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Keykate

"Keyhole Kate", The Dandy

Samuel Allan Morley was born in Scarborough on 29 April 1895, son of Samuel Morley, a local politician and footballer who died when his son was four years old. When Morley left school he and his mother moved to London, and he he went to art school in Hendon. His first published work in comics was probably in James Henderson & Sons' The Big Comic c. 1913, and he got more work from Henderson and the Amalgamated Press. He drew "Our Cinematic Cartoons" for Pictures and Picturegoer c. 1915.

He served in the army during the First World War, and entertained the troops as a ventriloqist. He continued to draw for the AP's comic, including "Harry Tate" (1919) for Merry and Bright, and "Gilbert the Goalie" (1921), "Romo the Guide" (1924) and "Casey Court" for The Funny Wonder.

From 1925 he also worked for DC Thomson, and from 1927 he worked for them exclusively, drawing short comic strips in their story papers, including "Nosey Parker, Our Prize Busybody" (1925) for The Rover, "Dogged Dan the Schoolboard Man" (1927) for Adventure, "Roving Rufus" (1928) and "Nero and Zero" (1930) for The Wizard, "Kid Kod and Kipper" (1931) for The Skipper and "Silas Snatcher the Truant Catcher" (1933) for The Hotspur, many of which were reprinted in the Sunday Post's Fun Section. When The Dandy launched in 1937, Morley drew "Keyhole Kate", "Hungry Horace" and "Freddy the Fearless Fly". He drew prolifically for The Dandy and its stablemates The Beano (including "The Magic Lollipops" and "Big Fat Joe"), The Magic Comic (including "Uncle Dan the Menagierie Man", 1953, and "Dolly Dimple") and The Topper (including "Nosey Parker", 1956) for the next 15 years. From 1947 on he was allowed to sign his work.

He died in Thanet, Kent, on 5 September 1960, leaving a widow and one daughter, Mary.

ReferencesEdit

  • Alan Clark, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, pp. 116-117

Online referenceEdit

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