William Blain, editor of comics and story papers for DC Thomson, was born in Gourock on 19 March 1903. He won a scholarship to Glasgow University, while working as a part-time football reporter on local newspapers. On leaving university, he went to work for the Glasgow Evening Herald. In 1923 he applied for an editorial position at D. C. Thomson in Dundee, and was offered a position as a sub-editor on the boys' story paper The Rover. By 1927 he was editor of The Wizard, and launched The Skipper in 1930 and The Hotspur in 1933. He came to have editorial responsibility for all of Thomson's story papers. In 1937 he prepared dummies for Thomson's first comic, The Dandy, the success of which led to the launch of The Beano in 1938 and The Magic Comic in 1939. He went on to launch Thomson's line of girls' comics, Bunty (1958), Judy (1960), Jackie (1964) and Mandy (1967), as well as the boys' adventure comic The Victor (1961). By the time he retired in 1970 he was Managing Editor of all Thomson's comics and annuals. He also wrote two novels, Home is the Sailor (1939) and Witch's Blood (1946). He died on 14 October 1984.
- Alan Clark, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, p. 19-20
- Steve Holland, Willie Blain, Bear Alley, 12 April 2009