think.
The main culprit and the one on which I based my earlier criticisms was The Broons annual from 1979. It seems to feature work by three artists: Watkins, of course, and two unnamed artists. Since KHH seems to sign his strips, I've obviously made a mistake in attributing the really poor ones to him; so apologies all round. I've obviously become so disappointed by some of the artwork following DDW that I've lumped KHH in with the very bad stuff. It just shows how the old memory can play tricks on you.

Kid said...

Never mind, GB. Now that you've dug them out, you may as well read them. Just skip the (relatively) poorly drawn ones.

ray moote said...

The first artist to take on the Broons and Wullie after Watkins demise was Tom Lavery. Not a bad cartoon artist but obviously no Watkins. Other artists who followed included John Polland, Bob Nixon and current artist Peter Davidson.

Kid said...

Ah,of course - Tom Lavery. (I think he drew Fred the Flop in The Sparky.) His work was reprinted in the 2013 Broons & Oor Wullie book, which I have. Peter Davidson is a competent cartoonist, but his layouts are a bit flat, with too many panels drawn from the same perspective. Ken Harrison's pages are much more 'alive'.

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