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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Arthur Ferrier's "Film Fannie"

Film Fannie was one of the first "pin-up" strips to appear in the UK, drawn by Arthur Ferrier for Everybody's magazine in the 1930s and followed quickly by another Ferrier creation, "Our Dumb Blonde" for the Sunday Pictorial in 1939.

Ferrier was a Glaswegian, born in 1890, who began drawing cartoons for the Glasgow Daily Record whilst working as an analytical chemist; when the paper's editor, William McWhirter, moved to London, Ferrier followed, continuing to sell cartoons in his spare time.

Ferrier's later strips included "Spotlight on Sally" for the News of the World and "Eve" for the Daily Sketch. After many years of drawing pin-ups, advertising and a great many cartoons, Ferrier died in 1973.

The examples of Ferrier's "Film Fannie" shown here are all from 1939.

Ferrier also penned numerous short sketches for Everybody's which he illustrated; the feature later developed into the weekly "Ferrier's Searchlight".

(Everybody's © IPC Media.)


Mike W said...

Steve, if your dates are correct Ferrier lived to the amazing age of 112!Charles Worrell who was the original Big Chief I-Spy in the Daily Mail lived to 106 but........
On other posts, the loss of Tony Hart is extremely sad;he appeared to be a genuinely pleasant and unassuming man who deserved the sort of honours that talentless 'celebrities' and members of the establishment get ladled out to them all too frequently.
Finally, fantastic news that the final 2 Trigan Empire volumes are being despatched this week. With only 500 in Dutch & another 500 in English they should prove to be collectors' items although due to the credit crunch there will probably be some unsold for quite a while. The last one is costing far more due to the weak £ even though the price in Euros has remained constant.

Steve said...

Oops. Good catch. The date should be 1891, not 1861. I'll fix it.

Martin F said...

I believe that Arthur John Ferrier who died in 1973 was according to the general records office entry born on 15/11/1890. In 1919 at his marriage he described himself as an Artists black on white. The same as his wife.

Steve said...


Thanks for the further correction. I quickly checked the date in the Dictionary of British Cartoonists which states 1891. I'll correct the information (again!).

It's a good thing you lot are out there to catch my mistakes. Keep doing it -- BA is often written in the wee hours of the morning and, however hard I try, errors do creep in.

Steve said...

I was in such a hurry to correct the date that I almost missed another little gem:

Martin, do you know the name of Ferrier's wife and anything about her artistic career?

Martin F said...

From their marriage certificate it says 18/3/1919 Arthur John Ferrier age 28 Bachelor Artist Black on White, 15 Bernard Street, W.C. Father John Ferrier, Organist. Wife Annie Evelyn McGregor Brown age 27 Spinster Artist Black on White, same address. Father Alexander Brown, independent means. Signed by Arthur Ferrier and 'Evelyn' Brown in the presence of Florence James and Donald Howat. Presbyterian Church, Regent Square, St.Pancras, in the county of London.

She was born 19/1/1891 in Bow London and died in Wandsworth in 1974.

I don't know anything about her other than that. My father also a Ferrier remembers his "saucy" cartoons and postcards. I never came across any artwork by an Annie Ferrier or an Evelyn Ferrier.

Martin Ferrier (no relation that I am aware of)

Steve said...


Cheers for that. Lots of very useful information. I'll have a dig around and report back if I find anything on Mrs. Ferrier's work.

Mommiecat said...

I had never heard of Arthur Ferrier until last month when I visited a retired English friend in Florida. Hanging on her walll was a pastel crayon "pin-up" drawing, and when I asked her about it, she explained that she was the original model for Dizzy in the "Spotlight on Sally" comic strip in the News of the World from 1947-1949. After a year, the girl who modelled as Sally took another job, so my friend Rita had to sit for both characters. Arthur Ferrier gave her the crayon drawing as a wedding present when she married in the 50s. It pictures Dizzy (the brunette) on the telephone in her boudoir, and the caption on the back reads, "I'm returning your Christmas present of perfume, Colonel, but I'd like to keep the diamond bracelet for sentimental reasons." This is SUCH a brilliant discovery for me, and to find that my old friend had such an interesting life as a young lady!

Steve said...

How interesting. It would be wonderful to learn more from your friend about her time posing for Ferrier who, well known at the time, nowadays seems to be almost forgotten.

Would the "other girl" be Eileen Bennett? I ask because she featured in a Pathe News reel which I've posted here.

Rian Hughes said...

Hi Steve
Interesting Ferrier post. The Cartoon Museum have a few odds and ends, including a photo of him in later years that I can send you my scan of if you're interested. Ferrier is definitely one of my favourites... but that's no surprise, as he draws women so well (and, unusually, his men aren't all fat Colonel Blink- style claret-nosed lecherous bosses, which unfortunately seemed to be the male stereotype for many of the cartoonists of the day).