When Ron Smith drew for Eagle

2000AD and DC Thomson artist Ron Smith may not have been a name immediately associated with the original Eagle comic, best known for “Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future” – created by Frank Hampson and his team – “Riders of the Range”, “Luck of the Legion” and many more incredible strips. But in fact, Ron was an early contributor to the legendary boys’ weekly title.

These “Sporting Personalities” illustrated features by “Ross” have, in the intervening years, been attributed to just about every well-known Eagle artist and, even others – whose infant talents were still being chalked on school slates in the 1950s.

Whenever, though only intermittently, questions over the identity of “Ross” have cropped up, illustrator David Slinn – a much valued behind-the-scenes supporter of our work here at downthetubes and occasional contributor – has volunteered the answer… apparently, everyone “knew better”, remaining adamant that Ron Smith couldn’t possibly have drawn them.

That he did – together with the examples below – provides some insight on what must have prompted DC Thomson’s efforts to “head-hunt” him, and led to Ron making the decision to move his family to Dundee in 1952.

In turn, they may also at least convince some of our readers…

Eagle Sporting Personalities by Ross - Rom Smith - Eagle 25th August 1950

Eagle Sporting Personalities by Ross - Rom Smith - Eagle 22 September 1950

Eagle Sporting Personalities by Ross - Rom Smith - Eagle 22 December 1950

Read our tribute to Ron Smith

Eagle © Dan Dare Corporation

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: Comic Creator Spotlight, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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2 replies

  1. Audio interview Ron Smith gave at the time of the first Judge Dredd film. Interview is 20 mins long:



    • Thanks for posting that – what a great interview! I love the way Ron Smith refers to him as ‘Dreddie’! He also mentions having drawn Spider-Man for Stan Lee, which came up in another interview as well. I don’t believe it was ever published but I’d love to know more about it

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