Sad news via Steve Holland’s Bear Alley: one of the giants of British comics, Mike Western, has laid down his pen for the last time.
Mike, who suffered a heart attack in 2007 and was laid low by it for several months, died late on Tuesday, 13 May, at the age of 83.
His credits included The Wild Wonders for Valiant, HMS Nightshade and The Sarge for Battle and many, many more fantastic strips.
It’s no secret that Steve Holland was a huge fan of Mike’s work and over the last few months had begun putting together a new edition of The Mike Western Story. Read his tribute in full here.
“I’m sure you’ll all join me in sending his family your best wishes,” Steve writes. “Mike still has a lot of fans and, whether he realised it or not — and I hope he did — he brought a lot of laughter and thrills into our lives through his work.”
For my part, Mike was one of many British comic creator who enthusiastically supported the fanzine Eagle Flies Again edited by downthetubes contributor Ian Wheeler and sent us wonderful notes thanking us for mentioning him.
The fanzine paid a special tribute to him in 2005 and as soon as I can, I’ll post articles from that on the main downthetubes site. Tributes and memories from downthetubes readers would be welcomed: we’ll pass these on to Mike’s family.
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.