In Memoriam: Whizzer & Chips, Dandy cartoonist Terry Bave

Some of the many characters drawn or created by Terry, often with wife Shiela, down the decades. Art by Terry Bave

Some of the many characters drawn or created by Terry, often with wife Shiela, down the decades. Art by Terry Bave

We’re very sorry to report of the passing of another great of British humour comics, cartoonist Terry Bave, who has died after a short illness, aged 87. His many credits since the 1950s included work for Wham!, Cor!, Whizzer and Chips and, later, the Beano and The Dandy.

Although he retired in 2007 he continued to draw and offer advice on creating comics, culminating in the publication of a fascinating book about his career in 2013 that includes art first drawn way back in 1947.

Fellow cartoonist Lew Stringer of the artist, perhaps best known for his work on “Sammy Shrink” for Wham! and, later, Knockout and the “two-in-one” comic Whizzer & Chips, announced his death on his Blimey! blog, following a message from Terry’s son, Russell.

“Fans of his work will also be saddened, but the best way to remember him is through the thousands of pages he drew over his long career, bringing fun and smiles to millions of children,” says Lew.

“His work was sunshine with lots of happy faces,” noted artist and comics archivist Peter Gray on his UK comics Facebook group. “Smiling cats…. just full of joy and made my childhood fun!”

Bave’s clear, unfussy humour strips were to be found in great numbers in British humour comics through the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, working, often with his wife, Shiela, on six or seven characters at any one time.

“Ginger’s Tum”, drawn by Terry Bave, for Whizzer & Chips © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

“Ginger’s Tum”, drawn by Terry Bave, for Whizzer & Chips © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

“Ginger’s Tum”, drawn by Terry Bave, for Whizzer & Chips © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Born in Bristol in 1931, Terry began drawing at an early age, freelancing as an illustrator since the 1950s. A biography of his career on the Illustration Art Gallery by Steve Holland notes his first professionally published cartoons in the pages of the film magazine Picturegoer and the home movie magazine The Pathescope Gazette. With this success in specialist magazines, he sought out others and, by the late 1950s, was also publishing regularly in Do-It-Yourself, TV Times, Fire! and Scooter.

His comics career began fully in 1967, when he approached the editor of Wham!, Albert Cosser, for work and took over “Sammy Shrink” from its original artist, David Jenner. After languishing low in the comic’s popularity polls, Bave’s take on the pint-sized character with normal-sized parents, a modern Tom Thumb, became a huge hit, and was revived in the early 1970s for Whizzer and Chips.

Also popular was Bave’s own, “Baby Whamster”, a character that must surely have inspired other artists to create similar toddler terrors down the decades.

Original art for “Baby Whamster” by Terry Bave “Donovan’s Dad” for Cor Issue One by Terry Bave © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Original art for “Baby Whamster” by Terry Bave. Via George Shiers “Donovan’s Dad” for Cor Issue One by Terry Bave © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

“Terry’s clean, pleasant style was always very popular with the readers, as were the scripts, mainly written with his wife Shiela,” Lew notes.

“Terry and Shiela came up with many new characters for the expanding IPC line of comics in the 1970s, having continued success with strips such as ‘Me and my Shadow‘, ‘Jimmy Jeckle‘ and ‘Master Hyde‘, ‘The Slimms‘, ‘Calculator Kid‘, ‘Donovan’s Dad‘, and many more.”

Terry Bave (based on the Isle of Wight) and Lezz Barton (in South Harrow) were both regular contributors to Cor! While having a clearout of old boxes a couple of years ago, comics editor Dez Skinn came across this little gem from his days as the title's sub, which rather contradicts Editor Bob Paynter's introduction!

Terry Bave (based on the Isle of Wight) and Lezz Barton (in South Harrow) were both regular contributors to Cor! While having a clearout of old boxes a couple of years ago, comics editor Dez Skinn came across this little gem from his days as the title’s sub, which rather contradicts Editor Bob Paynter’s introduction!

