Comic Artist Bill Titcombe: A Checklist

Complementing our celebration of British comic artist, illustrator and painter Bill Titcombe, here’s a checklist of his work from the 1950s onwards, including memories from those who worked with him or whose imaginations he captured along the way…

You can read our celebration of his work here.

This checklist is largely compiled from research by Steve Holland and David A. Roach, with additional notes from Andrew Donkin, David Slinn, Shaqui Le Vesconte and others.

Information on Bill’s Amalgamated Press credits is compiled from company payment books. Bill skilfully “ghosted” the style of regular artists on some strips listed, the payment notes the only confirmation of his contributions.

Further information is very welcome.

1956 – Knockout 1957 Annual

Resized several strips for reprinting in the annual while working for the company

1950s – Knockout

Bill appears to have “ghosted” the style of the other artists on some of these strips

• Todd and Annie
Issues 867 – 903 (some)

• Our Ernie
Issues 885 – 1028 (some), Issues 1032 on. Scripts from 26th December 1959 onwards

• Billy Bunter
Issues 1008 – 1012

• Sinbad Sims
Issue 1026 only, cover dated 9th January 1960

1950s – Film Fun

• Jerry Lewis: Issues 1953 – 1994 (some)

1960s – Knockout

• Space Age Kit 1960 onwards

“Space Age Kit” for Knockout No. 1110, cover dated 4th April 1960, credited to Bill Titcombe

1960 – 1961 – Buster

• Buster Son of Andy Capp
First issue cover dated 28th May 1960 – issue cover dated 4th February 1961

The cover of Buster No. 3, cover dated 11th June 1960. Buster art by Bill Titcombe
The cover of Buster No. 3, cover dated 11th June 1960. Buster art by Bill Titcombe

• Buster’s Diary
Issues cover dated 6th August 1960 – cover dated 4th February 1961

• Buster of Bygone Days
Issue cover dated 24th September 1960 – issue cover dated 4th February 1961

1960s – TV Comic

Dates listed indicate year strip began, with some dates for final appearance – amendments welcome

• TV Terrors
Bega in 1963

• Bootsie and Snudge
Began in 1963

• The Dickie Henderson Family
Began in 1963

TV Comic No. 607 cover dated 3rd August 1963 - The Dickie Henderson Family
TV Comic No. 607 cover dated 3rd August 1963 – “The Dickie Henderson Family

• The Telegoons
Started in Issue 619, cover dated 26th October 1963, and running until Issue 787, cover dated 14th January 1967, running to some 169 weekly strips, as well as annual appearances.

TV Comic - The Telegoons
“The Telegoons” from an issue of TV Comic

• World Cup Willie
1966

• Adam Adamant
1967

“TV Comic went through a redesign during January 1967,” recalls comic artist David Slinn, “with John Canning’s ‘Doctor Who’ encountering the Daleks on the cover, while Bill started a spell on the new ‘Adam Adamant’ series, until Patrick Williams took it over that April.”

“Adam Adamant” from TV Comic Issue 768, cover dated 21st January 1967. With thanks to David Slinn​
“Adam Adamant” from TV Comic Issue 768, cover dated 21st January 1967. With thanks to David Slinn​

• Ken Dodd’s Diddymen
Began in Issue 810, cover dated 24th June 1967 – 1969

“I first became aware of Bill’s work in the late 1960s when he was drawing the cover feature of TV Comic, ‘Ken Dodd’s Diddymen’,” notes fellow comics creator Lew Stringer. “It caught my interest and I became a regular reader from that point. His style was so fresh and different from the usual material in children’s humour comics at the time.”

• Laurel and Hardy
Began in Issue 842 (cover dated 3rd February, 1968 – Issue 1291, cover dated 11th September, 1976

"Laurel and Hardy" from TV Comic No. 842, cover sated 3rd February 1968
“Laurel and Hardy” from TV Comic Issue 842, cover sated 3rd February 1968

• Tom and Jerry
Started in Issue 909, cover dated 17th May 1969, running for over 10 years into the 1980s

The are claims that in the UK, Hanna-Barbera insisted at one point that only Bill Titcombe draw the characters, who also featured on merchandise in the 1970s.

1965 – 1967 TV Century 21

• My Favourite Martian Issues 1- 70, 77-104

“My Favourite Martian” from TV21 Summer Extra 1965. With thanks to David Slinn
“My Favourite Martian” from TV21 Summer Extra 1965. With thanks to David Slinn

• Get Smart – Issues 71-76

1966 -1968 – Lady Penelope

• Bewitched
Issues 1 – 149

"Bewitched", with art by Bill Titcombe, from the second issue of Lady Penelope, cover dated 22nd January 1966
“Bewitched”, with art by Bill Titcombe, from the second issue of Lady Penelope, cover dated 22nd January 1966

• What Did That Dog Say?

