Comic Creator Spotlight: Artist Keith Robson

Hartlepool Art Gallery offers hugely popular, free, youngster’s ‘Dabble in Art’ sessions, organised and run by members of the Hartlepool Art Club, including Beano and Dandy artist Keith Robson.

Run fortnightly, with help from parents and grandparents, Dabble provides children with the opportunity to take part in exciting art activities in various media, to encourage and teach children from five years upward. Some of the results of the events are exhibited locally, in the Gallery.

Art from an eight page American Civil War story called “The Catoosa Cannonball”, for the forthcoming Spitfire Annual (companion to Wallop)
"On the Tiles" by Keith Robson (Inktober Illustration, 2022)
“On the Tiles” by Keith Robson (Inktober Illustration, 2022)

Keith is best known for his longtime work on DC Thomson’s The Beano and Dandy titles, including “General Jumbo”, “Tricky Dicky Doyle”, and the 1990s revival of Ken Reid’s “Jonah”.

He also drew for the Fleetway’s girls’ comic, Jinty, and DC Thomson’s Starblazer in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Art for “The Mansion of Strange Shadows” by  Keith Robson, from the 2002 Bunty Annual, published by DC Thomson
Art for “The Mansion of Strange Shadows” by Keith Robson, from the 2002 Bunty Annual, published by DC Thomson

Work outside of comics includes illustrations for school text books and Matthew Fitt’s book Time Tram Dundee, about a time travelling tram, and work as both illustrator and model-maker in pre-school and educational TV, including Jackanory and Scottish Televsion’s SQUEAK!

  • SQUEAK! Illustrations by Keith Robson
  • SQUEAK! Illustrations by Keith Robson
  • SQUEAK! Illustrations by Keith Robson
  • Some of Keith Robson’s art for Scottish Television pre-school series, SQUEAK!

While illustrating a Heritage Lottery Funded history of Dundee, he made many local school visits, which inspired him to become a teacher. Qualifying in 2008, he initially worked with special needs children, and teenagers with emotional issues.

He currently teaches in local primary schools, running several drawing groups, including Dabble in Art, and has provided art for many charity and community projects, including calendar art for Epilepsy Outlook.

He returned to comics recently, as a contributor to the Wallop! annual, a hugely successful crowdfunded project.

• Dabble is run every two weeks on Saturdays from 10.00 am – 12 noon in Hartlepool Art Gallery, Church Square | For further details on upcoming Dabble sessions contact the Gallery Information desk on 01429 869706 | Web:

Children must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the session

Hartlepool Art Club

Hartlepool Art Club is a meeting place for all art lovers, offering a wide variety of activities including talks, demonstrations, workshops and exhibitions by practising professional artists and lecturers.

The Club aims to encourage the appreciation and practice of the visual arts amongst its members by holding regular meetings

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

Categories: Art and Illustration, British Comics, Comic Creator Spotlight, Comics, downthetubes News, Other Worlds

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