I’ve produced 10 new screenprints of Oor Wullie to celebrate his 80th birthday.
One of them is a medium-sized one (48cms x 38cms) of the very first strip, printed on March 8, 1936. I’ve added a bit of red in the title, but apart from that it’s exactly as it was printed in The Sunday Post, Dundee.
Others show Oor Wullie
– saying it’s a braw day
– setting of on a run with his pals Wee Eck, Soapy Joe and Fat Bob
– being told by his father to get rid of his bucket
– playing goalie
– getting his bike out of the shed
– walking in the rain and chatting to PC Murdoch about it
– wearing his sou’wester in the rain
– trying to do a good deed but being rebuffed
– sitting on a bucket with his pals Soapy Joe and Fat Bob
Oor Wullie’s characteristics are spiky hair, dungarees and he often sits on an upturned bucket to sum up his situation for us.
The strip was originally drawn by the legendary draftsman Dudley D. Watkins, who continued to draw the characters until his death in 1969. They are still appearing every week in The Sunday Post.
I especially enjoy using Watkins’s panels in my screenprints as they were drawn so well – he took great pains to give each panel a well balanced composition. And with just a few lines he was able to give a huge range of expressions to his characters.
The Broons and Oor Wullie have become hugely popular across Scotland – and often seem to regarded as part of Scots’ extended families.
I love the stories for their invention and the language that the characters use – it’s full of Scottish turns of phrase which you don’t often see elsewhere.
The Broons and Oor Wullie are known to every Scot – wherever they may be. Many of my customers are Scots or the children or grandchildren of Scots who live outside Scotland.
I am the first and only screenprinter with permission to use the images of The Broons and Oor Wullie in my work.