William Victor Oliver Beckett, the cartoonist who signed his work Maskee, was born in Armagh on 20 December 1903, son of Joseph Beckett, an English Staff Sergeant in the Army Pay Corps, and his Killarney-born wife Elizabeth. He was educated in Hampshire and became an art teacher in a primary school in Bromley. Beginning in 1939, he started selling his cartoons to publications like Punch, London Opinion, and Dublin Opinion. He moved to Dublin in 1946 and became a full-time cartoonist. For several years he co-edited the Dublin magazine Passing Variety with Niel O'Kennedy, and from 1954 he contributed a daily cartoon to the Evening Press. He died in Dublin on 27 April 1956.


  • Theo Snoddy, Dictionary of Irish Artists: 20th Century, Merlin Publishing, 2002, p. 32