Percy Hutton Fearon (1874-1948), known as 'Poy' ving been trained in the United States, Percy Fearon injected a particular rigour into his political cartoons for English newspapers. A cast of recurring characters and familiar symbols are brought to life through his rapid, confident lines. Percy Fearon was born in Shanghai, China, on 6 September 1874, the son of a merchant who acted as Russian consul for the city. His father was also an artist, who had been taught by George Chinnery, a family friend. In 1876, the family moved to Staten Island, New York, and Percy attended the New Jersey Academy. Encouraged by the political cartoonist, George G Bush, in his decision to become an artist, he studied at the Art Students League of New York and the Chase School of Art; the American pronunciation of his Christian name, as ‘Poycee’, would later suggest his pseudonym. On the death of his father in 1897, Fearon and his mother moved to Bath, England.
He completed his artistic training at the Herkomer School of Art in Bushey, Hertfordshire, and then began to contribute to Judy. He established himself as a cartoonist for the Manchester Evening Chronicle, and later the Sunday Chronicle and Daily Dispatch (both 1907-13). Then, in 1913, he joined the London Evening News, for which he created his most famous characters, including ‘John Citizen’, representing the common people, and ‘Dilly and Dally’, representing the Civil Service. During the First World War, he served in the City of London National Guard Volunteer corps. In 1935, after more than two decades on the Evening News, Fearon moved to the Daily Mail, retiring three years later, and being succeeded by Leslie Illingworth. He was a member of the Savage Club and the Authors’ Club. He died in Putney Hospital on 5 November 1948. His work is represented in the collections of the British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent (Canterbury).