William Ward was a British animator and comic book artist, best-known for drawing the British 'Donald Duck' serials and his work for Gerald Swan comic books. He was born William Albert Ward in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, and most likely began his career as a cartoonist in the 1910s. Between 1924 and 1926, he worked as an animator for Gordon Craig's New Era Films Ltd. on 26 'Bonzo' shorts, based on a character by Daily Sketch cartoonist George Ernest Studdy. He continued to work as a cartoonist until the late 1930s.
By then, he was hired by Odhams Press to draw a series of continuing 'Donald Duck' comics for Mickey Mouse Weekly. Besides the dailies by Al Taliaferro and the early Italian comics, these stories are among the first comic appearances of the character. Ward's first story is even considered the first Duck adventure comic ever. He drew twelve serials between 1937 and 1940, and gave Donald co-stars like the girl Donna (from the short) and the Scottish sailor Mac (an original character). His stories had strange and wildly imaginative settings like the Wild West, the Arabian Nights, 5000 fathoms under the sea, the moon and the planet Venus.
Ward then began an association with Gerald Swan, who had started publishing comic books in 1938. He worked for many of the Swan titles throughout the 1940s and first half of the 1950s, including Thrill Comics, Fresh Fun, Tropical Funnies, Extra Fun and Knockout. Like in his Duck-stories, he showcased a talent for widely imaginative stories, with an oddball sense of humor, that sometimes seemed more suited for a mature audience.
His work was furthermore very varied, from stories with funny characters like 'Sheriff Fox', the Popeye-like 'Binnacle Bill', 'Scrounger', 'Sir Gallivant', 'Flip and Fatty' and 'Willie the Wizard', to hardboiled adventure serials like 'The Iron Warrior', 'Hurrican Hurry', 'Krakos the Egyptian' and 'Dr. Satani - Crime Chemist'. William Ward apparently passed away in Essex in 1958.