Born in Harrow, Middlesex, Joe Colquhoun served in the Royal Navy during World War II, and won a place at Kingston upon Thames School of Art on his return. His career in comics began in 1951 in Jungle Trails, and he went on to work for IPC Media on titles such as Lion, and later Tiger, where he drew Roy of the Rovers for six years, from 1954 to 1960, despite having no interest in football.
In the early 1970s he worked mainly for IPC's humour comics Buster and Cor!!, until Battle Picture Weekly came along in 1976. For Battle he drew Soldier Sharp: the Rat of the Rifles and Johnny Red before editor Dave Hunt assigned him to work on Pat Mills' First World War story Charley's War in 1978.
After Charley's War finished in 1986 Colquhoun drew for Mask until his death in 1987.
Comics work includes:
- Charley's War (with Pat Mills, in Battle, January 1979 to October 1985) collected by Titan Books as:
- 2 June – 1 August 1916 (collects episodes 1-29, November 2004, ISBN 1-84023-627-2)
- 1 August – 17 October 1916 (collects episodes 30-59, November 2005, ISBN 1-84023-929-8)
- 17 October 1916 – 21 February 1917 (collects episodes 60-83, October 2006, ISBN 1-84576-270-3)
- Blue's Story (October 2007, ISBN 1-84576-323-8)
- Return to the Front (October 2008, ISBN 1-84576-796-9)
- Underground and Over the Top (October 2009, ISBN 1-84576-797-7)
- Joe Colquhoun at the Charley's War fansite
- Joe Colquhoun at the official Roy of the Rovers site
- Colonel Marbles' Battle fansite