1968 – Ken Dodd’s Diddymen Annual 1968 

Illustrations

1968 – Lady Penelope Annual

• What Did that Dog Say ?

1968 – 1969 – Mary, Mungo and Midge Annual

Illustrations

1970s – 1980s – TV Comic

• Tom and Jerry
Continued until the 1980s

A typical episode of “Tom and Jerry”, from TV Comic. With thanks to Peter Gray
A typical episode of “Tom and Jerry”, from TV Comic. With thanks to Peter Gray

• Barney Bear
Started in 1973 (To Be Confirmed) – 1980s. Some episode were drawn by Bill Mevin

“Barney Bear”, a reprint from TV Comic Holiday Special 1979. This was previously published in colour in TV Comic itself. With thanks to Peter Gray
“Barney Bear”, a reprint from TV Comic Holiday Special 1979. This was previously published in colour in TV Comic itself. With thanks to Peter Gray

• Animal Magic 1973? – 75

• Dads Army
Began in Issue 1058, cover dated 25th March 1972, its first run in the comic continuing until Issue 1100, cover dated 13th January 1973, then moving to TV Action. When that title merged with TV Comic with Issue 1133, cover dated 1st September 1973, “Dad’s Army” returned until issue 1275, cover dated 22nd May 1976.

“Dad’s Army” make their debut in TV Comic Issue 1058, cover dated 25th March 1972

• The Bisto Kids
Began in 1981

“The Bisto Kids” from TV Comic, cover dated 29th October 1982. With thanks to Peter Gray

• Bugs Bunny
Began in 1981

1976 – 1990s – Look-In

• Benny Hill
Began in the issue cover dated 29th May 1976 – 1981

A rare colour "Benny Hill" by Bill Titcombe, from the TV Comedy Scene Special 1976. With thanks to Shaquille le Vesconte
A rare colour “Benny Hill” by Bill Titcombe, from the TV Comedy Scene Special 1976. With thanks to Shaquille le Vesconte

• Flintlock
Began in Issue cover dated 30th October 1976 – 19th February 1977

• The Tomorrow People
Issue cover dated 6th February 1977 – 26th March 1977

• Mind Your Language
Issue cover dated 14th October 1978 – 8th March 1980

• Metal Mickey
Unpublished (1981)

• Doctor on the Go
April 1977 until the strip’s end in October 1978

• Charlie’s Angels
Issue cover dated 11th April 1981 – 30th May 1981

• Rock On Tommy/ Cannon and Ball
Issue cover dated 25th July 1981 – 9th April 1988

A page of "Rock on Tommy" with Cannon and Ball from Look-In. Art by Bill Titcombe. With thanks to Tony Foster
A page of “Rock on Tommy” with Cannon and Ball from Look-In. Art by Bill Titcombe. With thanks to Tony Foster

• That’s My Boy
Issue cover dated 15th March 1986 -14th June 1986

• Inspector Gadget
Issue cover dated 27th September 1986 – 1989?

Two pages of original pen and ink art for “Inspector Gadget” for Look-In, drawn by Bill Titcombe, published in Look-in Issue 9 for 1989. Via The Book Palace

• Scooby Doo
Issue cover dated 27th September 1986 – 1994?

Scooby and his pals actually help some ghosts against the avaricious Shockless Sherlock in this episode of the "Scooby Doo" strip from Look-In No. 3 (1988). Via The Book Palace
Scooby and his pals actually help some ghosts against the avaricious Shockless Sherlock in this episode of the “Scooby Doo” strip from Look-In No. 3 (1988). Via The Book Palace

• Super Gran
1987 – 1990?

• Woody Woodpecker
Began in 1987

• Dogtanian
1989 – 1990?

Look-in Television Annual 1976

• Man About the House

Look-in Television Annual 1977

• Doctor On The Go

1976 – 1977 – Krazy

• A Krazy Look at TV

Bill Titcombe provided numerous one-page gag panels for Krazy, including this meeting of The Six Million Dollar Man with The Bionic Woman for the title’s first issue, published in 1976

1977 – 1981 – Tat the Cat

Tat the Cat by Audrey Titcombe, illustrated by Bill Titcombe - the first of series of popular books
Tat the Cat by Audrey Titcombe, illustrated by Bill Titcombe – the first of series of popular books

Book illustrations and comic strip, series written by Audrey Titcombe. In Tat the Cat, “Tat” goes on an adventure away from his farmyard home and meets a friendly dog who helps him home.

