Those We Have Lost in 2020 – Part Two

It has been a terrible year for families and friends across the globe. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc, not just directly but through its impact to many as governments battled the Pandemic, all trying different ways to battle it, some more successfully than others.

The creative community was not immune to loss, and as the year progressed we lost others, too, to other causes. Here, we pay tribute to those comic creators – and some comics-connected celebrities in other fields – who have passed in later months of 2020.

You can read our tribute to those lost between January and June 2020 here

July

Jiro Kuwata – Japanese Comic Artist
Born 17th April 1935, died 2nd July 2020

When the Batman TV show debuted in 1966, it sparked a wave of Bat-mania that swept far beyond American shores. In Japan, Jiro Kuwata, who had begun working in manga aged just 13 in the 1940s, created a licensed manga — titled simply Batman — that appeared in the weekly boys magazine Shōnen King.

The strip featured in Chop Kidd’s Bat-Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan, which led to DC Comics translating and releasing the strips as The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga in 2014, first as a digital-only series and then across three volumes.

Kuwata also created Maboroshi Tantei (adapted as the TV series Phantom Detective) before collaborating with writer Kazumasa Hirai in 1963 to create 8 Man for Weekly Shonen. His most famous creation, 8 Man, became an anime series in the same year, and later inspired a video game, two live-action films, and more anime and manga in the 1990s.

Read a tribute here in Japanese

• Read a tribute on Mitchell Brown’s A Dispensable List of Comic Book Lists

Avad bin Hassan Jami – Indian Cartoonist
Born 2nd December 1942, died 11th July 2020

An Indian cartoonist from Gujarat. A.H. Jami’s career spanned 45 years, during which he worked with several publications, starting by publishing cartoons in Rangtarang magazine when he was just 19. He worked with Abhiyan, a Gujarati magazine, for two decades and published cartoons under pseudonym Tikadam.

Read a tribute on khaskhabarrajkot.com (in Gujarati) | Wikipedia

Rep. John Lewis – American Civil Rights Leader, Graphic Novelist
Born 21st February 1940, died 17th July 2020

Esteemed civil rights leader, congressman and graphic novelist John Lewis passed away aged 80, following a battle with cancer.

Lewis served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020. He was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966.

The graphic novel series March is based on Lewis’ inspiring efforts in the civil rights movement through his work today, and his fight to achieve social justice for all.

• Read a tribute on Mitchell Brown’s A Dispensable List of Comic Book Lists

CBR.com has an obituary here

Brian Walker writes himself into an episode of “Scream Inn”. Via Kazoop
Brian Walker writes himself into “Scream Inn”. Image via Kazoop

Brian Walker – British Comic Artist
Died late July 2020, aged 94

Comic artist and illustrator Brian Walker was the artist on many memorable humour strips for DC Thomson and IPC/ Fleetway, not least of them the brillaint “Scream Inn” , which also first appeared in Shiver and Shake in 1973, running there for 79 issues, before moving to Whoopee the following year

Brian had suffered from Alzheimer’s, a condition which, sadly, had eventually forced his retirement. His daughter Jo Burgess paid tribute to the cartoonist and illustrator in The Guardian, noting he was known for “being quick, versatile and brilliantly effective at delivering on his brief, he was always much in demand.

“As result he reckoned to have drawn 5400 pages worth of comic strips and illustrations by the time he retired in 2009,” she says.

Over 50 years, Brian’s work appeared in comics such as BeanoThe Dandy, and Whizzer and Chips, in humour-led publications such as Punch, serious magazines such as The Countryman, and in more than 80 books.

Read the full downthetubes tribute here

August

Laurent Vicomte © Humanoid Associates
Laurent Vicomte. Image: Humanoid Associates

Laurent Vicomte – French Comic Writer
Born 1956), died 9th August 2020

Despite his relatively small quantity of series published, Laurent Vicomte won numerous awards for his works. Balade au bout du monde, co-created with Pierre Makyo, later collected by Glenat, became one of the best-selling comic strips of the 1980s. However, he never published any more volumes of the series after 1989, handing the series over to Éric Hérenguel.

