In Memoriam: Fleetway Art Editor John Jackson

John Jackson (left) at work on pages of the relaunched Eagle in 1982 with fellow staffer Paul Bensberg. Image from the 1983 Eagle annual

We’re sorry to report the passing of former Fleetway art staffer John Jackson, one of the team behind the relaunch of Eagle in 1982, who died towards the end of June, after a long illness.

John was part of the art department on Eagle, Girl and Boys’ World in the 1960s, later working on Roy of the Rovers and the relaunched Eagle in the 1980s.

“He was an art man on my titles and came to us from a senior position in another group, which I think was the educational group of titles,” former Fleetway Group Editor Barrie Tomlinson told downthetubes. “He worked on Roy of the Rovers and the new Eagle.

“John was a lovely man to work with,” he added. “Quiet and understanding. Nothing seemed to flap him. One of the old school of editorial folk.”

Fleetway staff at the launch of New Eagle in 1982 at the Waldorf Hotel, London, stage managed by Barrie Tomlinson.  Top Row, left to right: Jack Cunningham (art staff), John Jackson (art staff), Doug Church (art editor), the Mekon, Roy Preston (writer), Sid Bicknell (Fleetway editor), then Barrie Tomlinson, standing. Bottom Row, left to right: Barrie's secretary, Debbie Watts; Paul Bensberg (art staff);  David Hunt, holding the Eagle logo; Ian Rimmer (assistant editor); and Janet Dixon (sub editor). Photo courtesy Barrie Tomlinson
Fleetway staff at the launch of Eagle in 1982 at the Waldorf Hotel, London, stage managed by Barrie Tomlinson. Top Row, left to right: Jack Cunningham (art staff), John Jackson (art staff), Doug Church (art editor), the Mekon, Roy Preston (writer), Sid Bicknell (Fleetway editor), then Barrie Tomlinson, standing. Bottom Row, left to right: Barrie’s secretary, Debbie Watts; Paul Bensberg (art staff); David Hunt, holding the Eagle logo; Ian Rimmer (assistant editor); and Janet Dixon (sub editor). Photo courtesy Barrie Tomlinson

“John was a talented and genuinely decent individual,” added David Hunt, his editor on Eagle. “Extremely reliable and painstaking.

“I remember once calling him ‘Mr Unflappable’ because nothing seemed to phase him. When myself and others were often having tantrums, John would be smiling in the background and his self-effacing attitude on life would often diffuse the most ‘serious’ of situations.”

“Sad news,” notes fellow former Fleetway staffer Tony Bruce. “I worked alongside John during my time as Art Assistant on Roy of the Rovers.”

“He was a thorough professional, who did his job quietly and without any fuss,” said Ian Vosper, his editor on Roy of the Rovers. “He was such an easy man to get on with, reliable in the extreme.”

Our sympathies to John’s family and friends at this time.

With thanks to Barrie Tomlinson and David McDonald for help with this item

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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

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