|The first Willie and Tim strip, 1896, scanned from The Penguin Book of Comics (1971).|
Certain characteristics of his style; the body language and mannerisms, are still evident in British comics today because they've been handed down from artist to artist, whether consciously or not. I certainly recognise that some of the gestures and facial expressions of my characters stem back to Tom Browne's initial template, although I would never regard my abilities as anywhere near his league of course.
In 1909 one of the Brush, Pen and Pencil series of books on artists focused on Tom Browne. I have the second edition, from 1930, and although it mainly covers Browne's other endeavours such as his paintings and magazine illustration, there is a mention of his famous Weary Willie and Tired Tim strip. I've scanned the relevant pages for you to read. Click to enlarge them...
It says that Tom Browne moved on from the strip in 1909, although it's worth bearing in mind that he sadly passed away a year later so illness may have played a part. We can only speculate on whether he would have returned to comics had he lived longer than his all-too-short 39 years.
I wrote a longer piece on Tom Browne a few years ago, and you can read it here:
I was honoured to hear from Mr.Browne's great-grandson and family after I wrote that piece.
I'll be showing more of Tom Browne's illustration work soon.