In Memoriam: Comic Artist and illustrator Andrew Chiu

We’re very sorry to report the unexpected passing of comic artist Andrew Chiu, aged just 54, his death announced by his brother-in-law, 2000AD artist John McCrea.

Andrew Chiu's cover art for Team M.O.B.I.L.E. #3, published digitally as an audio comic by ROK Comics
Andrew Chiu’s cover art for Team M.O.B.I.L.E. #3, published digitally as an audio comic by ROK Comics

Although not as prolific as some, his day job and family commitments often much more a priority than his artistic career – as you would expect from such a kind and gracious soul – his work, which ranged from the comic book to photomontage, was distinctive and memorable.

A graduate of The North East Wales Institute with an HND in Illustration, his credits include painting pages pencilled by John McCrea of James D. Hudnall’s Streets project for DC Comics, published in the 1990s; a “Future Shock” titled “The World Next Door”, written by the late Steve Moore for 2000AD Prog 1210 back in 2000, the first issues of Team M.O.B.I.L.E. for ROK Comics, most recently reprinted by US publisher, Antarctic Press; a promotional comic celebrating Bovril‘s 130th anniversary, written by Pat Mills, coloured by Kris Carter; comic strips for ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway; motion comic art for BBC Bitesize; a backup strip for DC’s Books of Magic, and inking John McCrea on Cruel and Unusual, and an issue of Hitman.

Over his career, he worked in areas such as advertising, storyboards, concept design – and wherever illustration is needed.

Comic creator, illustrator and storybard artist Andrew Chiu. Phot courtesy John McCrea
Comic creator, illustrator and storybard artist Andrew Chiu. Phot courtesy John McCrea
"Future Shock -The World Next Door", written by Steve Moore, art by Andrew Chiu for 2000AD prog 1210 (2000) © Rebellion Publishing Ltd
“Future Shock -The World Next Door”, written by Steve Moore, art by Andrew Chiu for 2000AD prog 1210 (2000) © Rebellion Publishing Ltd
Andrew Chiu's cover for a SF Special edition of the fanzine, Eagle Flies Again, published in 2005
Andrew Chiu’s cover for a SF Special edition of the fanzine, Eagle Flies Again, published in 2005

Outside of comics and illustration, he worked for Oldham Council, spending seven years working with dedicated and committed colleagues in CQC policy, and on the COVID-19 programme at the DHSC, and began a new job as a Programme Manager for NHSX in 2021.

“He really was one of the good ones!” his sister, Rachel, posted to Facebook via John McCrea at the weekend. “A kind, thoughtful, caring, funny, intelligent man, he was a fantastic brother, a dutiful son to his mum Yu Ning, terrific uncle to Kirby, Ella and Harvey, and a great friend. We all loved him and everyone who knew Andrew is heartbroken.

“Andrew had been caring for his mum who has dementia for a long time but he was starting to explore life again. He had just passed his motorcycle test, was planning on getting a dog (his first ever pet) and thinking about moving out of the center of Manchester. He was playing football and cutting back on the sweets!

“He was only 54, he has left us too soon.”

“He did all his illustration work whilst working part time,” notes John McCrea. “He also was a social worker, Head of Policy for Oldham MBC … whilst also doing the directorate Christmas card one year. More recently, he worked for the social care regulator CQC and, for the past two years as a Programme Manager on the digitisation of social care at NHS England.

“He had mainly stopped illustration work apart from the odd few commissions for the past five years to be his mum’s carer as her health deteriorated. But for 20 years juggled art, policy work and caring responsibilities… We are missing him terribly.”

Cover art by Andrew Chiu for “The Apollo 11 Moon Landing” by Nel Yomtov, published by Raintree in 2014, published in hardback by Heinemann Library, an imprint of US education publisher Capstone
Cover art by Andrew Chiu for “The Apollo 11 Moon Landing” by Nel Yomtov, published by Raintree in 2014, published in hardback by Heinemann Library, an imprint of US education publisher Capstone
ITV's Saturday Night Takeaway strip used on social media to promote the show, art by Andrew Chiu
ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway strip used on social media to promote the show and Ant and Dec’s time as superheroes, art by Andrew Chiu

“So shocked by this awful news,” commented EM Powell. “I worked with Andrew at Oldham Council and had the privilege of managing him. He was one of the cleverest people I ever met, with his ability to take the most complex/impenetrable information and bring clarity to it. He wrote beautifully but even that paled in comparison to his stellar talents as an artist.

