Ken Reid

Manchester-born Ken Reid (1919-1987) was introduced to D.C. Thomson by his artist brother-in-law, Bill Holdroyd. Reid is probably best known for creating Roger the Dodger (1953) and Grandpa (1955). He also drew Angel Face and Bing-Bang Benny for The Dandy.

His masterpiece, however, was the one-man nautical disaster Jonah which started in issue 817 (March 15 1958) and ran until June 8th 1963. Jonah was apparently Reid’s personal favourite, and few would disagree. Jonah was replaced by his similarly goonish schoolgirl sister, "Jinx", but this strip was shortlived as Reid left Thomsons the following year. He was persuaded to go by his friend Leo Baxendale, to help him with the new comic Wham!.

Another well-known character, Frankie Stein, was created for Wham! (later revived in Shiver and Shake and Whoopee! by Robert Nixon). Reid was particularly drawn to the macabre, as with his 'Creepy Creations' in the former. Otherwise, his most notable characteristic is facial contortion. Most of his strips centre on a maniacal character bringing disaster down upon his fellows, who respond with Reid's trademark howls of dismay. His seventies strip Faceache (Monster Fun, later Buster) combines these two facets of his work in the eponymous hero who can 'scrunge' his face into innumerable bizarre formations.