Aboott and Costello, by Walter Bell (Film Fun)

Walter Bell was an artist of English children's comics. He was able to copy the styles of most of his contemporaries, so he was often assigned too fill in for other artists during the artists' holidays or illnesses. He created some characters of his own when he became a freelancer, working at an art studio and later running a studio himself. After being a soldier in World War I, Bell began to pursue his artistic career at the Byron Studios. His first published work was a cartoon in the Daily Chronicle, and he was soon assigned to illustrate Tom Browne's 'Weary Willie and Tired Tim' for Amalgamated Press. He also did cover illustrations for the weekly Illustrated Chips, until he took over the back-page panel 'Casey Court' for ten years. From then on, Bell expanded his activities and took on a variety of independent weekly comics. He drew 'Mat the Middy' for Merry Moments, 'Lottie Looksharp' for The Golden Penny, 'The Sporty Boyees' for The Monster Comic and 'Sonny Shine the Page Boy' for The Jolly Jester. In 1922, Bell began working exclusively for Amalgamated Press. He drew 'Geordie Brown' in Funny Wonder and many characters for the Nursery Group, such as 'Children of the Forest', 'Fun and Frolic in Fairyland', 'Bobbie and his Teddy Bears', 'Redskin Chums' and 'Snow White and her Friends'.

From 1930, Bell illustrated seasonal comic books for Newnes-Pearson, including The Seaside Comic, Christmas Comic, Holiday Commic, Spring Comic and Summer Comic. Amalgamated Press was not amused by Bell's contributions these rival publications, and reduced his assignments. Therefore, Bell began drawing for the comic supplements of national and local newspapers. Among his line of characters were 'Molly the Messenger' in the Daily Mail Comic and 'Jolly Jenkins' in the Daily Express Comic. He eventually moved from newspaper comics to the boys' weekly story department at Amalgamated, where he drew 'Mike, Spike and Greta' for The Pilot, 'Mustard and Pepper' for The Ranger and 'The Professor and the Pop' for Detective Weekly. He also took over George W. Wakefield's 'Bud Abbott and Lou Costello' feature in Film Fun. He later worked for several one-shot comic books at P.M. Productions, such as 'Starry Spangles', 'Jolly Jack-in-the-Box' and his final series, 'Flipper the Skipper'. In his retirement, Bell drew cartoons for his local newspaper, the Barnet Press, until his death in 1979.

Header of Spring Comic, by Walter Bell

Last updated: 2007-05-20

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