'Num Num and his Funny Family', including the fan favorite "Drag-a-Chair Cat" (TV Toyland, 30 July 1966).

Gordon Hutchings was a British comic artist and children's book illustrator, whose comics work appeared in pre-school and TV-related magazines during the 1950s and 1960s. He was the second artist to continue 'Gulliver Guinea-Pig' in Playhour, and the original illustrator of 'Num Num and his Funny Family' (1966) in TV Toyland and Playhour.

Early comics career
Gordon Hutchings was born as the son of a painter, whose wife was also artistically gifted. His brothers Tony Hutchings and Roger Hutchings would later become graphic artists in their own right. He started his career drawing comics for the British Disney magazine Mickey Mouse Weekly by Odhams Press in the early 1950s. Later on, his feature 'Professor Bobble' (1958), the title launched by Odhams Press for its own strips when the publisher lost the Disney license. For the celebrity comics publication TV Comic he drew 'Nick the TV Star' (1953) and 'Pancho and Pepe' (1954).

Nursery comics
He became affiliated with the nursery comics of the Amalgamated Press near the middle of the decade, becoming part of the regular artists team, along with Hugh McNeill, Philip Mendoza, Bert Felstead, Peter Woolcock, Jim Turnbull, Antonio Lupatelli and Sergio Astertiti. His first jobs were creating 'The Little Mermaid' for Playhour's 1957 annual and an episode of 'Peter Puppet in Puzzle Land' (1956) in Playhour. Hutchings took over Philip Mendoza's 'Gulliver Guinea-Pig' (1958-1965) from 1961 on until the comic's conclusion four years later. By the turn of the decade he was the main artist of the cover feature 'Sooty' (1960-1961), which was based on the TV puppet show created by Harry Corbett whose previous comics adventures appeared in TV Comic, drawn by Tony Hart.

In Jack and Jill, children could enjoy his comic strips 'The Merry Adventures of Pixie Pip' (1958-1961) and 'Tiny Tales of Gregory Grasshopper' (1958-1960), alongside occasional fill-in work of 'Freddie Frog', a character created by Peter Woolcock. He furthermore served as the colorist for Hugh McNeill's 'The Fun and Frolics of Harold Hare' (1960), wich also appeared in Jack and Jill. From 1959 on he was present in Harold Hare's Own Paper, a pre-school magazine named after McNeill's creation, published by IPC. Hutchings contributed 'Dagwood Duck' and 'The Little Horses'.

'The Magic Roundabout' (Playhour and TV Toyland, 24 June 1967).

Hutchings studio
His brothers Tony Hutchings and Roger Hutchings were also active as comic artists for most of the same magazines Gordon worked for. In 1963 they set up their own studio in Soho where they worked on design, animation and book illustrations. During this period, Gordon Hutchings illustrated 'Num Num and his Funny Family' (1966) which appeared as an illustrated text feature written by Barbara Hayes in TV Toyland and was continued a year later as a picture story in Playhour. For the latter magazine's front cover he also drew 'The Magic Roundabout' (1967), which based based on the British version of the French TV show 'Le Manège Enchanté' by Serge Danot. Hutchings' stories with the elephant 'Pinkie Puff' (1969) appeared in Bobo Bunny, while 'Jenny the Gingerbread Boy' (1974) could be read in Bonnie. Most of the nursery turned to reprints during the 1970s, and Gordon Hutchings' later career and life are shrouded in mystery.

comic art by Gordon Hutchings
Gordon Hutchings also made cover illustrations for Royal Publications Inc's sci-fi magazine Science Fiction Adventures (1959).

Gordon Hutchings on the Bear Alley

Series and books by Gordon Hutchings you can order today:


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