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Friday, December 09, 2016

John Gillatt

On Facebook today, John Freeman made the sad announcement that artist John Gillatt has passed away. A popular and prolific artist in the heyday of boys' adventure comics, John Gillatt's work was primarily published in Tiger weekly. He was the original artist on SF strip Jet-Ace Logan for Comet comic in the late 1950s, and remained as one of the artists on the strip when it moved to Tiger in 1959. (The examples shown above are from Tiger dated 26th January 1963.)
Proving himself to be a perfect choice for drawing busy action scenes and a master of figurework and distinctive facial expressions, Gillatt swiftly became one of Tiger's top artists, working on strips such as The Black Archer and Johnny Cougar in the 1960s and then moving on to Football Family Robinson in late 1969 (replacing Joe Colquhoun). 
Later, he became the permanent artist on the long-running Billy's Boots serial for the comic, where his eye for detail and skill at drawing the human figure made him the definitive illustrator on the strip. Billy's Boots also proved very popular in Holland, where it had its own reprint series for which Gillatt painted new covers and supplied additional art. John was also the artist on the Scorer daily strip for the Daily Mirror for several years. 

John Freeman published a tribute to John Gillatt a couple of years ago on the Down the Tubes blog which you can see here:

No doubt more tributes will be posted online soon to this great comic artist and I'll update this post with links to them as and when.

New tribute to John Gillatt here:
A 1990 revival of Jet-Ace Logan by John Gillatt.


Phil Rushton said...

One of the greatest British adventure artists who worked for Fleetway's black & white titles like Lion, Tiger and Valiant, ranking alongside Colquhoun, Western, Lewis, Lacey, Bradbury, Bunn, Coton and Campion (now all gone). I'm pretty sure he drew Dan Dare in the revived Eagle for a time as well.

Lew Stringer said...

You're right, Phil, he did draw Dan Dare for a while.

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