Wasdale Brown's 'Rupert Bear' (3 June 1933).

Wasdale Brown was a British illustrator, who worked for newspaper supplements in the 1930s. He is notorious for drawing a completely off-model 'Rupert Bear' for the Daily Express Children's Own in 1933. 

Life and career
He was born in 1902 as Dudley Wasdale Brown in Croydon, Surrey. Brown was the son of a miller. He was the illustrator of the book 'Scrubby Bear's Adventures' (1932), published by W. Clowes & Sons in the 'Little Folks Series of Toy Books' series. His artwork also appeared in newspaper comic supplements of the 1930s, such as the Boys & Girls Own Yorkshire Evening News and The South Wales Echo. In June 1933 he was also present in the Daily Express Children's Own, a short-lived attempt at a giveaway supplement by the Daily Express. Artists for this supplement were George Parlett, Walter Bell and Murdock Stimpson.

Brown's Rupert Bear
By that time, Mary Tourtel's 'Rupert Bear' was The Daily Express' stand-out story feature. It therefore only seemed natural to have Rupert appear in the giveaway supplement as well. However, Tourtel's health and eyesight were already declining. More and more the paper had to rely on reprints. So, instead, another artist, Wasdale Brown, was assigned to create a 'Rupert' story for the supplement. In this tale, 'Rupert's Revenge' (1933), the iconic bear is barely (pun not intended) recognizable. His feet resemble the claws of an actual bear. His face is completely off-model. Overall, Wasdale's version lacks the charm of Tourtel's creation. It has not been reported how readers reacted to this "poor man's version" of their hero. Yet The Daily Express Children's Own was a short-lived experiment anyway, making Brown's contribution to the 'Rupert Bear' history a mere footnote. By the time Mary Tourtel was completely unable to draw, the paper went to great lengths to find a suitable replacement. Instead of Wasdale Brown, Alfred Bestall became Rupert's new author in 1935. Originally assigned for only six weeks, Bestall would eventually continue 'Rupert' for the next two decades, bringing the series to unprecedented heights. 

Wasdale Brown passed away in the third quarter of 1959, in his birth town Surrey. 

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