Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ron Smith passes away

Terror Tests, ADVENTURE, 1956. © D.C. Thomson

Veteran comic artist of many British comics, Ron Smith, has passed away at the age of 94. 

Many fans will remember him as one of the prominent artists on Judge Dredd for 2000AD in the 1980s (and on the long-running Judge Dredd newspaper strip in the Daily Star) but his career in comics began long before that. 

Ron was a popular artist for D.C. Thomson throughout the 1950s up to the early 1970s, drawing for story papers such as Adventure and comics such as The Topper and Hotspur on strips such as British superhero King Cobra.

Although respected by his peers in the industry, it wasn't until he freelanced for 2000AD from 1979 onwards that he came to the attention of organised comics fandom. Along with Mike McMahon, Carlos Ezquerra, and Brian Bolland, Ron Smith became one of the most distinctive artists on Judge Dredd.

Ron later freelanced for comics such as Wildcat and MASK before retiring in the 1990s.

My condolences to Ron's family and friends on their loss. Truly one of the greats whose work will always be remembered and admired. Here's a small selection of his amazing output...

Lone Wolfe. BEEZER, 1962. © D.C. Thomson
The Last Warriors. TOPPER, 1962. © D.C. Thomson.

HOTSPUR ANNUAL 1976. © D.C. Thomson (Image from eBay.)
King Cobra, HOTSPUR, 1976. © D.C. Thomson. Image from internet.

2000AD, 1979. © Rebellion.
See John Freeman's tribute at Down the Tubes:

Ron Smith's Lost Adventure Comic:


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C_Oliver said...

Ron Smith was to the 2000AD artists and writers what Robert Altman (one year younger) was to 70s Hollywood -- already well into middle age when things took off, but at his best he left the whippersnappers well behind (with the possible exception of Brian Bolland).

varszava_vavava said...

A really good artist. One of my faves from my comics reading in the seventies.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, a good, solid craftsman who produced excellent work. Very distinctive.

John Parker said...

Ron Smith's 200AD work made comic-reading a true joy for me back in my late teens/early twenties.Thanks for all the other pages you shared. I was never a Hotspur fan and had never heard of Adventure. What a legacy Ron has left us.

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