Only just heard that Mike Western has died, last week, at the age of 83.
For those who don't know, Mike was one of the last of the old guard, a true great of the British comics industry. A time when we actually had shelves full of weekly adventure/humour comics like Valiant, Lion, Victor, Buster and Cor!!
He started working in comics back in the 50's, drawing for numerous titles and covering a whole range of stuff, from action to slapstick, including stand out runs on The Wild Wonders and Darkie's War.
For me, it wasn't until i was doing Albion that i really came to appreciate and see the abundant talent the fella had. Part of my research was spent reading/re-reading 60's and 70's weeklies and annuals.
...and I fell madly in love with his art.
He could do playful, funny stuff, in a lovely fluid, exaggerated style, then you'd have the rich and realistic mood and rendering of his war stories. Whatever he was doing, it was strong, confidant and full of energy.
I learnt a lot from his art, and it partly helped cement my belief that an artist does NOT have to put his style in stasis: instead, you just draw to suit the subject. Change the flavour.
Today, looking at a pile of his strips (and gorgeous painted covers), impressed me all over again. Felt sad too, i really miss those comics and seeing artwork of this calibre.