We’re sorry to report the passing of prolific comic artist and children’s book illustrator Jon Davis MBE.
Jon, who received an MBE for Services To Children’s Literature in 2013, had been an illustrator since 1960, working on book jackets, and magazine illustration, and drawing for comics that included Boys’ World, Lady Penelope, TV21 and annuals, and, later, Countdown.
Strips he worked on, for the various Gerry Anderson-related titles, include “The Angels”, “Daktari” (for Lady Penelope), “Secret Agent 21” (a fill in story for TV21, the strip normally drawn by Rab Hamilton), “Thunderbirds”, “Joe 90”, “The Secret Service” and “UFO”.
One of my favourite comic artists of the early 1970s, particularly on Countdown, he also worked on the Polystyle title Target, drawing strips such as “Kojak”.
Jon also drew all the instalments of “Dinky Driver”, which was in colour on the back page of Solo comic in 1967, in which hero Johnny ‘Dinky’ Driver had adventures with the toy car company’s latest releases.
Later he drew “The Adventures of Stripey, the Magic Mini”, in Candy.
Jon also drew strips for DC Thomson, including “I Spy”, “Mr Bubbles” and “Klanky The Robot” for Sparky.
An integral part of the establishment of Linden Artists in the 1960s, his book art includes work for Ladybird, such as an edition of Frankenstein in 1984, and Rupert the Bear, and he also illustrated some of the “Bancroft Tiddlers” pocket books.
His son Ethan notes on Jon’s official web site that he began drawing science fiction and fantasy art in 1973, after reading The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. He also published his own book, The Fantastic Adventures of Trevor & Eric.
“I enjoy the work I do now,” Jon said of his later work, “which is mainly history books for children – all cartoons, Great fun!”
“I loved his work on ‘The Angels’ strip,” says Fred McNamara, author of Spectrum is Indestructible. “He clearly had great fun drawing the Angel Interceptor craft in combat, his scenes really crackle and pop with excitment.”
Our sympathies to Jon’s family and friends at this time.
• Jon Davis web site is at: wixsite.com/jondavistv21
With thanks to Jon’s son, Ethan, Graham Bleathman, David Slinn, Lew Stringer and Shaquille Le Vesconte for additional credits