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.
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!
Doctor Who copyright BBC
With thanks to David Brunt and Shaqui Le Vesconte for suggestions so far
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.