Oor Wullie illustrator recognised by new name plaques scheme

THE illustrator behind the comic characters in The Sunday Post newspaper – Oor Wullie and The Broons – has been chosen among 12 historic figures to be honoured by a Scottish Government name plaques scheme.

Dudley D. Watkins is being celebrated by the Commemorative Plaque Scheme for Scotland, in its first year.

He was nominated by the cartoonist on the Edinburgh Evening News, Frank Boyle (pictured right).

Says the Scottish Government: “The Commemorative Plaque Scheme is designed to celebrate the life and achievements of significant historic figures, through the erection of a plaque on their home where they lived, or the building that was particularly synonymous with their achievements.”

The Scottish Government media release continues: “Dudley D. Watkins (1907-1969) made an enormous contribution to Scottish popular culture through his work for publisher DC Thomson. He is best known for iconic Scottish characters Oor Wullie and The Broons which he drew for The Sunday Post from 1936 until his death in 1969. Dudley also illustrated characters such as Lord Snooty for The Beano and Desperate Dan for The Dandy amongst others.”

Also among the 12 are television pioneer John Logie Baird and Norman McLaren, the Stirling-born experimental filmmaker and electronic music artist.

Boyle is quoted, as saying: “I was delighted to nominate Dudley D.Watkins for a commemorative plaque. I absorbed his cartoon strips as a child and he had a big influence on my own work.

“I went to art college in Dundee and I started my career at [Sunday Post publishers] DC Thomson, so it was good to return to the city to see the plaque unveiled. I hope it helps to give Dudley D.Watkins the respect he deserves and to increase the prestige of cartooning as an art form.”

The plaque is being placed at a house in Broughty Ferry, near Dundee, where Watkins once lived.

Pictured (left-to-right) Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Scottish Government; art student, Gavin Downie, who won the competition to design the plaque; and Frank Boyle. Pic courtesy of DC Thomson.