Terry was a mainstay of Cor! and Whizzer & Chips, and was on board from the start on another 1970’s ‘two-in-one’ comic, Shiver & Shake, which featured the spider “Webster” and, after a ghosting the strips on occasion, took over the lead characters of both sections from Mike Lacey – “Shiver” the ghost and “Shake” the elephant.

“‘Two comics-in-one’ was [editor] Bob Paynter’s idea,” Terry told Terry Hooper in an interview for Comic Bits Online in 2013. “We always, from day one, worked closely with Bob on all future projects.

“I always told young audiences that the two-comics-in-one idea was to save arguments in a two child household when the comic popped through the letter-box -often, a bright child in the audience would suggest that the “two children” could still argue over who read which part first!”

Both Shiver and Shake appeared in mostly large ‘splash’ panels of one big image in Shiver & Shake, but when the title was merged with Whoopee! in 1974, it was Bave gave both characters continued life in their own half-page strips. Here’s two examples, with thanks to one of Terry’s many fans, Robert Smith.

Shiver by Terry Bave for Whoopee! © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Shiver by Terry Bave for Whoopee! © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

"Shake" by Terry Bave for Whoopee! © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

“Shake” by Terry Bave for Whoopee! © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Terry drew “My Bruvver” for Knockout, in which poor Len was stuck each week with his tearaway younger brother, the little’un. “Sammy Shrink” was revived for the title, before transferring to Whizzer & Chips.

Terry Bave's sketch for Cartoonist Club magazine following the 101 Comic Convention in 1976

Terry Bave’s sketch for Cartoonist Club magazine following the 101 Comic Convention in 1976

Perhaps one of the strangest strips he would work on was “Odd Ball” for Whizzer & Chips, about a ball that could stretch and morph into any shape, a series that survived in the weekly comic until 1990.

"Odd Ball” by Terry Bave for Whizzer & Chips - 1990

The final "Odd Ball” by Terry Bave for Whizzer & Chips, published in 1990 (with thanks to Peter Gray) © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

The final “Odd Ball” by Terry Bave for Whizzer & Chips, published in 1990 (with thanks to Peter Gray) © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Beyond his work for Fleetway, in 1988 he was among many professional contributors to Cartoon Aid – a charity event in 1988, run by CITV, that asked children to design a cartoon character which would then be “brought to life” by a professional cartoonist, The profits of the book that was the result of the project – The Cartoon Aid Kidz Annual – all went to the Wad Sherifay Refugee Camp in Sudan.

A rare strip from that king of humour strips, Terry (and Shiela) Bave, from the CartoonAid Kidz Annual in 1988, his contribution to Cartoon Aid - a charity event run by CITV.

A rare strip from that king of humour strips, Terry (and Shiela) Bave, from the CartoonAid Kidz Annual in 1988, his contribution to Cartoon Aid – a charity event run by CITV. More information on the Two Headed Thingies Blog

Terry would continue to work for Fleetway through the 1980s, despite the sad decline in the number of titles and associated launches. Strips he worked on included “Pete’s Pop-Up Book” and, later, “Imagine” for Buster, and “Mighty Mouth” for Nipper.

Art by Terry Bave for an episode of "Pete’s Pop-Up Book” (via John Price) © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Art by Terry Bave for an episode of “Pete’s Pop-Up Book” (via John Price) © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Whoopee - Toy Boy by Terry Bave

"Toy Boy" for Whoopee! by Terry Bave © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

“Toy Boy” for Whoopee! by Terry Bave © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

An episode of "Sammy Shrink" by Terry Bave which appeared in Whizzer & Chips, cover dated 18th July 1987. (via Illustration Art Gallery) © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

An episode of “Sammy Shrink” by Terry Bave which appeared in Whizzer & Chips, cover dated 18th July 1987. (via Illustration Art Gallery) © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Terry Bave’s cover for the 1994 Big Comic Fortnightly Holiday Special

Terry Bave’s cover for the 1994 Big Comic Fortnightly Holiday Special

As the market’s decline continued, he also found work with DC Thomson, initially ghosting a number of strips – including “Number 13” and “Bash Street Kids” for Beano and “Korky the Cat” for Dandy, before taking over “Winker Watson” in Dandy , between 1991 and 2002.