Leaving Paris to settle in Perros-Guirec, he met up with his friends, comic creators Régis Loisel and Jean-Charles Kraehn, and founded the Festival de bande dessinée de Perros-Guirec; and focused almost exclusively on Sasmira, publishing the new series’ first volume in 1997. He published subsequent volumes in 2000, 2004, and 2009.

Read a tribute in TDG (in French)

Lieutenant Tara by Svetozar Obradović and Branislav Kerac
Lieutenant Tara by Svetozar Obradović and Branislav Kerac

Svetozar Obradović (aka Toza Obradovic) – Serbian Comic Writer
Born 12th November 1950, died 14th August 2020

A Serbian writer who dedicated his whole life to comics, Svetozar Obradović was one of Serbia’s greatest comic creators, who also wrote articles, essays, stories, books and radio dramas.

His first work, Lieutenant Tara, drawn by childhood friend Branislav Kerac, debuted in 1975, in the Yugoslavian magazine Zlatni kliker in 1975, the titular hero named and loosely based on Obradović‘s uncle, who fought as a partisan during World War Two. They went on to create Kobra and Cat Claw, two of the most popular Yugoslav books of the 1980s.

Obradović also worked with different artists on licensed properties such as Tarzan and Blek as well as Ninja and Lun, kralj ponoći, based on the popular pulp novels.

Although the Serbian comics industry is a pale shadow compared with its height, a time that brought Obradović deserved acclaim, his work has been reprinted in the US, Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands.

Read a tribute in Novosti (in Serbian)

Claude Laverdure – Belgian Comic Creator, born in the Congo
Born 19th April 1947, died 17th August 2020

Born in Buta in the Congo, Laverdue was the creator of the humorous character Grognon le Nuton, mascot of the comic creator’s home city of Namur for several decades.

Laverdue helped put his home city on the “Ninth Art” map, according to a tribute published by L’Avenir. His many credits also included adapting Voyage to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, Fantomas by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain, and also a book about the life of Saint-Exupéry.

Read a tribute on BDZoom (in French)

Read a tribute in the Brussels Star (in French)

Lee Wai Chun – Hong Kong Comic Artist
Born 1930, died 27th August 2020

One of the most successful female Hong Kong comics artists, Lee Wai Chun was best known for her popular series Sapsaam Dim, launched in 1966, which ran until 1980, one of the best-selling comics in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, known as Miss 13 Dot or 13-Dot Cartoon in English.

Fashion-focused Sapsaam Dim followed the adventures of a rich, fashion-oriented teenager, daughter of a millionaire banker, Mr. Cash, and a lenient mother, Mrs. Lovely. Miss 13 Dot – a character Lee once said “can do what she likes, make her own decisions, have her own ideas” was intended and received as a feminist icon during a time of change for women in Hong Kong.

Arts Asia Pacific: Obituary

The Phantom by Rolf Ernest Gohs
The Phantom by Rolf Ernest Gohs

Rolf Ernest Gohs – Swedish Comic Artist
Born 1933, died 23rd August 2020

Born in Estonia but resident in Sweden, artist, photographer, film maker and writer Rolf Gohs’ early works include Mannen från Claa (“The Man from Claa”) and Dödens Fågel (“The Bird of Death”), both well received.

He began to produce covers and some interior art for the Swedish Fantomen (Phantom) comic in 1957, and is probably best known for his cover work featuring some of the most well-known comic characters from all over the world, many published outside Sweden.

His best known strip work is the adventure comic, Mystiska 2:an (“The Mysterious Two”), about two young teenagers in Stockholm. Launched in 1994, initially as a back up strip in Fantomen, it ran for 20 years, until a storyline centring on one boy’s love for an older man caused controversy, the cancellation of the strip and contributed the end to the magazine, Comet, in which it last appeared.

