Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Before he became the well known cartoonist he is today, Frank Boyle spent a short time working in Dundee.
He was a student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art from 1970 to 1974, a time when he socialised around the pubs of Hawkhill and Perth Road, often mingling with Skeets Boliver.
From college, he went straight into a job at DC Thomson's where he worked as an illustrator, doing non-cartoon based artwork for the likes of Peoples Friend, Sporting Post, Sunday Post and so on.
Above are 3 examples of his illustrations from his DCT days.
The top 2 feature his portrayal of Dixon Hawke, the detective who appeared each week in the Sporting Post. Some rather nice old-school crosshatching on display there. These 2 are both from 1974.
The bottom example for the Topical Times Football Book is from the same period, with Frank doing the graphic for the ad.
Although he enjoyed the camaraderie of the DCT art dept, he didn't like the thought of being in the same place for 50 years, so he left in 1975 and headed for London.
He actually stayed with a couple of Dundee guys in London, Alan Docherty and Brian Galloway, and so it wasn't too long before Frank found work again, only this time it was with DC Thomson rivals, IPC Magazines!
In the early 80's, he was becoming more politicised and that's when he began drawing topical cartoons, with his work being published in mags such as Labour Weekly and New Statesman.
In the late 80's he returned to Scotland and continued his political cartooning with Glasgow Herald, Scotland On Sunday and Edinburgh Evening News.
Check out Franks website for a fuller and more detailed biog, and also find out what he's been up to after the 80's - such as dabbling in stand-up comedy, his cartoons appearing in a movie, being Cartoonist Of The Year...twice, with plenty of books and exhibitions along the way!
Here's the link -

Big thanks to Frank.


  1. Thinking back now it amazes me that a newspaper could be produced after the final whistle at Dens or Tannadice and be sold or delivered two or three hours later.
    I always grabbed the SP as soon as Dad had finished to read Dixon Hawke - anyone know who wrote them and were they exclusive to the SP or syndicated?

    1. Horror writer Guy N Smith wrote several of these including the bird in the hand above between 1971-77 and 1996-7. I have been trying to track the originals but with no joy

  2. I haven't done any research on the Dixon Hawke stories, but I have a couple of Sporting Posts at home, one from 1962 and the other 1988 and he crops up in both!
    I think the stories may have stopped when the Sporting Post went colour!

  3. http://www.philsp.com/homeville/CrFi/i0012.htm

    I sleuthed this.

    Hoops McCann

  4. Cheers Hoops - good sleuthing indeed.

  5. I think i was going for a "film noir" look in these drawings.The Sporting Post was odd in that all the football reports were written in the present tense.The headline writers loved alliteration, "Dandy Dons crack Killie curtain" is one that I recall.

    1. That's unbelievable. I read, and delivered for a couple of years, The Sporting Post from a young boy till it stopped and only now it makes sense why it was different. The present tense. :) Cheers Frank.

  6. Dixon Hawke, just for info, is back DCT have published two new collections. Well, not new, old stories.