With the release of a Buster Special imminent, former sub-editor Dez Skinn has just posted this 1970s image of the editorial team online. Pictured looking like something straight out of Life on Mars but with comics are the staff of Buster, from left to right: assistant managing editor Sid Bicknell, Dez himself, art assistant Keith Robson, art editor Bill Reid and editor Lennox Wenn.
“Looking at the pic, a few observations,” notes Dez, noting the bottle of wine on the desk. “Must have been an office party, hence the happy-go-lucky carefree wild ‘n’ crazy look we’ve all got!”
He also notes the half-naked woman on wall, along with defaced royalty snaps and Charlie Peace – Victorian and contemporary versions “His lookalike old Jack Pamby was the artist,” Dez recalls. “‘Wotcha Yorkie’, he’d greet me with on a a weekly basis. I remember he had a decidedly scary grin!”.
As for the smoking – yes, people used to be able to smoke inside! – Dez says it was quite an addictive look/taste/habit. “We ended up with three of us chuffing away (can I say that?) on pipes on one office! Lovely smell, but bins full of yucky pipe cleaners and hours wasted poking and puffing, lighting and sucking, stoking and smoking. Ah, heady days indeed…”
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.