Fonds F 959 - Ben Wicks fonds

February 27, 1997 accrual December 24, 1997 accrual

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Ben Wicks fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

F 959

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1995-1997 (Creation)
    Creator
    Wicks, Alfred (Ben)

Physical description area

Physical description

1704 cartoons
4 books

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1926 - 2000)

Biographical history

Alfred Wicks was born October 1, 1926 in London England. He quit school at the age of 14 to work at a variety of jobs including a bootmaker, shipping clerk, and barrow salesman. He joined the British Army, learning to play the clarinet and saxophone. After the war he found work as a professional musician with an orchestra onboard the "Queen Elizabeth", a luxury cruise liner. He was given the name "Ben", after Benny Goodman, by the orchestra leader. Ben Wicks took art lessons at London's Camberwell Art School.
Wicks emigrated to Calgary, Alberta in 1957 with his wife Doreen. He found work as a milkman. It was while doing this in 1962 when he sold his first cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post. His cartoons would also be published in the Albertan. In 1966 he moved to Toronto to join the staff of the Toronto Telegram. Around this time he also began syndicating his cartoons including his political series "The Outcasts". His single frame cartoons appeared in 84 Canadian and 100 U. S. newspapers and his "Outcasts" series was carried by 52 Canadian newspapers. Ben Wicks was also the author of 43 books, numerous magazine articles and became a T. V. personality with his own show "The World of Wicks".

Aside from his career as a cartoonist, Ben Wicks was known for his humanitarian work, often using his drawings to bring attention world issues and human suffering. He teamed up with his wife Dorothy Wicks, a citizenship court judge, to establish a variety of charitable foundations to combat poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1986.

Ben Wicks died September 10, 2000 of cancer, leaving behind his wife Doreen, and three children, and eight grandchildren.

Custodial history

Scope and content

In 1997 the family of Ben Wicks donated 1704 of his drawings to Ryerson University. Included are the original drawings for his syndicated single panel drawings from January 1995-December 1997, original drawings from his "Outcasts" series from January 1995-January 1996, and orginal drawings from 4 books - "Born to Read", "Life Insurance for Seniors", "Sure we're covered...aren't we?", and "So you've got Cancer". Copies of the books were also included in the donation.
Fonds has been divided into two series to reflect the two separate donations that took place in 1997.

Notes area

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Restrictions on access

Drawings are in process of re-housing. Some/all may not be available for consultation.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright belongs to creator.

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