2000AD and DC Thomson artist Ron Smith may not have been a name immediately associated with the original Eagle comic, best known for “Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future” – created by Frank Hampson and his team – “Riders of the Range”, “Luck of the Legion” and many more incredible strips. But in fact, Ron was an early contributor to the legendary boys’ weekly title.
These “Sporting Personalities” illustrated features by “Ross” have, in the intervening years, been attributed to just about every well-known Eagle artist and, even others – whose infant talents were still being chalked on school slates in the 1950s.
Whenever, though only intermittently, questions over the identity of “Ross” have cropped up, illustrator David Slinn – a much valued behind-the-scenes supporter of our work here at downthetubes and occasional contributor – has volunteered the answer… apparently, everyone “knew better”, remaining adamant that Ron Smith couldn’t possibly have drawn them.
That he did – together with the examples below – provides some insight on what must have prompted DC Thomson’s efforts to “head-hunt” him, and led to Ron making the decision to move his family to Dundee in 1952.
In turn, they may also at least convince some of our readers…
Eagle © Dan Dare Corporation