British Cartoon Archive


Phil Colman was born in Bradford on 24 October 1911. He went to Bradford College of Art, then moved to London in the 1930s, where he was employed as a graphic artist by the magazine publisher Iliffes.

During the Second World War Colman was a motor cycle dispatch rider in England and then North Africa, contributing cartoons to Motorcycle magazine, which was an Iliffe publication. On the invasion of Italy Colman joined the staff of the Army Newspaper under the editorship of Hugh Cudlipp, working in Naples and Rome until demobilisation. He then returned to Iliffes as art editor of a number of their magazines at the same time as providing cartoons for them, notably Motorcycle, Autocar and Amateur Photographer - for which he provided a regular illustration over many years for the feature "Conversations at the Club".

During the 1960s Colman collaborated in the production of an award-winning series of front covers for Machine-shop Magazine. When the Sun was launched in 1964, after the demise of the Daily Herald, he wrote to Hugh Cudlipp with some samples of what was to become The Duke, a single-panel series that appeared regularly in the Sun until shortly before that paper was sold to Rupert Murdoch in 1969.

In 1973 Colman retired from what had become Reed International, continuing to draw cartoons and paint until his death in 1995.

  • Information from Jill Colman
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