Oor Wullie is a Scottish comic strip published in the D.C. Thomson newspaper The Sunday Post. It features a character called Wullie, the familiar Scots nickname for boys named William. Oor Wullie means Our Willie. His trademarks are spiky hair, dungarees and an upturned bucket, which he often uses as a seat – most strips since early 1937 begin and end with a single panel of Wullie sitting on his bucket. The earliest strips, with little dialogue, ended with Wullie complaining (“I nivver get ony fun roond here!”). The artistic style settled down by 1940 and has changed little since. A frequent tagline reads, “Oor Wullie! Your Wullie! A’body’s Wullie!” (Our Willie! Your Willie! Everybody’s Willie!).
Created by Thomson editor R. D. Low and drawn by cartoonist Dudley D. Watkins, the strip first appeared on 8 March 1936. Watkins continued to draw Oor Wullie until his death in 1969, after which the Post recycled his work into the 1970s. New strips were eventually commissioned from Tom Lavery, followed by Peter Davidson and Robert Nixon. Ken H. Harrison drew the strip from 1989 until 1997, when Davidson resumed duties. Between January 2005 and 2006 storylines were written by broadcaster Tom Morton from his home in Shetland, and subsequently they were written by Dave Donaldson, managing director of Thomson’s comics division. The current writer is former Dandy editor Morris Heggie.
Starting in 1940 the Our Wullie strips also appeared in the form of a Christmas annual which alternated every second year with The Broons, another D. C. Thomson product. (No annuals were published between 1943 and 1946.) Pre-1966 annuals were undated. Starting in 2015, both titles are now published annually.
A facsimile of the first The Broons annual was released on 25 November 2006 and of the first Oor Wullie annual the following year.
Since 1996 – the 60th anniversary of the strip – D.C. Thomson has also published a series of compilation albums featuring The Broons and Oor Wullie on alternate pages.