Friday 28 April 2017

Leo Baxendale 1930-2017

I was saddened to hear of the death a few days ago of British comics legend Leo Baxendale. At DC Thomson he was the original artist on Little Plum, Minnie the Minx, The Bash Street Kids and The Three Bears. He left Thomson's to start Wham! for Odhams where his work included Eagle Eye Junior Spy, a strip that introduced the wonderfully named Grimly Feendish. Grimly got his own strip in Smash! where Leo also drew Bad Penny. He later took over The Swots and the Blots which I read every week when Smash! merged with Valiant. Later IPC work included Clever Dick in Buster and Sweeny Toddler in Shiver and Shake. He was a pioneer of creator-owned characters with Willy the Kid in the late 70s.

You can read Lew Stringer's tribute on his wonderful Blimey! blog, which also contains further links.

Leo was interviewed for the first episode of Comics Britannia in 2007.

In June 1975, IPC launched a new, themed comic called Monster Fun. The four centre pages could be removed, cut and folded to make a mini, eight page comic called the Badtime Bedtime Book. Baxendale worked on these until the end of 1975 at which point he stopped working in weekly comics to devote his time to writing and drawing his new character Willy the Kid in album form.

Now, here for your enjoyment, from November 1975, is The Underwater World of Jacques Custard. (Click for larger images).

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