David Wright was born in London on 12 December 1912, to parents who were both artists. When he was thirteen his father died, and Wright had to leave school to get a job. In 1930 he joined the studio of his uncle Gilbert Wright, who drew for The Graphic, as an assistant artist. Wright worked as a fashion illustrator for women’s weeky magazines, and in 1936 married Esme Little.
After the outbreak of war in 1939 Wright was commissioned by The Sketch to produce a series of full colour pin-ups, the first being loosely inserted into the issue for January 1941. Wright continued to draw the series after he was called up into the army, serving as a driving instructor in Wales, after being turned down by the RAF. The series of “Lovelies” showed glamorous women in various states of undress, many of them modelled on his wife Esme. They ran to a hundred and sixty-nine inserts and one cover, and were later said to have “adorned practically every military mess, bunker, dormitory or club room in the country”.
When Wright’s contract at The Sketch came to an end, he continued to produce illustrations for magazines including Men Only, Playboy and Esquire. His first work for comics starred “Kit Carson”, and appeared in Cowboy Picture Library number 56 of July 1952. He created the strip “Jo” for the Empire News, and “Judy” for Tit-Bits, starting in March 1953 and written by Peter Meriton. These were story strips showing leggy girls in exotic locations, on which Wright developed his style. They paved the way for the “Carol Day” strip, which began in the Daily Mail in September 1956.
“Carol Day” was again scripted by Peter Meriton, and was supposedly accepted by the Daily Express before being hi-jacked by its circulation rival, the Daily Mail. Carol was a tall and attractive blonde, a fashion model who dressed stylishly and repeatedly got into adventures, with a wealthy uncle and guardian to help her get out again. Wright continued drawing the series until his death on 25 May 1967, and his final Carol Day story appeared in the Daily Mail the following month. The strip was continued for the paper by the artist Kenneth Inns.
- David Wright’s “Sketch” pinups at www.ilnprints.co.uk/David-Wright-Erotic-Prints/c331/index.html
- David Wright’s “Carol Day” artwork at carol-day.com/index.html
- David Wright biography at ukcomics.wikia.com/wiki/David_Wright
- “David Wright 1912-1967” at ecofugal.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html
- “David Wright (12/12/1912 - 25/5/1967, UK)” at lambiek.net/artists/w/wright-david.htm
- David Roach “The Best Artist You Don't Know: Revealing the work of unknown artist genius David Wright”, Comic Book Artist, no. 18, Feb. 2002.
89 original 'Carol Day' strips [CD0050 - 0138]
strip cuttings, 'Carol Day' 1956 - 6/67
60sback to top