Not Forgotten 2009-10
With a history that now spans three centuries, it is not surprising that the number of creators who have been involved in British comics now number in their thousands. Some are widely known whilst others have not had the spotlight shine on their careers; many artists from Spain, Italy and South America have also contributed to the rich history of our comic strips.
Not Forgotten 2009-10 records the passing of 35 comic strip and cartoon creators, some well-known, some forgotten, yet others better known for their work in other fields. Peter O’Donnell, Tony Hart, John Ryan, Victor de la Fuente, Pepe Gonzalez and John Hicklenton are just a few of the creators whose careers are recorded.
Author Steve Holland says, “The origins of Not Forgotten are a series of pieces written primarily for The Guardian and my Bear Alley blog in 2009 and 2010. I have written obituaries since the 1990s and invariably I begin with a version longer than what is eventually published. I’ve always thought of these as the “Director’s Cut”, a version that would have been submitted had there been no space restrictions — an increasing problem for daily newspapers where the number of pages dedicated to obituaries has been cut in recent years.
“There have also been occasions when it was not possible to write a piece due to other work or because a person’s death only comes to light months, perhaps years, after the event. In these cases, I have been able to martial what notes I had already gathered and put together a piece as it might have appeared at the time.”
The artists and writers covered in this volume include Alan Hemus, Tony Hart, Robert Peacock, Jose ‘Pepe’ Gonzalez, Jose Casanovas Sr., Ron ‘Nobby’ Clark, Malcolm Douglas, Bernet Toledano, John Donegan, Adrian Kermode, Giorgio Bellavitis, John Ryan, Francisco Hidalgo, Roy Raymonde, Carlos Roume, Ricardo Garijo, Terry Challis, Xavier Musquera, Francis ‘Smilby’ Wilford-Smith, Geoffrey Bond, Richard Hook, Ian Scott, Bill Ritchie, Virgilio Muzzi, John Hicklenton, Peter O’Donnell, Roy Mitchell, Victor de la Fuente, Ted Rawlings, Fernando Fernandez, E. C. Tubb, Jose Maria Jorge, Les Gibbard and Paddy Morris.
The essays vary in length. This is not a reflection on the contributions that a particular creator may have made, but on the available information. It is a sad fact that many comic creators in the UK work their entire careers without credit or recognition; little is known about them and the full extent of their work may never be known, thanks to a lack of any kind of record of creators’ contributions. Some creators feel no need to step into the spotlight; others are perhaps unaware that there is any interest in their work. Their contributions are still appreciated.
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