Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sid Burgon retires


Cartoonist and comic artist Sid Burgon (who also used the pseudonym 'Swab') has decided to retire at the age of 75, reports The Berwick Advertiser today.

Born in October 1936, Sidney William Burgon learned the basics of sketching from his mother and although he became a mechanic he still enjoyed drawing. Sid's co-workers encouraged him to take drawing up professionally, which he did in 1963. One of the many publications he freelanced for was The Weekly News for which he provided cartoons under the alias SWAB (based on his initials).

By 1970 Sid began freelancing for IPC, which would lead to a long career drawing strips such as Joker (Knockout), Hit Kid (Krazy), Lolly Pop (Whoopee!) and many more.


Joker debuted in the first issue of IPC's revived Knockout in 1971 and proved so popular that the character moved to the cover in later issues and survived various mergers with other comics. In 1982 Sid received the Children's Cartoonist of the Year Glen Grant Award for the strip.

From 1989 Sid began freelancing for DC Thomson on strips such as Adrian the Barbarian (Beezer), Keyhole Kate (Dandy) and Biffo the Bear (Beano). He retired from comics a few years ago but continued to draw for his local church magazine.

Sadly, with his eyesight deteriorating, Sid has decided it's time to put down his pens, but he leaves behind a marvelous amount of artwork that has entertained millions over the course of his career. Sid's clear and distinct artwork was always of the highest quality and he naturally knew how to convey a story that was easily understood, lively, and amusing. Highly regarded by editors, readers, and his fellow professionals, Sid Burgon will always be remembered as one of the best cartoonists in British comics of the past 40 years.

My personal best wishes to Sid for a long and healthy retirement and thanks for the many happy memories that his work brought to readers.

Below: The very first Joker strip from Knockout No.1 (12th June 1971)...


(My thanks to Stephen Archer for bringing this news to my attention.)

9 comments:

Peter Gray said...

Loved Sid's Joker the best...it was always funny and no wonder it was the best strip in Whizzer and chips..
I loved his covers and when he did a Christmas page with the paper ribbons decoration around the edge..very tricky to draw...his penmanship is very different and unique and stands him out from the crowd..
Happy retirement Sid and thanks for a great comic legacy..it was the tops!!

NP said...

Sid doean't know it, but I'm partly responsible for him getting work at DC Thomson! In 1988 then Beezer editor Alan Digby asked me to draw the first instalment of a new strip he called 'Adrian the Barbarian'. I did- and clearly made such a hash of it that Alan promptly offered the job to Sid instead! Good for him!!

Andy Boal said...

I'm just glad to learn he's alive and well - I have really missed his work since he retired from freelancing for DCT.

Sid was absolutely excellent. Alas for Nigel, he really was perfect for the surreality of Adrian the Barbarian - I also remember his work on Milly O'Naire and Penny Less for Jackpot and the Little Monsters for Monster Fun - large spreads on the last one to rival Leo Baxendale!

Niblet said...

Sid is one of the greats. I hope he enjoys a well-deserved long and happy retirement.

Fanton said...

I loved Sid's artwork growing up, I remember him being one of the first few artists whose styles and names I knew, thanks to him being allowed to sign his stuff for IPC, and being so prolific! He's a brilliant cartoonist - I also loved his take on Biffo the Bear, thought it was really fresh and fun.

I wish him a very, very happy retirement!

Mondo said...

An overlooked legend and as much a part of my formative years as Leo Baxendale, John Romita and Neal Adams

Raven said...

Lolly Pop and The Haunted Wood are probably my childhood favourites, but I liked everything from Monster Fun's Little Monsters to Joker, at its best as it developed over the years in Whizzer and Chips.

One of the great IPC artists.

Raven said...

Lolly Pop and The Haunted Wood are probably my childhood favourites, but I liked everything from Monster Fun's Little Monsters to Joker, at its best as it developed over the years in Whizzer and Chips.

One of the great IPC artists.

1000MB said...

Sad to hear about his retirement. He also drew a lot of the cartoons in the book of gags with many of the IPC titles. In these he signed as swab. What a legend!

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