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Robert Duncan Low (25 August 1895, Dundee – 13 December 1980) was a Scottish comics writer and editor. Employed by D. C. Thomson & Co., he was responsible for their line of comics, and, as a writer, co-created Oor Wullie and The Broons with artist Dudley D. Watkins.

The son of Alexander Brown Low, a jute mill mechanic, and Maggie Wilson Low, he joined DC Thomson as a journalist in 1913 as an 18-year-old trainee and rose to become managing editor in charge of the children's publications department eight years later.[1] Having launched the "big five" story papers Adventure (1921), The Rover (1922), The Wizard (1923), The Skipper (1930) and The Hotspur (1933), he developed a comic supplement for the weekly newspaper The Sunday Post, the "Fun Section" (1936). It included two comic strips in Scots vernacular he had co-created with Dudley D. Watkins, a staff illustrator on the story papers: The Broons, about a working-class Scottish family, and Oor Wullie, about a mischievous young boy (based on Low's son Ron), alongside Auchentogle, drawn by Chic Gordon, and strips by Allan Morley including Nero and Zero and Nosey Parker.[2][3][4]

In 1937, as managing editor, he oversaw the launch of DC Thomson's first comic, The Dandy, edited by Albert Barnes, followed by The Beano, edited by George Moonie, in 1938.[5] The Magic Comic, for slightly younger readers, followed in 1939 but folded in 1941 due to paper shortages. The next comic launched was The Topper in 1953.[2] Also in 1953, Low co-created "Roger the Dodger", with artist Ken Reid, for The Beano.[6]


  1. ^ John Anderson (ed.), Beano: 80 Years of Fun, D.C. Thomson, 2018, p. 14
  2. ^ a b Gavin Brightwell, ""RD Low: the man who created The Broons and Oor Wullie"". Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), That's Braw
  3. ^ Gavin Brightwell, ""Dudley Dexter Watkins"". Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009., That's Braw
  4. ^ Helensburgh Heroes: Ronald Waterson Low
  5. ^ John Anderson (ed.), Beano: 80 Years of Fun, D.C. Thomson, 2018, p. 14
  6. ^ Peter Hansen, "Ken Reid, the Comic Genius (1919-1987)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2011.