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Honour for genius who drew Oor Wullie and Broons

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Dudley D. Watkins was the genius whose pen brought us the Broons and Oor Wullie, the nation’s favourite comic strip characters.

And no doubt his famous charges would say it was “awfy braw” that the famous illustrator has now been honoured by a commemorative plaque.

The artist, who died in 1969, is one of just 12 iconic figures commemorated in the first year of a new Historic Scotland scheme.

A plaque recognising his achievements was unveiled at his former home in Reres Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, by Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop last week.

Sunday Post editor Donald Martin was at the unveiling. He said: “I’m delighted Dudley D. Watkins’ legacy has been deservedly marked by Historic Scotland.

“Dudley was responsible for illustrating The Sunday Post’s iconic cartoon characters, Oor Wullie and The Broons, which continue to be an integral part of the newspaper to this day.”

Born in 1907 Dudley was hailed a “schoolboy genius” in his home town of Nottingham for his artistic talent.

A short contract with publishers DC Thomson in 1925 became a hugely productive 45-year career that saw the creation of some of Britain’s most iconic cartoon characters.

He worked on comics including the Dandy and the Beano, creating characters such as Desperate Dan, Biffo the Bear and Lord Snooty.

In the war years, his work regularly lampooned Nazi leaders so much so that he was included on a ‘death list’ of enemies of the Third Reich.

The nominations for the plaques were submitted by the public, with the final 12 chosen by an independent panel of experts.

The inaugural year of the scheme celebrates the Year of Creative Scotland.