Classic British Comic Creators: Handy Links

Courtesy of downthetubes contributor Jeremy Briggs, here’s a handy list of links to pages about, and featuring the art of,  just some comic creators who arguably created some of Britain’s best comics up until the 1990s.

I’m sure there are other creators deserving similar accolade, particularly many modern creators working on 2000AD and other titles, but this is a start!

Frank Bellamy
frankbellamy.co.uk is a terrific web site devoted to the man who not only drew strips for Eagle but also TV21, Swift and the Radio Times.

Luis Bermejo
Luis drew mainly war stories and made many contributions to the Thriller Picture Library, and took over the Eagle character Heros the Spartan from his creator Frank Bellamy.

Jesus Blasco
The artist who brought chilling life to The Steel Claw. British comics expert Lew Stringer points out that the images on the page are not not his most representative style.

Geoff Campion
Personally, my favourite Campion strip is Spellbinder, which appeared in Lion, but he also
drew Stonewall Jackson for Eagle

Ian Kennedy
Ian’s work on Dan Dare for the 1980s Eagle and many other strips for a variety of companies is without equal

Brian Lewis
A regular contributor to the TV comic Countdown, Lewis also drew strips for House of Hammer.

Mike Noble
Probably one of the best ‘likeness artists’ ever when it came to bring comics life not just to puppet series such as Captain Scarlet for TV21 but live action shows like Robin of Sherwood for Look In.

Ken Reid
Ken’s hilarious characters such as Faceache and Frankiestein are as funny today as when he first drew them. 2000AD co-creator Pat Mills wanted Ken to draw a strip for the title, but managers balked at the idea of there being anything funny about the survivor of a nuclear war living in a fallout shelter. Some of the samples on this page aren’t actually by Ken Reid, but the pages does lead to some great links about this important cartoonist.

Dudley D Watkins
Creator of Oor Wullie and many striops for an assortment of DC Thomson titles including Topper.

Roy Wilson
Pre-World War II artist perhaps best known for cartoon animals such as George the Jolly
Gee Gee and Chimpo’s Circus

Mike Western
Mike’s work included many, many briliantly-executed war strips for titles such as Battle Picture Weekly

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

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3 replies

  1. I’m confused. The ROK comics website attributes its Robin Hood strip to Look & Learn, and makes no mention of Swift or Frank Bellamy. Perhaps I am misreading something.

  2. Hi Steve, if you look under “More Details” there’s the following on the ROK Comics site:

    “First published in Swift, this version of Robin Hood, drawn by Frank Bellamy who went on to draw Dan Dare and Thunderbirds, looks as fresh today as when it first appeared way back in 1956, and this is the first time the strip has been seen in print anywhere since.”

    The confusion perhaps arises from the fact that Look and Learn Ltd. OWN Swift (as well as Look and Learn).

    The Frank Bellamy site indicates Robin Hood and His Merry Men was written by Clifford Makin and ran in Swift Volume 3:19 – 3:52, 4:1 – 4:8 (12 May 1956 – 29 Dec 1956, 5 Jan 1957 – 23 Feb 1957). A follow up strip, Robin Hood and Maid Marian, again written by Makin, ran in Volume 4:9 – 4:33 (2 Mar 1957 – 17 Aug 1957)

    Obviously, the strip is being reformatted for mobile presentation – the original strip ran text under every frame as well as using balloons – but perhaps making people aware of its existence may prompt a printed reprint.

  3. Well done John! You beat me to it when responding to Steve’s question!
    Thanks for the link to fb.co.uk
    Carry on the GREAT work 🙂

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