She apparently came from Port Carling, Ontario. Her family seems to have been connected with the Pear Soap Co.

Mrs Neill, Betty (See MERCER Betty) Atkinson’s daughter, said of Priscilla, “She was hugely funny and we never wanted her to leave.” [During visits]

According to Ed Furness, she and June Banfield took over the finished drawing of “Freelance”. She also took over finished art work for “The Crusaders”.

Of her drawing ability Ed Furness said, “She could draw girls … so if girls were required she got the chore, good girls or bad girls whatever. She frequently made the men in the story look like the girls – except for the pug uglies like ‘Big John’, of course, and her ‘Robin Hood’ was a little bit effeminate.” If one looks at the cover of Spy Smasher no. 1, below we can see what Ed Furness meant. “

She and Betty (Grace Elizabeth)Mercer were best friends during the 1940’s. They conversed through their art. For example, Patricia had a hooked nose. Betty would draw a picture of a giant hooked nose resting on the edge of a table, and pass it to Patricia. Patricia in turn would sketch a giant gapped toothed smile and pass it back to Betty. They remained in contact after Betty moved to the U.S. until the 1970’s when they lost touch.

They both hated fan mail, because it was predominantly nitpicking criticism, and predominantly from readers of Captain Marvel.

After she left Anglo-American, Hutchings worked as a freelancer, designing furniture and greeting cards. She seems to have illustrated books for Ryerson Press and Macmillan of Canada. A child’s book Under the North Star, was given to Betty See MERCER Betty) Atkinson’s children. In the 1960’s she lived across the street from Casa Looma.

While freelancing, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, and afterwards taught high school, possibly in Stratford. She never married.

She died in the 1990’s.



Email 1 May 2016, to Ivan Kocmarek from Billy Neill grandson to Betty Mercer quoting his mother.

Email 28 Sept. 2016, to Robert MacMillan, from Billy Neill grandson to Betty Mercer quoting his mother.


Ed Furness by Robert MacMillan



Spy Smasher, 1, June 1942. Front cover.