Early life

Although Bud Neill was born in Glasgow, he grew up in Troon on the Clyde coast. His interest in the Wild West was sparked by Saturdays spent in the Troon Playhouse watching cowboy films and journeys to America and Mexico with his father, who worked in the mining industry. Bud even mucked out at the local stables in order to have the chance to ride a horse.

After a short course at the Glasgow School of Art, he took various jobs but was committed to drawing and submitting cartoons to publications with varying degrees of success.

Bud Neill cartoons

Working as driver on the Glasgow buses provided much of the material that would later find its way into his work as a cartoonist on the Evening Times.

He began by creating pocket cartoons for the Evening Times in 1944. They captured the down-to-earth humour of Glaswegians in an often surreal way.


His work was heavily influenced by American newspaper artists who created cartoons that would appeal to both children and adults. Newspaper strips at that time in Britain were mainly political and aimed at an adult audience.

Bud's quirky cartoons proved popular and paved the way for the launch of Lobey Dosser, his first cartoon strip, in 1949.

A celebrity of his day, Bud was paid handsomely for his work and, recognised as a wit and raconteur, appeared on radio and TV programmes.

Having always held aspirations to be a writer, he was delighted when, after his move to the Daily Record and Sunday Mail in 1958, he was offered his own column.

He subsequently wrote for other publications including, for the Scottish Field, an article called 'Across the Sahara in a Cement Mixer'.

Bud's poem, 'Winter' was chosen by BBC Scotland's Political editor, Brian Taylor, as one of his favourite poems in a feature by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Winter, by Bud Neill

Winter's come, the snow has fell
Wee Josie's nose has froze as well
Wee Josie's frozen nose is skintit
...Winter's diabolical intit?


Another famous Bud Neill fan, composer John Maxwell Geddes composed 'Resident Villain, or the Reform of Rank Bajin', in tribute to Lobey and Rank Bajin. The track features in the audio slideshow above, played by Mark O'Keeffe, principal trumpeter with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Bud himself was a talented musician. In the 1930s, he won a competition in the Glasgow Pavilion playing 'Rhapsody in Blue' in its entirety on a mouth organ! The judge was non other than harmonica supremo, Larry Adler.

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