Frederick Coulton Waugh (March 10, 1896, Cornwall, England – May 23, 1973) was a cartoonist, painter, teacher and author, best known for his illustration work on the comic strip Dickie Dare and his book The Comics (1947), the first major study of the field.
His father was the marine artist Frederick Judd Waugh, and his grandfather was the Philadelphia portrait painter Samuel Waugh. In 1907 his family moved to the United States, and Waugh was enrolled at New York‘s Art Students League where he studied with George Bridgeman, Frank Dumond and John Carlson.
By 1916 Coulton was employed as a textile designer. Two years later, he married Elizabeth Jenkinson. In 1921 the couple moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts where they operated a model ship and hooked rug shop for 11 years. His paintings were displayed at New York’s Hudson Walker Gallery, and he also was known for his pictorial maps and hand-colored lithographs.
In Provincetown he created decorative maps, including ones of Provincetown (1924), Cape Cod (1926) and Newburgh, New York (1958). His map of California (1948) was a collaboration with his wife Odin Burvik. One of his Cape Cod maps was detailed by Laura Guadnazno in the Provincetown Banner:
Coulton Waugh lived near his father in the house known as the “oldest house” at 72 Commercial St., where he ran a ship model shop. Coulton was a professional sailor and made scale drawings of historic ships, designed fabrics, and made decorative maps and charts… Waugh was considered to have revived, if not originated the art of decorative map making when he exhibited a large map of silk in 1918 at the International Silk Show in New York City. His map of Cape Cod is one of the most decorative ever prepared. The central cartouche shows the Mayflower and two Pilgrims in armor. The border was reproduced from a drawing cut with a knife in the wood-block technique. The top and bottom borders are of a stylized Cape Cod landscape and the sides borders are decorated with the images of six famous ships. 
Waugh worked on the Dickie Dare comic strip from 1933 to 1957, and created his own short-lived strip, Hank, in the mid-1940s. Created by Milton Caniff, Dickie Dare began July 31, 1933. Imaginative 12-year-old Dickie, who dreamed himself into adventures with characters from history, was joined in 1934 with writer Dan Flynn, a friend of Dickie’s father, and the two had many seagoing adventures. When Caniff left to do Terry and the Pirates, Waugh began drawing Dickie Dare in the middle of a story. In 1944, when Waugh left the strip to work on Hank (1945), his wife and assistant, Odin Burvik, took over Dickie Dare in 1944-47, followed by Fran Matera (1948-49). Waugh returned to the strip in 1950-58 with the 12-year-old Dickie growing up to become a Navy Cadet.
Waugh’s 1947 survey, The Comics, was the first comprehensive history and analysis of comic strips. The book was reviewed in 1948 as fulfilling “the need for a thoroughgoing study of this flourishing branch of popular literature”. Waugh also wrote a series of instructional books, including one on painting with palette knives, and he was the editor during the 1940s and 1950s of the textbooks used in the home study course of Art Instruction, Inc.. His other books include Space Answer Book (1972) and Fish and Underwater LIfe.
During the 1930s and 1940s, Waugh’s studio was in suburban Newburgh, New York. His works are held in the collections of museums in Ohio, New York and Iowa. The University of Syracuse holds his papers.
- ^ a b Laurel Guadazno. “Coulton Waugh“, August 31, 2000. Provincetown Banner. Archived from the Jan 28, 2003 Internet Archive version of the original page on 2008–02-10. Retrieved on 2008–02-10.
- ^ a b c d F. Coulton Waugh Papers. Syracuse University. Archived from the original on 2008–02-10. Retrieved on 2008–02-10.
- ^ “Coulton Waugh“, (Last updated 19 January 2007) Lambiek.net. Archived from the original on 2008–02-10. Retrieved on 2008–02-10.
- ^ “Review: Classy Comics”. Rebecca Zurier. Art Journal, Vol. 50, No. 3, Censorship I (Autumn, 1991), pp. 98-99+101-103 doi:10.2307/777226
- ^ Barriss Mills. “Review of Books: The Comics” Western Folklore, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Jul., 1948), pp. 317-319 doi:10.2307/1497574