"Korky the Cat" by Terry Bave for The Dandy © DC Thomson

“Korky the Cat” by Terry Bave for The Dandy © DC Thomson

"Winker Watson" by Terry Bave for The Dandy © DC Thomson

“Winker Watson” by Terry Bave for The Dandy © DC Thomson

Some of his final strips for the Dundee-based publisher were “The Great Geraldoes” and the Morse parody, “Inspector Horse and Jockey” for The Beano, and “Baby Herc” for The Dandy.

The fax Terry Bave sent comics writer Daniel McGachey when he sold his first flat and bought another, larger one back in 2003. "A typically kind gesture from him," says Daniel. "...a delightful and talented man."

The fax Terry Bave sent comics writer Daniel McGachey when he sold his first flat and bought another, larger one back in 2003. “A typically kind gesture from him,” says Daniel. “…a delightful and talented man.”

“I wrote for Terry for a number of years in the 1990s, on ‘Winker Watson’ mainly, notes comics writer Daniel McGachey, “and on ‘Old Misery’ for The Beezer books. He was a lovely fellow, and always a delight to work with.”

Retiring in 2007, he later published his wonderful book about his incredible career, Cartoons and Comic Strips, which is still available on Lulu.com, a title that captures not only Terry’s amazing life story, but the rise and fall of traditional British humour comics.

“[It] comes across again and again that Terry’s primary motivation was the entertainment of children,” noted Simon Chadwick in a review of the book for the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain web site. “This was so much more than a job, and his love for creating quirky cartoons and fun-packed strips is there to see in every panel.

“In places it’s a somewhat melancholy read as Terry records the rise and fall of children’s comics in Britain, but despite the mergers and folding of titles his enthusiasm never seems to be dented as a new opportunity was always presenting itself.”

Perhaps one of the stranger stories associated with Terry’s rich life in comics was his mistaken “passing” back in 2007, when his death was erroneously reported, a mistake that the cartoonist himself apparently saw the funny side of.

Sadly, this time around, Terry’s death is not in doubt, but his incredible output and much-admired art are an wonderful legacy and he will be much missed. Our sympathies to family and friends at this time.

Web Links

Cartoons and Comic Strips by Terry BaveBuy Terry Bave’s Book, Cartoons and Comics from Lulu.com

Terry Bave’s own short-lived blog launched to promote his book

TRIBUTES

Fellow cartoonist Lew Stringer pays tribute to Terry here on his Blimey blog

The Comics Archive: Terry Bave
Bruce Laing has published some examples of his favourite Terry Bave strips in tribute to the artist

Cartoonist Terry Bave and wife Shiela In the 1970s

Cartoonist Terry Bave and wife Shiela In the 1970s

• The Comics Archive by Bruce Laing – A Look at Terry Bave Part One | Part Two

•  Many fans of Terry have posted some of their favourite strips by him on Peter’s Gray’s UV Comics Facebook group

PROFILES

Illustration Art Gallery Terry Bave biography
The most detailed biography of Terry online, compiled by Steve Holland

Lambiek: Terry Bave

UK Comics Wikia: Terry Bave

INTERVIEWS

Read Terry Hooper’s 2013 interview with Terry on Comic Bits Online



Categories: downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Humour Comics, Obituaries

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3 replies

  1. Very sad news John. Terry had a very recognisable style and I am glad that I managed to get a few things by hom over the years to remember him by. My condolences to the family.

  2. Someone I was a fan of, without knowing it. I loved those Big Comic Fornightly reprints back in the 90s, and clearly I’d seen and enjoyed his artwork int eh DC Thomson comics prior to those.

  3. Yes, indeed, condolences to the family. I met Terry just a few times here on the isle of Wight and can confirm, unsurprisingly, that his personality was every bit as generous and warming as the wonderful humour in all that he drew – a prolific amount and a marvellous legacy from one of the giants in the field.

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