After attending art school, Joe Colquhoun enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and returned to art college in 1947. He joined the King-Ganteaume Studios, through which he produced work for various independent comics. He began a collaboration with Amalgamated Press in 1952. After a story published in Lion, he drew the long-running series 'Legionnaire Terry's Desert Quest', followed by 'Biff Benbow' and 'Wildfire', for The Champion.
In September 1954, Colquhoun became the artist of 'Roy of the Rovers' on the frontpage of the new comic, Tiger. After the fourth strip Colquhoun took over scripting and continued it until 1959. Afterwards, he moved to Lion Comic to draw the adventures of 'Paddy Payne', a World War II fighter pilot. Many series followed in the 1960s, such as 'Saber, King of the Jungle', 'Football Family Robinson' (in JAG, 1968), 'Soldier Sharp, the Rat of the Rifles' (in Valiant, 1976), 'Adam Eterno' and 'Kid Chameleon'.
Colquhoun most popular series was however 'Charley's War', that he made with writer Pat Mills about a soldier serving in World War I. The strip appeared in Battle from 1978, as did his other series, 'Johnny Red'. Joseph William Colquhoun retired from full-time comic drawing in 1986, but died of a heart attack shortly thereafter on April 13, 1987.