“He was also the sweetest and most gentle of souls. My sincerest condolences to all his loved ones.”

“Really sorry to hear this,” noted comic creator and former Comics Laureate, Hannah Berry. “Andrew was a lovely, kind and talented man. Condolences to all his family and friends.”

“Andrew was a very special person,” agreed comic creator and friend Martin Hand, while Naz Mughal recalled Andrew as “the kindest neighbour, a good man and looked after his mum well.” 

Noting his membership of the X-Men Fan Club, publisher comic archivist and friend David Hathaway-Price describes Andrew as “a lovely, gentle man… Andrew always seemed to be the youngest of us at any outing.”

The Bovril Brigade Volume One Issue 1 (2015) - art by Andrew Chiu
Bovril's 130th anniversary campaign comic, written by Pat Mills, gave Andrew the opportunity to collaborate with Lewis Pugh, UN Patron of the Oceans, to tell his story about his ongoing quest to save the planet's oceans from climate change
Bovril’s 130th anniversary campaign comic, written by Pat Mills, gave Andrew the opportunity to collaborate with Lewis Pugh, UN Patron of the Oceans, to tell his story about his ongoing quest to save the planet’s oceans from climate change. You can read the entire comic here

Andrew was hugely supportive of others work in comics, including his brother-in law’s, John McCrea, and regularly promoted a variety of causes he believed in on his social media. He was also a pacifist, which influenced some of his work choices, opting, for example, to draw a graphic novel of the first moon landing over the story of the attack on Pearl Harbor, for one publisher.

I worked with Andrew on several projects, initially on some fan-inspired work for the zine, Eagle Files Again, but, later, I commissioned him to draw Team M.O.B.I.L.E, one of a range of audio comics published by ROK Comics, and he was to have drawn Steampunk Sherlock, written by Jasper Bark, a project for Print Media Productions’ STRIP Magazine, but the publisher unexpectedly opted for another artist. (The strip was, ultimately, victim to the title’s sudden cancellation).

A panel for a short, unpublished test music comic featuring OG Niki for ROK Comics, created at breakneck speed. Art by Andrew Chiu
A panel for a short, unpublished test music comic featuring OG Niki for ROK Comics, created at breakneck speed. Art by Andrew Chiu

I very much enjoyed working with Andrew – and I’m told he enjoyed working on the projects we developed, even when they were required at breakneck speed, such as a short comic road testing a strip centred on pioneering rapper OG Niki. The strip was written, drawn, coloured and given an audio track in under two weeks, to present to a major music star as proof of concept – which was never, in the end, published!

Throughout all my contacts with him, Andrew was kind, generous and hard working, even though I suspect he agonised about his own abilities – doubts he need never have had.

Our sympathies to Andrew’s family and friends at this difficult time. He will be much missed.

Andrew Chiu’s official web site is still online at andrewchiu.co.uk

There is a public tribute post to Andrew here on Facebook, where you can leave a comment if you worked with Andrew or enjoyed his work

Read “The Bovril Brigade” comic written by Pat Mills with art by Andrew Chiu online here



Categories: 2000AD, Animation, Art and Illustration, Books, British Comics, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Obituaries, Other Worlds

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1 reply

  1. Andrew was such a kind and gentle soul. And such a rare talent. I was sorry when he was replaced on Steampunk Sherlock as the preliminary art he produced was exceptional. Sadly, even though I was the writer, I wasn’t informed of the replacement or why it had happened, until it had happened.

    We had planned to work on other projects together but life got in the way of their fruition and now that opportunity has passed. So many great pages of comics we’ve been denied with his passing and that is my biggest regret.

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