William Sawers "Bud" Neill was born in Partick, Glasgow, on 5 November 1911, the son of Thomas Neill, a hammerman, and Jessie Hendrie Reid, a confectioner's assistant, who married later in the year. His family moved to Troon, Ayrshire, where he grew up watching silent western films and grooming horses in the local stables. After he left school, he studied at Glasgow School of Art.
He lived in Canada for a year in the late 1930s, where he discovered the work of the great North American newspaper cartoonists. After returning to Scotland, he served in the Second World War as a gunner, before being wounded and invalided out of the service. He worked as a bus driver in Glasgow for a while, which inspired him to draw a series of pocket cartoons about the city's "caurs" (tramcars) and their "clippies" (female conductors).
From 1944 he drew a series of cartoons about Glasgow life for the Glasgow Evening Times. In 1949 he created a comic strip, Sheriff Lobey Dosser of Calton Creek, set in a surreal hybrid of Glasgow and the Wild West, which ran in the Evening News until 1956, and the Sunday Mail for a brief period in 1958. The strips were collected in one shilling booklets.
Neill died in Glenrothes, Fife, in 1970. When the Sunday Express closed its Glasgow print works in the 1970s, many of Neill's original drawings were thrown out, only to be rescued by local artist Calum MacKenzie, director the Glasgow Print Studio, and exhibitions have since been organised. A statue of Lobey Dosser and his arch-enemy Rank Bajin on Lobey's two-legged horse, El Fideldo, sculpted by Tony Morrow and Nick Gillon, was erected in Woodlands Road, Glasgowm in 1992. A statue of another character from the strip, the G.I. Bride, sculpted by Ranald MacColl, was erected in 2009 in Partick Station.
- Irene Maver, Personalities: Bud Neill, The Glasgow Story
- Lobey Dosser tribute site
- John Freeman, Lobey Dosser: A Very Surreal Glaswegian, Down the Tubes, 15 August 2011
- Jeremy Briggs, Lobey Dosser, Bear Alley, 1 October 2007]