Adrian Dingle (cartoonist)

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Adrian Dingle
Adrian Dingle Wedding 1941-12-15.jpg
Adrian Dingle in 1941
Born 1911
Barmouth, Gwynedd, Wales
Died (aged 63)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Known for Painting, Cartooning
Notable work Nelvana of the Northern Lights, The Penguin
Awards Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame

John Adrian Darley Dingle (1911 – 22 December 1974), known professionally as Adrian Dingle, was a Welsh Canadian painter. In the 1940s, he was an creator of comic books, including Nelvana of the Northern Lights.

Life and work[edit]

Born in Barmouth, Gwynedd, north Wales, he emigrated to Canada when he was three years old. He had settled in the Toronto region, building a house in Erindale (now part of Mississauga) in the late 1940s, and working on a new house in Caledon prior to his death.

Adrian Dingle began his career in art in the early 1930s. In 1931, he studied under J. W. Beatty at the summer school of the Ontario College of Art, Toronto. From 1935 to 1937 he worked in England, employed as an illustrator for Stillwell & Darby, London, and studied at the Goldsmith's College of Art, London, under James Bateman and John Mansbridge. He exhibited with the London Portrait Society. After returning to Canada, he continued his work in illustration and taught at the Doon School of Fine Arts (Kitchener, Ontario) and the Etibicoke Community Art School. Dingle was well known for his landscapes, seascapes, portraits and figure studies. He painted landscapes from his travels to Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, the British Isles, Massachusetts, and Cape Breton Island. He was a prolific painter, mostly in oils, exhibiting frequently with the T. Eaton Fine Art Gallery. Currently, his paintings are sometimes available out of Roberts Gallery (Toronto, Ontario).

Dingle has come to be well known for his work in the Canadian comic book industry. From August 1941 to 1947, he authored and illustrated the comic book series Nelvana of the Northern Lights. Nelvana was the first female Canadian superhero comic character whose debut was four months before that of Wonder Woman. Another of Dingle's comic characters was the suave tuxedo-clad masked detective "The Penguin", a Canadian superhero distinct from the well-known nemesis of Batman. To avoid conflicts with Batman's publishers, this character was renamed The Blue Raven to allow efforts to reach an American audience. The Penguin premiered in 1943. Other characters include "Nils Grant, Private Investigator". At the end of the 1940s the comics industry in Canada became untenable and Dingle returned to painting.

Dingle was, in fact, a prolific painter who was widely respected as an illustrator, teacher, and landscape artist. One of his works, illustrated here, is representative of his impressionistic style. This work, known as, At the Base of a Millrace, Streetsville, Ontario, is very adventurous in that it attempts to create the illusion of stone and water in an entirely novel way.

Dingle was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts,[1] the Ontario Society of Artists, the Ontario Institute of Painters, and was a Fellow of the International Institute of Arts & Letters.

Dingle died at age 63 in Toronto at Wellesley Hospital due to complications from cancer treatment. He had three sons with his wife Patricia. He was posthumously inducted into the Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame in 2005.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 


  • "Adrian Dingle / Well known artist once drew comics (obituary)". The Globe and Mail. 23 December 1974. p. 11. 

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