Read a tribute on the Phantom web site

Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
Born 1933, died 26th August; Born 19538, died 6th November

Soon after Ken Spears was hired as a sound editor at Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1959, he met Joe Ruby, who had begun his animation career in the in-betweening department at Walt Disney Productions before moving over to Hanna-Barbera. After working together on shows like The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Space Ghost, in 1969 they were assigned the task of coming up with a new mystery-based series for the CBS Saturday morning line-up. The result was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, a show that scored huge ratings across three seasons and spawned one of the most successful animation franchises in history.

You would be hard-pressed to find a child of the 1970s or ’80s who didn’t watch a Ruby-Spears show, with credits spanning Thundarr the Barbarian, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Dink the Little Dinosaur and the animated Punky Brewster… not to mention a few titles starring some familiar faces to comic fans like The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show, Heathcliff and Marmaduke, and the 1988 Superman animated series.

• Read a tribute on Mitchell Brown’s A Dispensable List of Comic Book Lists

Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. Image: Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios
Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. Image: Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios

Chadwick Boseman – Actor
Born 1976, died 27th August 2020

While Chadwick Boseman played many prominent roles, starring in Get on Up (2014) as singer James Brown and Marshall (2017) as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, he’ll be most remembered for playing T’Challa, ruler of the fictional African nation known as Wakanda in 2018’s Black Panther and other Marvel films.

A sequel was in the works with Boseman set to return to the title role, but before shooting could begin, he succumbed to colon cancer, four years after receiving his diagnosis.

Paying tribute, fellow actor Mark Ruffalo commented: “All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of Chadwick Boseman.What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.”

“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and chief creative officer of Marvel, in a statement.

“He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life.

“He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”

Read our tribute here

Read a tribute on Mitchell Brown’s A Dispensable List of Comic Book Lists

September 2020

Jim Janes – American Comics Artist and TMNT Cartoon Storyboarder

In addition to working on the three-part Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes series alongside writers Kupperberg and E. Nelson Bridwell in 1981, Janes also penciled no fewer than 15 issues of DC Comics’ main Legion of Super-Heroes title from May of 1980 to December of ’81. Some of his other DC credits include House of Mystery and Superman Family. He also did some work for Marvel Comics.

In the world of animation, Janes worked as a storyboard artist on numerous different shows, including Extreme Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

CBR.com has an obituary here

Bob Fujitani – American Comic Artist
Born 1921, died 6th September 2020

Fujitani worked for a number of publishers during the 1940s, but especially MLJ (later known as Archie Comics), where he drew superhero characters like the Hangman with the character’s original artist, Harry Lucey, until — just like with Fine — he eventually inherited that assignment. He moved from comics to newspaper strips after World War Two, thenceforward alternating between the two forms with credits that included Turok Son of Stone and co-creating Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom for Western, before working with Dan Barry on the daily Flash Gordon strip in 1963 an assignment he continued for years, finally gaining a credit in 1977.

• Read a tribute on Mitchell Brown’s A Dispensable List of Comic Book Lists

Art and Hue - The Avengers - Emma Peel
Image: Art & Hue

Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg DBE – British Actress
Born 20th July 1938, died 10th September 2020

The accomplished, awrd-winning stage and screen actress best known as Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers (1965–1968), her character appearing in several comic versions of the show, including thr weekly British girls comic, Diana. She also played Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, wife of James Bond, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones (2013–2017).

The Guardian – Diana Rigg Remembered by Mark Gatiss

Bruno Madaule
Bruno Madaule

Bruno Madaule – French Comic Writer
Born 1971, died 13th September 2020

Bruno Madule, who died of cancer aged just 49, actually graduated as an architect. He began his impressive career in comics in 2000, with Le mini guide du Foot (Vents d’Ouest), winning Belgium‘s BEDEBU competition the following year, before being nominated for the “Young Talents” exhibition in Angoulême.

That same year, he created the series Les Zinzinventeurs, with Jacky Goupil and Sylvia Douyé, published by Casterman. The first volume of the series won the Alph’art for the best youth album in Angoulême.

