In Memoriam: Eagle editor Bob Bartholomew

An example of 'The Guinea Pig' strip sometimes written by Bob Batholomew, who died earlier this month.

An example of ‘The Guinea Pig’ strip sometimes written by Bob Batholomew, who died earlier this month.

Steve Holland has reported on the passing of Bob Bartholomew, best known to the comics’ world as the editor of Eagle and Boys’ World in the 1960s, who died on Wednesday, 9th October, at the age of 90.

“Bob had been kind enough to share his memories of his days working at The Amalgamated Press, Odhams and IPC over the years,” notes Steve. “I first spoke to him when I was putting together a history of the old Fleetway educational magazines (Look and Learn and the like) and he was very generous with his time, offering a unique insight into the latter days of The Children’s Newspaper, which he helped to re-shape for a new generation. As a sub-editor to Sydney Warner, he introduced a sports page as Warner attempted to make the paper more attractive to children with pop features and fiction.

Bob took over The Eagle during a dark and troublesome time, as far as fans of the paper are concerned and Bob was brought in to tried to regain some of the old style of the Eagle in its heyday. (He was also the person who had to oversee 2000AD and Battle following the problems faced by Action in the 1970s.)

Bob also wrote some comic scripts including the Dan Dare story Underwater Attack, the last original story for the character drawn by drawn by Eric Kinkaid.

Steve notes  he was a regular compiler of crosswords for The Times; it was a Bartholomew-compiled set of cryptic clues that appeared alongside the wrong grid one Easter morning around 1991.

Comics writer David Motton, who wrote several strips for Eagle and other titles, recalls working with Bob with fondness.

“As you know, Bob was the Editor of Eagle for most of the time that I was writing for Eagle and Boys’ World,” he notes. “He was always a pleasure to work with, giving gentle guidance and encouragement, during a highlight of my career.”

You can read Steve’s full tribute to Rob on Bear Alley here

• Read our interview with David Motton here on the ‘old’ DTT site:

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1 reply

  1. Former 2000AD editor David Bishop has published a letter from Bob outlining his limited involvement in the direction of 2000AD when he was its Managing Editor, which he received while researching his book, Thrill-Power Overload: The First Thirty Years of 2000AD. In the letter, Bob explains then editor of 2000AD Levin Gosnell did not relish any interference from Bob as Managing Editor of the group.

    “I think he regarded me as one of the old school — associated with Children’s Newspaper and Look and Learn, a former editor of Eagle, Boys’ World, World of Wonders, etc.

    “… So I have to confess my input to the success of 2000AD was actually quite minimal. And as Judge Dredd has followed Dan Dare into the lexicon of comic book heroes I think the credit should got to Kelvin with me as an involved onlooker. It would be quite wrong for my name to be included as any sort of influence.

    The full letter is here: