Denis Gifford was born in Forest Hill, London, on Boxing Day 1927. He made his first comic, 'The Ragtime', when he was still a kid. By the time he was fifteen he was spending his homework time drawing adventures of 'Pansy Potter' in The Beano magazine. After a brief spell as junior cartoonist on Reynold's News, he was called into the RAF, where he spent his duty weekends drawing a super-hero comic-book, 'Streamline', for a Manchester publisher. After demob he set up a studio with another cartoonist chum, Bob Monkhouse, producing complete comics for the many small publishers that proliferated in the late 1940s.
Then he joined Knockout magazine, the top comic of the day, taking over the popular favorites 'Our Ernie' (created by Charles Holt) and 'Stonehenge Kit the Ancient Brit'. He also did a long spell on 'Marvelman' comics, and the daily satire strip 'Telestrip' in the London Evening News. Other comics he worked on were 'Simon the Simple Sleuth', 'William Wagtail' and 'Dicky Diddle'. The only comic Denis Gifford created himself was 'Steadfast McStaunch', which ran from 1950 to 1952. For some reason, Denis Gifford was allowed to sign his work, when most of the other British and Scottish artist working for publisher DC Thompson remained anonymous to their readership.
Denis Gifford has written over 50 books, mostly on the subjects of comics and cinema, and can be regarded as one of British foremost comic experts. Ever since he was young, he collected comics, until his collection completely took over his house. He also created several programs for radio and television, the last one being the radio show 'A Hundred Laughs for a Ha'penny', about the history of comics, which he did in 1999 together with his old friend Bob Monkhouse. Denis Gifford died in May 2000.
This Comiclopedia owes a lot to the outstanding work of Denis Gifford.