His humour comics fast became in demand and he contributed to a variety of magazines such as Wapiti, Spirou, creating the much-loved silly penguin-focused strip “Les Givrés”, Psikopat, Lanfeust Mag and L’Echo des Savanes. He was also the creator of a number of other album-based series, including and Les Blagues suisse, published by Delcourt.

His final work, Super environman, drawn by Thomas Priou, will be published by Bamboo posthumously next year.

“Talented, creative, Bruno was an honest and generous person,” Bamboo noted in a tribute, “appreciated by all those who worked with him, he was passionate about his work and all those who had the chance to work alongside him enjoyed these moments of sharing.”

José Antonio Fernández, known as ‘Fer’ – Spanish Cartoonist
Died 14th September 2020, aged 71

The award-winning cartoonist for the Spanish newspaper El Punt Avui, Fer’s many credits included publisher of El Papus in the 1970s, and he was one of the creators of El Jueves in the 1980s, drawing the strips “Puti Club” and “Historias fermosas”.

In later life he was one of the promoters of the Gat Perich International Humour Prize.

Read a tribute from El Mundo

Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón, aka Quino. Photo: Glénat
Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón, aka Quino. Photo: Glénat

Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón AKA Quino – Argentine-Spanish Comic Artist
Born 17th July 1932, died 30th September 2020

A true legend of international comics, better known by his pen name Quino, the creator of Mafalda (which ran from 1964 to 1973), died aged 88 in September.

Quinio’s work was – and is – popular in many parts of the Americas and Europe and Mafalda, published in French by Éditions Glénat, has been praised for its use of social satire as a commentary on real-life issues. The strip was introduced to Europe by Italian writer Umberto Eco and was eventually translated into two-dozen languages, although it never gained much traction with English speaking fans.

The character – described as an inquisitive, intelligent, ironic, non-conformist girl, concerned with peace and human rights, who hates soup and loves the Beatles – gained a dedicated following throughout Quino’s career, even after he moved onto other projects, skewering social conventions through ordinary characters who endured absurdity, exploitation, authoritarianism and their own limitations. He returned to Mafalda occasionally, including drawing it for a campaign with UNICEF about adequate medical care for children and other rights. 

“I don’t think my cartoons are the sort that make people laugh their heads off. I tend to use a scalpel rather than tickle the ribs,” Quino said in an interview with The UNESCO Courier, published in 2000. ‘’I don’t go out of my way to be humorous; it’s just something that comes out of me. I’d like to be funnier, but as you get older you become less amusing and more incisive.”

Quino was awarded the title “Master of Arts” by his home city of Buenos Aires in 1988, and other awards deservedly followed.

Read a tribute on Yahoo News

Michael Lonsdale – French Actor
Born:24th May 1931, died 21st September 2020

Prolific French actor Michael Lonsdale, who memorably faced Roger Moore’s James Bond in Moonraker, died aged 89. He appeared in over 180 films and television shows.

Hollywood Reporter has a full obituary here

October 2020

Alex Varenne – French Comic Artist and Writer
Born 29th August 1939 , died 19th October 2020

Known by his erotic comics, although it took some ten years to find a publisher of his first work, writer and artist Alex Varenne often collaborated with his brother, Daniel Varenne. They created the dystopian SF comic series Ardeur, published at Charlie Mensuel, published over six volumes between 1980 and 1987and also worked on L’Affaire Landscape, also written by Daniel, in 1985.

He was one of several artists to make drawings for the “safe sex” promotional book ‘Les Aventures de Latex’ (FortMedia, 1991).

Read a tribute on Monsieur Vintage

Sean Connery – Scottish Actor
Born 1930, died 21st October 2020

Sean Connery will always be most associated with his role as the first big screen James Bond, but his many credits also included Jim Malone in The Untouchables, Dr. Henry Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, John Mason in The Rock, and ageing adventurer Allan Quatermain in 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – his final film role.