1978 – 1979 The Absent Minded Mallard Morgan

The Absent Minded Mallard Morgan by Audrey Titcombe, illustrated by Bill Titcombe
The Absent Minded Mallard Morgan by Audrey Titcombe, illustrated by Bill Titcombe

Book Illustrations. Written by Audrey Titcombe, a rather dozy duck embarks on a journey down the river and luckily survives the experience, thanks to some new friends.

1983 (TBC) – Cannon and Ball Annual

Strip work

1983-86 – Pippin

• Wind in the Willows

1986 – Wind in the Willows Annual 1987 

Illustrations

1980s – Roy of the Rovers

• The Sunday Squad
Written by Andrew Donkin and Graham S. Brand (reprinted later in ROTR monthly) – ran in late 1980s issues

“‘The Sunday Squad’ was a comedy strip about a hopeless team of Sunday morning footballers,” recalls co-writer Andrew Donkin, today perhaps best known for the award-winning graphic novel Illegal, written with Eoin Colfer. “Bill was the perfect choice as artist.

“I remembered reading loads of his strips as a kid. He produced so much fantastic work for TV Comic and later Look-In. He can do anything. He is a great collaborator as well.

“He’d ring up after he received each weekly script in the post and have a chuckle at the gags and talk abut his plans for the pages. He is always an absolutely pleasure to work with and we stayed friends to this day. He’s the biggest fan of awful jokes that I’ve ever met.”

1987 – 1994 – News of the World

• Perils of Page Three Pauline
368 episodes

Original art for the “Perils of Page 3 Pauline” strip for News of the World, written by Jonathan Stock, with art by Bill Titcombe

1990s – Fast Forward

• Byker Grove

A page of “Byker Grove” from Fast Forward, with thanks to Philip Rushton
A page of “Byker Grove” from Fast Forward, with thanks to Philip Rushton

• TV Centre

An episode of “TV Centre”, starring CBBC stars, for the BBC’s 1990s Fast Forward magazine, which only had a few pages of strips per issue. Other artists included Nigel Parkinson

1994 – Roy of the Rovers Monthly

• The Sunday Squad
Written by Andrew Donkin and Graham S. Brand (possibly reprint from ROTR weekly)

1999 – Tweenies Sticker Book

Book illustrations

2001 – Tweenies Come Back Colours

Book illustrations

2015 Jungle Medics

Available as a digital title, published by Seafarer Books

A page from Jungle Medics, created by Bill Titcombe © 2020 Bill Titcombe

FURTHER READING

Barn Owl by Bill Titcombe
Barn Owl by Bill Titcombe

Bill Titcombe – Biography at Suffolk Artists

The Art Gallery – Earnsham Hall

Some of Bill’s work is on display at this gallery near to Bungay, Suffolk

• Bill Titcombe – Biography at Suffolk Artists

The Art Gallery – Earnsham Hall

Some of Bill’s work is on display at this gallery near to Bungay, Suffolk

• Bill Titcombe – Lambiek

• Bill Titcombe Art on the Illustration Art Gallery

• Books featuring the work of Bill Titcombe on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

• Books featuring the work of Bill Titcombe on eBayUK

• Bill Titcombe – Telegoons Site

• Murdersville: Adam Adamant in TV Comic

• BFI – Bill Titcombe’s Film Credits

• Bill’s Tribute in The Guardian to his wife, Audrey

Bill described Audrey as an inspiration to all who knew her. “I met her in 1959 and was immediately taken by her generosity of spirit,” he recalled, “as she paid my bus fare to the station at Romford, north-east London, where we both lived. After a brief romance, we married and went on to live together for 51 years.”

With thanks for both images and memories included in our two items about Bill Titcombe to Andrew Donkin, Matt Dyer, Peter Gray, Peter Greenwood, Allan Harvey, Martin Hand, Nigel Parkinson, Tim Quinn, David A. Roach, Philip Rushton, Phil Shrimpton, Dez Skinn, David Slinn, Lew Stringer and Shaqui le Vesconte

All strips © respective licence holders and publishers, including Rebellion Publishing Ltd | All paintings and Jungle Medics © 2020 Bill Titcombe

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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2 replies

  1. Great research! May I add that Bill’s Laurel & Hardy run in TV COMIC lasted from issue no. 842 (3rd of February, 1968) until issue no. 1291 (11th of September, 1976)?
    Best, Christian

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