Wynne W. Davies was a British magazine illustrator, best known for his covers for pulp novels and movie posters. He spent a large part of his career in Australia and, less than a decade, in the United States. Davies made one comic strip during his Australian period, the children's series 'Percy the Pommy' (1925-1926), also known as 'Percy Plantaganet'.

Early life and career
Wynne Weston Davies was born in 1892 in the Hornsey district of London, United Kingdom. His father was a cabinet maker of Welsh descent, who worked for a furniture company. When Davies was 11 he won a scholarship to study at the South Kensington Museum School of Art. From 1911 on, he travelled the world as a sea merchant. After four years he settled down in Sydney, Australia, where he would spent most of his remaining life. Originally he worked as a farmhand in Queensland. When Australia got involved in the First World War, Davies' brothers were drafted and died in combat. He was lucky: because of a medical condition he escaped the draft. By 1922 Davies started a new career as a commercial artist. The British immigrant opened an art studio in Sydney. Here he would take assignments to illustrate magazine articles and film posters.


'Percy the Pommy' (The Funny Side, 10 May 1925).

Percy Plantaganet
In 1925 Davies drew a comic for the Sunday children's supplement of Sydney's The Sunday Times, The Funny Side. The first episode appeared on the supplement's back page on 10 May 1925, then transferred to its first page on 28 June, and was then continued in The Funny Side's successor Pranks from 9 August 1925 until 21 March 1926. Originally it carried the title 'The Strange Adventures of Percy the Pommy', with the word "pom" referring to a pejorative Australian slang term for "Briton". The title character, Percy Plantaganet, was an English boy in a neat uniform. He bore a canny resemblance to Perry Winkle from Martin Branner's U.S. comic strip 'Perry and the Rinky Dinks'. After the launch of Pranks, the comic was retitled 'The Strange Adventures of Percy Plantaganet', presumably to not offend English readers.

With 'Percy', Davies was one of the earliest artists of original newspaper comics in Australia. He was preceded by B. Ericsson ('Algy & Kitty' in The Golden Age, 1916), Stan Cross ('You & Me' in Smith's Weekly, 1920), Jimmy Bancks ('Us Fellas' in the Sunday Sun, 1921) and Harry Julius (several strips in the Sunday Times since 1921). In Pranks, Davies' comic appeared alongside 'Betty and Bill' by Ruth Vickery, 'Hapless Herbert and the Two Rogues' by L. De Koningh and the licensed 'Felix the Cat' by Pat Sullivan. Percy's spot was filled by Norman McMurray's 'Fish and Chips' from 9 May 1926 on.

Move to the United States
Through his activities as a poster designer for motion pictures between 1928 and 1930, he also visited the Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles, California. In 1931 Davies moved to the USA altogether, settling in the Hollis neighborhood in Queens, New York City. There, he became a prolific illustrator of pulp novels. He painted cover art for titles such as 'Murder Mysteries', 'Gay Night, Paris Nights', 'Scarlet Adventures', 'Star Novels' and 'True Gang Life', and made story illustrations for 'Ace Sorts', 'Exciting Western', 'Five Novels Monthly', 'Popular Sports', 'Popular Western', 'Texas Rangers' and 'Thrilling Western'. Davies briefly returned to Australia in 1933, only to move to the U.S. again and stay there until 1938.

Later life and career
Back in Sydney, Davies' artwork could be seen in The Sydney Bulletin and Australian Women's Weekly, for which he made several full-color covers. He also illustrated A.E. Martin's novel 'Old Sinners Never Die' when it was serialized in the latter magazine between December 1944 and March 1945. During the Second World War, Davies worked as a camouflage instructor for the New South Wales Army. He continued making pulp covers for the Australian pulp digest magazines Frontier Western, Western Monthly, Zane Grey's Western Magazine and Western Monthly, published by Shakespeare Head Press and Consolidated Press. Wynne Davies died in 1963 at age 71.

Percy the Pom, by Wynne W. Davies (Pranks, 1925)

Wynne W. Davies on pulpartists.com

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