The cartoonist, Thomas Arthur Browne was born in 1872 in Nottingham to a working-class family. After attending the National School, he left at the age of eleven and took a job as an errand boy in the city's Lace Market. His talent for
sketching was noticed and enabled him to obtain an apprenticeship to a firm of lithographers, where he remained until 1893. After only two terms at art school he produced several comics strips, some of which appeared in Scraps and Chums between
1893 and 1895. He then moved to London where he created the comic characters Weary Willy and Tired Tim - considered by some to have been 'the first great comic heroes' - and which appeared in Illustrated Chips from 1896. Through
the popularity of his characters he dominated comics illustrating between 1896 and 1900. At one time he was drawing five front pages a week - each with six panels. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1896 and was elected RBA (1898), RMS (1900) and RI (1901).
He became a founder member of the London Sketch Club and later its President in 1907. He also created humorous postcards, posters and advertisments in a style similar to John Hassall. He travelled widely abroad where he produced cartoons for various newspapers.
His bold and simplified style together with a cheery approach to characterisation owed a lot to Phil May. His work was very popular and has influenced comic art to this day. He died in 1910.