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Main neville muffin mule 1953

Muffin the Mule, TV Comic, 1953

Neville Hubert J. Main was born in Leicester on 23 November 1913, son of Arthur J. E. Main and his wife Beatrice M., née Barkby. He married Joan M. Gilbert in Bristol in 1940.

By 1944 he was illustrating children's books for Brockhampton Press, including a series of 62-page comic strip booklets featuring a character called Jimmy from 1948 to 1958. He was a regular on TV Comic from its launch in 1951, drawing Muffin the Mule (1951-61), Jimmy and his Engines (originally in Mickey Mouse Weekly from 1952-55, TV Comic 1955-), Snoozy the Sea-Lion (1956-), Four Feather Falls (1960-62), Fireball XL5 (1962-64), Doctor Who (1964-66), Tivvy, Basil Brush and Popeye. In 1966 his character Jimmy began appearing in Pippin. He also drew Larry the Lamb (1960-) for TV Land and TV Playland, and Rubovia (1976-79) for Pippin in Playland. As his range of work shows, he could vary his style from cartoony to dramatic.

He married for a second time, this time to fellow comic artist Betty Larom, in Chelsea, London, in 1964. He died in Oxford in the first quarter of 1994, aged 80.


  • Alan Clarke, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, p. 105
  • Denis Gifford, Encyclopedia of Comic Characters, Longman, 1987
  • Steve Holland, Neville Main, Bear Alley, 26 November 2006

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