Jolly Joe Jinks, by Bertie Brown 1913

Albert Thacker Brown, known as Bertie Brown, was the cartoonist who created the first 'Charlie Chaplin' comic. It appeared in 1915 in Funny Wonder number 72, a British weekly comic magazine published by Amalgamated Press. Bertie Brown had already been drawing 'Homeless Hector' for Illustrated Chips, also published by Amalgamated Press, since 1908. He also drew for magazine Puck. He illustrated the first color cover in 1913, in the Christmas issue (sold at the staggering price of 2 dimes), with the story 'Xmas adventures of Jolly Joe Jinks'.

Charlie Chaplin, by Bertie Brown

Brown served in the Royal Field Artillery during World War I, and afterwards reassumed his work as an artist for publications like Bubbles, Rainbow, Puck, Jester, Butterfly, Chips, Comic Cuts and Jolly Comic. His serials include 'Pa Perkins and Percy' (Chips, 1922-58), 'Dad Walker and his Son Wally' (Larks, 1927-40), 'Constable Cuddlecook' (Jester, 1920s-1940) and 'Smiler and Smudge' (Butterfly, 1926-40).

Jolly Joe Jinks, by Bertie Brown 1913

A very hard worker, Bertie Brown eventually needed a holiday from the strips, and his 'Charlie Chaplin' comic was temporarily taken over by Freddie Adkins. Brown's last 'Charlie Chaplin' strip was published in 1944, and in 1958 Brown retired. Brown additionally drew other "personality strips" for Radio Fun, Film Fun and T.V. Fun between 1940 and 1958

In all those years, Bertie Brown never signed his name once. The reason was Amalgamated Press's policy of anonymity for artists. Had they been more generous, Bertie Brown would surely be more hallowed in the world of comic art.

Charlie Chaplin, by Bertie Brown 1931

Last updated: 2009-09-18

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