EYLES, Derek Charles

1902 - 1974

Derek Charles Eyles was born at 31 Regent Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk on 11 February 1902, eldest of the five children of Charles Eyles and his wife Emma Mary née Lucas (1866-1928) who married at Hackney, London in 1894, Derek was a brother to Geoffrey Eyles, who was also an illustrator. Probably taught by his father, Eyles's colour plates and black and white illustrations began appearing in boys' annuals in the 1920s and 30s, painting covers and drew interior illustrations for story papers like 'Wild West Weekly' also illustrating novels, including an edition of Jack London's 'White Fang' and children's books including an edition of Charles and Mary Lamb's 'Tales from Shakespeare' and in the 1930s and 40s, painted a series of covers for Collins' western novels. After the Second World War he was employed by Amalgamated Press to draw adventure strips for the publisher's comics including 'The Knockout', 'The Comet', 'Cowboy Comics Library', 'Radio Fun', 'Adventures' and 'Swift'. He was particularly good at drawing horses which made him excellent for western characters such as Wild Bill Hickok, Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill. In the 1960s he worked mostly on the nursery end of the comics market with titles including 'Treasure' and 'TV Toyland', and on girls' titles such as 'Tina' and 'Princess Tina'. He married at Islington, London in 1928, Ann Maria O'Donovan (20 May 1896-20 July 1983), and had two children John, born 1929 and Margaret, born in 1932, both in London. In 1939, a commercial artist, living at 266 Ballards Lane, Finchley, Middlesex, when his wife and daughter were living at 16 Highbury Road, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Suffering from diabetes, Derek Charles Eyles died at Barnet Hospital, Middlesex in December 1974 after an unsuccessful operation.

Works by This Artist