Read a tribute on Mitchell Brown’s A Dispensable List of Comic Book Lists

Richard Lupoff – American Writer
Born 1935, died 22nd October 2020

Richard Lupoff – Dick to his friends and fans – produced his first fanzine, SF52, in the early 1950s, moving on to writing reviews for Algol and, in the early 1960s, editing the Hugo-winning Xero with his wife Pat and Bhob Stewart.

His first book was a biography, Edgar Rice Burroughs: Master of Adventure, that told the story of Tarzan’s creator, but it was far from his last; he began publishing fiction in 1967 with the novel One Million Centuries and became a full-time writer in 1970. Over the following decades, he wrote and edited sci-fi novels, mysteries, collections of short stories, and non-fiction books about writing and writers.

Other credits include All in Color for a Dime and the follow-up The Comic Book Book in 1973, co-edited with Dan Thompson, which included essays from Harlan Ellison, Roy Thomas and Ron Goulart and more, telling stories about classic Golden Age characters for a new generation of comic readers.

Read a tribute on Mitchell Brown’s A Dispensable List of Comic Book Lists

Jean-Pierre Autheman – French Comic Creator and Professor
Born 17th December 1946, died 26th October 2020

A French comic book author, occasional novelist, illustrator and cartoonist, Jean-Pierre Autheman’s made his debut in 1972, with the self-published comic strip Mémoires d’un Gardien de Phare.

His friend, Georges Wolinski, who worked for Hara-Kiri, helped him publish comics in Charlie Mensuel, L’Écho des savanes, and Pilote. At the end of the 1970s, he became involved in the Rencontres d’Arles, creating the characters Condor and Vic Valence in 1979, whose first title, Une nuit chez Tennessee won Best Album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 1987.

His final published comics work was Zambada, released in 2006, illustrated by Éric Maltaite, one of a few titles created after hie award-winning success in the 1980s. After this, he then became a professor of narrative image and screenplay design at the École des Nouvelles Images in Avignon.

Read his biography on Lambiek

November 2020

Miguel Quesada Cerdán – Spanish Comic Creator
Born 4th January 1933, died 6th November 2020

An award-winning veteran of the Editorial Valenciana, perhaps best known in Spain for his work on Pantera Negra, Migiel Quesada worked alongside the likes of Joes Ortiz and Luis Bermejo, whose comics career began just after World War Two.

He was a prolific artist for Bardon, who provided artists for British publishers. Through the agency, he contributed work to British comics for over a decade. “Much of his work appeared in picture libraries,” noted author and artist David Roach on his passing, “particularly Air Ace. But he also drew such strips as ‘Iron Man’, ‘Wildcat Wayne’ and ‘Dan Dare’, even drawing covers for Tammy.”

Like Ortiz and Bermejo, he shared their energy and dynamism, and was the first comic artist to receive the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts in 2001 granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

Read a tribute published by La Tribuna de Albacete (in Spanish)

• Read a tribute by fellow comic creator Sergio Bleda (in Spanish)

There’s a brief post on the Jinty blog about some of his girls comics work is here

Watch an interview in Spanish here on rtve.es | Lambiek

Marleen Starksfield Lowe – British Comic Artist
Born 1979, died 7th November 2020

The comics medium has lost a rare talent with the passing of Marleen Starksfield Lowe, after a long battle with leukemia which she appeared to face with infinite resilience and strength, aged just 40. Marleen’s contribution to comics was limited in page-count. Her private nature means she remains a relatively unknown name in the grand tapestry. Regardless, what work she graced us with, and the brilliance she brought with her, remains unforgettable to those lucky enough to know her.

Read a tribute by Owen Michael Johnson on Broken Frontier

David Hemblen – British Actor
Born 16th September 1941; died Died 16th November 2020

David Hemblen, the accomplished British-born actor who was beloved for his iconic voice performance as Magneto in the X-Men Animated Series, died, aged 79.

His many credits also included the role of Resistance leader Jonathan Doors on the first four seasons of the syndicated science fiction television series, Earth: Final Conflict.

