New exhibition celebrates Fife’s unsung comic book creators

The exhibition celebrates the work of Fife illustratorsThe exhibition celebrates the work of Fife illustrators
The exhibition celebrates the work of Fife illustrators
Comic book fans are marvelling at an action-packed exhibition that reveals one of Fife’s unsung success stories.

The show at Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries celebrates work by comic book creators who have a connection to the Kingdom.

With Dundee often grabbing the limelight as Scotland’s Comic Capital, the impact of artists and writers from across the Tay can be easily overlooked.

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Writers, artists and editors for some of the most enduring comics such as Commando, The Beano and 2000AD have made their homes in the Kingdom.

Comic Kingdom, which is free and runs until January 14, showcases a diverse range of work from Victorian times to the present day.

Among them is Martin Anderson from Leuchars – the first artist to be employed by a British newspaper. Anderson, whose pen-name was Cynicus, joined Dundee publisher John Leng in 1880.

He illustrated articles for the Dundee Advertiser and People’s Friend before going on to create political satires for publications including The Quiz – a rival to the more famous Punch.

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Glasgow cartoonist William ‘Bud’ Neill also settled in Fife for a time. His most famous character, Lobey Dosser – Sheriff of Calton Creek, first appeared in 1949 in the Evening Times. Memorials to Neill’s work include statues of his characters G.I. Bride and Lobey Dosser, and a more recent mural on the side of a building in Partick. Neill’s dry humour enlivened his home life as well as newspaper pages – when he lived in a house overlooking Dunfermline Cemetery, he named it Dim View.

DC Thomson in Dundee has employed many Fife-based editors, writers and artists across its many publications, including comics such as Adventure, Hotspur, Beano and Commando. Comic writers John Wagner and Pat Mills lived in Wormit while working for the company, plotting their own comics in a garden shed before moving on to titles such as Action, Battle and 2000AD.

Celebrated Fife crime writers Ian Rankin and Val McDermid have also dabbled in graphic novels. Rankin wrote Dark Entries for DC’s Vertigo imprint in 2009, while McDermid wrote a graphic novel, Resistance – a timely story about the spread of an infectious disease and its effects on the global population

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