In Memoriam: TV21 and Countdown Comic Artist Jon Davis MBE

Artist Jon Davis receiving his MBE. Photo courtesy Jon’s family
Artist Jon Davis receiving his MBE. Photo courtesy Jon’s family

We’re sorry to report the passing of prolific comic artist and children’s book illustrator Jon Davis MBE.

Jon, who received an MBE for Services To Children’s Literature in 2013, had been an illustrator since 1960, working on book jackets, and magazine illustration, and drawing for comics that included Boys’ World, Lady Penelope, TV21 and annuals, and, later, Countdown.

“The Martians Invade”, from Boys’World, Volume 1 No.31, cover dated 24th August 1963. Art by Jon Davis.With thanks to David Slinn
“The Martians Invade”, from Boys’World, Volume 1 No.31, cover dated 24th August 1963. Art by Jon Davis. With thanks to David Slinn
“The Ghost Riveter”, from Boys’World, Volume 1 No.32, cover dated 31st August 1963. Art by Jon Davis. With thanks to David Slinn
“The Ghost Riveter”, from Boys’World, Volume 1 No.32, cover dated 31st August 1963. Art by Jon Davis. With thanks to David Slinn

Strips he worked on, for the various Gerry Anderson-related titles, include “The Angels”, “Daktari” (for Lady Penelope), “Secret Agent 21” (a fill in story for TV21, the strip normally drawn by Rab Hamilton), “Thunderbirds”, “Joe 90”, “The Secret Service” and “UFO”.

Jon Davis, 1966 Chiswick, London, in 1966. Photo courtesy Jon’s family
Jon Davis, 1966 Chiswick, London, in 1966. Photo courtesy Jon’s family
“Daktari”, for Lady Penelope. Art by Jon Davis

One of my favourite comic artists of the early 1970s, particularly on Countdown, he also worked on the Polystyle title Target, drawing strips such as “Kojak”.

“The Champions”, drawn for Joe 90: Top Secret in 1969, by Jon Davis
“The Champions”, drawn for Joe 90: Top Secret in 1969, by Jon Davis
“Kojak”, drawn by Jon Davis, for Target
“Kojak”, drawn by Jon Davis, for Target

Jon also drew all the instalments of “Dinky Driver”, which was in colour on the back page of Solo comic in 1967, in which hero Johnny ‘Dinky’ Driver had adventures with the toy car company’s latest releases.

Later he drew “The Adventures of Stripey, the Magic Mini”, in Candy.

Jon also drew strips for DC Thomson, including “I Spy”, “Mr Bubbles” and “Klanky The Robot” for Sparky.

Klanky the Robot for a Sparky annual - art by Jon Davis
Klanky the Robot for a Sparky annual – art by Jon Davis
I-Spy
Cover art by Jon Davis for Starblazer Issue 62, “Terror Tomb”
Cover art by Jon Davis for Starblazer Issue 62, “Terror Tomb”
The cover of Jon Davis’ book, The Fantastic Adventures of Trevor & Eric
The cover of Jon Davis’ book, The Fantastic Adventures of Trevor & Eric

An integral part of the establishment of Linden Artists in the 1960s, his book art includes work for Ladybird, such as an edition of Frankenstein in 1984, and Rupert the Bear, and he also illustrated some of the “Bancroft Tiddlers” pocket books.

Bancroft Tiddlers 19 - Heroes of the Wild West

His son Ethan notes on Jon’s official web site that he began drawing science fiction and fantasy art in 1973, after reading The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. He also published his own book, The Fantastic Adventures of Trevor & Eric.

“I enjoy the work I do now,” Jon said of his later work, “which is mainly history books for children – all cartoons, Great fun!”

“I loved his work on ‘The Angels’ strip,” says Fred McNamara, author of Spectrum is Indestructible. “He clearly had great fun drawing the Angel Interceptor craft in combat, his scenes really crackle and pop with excitment.”

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

• Jon Davis web site is at: wixsite.com/jondavistv21

Fantastic Adventures of Trevor & Eric is available from Authorhouse or as an eBook download from Kobo

Bancroft Tiddlers – A Checklist

With thanks to Jon’s son, Ethan, Graham Bleathman, David Slinn, Lew Stringer and Shaquille Le Vesconte for additional credits

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

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5 replies

  1. So sorry to hear of Jon Davis passing…his great work filled my childhood with weekly anticipation for the next issue of many a comic.

  2. So versatile!

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