CBR.com has an obituary here

Read David’s obituary in the Toronto Star

Kirby Morrow – Canadian Actor
Born 28th August 1973, died 18th November 2020

Canadian actor/voice actor Kirby Morrow — known for his roles in X-Men: Evolution, Inuyasha and Dragon Ball Z — passed away at the age of 47.

CBR.com has an obituary here

Michael Z. Hobson, Former Marvel Comics Executive Vice President
Born 8th December 1936, died 12th November 2020

Hobson joined Marvel Comics as executive vice president in the 1980s, responsible for editorial, marketing, distribution and production of Marvel’s comics, magazines and graphic novels. Hobson went on to run Marvel’s international business as managing director of Marvel Europe, co-ordinating its publishing and licensing operations throughout Europe.

He then returned to the US, where he became president of Parachute Publishing, a packager of fiction and non-fiction book series for teens and preteens. In 2009, he joined Cracked Entertainment, Inc., as senior adviser to assist in the redesign of the then 45-year-old Cracked magazine.

CBR.com has an obituary here

Ivo Pavone – Italian Comic Artist
Born 12th November 1929, died 20th November 2020

Ivo Pavone started drawing in 1943 and three years later was one of the collaborators of Uragano Comics, a prestigious group of authors that worked for Asso di Piche. In 1951, he emigrated to Argentina and started to work for Cesare Civita, publisher of Editorial Abril. He worked for Oesterheld’s Hora Cero and Frontera, illustrating the westerns Hueso Clavada and Verdugo Ranch. In South America, he recomposed most of the Asso di Piche team to create various comics, mostly westerns.

Eventually, he took over the Sergeant Kirk series from Hugo Pratt for two years, after which he went to work for Codex publishers.

In 1958, Pavone started working for Fleetway in the UK, drawing several comics for the English market, contributing to the Cowboy Picture Library, and drew several war stories.

He returned to Italy in 1962, where he took on numerous series, including Pecos Bill and a large production for the French market, including “Canada Jean” and “Giddap Joe” for Mon Journal and “Lupo Bianco”, “Rakar”, “Dick Demon”, “Les Cavernicoles”, “Jacky West – Bill et Barry”, “Havoc”, “Africanders”, “Galton et Trumbo” and “Doc Sullivan” for Lug publishers.

From 1975, he contributed comics to the Italian magazines LancioStory, Skorpio and Corrier Boy. Between 1979 and his retirement in 1983, he worked for Bonelli publishers.

Yaroslav Horak – Comic Artist
Born 12th June 1927, died 24th November 2020

James Bond newspaper strip artist Yaroslav Horak, who passed late last month, aged 93. He passed away peacefully at his rest home in Australia, after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Born in Manchuria to the son of a Russian mother and Czech father in 1927, Yaroslav was renowned for his dynamic black and white art for James Bond 007, which he drew for the a Daily Express from 1966 to 1977, taking over from John McLusky.

Read the full downthetubes tribute here

David Prowse – British Actor
Born 1st July 1935, died 28th November 2020

Born in Bristol, the British athlete-turned-actor represented England in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in the 1950s before breaking into film and television with appearing in A Clockwork Orange, Doctor Who and two films in which he played Frankenstein’s monster.

But he will be best remembered as Darth Vader in Star Wars, although the character was voiced by James Earl Jones; and the Green Cross Code Man, a superhero conceived to teach road safety to children in a series of television ads. “Best job I ever had,” he once said.

Read a tribute on Mitchell Brown’s A Dispensable List of Comic Book Lists

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

Jon Davis, MBE – Children’s Book Illustrator and Comic Artist
Died late November 2020

Prolific comic artist and children’s book illustrator Jon Davis MBE 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’ WorldLady PenelopeTV21 and annuals, and, later, Countdown.

Read the full downthetubes tribute here

December 2020

Richard Corben: “Under the Oak”
Richard Corben: “Under the Oak”

Richard Corben – American comic artist, illustrator and writer
Born 1st October 1940, died 2nd December 2020)

Corben is perhaps best known for his comics featured in Heavy Metal magazine, especially the Den series which was featured in the magazine’s first film adaptation in 1981. But his credits range from the underground to the mainstream, and he was a huge influence on many comic artist of today. He was the winner of the 2009 Spectrum Grand Master Award and the 2018 Grand Prix at Angoulême. In 2012, he was elected to the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.

