Tuesday, 5 October 2010
In 1982, over lunch in the IPC canteen (it was Italian Week- they treated their staff very well at IPC in those days!) he eventually suggested I approach DC Thomson again, who I had drawn a six week run of a girls' comic strip for by that point. This time, he said, why not try Ian Gray, who was putting together a new line, 'Comic Libraries', and needed 'ghost artists'. I knew what a ghost writer was - someone who did all the work and got minimal recompense and zero notice, and thought "I'm not sure I want to be that sort of artist!" But needs must, as ever, and I gave it a try. Turned out that wasn't quite how a ghost artist worked. But it was Bob who put me on to it.
I was able to thank him for giving me a start when worked with him again in 1989 on Scouse Mouse comic for Fleetway, and he was as enthusiastic as ever. He has often been maligned for 'playing safe' and indeed was always aware of his responsibility towards young readers, but he managed to produce some excellent comics anyway, originating Whizzer and Chips , Cor!!, Monster Fun, Shiver and Shake and more. The above strip is from Knockout circa 1972. Not sure who drew it, but it's a good likeness!
Posted by NP at 08:54