In Memoriam: Vanessa Morgan

The late Vanessa Morgan. Photo via Peter Hogan
The late Vanessa Morgan. Photo via Peter Hogan

We’re sorry to report the sad news today of the passing of longtime comics editor and publisher Vanessa Morgan. Writer Peter Hogan pays tribute:

I have sad news to impart, of interest to pretty much the entire British comics community: last night my dear friend Vanessa Morgan passed away peacefully, after losing a long battle with cancer. She would have celebrated her 64th birthday in a few days time.

Vanessa worked in comics and childrens’ publishing for literally decades, and was a key member of the Society for Strip Illustration in its heyday. Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s she was editing DC reprints for Egmont, where she commissioned original story material and illustrations from struggling newcomers like Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Garry Leach and Pete Milligan (to name but a few).

I first met her in the late 1980s, when we were both editing reprints of 2000AD material for Dez Skinn’s Quality line, working alongside Dave Elliott and Scott Dunbier. I think it was Dez who coined the nickname Vee For Vanessa for her. The Vee part stuck, and I don’t think I ever called her anything else.

That was probably the end of her career in comics per se, though she went on to edit the childrens’ newspaper Scoop and many, many other magazine projects. With all of these she’d always recruit comics artists whenever she needed any illustrations done ; at one point I think she was single-handedly keeping 20 – 30 comics freelancers afloat.

She was one of a kind and larger than life, was our Vee. Whatever her flaws, she was also one of the funniest, wisest, kindest people I’ve ever known. I’ll miss her terribly, and the world is a lot poorer without her.

I met Vanessa many times back in the days of the Westminster Comic Marts in the 1980s, back when I was starting out in my comics career. I recall her as a true “live wire”, always enthusiastic and a publisher who helped many creators on their way with their careers.

My sympathies to her friends and family at this sad time. She will be much missed.

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

2 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Vanessa Morgan

  • May 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm
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    This
    is so sad and so bizarre! I knew Vanessa well but haven’t seen her in a
    few years. Just this morning I was looking on LinkedIn to see if she
    was there so I could get in touch!! 🙁

  • May 21, 2014 at 2:03 am
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    I just found out today, and I’m gutted. A great personal friend, I loved her dearly. And what a great champion for so many of the people that have gone on on to do so much in our little world of comics. She was a neighbour, I saw her recently and she said she was well now. This is a great shock. And a great loss.

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