Ebb and Flo, by Wilfred Haughton (1941)

Wilfred Haughton was a British artist, who drew the first 'Mickey Mouse' comics for Mickey Mouse Annual. The Annual appeared from 1930. Therefore, Haughton is one of the first European Disney artists, along with the Italian Federico Pedrocchi.

Part of a cover for Mickey Mouse Weekly, by Wilfred Haughton

Haughton drew short stories, featuring characters like Mickey, Minnie, Horace, Clarabelle, Goofy and Butch. When the Mickey Mouse Weekly begin in 1936, Haughton drew beautiful covers, strongly inspired by the early cartoons. He eventually did some comics as "mini-comics", with text balloons and gags.

Mickey Mouse, by Wilfred Haughton

Other British artists that worked for the magazine were William A. Ward, who did 'Donald Duck' stories, and Basil Reynolds, who drew stories with 'Goofy'. Haughton also did four long continuing 'Goofy & Toby' stories in 1936, in which Goofy and Toby Tortoise were detectives.

Goofy and Toby, by Wilfred Haughton

Haughton drew his final Mickey Mouse Weekly cover in 1940 (for Weekly 229) and worked on Disney comics until 1941 (last work in Mickey Mouse Annual 12, published in 1941 as the annual for 1942). Prior to his Disney work, Haughton drew a humorous strip about two negro children, called 'Ebb and Flo', in The Daily Herald. He has also invented toys and he was a producer of puppet trickfilms. Wilfred Haughton passed away in the early 1980s.

cover by Wilfred Haughton

Margi Duvenhage, Haughton's granddaughter wrote to Lambiek:

"As kids, we used to watch him making his puppet movies in our garage - and in fact, I still have his original movie camera (with a receipt of purchase dated 1956), as well as his film reels. (Have not had a chance to view them.) My mum and I used to help him make clothes for his puppets. He designed the first puppets not requiring "strings", but foam molded with wires inserted in the foam bodies and limbs, to enable him to move the arms, legs, head and torso, frame by frame giving the impression of flowing movement. He used to call them "bendy dolls".

My kids used to sit with him at his desk, which I now have, and he used to show them how to draw Mickey Mouse and Goofy. Kept them occupied for ages."

Additional info courtesy of David Gerstein
Last updated: 2012-08-14

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