Will Spencer was born in the East End of London on 23 April 1921. He trained at his local art school in West Ham from 1935 to 1937, and during the Second World War served in the RAF's Transport Command.
In 1954 Spencer joined the News Chronicle to start the "Animal Crackers" pocket cartoon series. This ran in the News Chronicle until that paper was absorbed by the Daily Mail in October 1960, when it continued in the combined paper. The Daily Mail continued to feature "Animal Crackers" until May 1971, when the newspaper was redesigned as a tabloid and the series was dropped. From 1965 Spencer also drew a series entitled "Moments with Mama" for Woman's Own.
Spencer also worked in advertising and created the slogan "Don't say brown, say 'Hovis'", for Aldridges. In addition he ran the Orchard Studio gallery in Chichester from 1970, selling his own silk-screen printed, framed cartoons.
Will Spencer died on 20 April 2002, aged 80.
For more biographical information, and an archive of Will Spencer's work, see the dedicated website at www.willspencer.co.uk
- CSCC Archive, "Daily Mail" memo by Keith Mackenzie, 24 February 1977.
- Mark Bryant Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2000), p.212.
'Animal Crackers' cuttings, 2/11/60 - 1/5/71)
28 uncatalogued originals and copy [WS0001 - 0028]
60s; 70s (2/11/60 - 1/5/71)back to top