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Sheikh of El Bashan.jpg
"The Sheikh of El Bashan", Tip Top, 1945-49

George James "Gil" Gillingham was born in Bristol in the second quarter of 1871, the son of George Gillingham senior, a house decorator, and his wife Emily. By 1881 the family were living in Barton Regis, Gloucestershire, and by 1891 George was working as a lithographic artist. He married Harriet in 1899 and moved to Hornsey, Middlesex by 1901, by which time George's occupation is given as black and white artist and designer, and they had a daughter, Vera. By 1911 they have moved to Muswell Hill and have no more children.

In comics, George worked as an adventure artist. His early work appeared in Robin Hood and Buffalo Bill annuals published by Aldine in the 1920s. In the 1930s and '40s he worked for the Amalgamated Press, drawing strips such as "The Wolf of the West" (1938) for The Butterfly, "The Trail of Fu Chang" (1938) for Comic Cuts, "The Sheikh of El Bashan" (1945-49) for Tip Top, and "G-Man of the Ranges" (1948) for the Knock-Out Fun Book.


  • Alan Clark, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, p. 65
  • Denis Gifford, Encyclopedia of Comic Characters, Longman, 1987

Online reference

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