We’re saddened to report the passing of Eagle afficianado and comic collector and archivist Dave Westaway, a name that may only be familiar to a few reading this but whose contributions to the work of various groups, preserving and promoting British comics and characters, has been a vital part of UK fandom for many years.
He was a key member of the All Devon Comic Collectors Club until 2011, dedicated to locating and preserving good quality copies of British newspaper strips such as “Garth” and a keen collector of Eagle ephemera, including the sculpted Head of Christ created by the Dan Dare studios for Frank Hampson to draw Jesus for his Eagle, strip “The Road of Courage”.
Artist John Ridgway has very kindly sent us the following tribute, along with some coloured “Matt Marriott” newspaper strips he created especially for Dave as part of their determined efforts to try and get them back in print…
I never met Dave face to face. We live at opposite ends of the country – he in a Devon I remember from sunny holidays as a child, me in rainy Manchester. He was a voice on the phone and we spoke quite often. He had been in ill health for a long time, having had a major surgery on his kidneys and dialysis treatment three times a week thereafter. He was sometimes down – but not for long.
Dave was a comics enthusiast – enthusiastically producing limited runs reprinting mainly newspaper strips – many of them long forgotten except for people like me. He sent me several “Garth” stories drawn by Frank Bellamy and Martin Asbury, “Matt Marriott” by Tony Weare, “Wes Slade” by George Stokes, “Romeo Brown” by Jim Holdaway, Geoff Campion’s “Jet Ace Logan”, David Wright’s “Carol Day“, Alfred Sindall’s “Tug Transom” (written by Julian Phipps and Peter O’Donnell) and he introduced me to Sydney Jordan’s “Earthspace” strips.
Dave kept their work alive, and when I look at those booklets Dave will, for me, still be alive in spirit.
The last time I spoke to him he was still hoping for a transplant, but he no-longer had the strength to carry on producing his booklets. I was going to phone him again before Christmas.
Now it is too late.
• Charity donations in Dave’s memory may be made to Exmouth and Lympstone Hospiscare or via Richard Gegg, Funeral Director, 47 Rolle St, Exmouth EX8 2RS. Tel: 01395 222444