Alfred Bestall (1892 -1986) studied art at Birmingham College of Art (1912-14) and at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (1919-22). An illustrator of several books he also worked for Punch and Tatler Magazines and he illustrated the Rupert the Bear cartoons from 1935 to 1965.
Bestall made Rupert a human-like bear with adventures based around daily life. His job was to illustrate and write the stories for Daily Express.
Much of the landscape in Rupert is inspired by the Snowdonia landscape of North Wales, where he was at school and his family had a cottage.
His early work was in black and white sometimes with a blue overlay for publication but for the early annuals which began in 1936 a second colour was budgeted for and they were overlaid with a salmon pink colour. The Rupert annuals were a resounding success despite Bestall's initial misgivings. Whilst he stopped producing the daily cartoon strips in 1965 he continued to contribute to the Rupert Annuals until he was 90.
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