David Sutherland

1933 - 2023

Cartoon artist. Born in Invergordon (Highland), the youngest of three children. His mother died when he was aged only two and his father moved the children first to Stirling, and then Kirkintilloch, where his family could help raise them. Sutherland began working with Rex Studios in Glasgow where he trained on the illustration of cinema advertising posters and became the only artist approved to draw Disney characters in Britain. He also created posters which were displayed around Glasgow to promote the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. He took evening classes at Glasgow School of Art before entering a drawing competition organised by D.C. Thomson of Dundee in 1959, and although his entry did not win, he was offered job and thus started a career which was to span more than 60 years. Amongst the thousands of cartoon strips he produced, the most famous characters are perhaps The Bash Street Kids and Dennis the Menace for The Beano, and Korky the Kat for The Dandy. He drew cartoons on behalf of his hero Dudley D. Watkins (1907-69) and took over Biffo the Bear from Watkins when he retired.

Sutherland was awarded an OBE for services to illustration in the 2023 New Years Honours List. Living in Broughty Ferry, Sutherland was noted for his prodigious output and attention to detail, and was still working until a days before his death.

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