Can you help identify a mystery Doctor Who artist?

Dedicated editor Colin Brockhurst is just putting the finishing touches to the latest issue of the brilliant Vworp Vworp!, a fanzine that’s largely about Doctor Who comic strips, and is hoping British comic fans can help identify a mystery comics artist.

Issue Four of Vworp Vworp! is devoted to the Doctor Who strips and stories published by Polystyle Comics in TV Comic, Countdown and TV Action – and would dearly love to identify the artist on a strip published in May 1974, in Polystyle’s Doctor Who Holiday Special of that year.

The identity of the artist on the dimension-hopping story, featuring the Third Doctor (played on screen by Jon Pertwee) and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) has, so far, proved elusive.

“It’s the only artist we’ve yet to nail down,” says Colin, “so if the style is familiar to anyone, please let me know.”

The art style is similar to that of Doctor Who comic strip mainstay Neville Main and is probably by an artist of similar background to that much admired creator, but is he, or she, an artist perhaps more associated with other comic genres – girls comics, perhaps – rather than SF?

Despite poring over the strip, I couldn’t find hidden initials a la “Robot Archie” artist Ted Kearon or others, including Neville Main.

It’s an odd story – for copyright reasons, I’ve only featured a few pages here, but it has the feel of a story from inventory from an earlier period of the Third Doctor’s tenure in the TARDIS, that, for me, suggested “Sarah” had been redrawn over Liz Shaw, but this is pure conjecture on my part and better heads than mine are not convinced.

Archivist Shaqui Le Vesconte has however drawn attention to a change in lettering styles in some frames, suggesting a name change.

The lettering in some balloons has been altered, suggesting a character change – from Liz Shaw, perhaps, to Sarah Jane?

Comics artist and archivist David Roach has suggested the artist was “old school and British, and obviously quite obscure as we’d have a name by now,” Colin says.

“Any suggestions would be much appreciated!”

• Think you know? Please do comment below!

Activate the Time Rotor and head to the Vworp Vworp! web site for back issues now

Doctor Who copyright BBC

With thanks to David Brunt and Shaqui Le Vesconte for suggestions so far

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, Comic Art, Doctor Who, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Magazines, Other Worlds

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2 replies

  1. I’m sure you guys have already thought of him but the style has a look of Colin Andrew about it – I know he was working on the TV Action Alias Smith & Jones strip at the time so a possibility?

    • I think it’s safe to say it’s not Colin Andrew – although interestingly, as an experiment I put one of the Sarah panels through Google’s reverse image search and it came back with Colin Andrew’s rendering of Bernice Summerfield in the DWM strip Pureblood!

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