Read the full downthetubes tribute here

• Read a tribute on Mitchell Brown’s A Dispensable List of Comic Book Lists

William Tai, known as Malik. Image: Editions Dupuis
William Tai, known as Malik. Image: Editions Dupuis

William Tai, known as Malik – French Comic Artist
Born 2nd January 1948, died 11th December 2020

Éditions Dupuis announced the death of designer Malik in the fire in his house in Belgium, aged 72.

“We will remember Malik as a colourful man, entirely guided by his passions,” the company noted in a tribute.

First published in Le Journal Tintin in the early 1960s, he began his collaboration with Jean-Marie Brouyère in 1971, which gave birth to two muscular universes: the “Archie Cash” series and the “Blue Bird” diptych. He also brought other heroes to life: the comic gorilla “Big Joe”, and the more realistic “Johnny Paraguay” and “Chiwana”.

Since 1987, he devoted himself mainly to humour with the angel “Cupid”, created with Raoul Cauvin, until volume 21 when he continued on the character on his own.

Éditions Dupuis notes that Like Cupid, Malik had more than one arrow to his bow, including adapting the novel Les Colonnes du ciel by Bernard Clavel in 1989.

When comics left him free to do so, it was painting and especially his strangest passion that Malik loved to devote his time to: poisonous spiders and other reptiles of formidable reputation. He claimed to have raised three quarters of the tarantulas of Belgium, and was very proud to have succeeded in reproducing the famous Lycosa de Narbonne, “the wolf spider”, a hunting tarantula.

Read a tribute on the Editions Dupuis web site

Philip Martin. Photo by Elspeth Moore
Philip Martin. Photo by Elspeth Moore

Philip Martin – Doctor Who Writer
Born 1938, died 13th December 2020

Philip Martin is perhaps best known for his TV series Gangsters in the 1970s, and his work for Doctor Who. He had been diagnosed with leukaemia, and been ill for some time.

Over a long career that included acting roles in the 1960s, Philip’s writing encompassed work in all aspects of drama. Early work included episodes of the police drama Z-Cars for the BBC, some in which he also appeared.

Read the full downthetubes tribute here

David Ashford, British Comics Historian and Actor
Born 16th October 1941, died 17th December 2020

David Ashford, one of the leading historians of British comics, a great loss to our community.

David collaborated with Steve Holland, editor and publisher of Bear Alley Books on a number of books. One of the leading historians of British comics, he was a regular contributor to Golden Fun, The Illustrated Comic Journal and Antiquarian Book Monthly.

“He was the co-author of The Art of Roy Wilson [with Alan Clark],” notes Steve Holland, “and co-compiler of numerous collector’s indexes covering many British comics from the 1940s and 1950s.”

David was also an actor, with roles in ITV’s Crown Court and guest appearances on shows such as Doctor Who.

Read Steve’s full tribute here on Bear Alley

Montage - Guy N. Smith. Guy N. Smith image via Centipede Press
Guy N. Smith image via Centipede Press

Guy N. Smith – Horror Author
Born 21st November 1939, died 24th December 2020

Guy N. Smith, who rose to fame in the 1970s with his horror stories Night of the Crabs, Bats out of Hell and more in the 1970s, died on aged 81, after a spending short time in hospital following a fall. He had tested positive for COVID-19.

Best known for his horror novels, Guy also a writer of children’s literature and more, and had some new titles in production, which it is expected will be published in the new year. He was also a writer for Shooting Times and the Gun Editor of The Countryman’s Weekly. He had his first story published in a local newspaper at the age of 12, followed by 55 more before he was 17.

Read the full downthetubes tribute here

• Official Web Site: www.guynsmith.com

You can read our tribute to those lost between January and June 2020 here

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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, Obituaries

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