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"Alfie the Air Tramp", The Joker, 1937

John Leslie Jukes was born on 11 October 1901 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, son of John W. Jukes, a grocer, and his wife Helen. He visited the officed of the Amalgamated Press on a school trip when he was 15, and left his name with managing editor Fred Cordwell. Some time later, Cordwell posted him a joke and asked him to illustrate it. His illustration was accepted and he was paid five shillings.

He emigrated to Australia, and spent seven years there illustrating for Australian newspapers, before returning to England in the late 1920s. He returned to the Amalgamated Press, and was soon a regular artist on their weekly comics. In 1932 he took over "Alfie the Air Tramp" from Charlie Pease, and drew it on the front page of The Joker until the title was cancelled in 1940, and then in Illustrated Chips until 1943, when it was taken over by Bertie Brown. He took over from Roy Wilson on "George the Jolly Gee-Gee", drawing it in Jester, Crackers and Wonder from 1940 to 1945.

Other strips he drew included:

  • "Ben and Bert the Kid Cops" (1932-40) for Funny Wonder
  • "Ali Oop" (1940-41) for Jester and Crackers
  • "Tommy Trinder", "Tommy Handley", "Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon", "Jewell and Warriss", "Norman Wisdom" for Radio Fun
  • "The Goofs of Ragbag Ranch" (1939-40) for Knock-Out
  • "Popgun Pete" (1939-46) for Jester and Funny Wonder
  • "The Happy Family" (1949-50) for Tip Top
  • "Max and his Axe" and "Ron Roy the Rubber Boy" for Wonder

He also drew for Comic Cuts, Jolly Comic, Pilot and Larks.

He worked from a studio in Bournemouth. During the Second World War he was an auxiliary policeman. His style fell out of fashion in the 1950s, and he found work with the Ministry of Defence's Art Deparment. However, his career enjoyed a brief revival when he drew "Belle Tent" in Whizzer and Chips in 1970. He died on 31 October 1972 in Liskeard, Cornwall.


  • Alan Clark, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, pp. 87-88
  • Denis Gifford, Encyclopedia of Comic Characters, Longman, 1987, pp. 10, 11, 20, 87, 96, 144, 169

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