David Ashford Tony Weare was born in Wincanton, Somerset, on 1 January 1912. Tony Weare later recalled that he was always "torn between the desire for a life of action and that of artistic dedication", and, although studying drawing at the Bournemouth School of Art, he soon "chucked it to become a trooper in a cavalry regiment". As he observed, "in a unit with 500 horses I really learned something about those beautiful creatures."
Weare eventually bought himself out of the army and returned to drawing, although he also recalled "bouts of timber hauling, farming, and starving." During the Second World War he served in the army as a wireless operator. After demobilisation Weare drew for magazines including Strand, Pearson's, Windsor, Britannia, Nash's and John Bull. He also drew for the Comet, Cowboy Comics, and the Mickey Mouse Weekly, as well as for The Daily Mirror and The Daily Express.
In 1955 Wear began drawing the "Matt Marriott" strip for the London Evening News, with writer Jim Edgar. He recalled of Edgar that "as soon as we met we clicked", and their strip "Matt Marriott" proved to be enormously popular, running until 1977. It was unusual among comic strips because Weare drew both Matt and his trail partner "Powder Horn" growing older as the story progressed. In 1974 Weare even sold his home in Devon to buy a camping van and spent two years driving around the American West, still drawing "Matt Marriott" and sending it to London.
"Matt Marriott" finished in 1977, when Weare was in hospital. He continued to draw for publications including Tornado and Look and Learn, and also drew a few sequences for Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta, at the invitation of Lloyd, who was an admirer of his work. Unable to face his growing immobility, Weare committed suicide by jumping from the pier in Porthleven, Cornwall, on 2 December 1994. He left a farewell cartoon showing his feet sticking out of the water.
- Pearson Phillips "Flower Pickin' Son of a Gun", London Evening News, 30 January 1976.
- "Last Tragic Joke from Suicide Cartoonist", Daily Mirror, 13 December 1994, p.13.
- “Obituaries: Tony Weare”, The Independent, 20 December 1994.
- Tony Weare in Kous Kousemakers Lambiek Comiclopedia at www.lambiek.net/artists/w/weare_tony.htm
- BCA collection, autobiographical note by Tony Weare, and biographical notes by Keith Mackenzie.
46 original 'Matt Marriott' strips [MM0001 - 0046]
20 photographs of strips
strip cuttings, 'Matt Marriott' (1955 - 77)
50s; 60s; 70s