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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Roy Mitchell (1946-2010)

Peter Gray's Cartoons and Comics blog carries the news that Roy Mitchell, better known under his abbreviated signature 'Mitch', died on 23 May 2010, at the age of 64. He had been a prolific cartoonist and comic strip artist for 34 years. Over the years he had drawn thousands of cartoons, his clients including United Greeting Card Company, HM Treasurey, The Football Association, The Institution of Management, Whitbread, British Rail, the Ministry of Defence, British Gas, BP, Vauxhall Motors, Peugeot Talbot, Kodak, British Telecom, National Savings and Marks and Spencer.

He also contributed to Express Newspapers, Mirror Group, TV Times, Chat, Take a Break and the Crown Prosection Service's CPS News, as well as drawing strips for IPC's humour titles. His strips included "Rambling Rhymes" (Whoopee, 1982), "Freddy 3-D" (Whizzer & Chips, 1983), "Micro Mates" (Whizzer & Chips, 1984), "Animalad" (Whoopee, 1984, continued in Whizzer & Chips from 1985) and "Paper Boy" (Buster, 1992-94). Other strips included "Project Pete" for the monthly Project magazine. His cartoon "Wheels" appeared weekly in a Dubai paper.

Beginning in the 1970s, Mitch (a devoted Christian) contributed regularly to the Salvation Army's The War Cry for whom he produced the "God Is..." cartoon. His strip "The Chalks and the Cheeses" appeared on the back page each week for over 20 years. Some of his God Is... cartoons were reprinted in two volumes by Marshall Pickering (HarperCollins) in 1990-91. A series of six postcards and a collection featuring 68 full-colour "God Is..." cartoons was published in aid of cancer treatment specialists The Christie Hospital and Aid to Hospitals Worldwide. The book sold over 1,000 copies.

Other books include Turn the Other Eye: A Humorous Look at the Frailties of God's People (Leigh-on-Sea, Palm Tree Press, 1984), Hang-ups (Ward Lock, 1985), Picture Jokes for Kids (Ward Lock, 1986), Picture Activity Book for Kids (Ward Lock, 1987),  The Laughs Shall Be First (Bury St. Edmunds, Palm Tree Press, 1990), Gaberdine Swine: A Pig's Guide to the Christian Life (Marshall Pickering, 1991) and Welcome to the Paris: A Cat's-Eye View of the Catholic Community (Bury St. Edmunds, Kevin Mayhew, 1991).

He also contributed to The Great Big Joke Book by Heather Clarke (Ward Lock, 1987), Uncle Ben's Christmas Puzzler by Chris Spencer (Marshall Pickering, 1987), We Want to Learn Counting and We Want to Learn Reading (both World Distributors, 1991) and produced clip art for Instant Art for the Church Magazine (Kevin Mayhew, 4 vols., 1986-94), Instant Art for Bible Fun compiled by Susan Sayers (Palm Tree Press, 2 vols., 1988-90) and More Instant Cartoons for the Church Magazine (Kevin Mayhew, 1995).

Educated at Darlington Grammar School and a former teacher, Mitchell devised and ran a number of cartoon seminars and workshops and for some years tutored cartoonists via a home studies course, The Cartoon Academy.

Mitchell was also the lead singer with rock 'n' rollers The Cadillacs, a band who have been around for over 40 years, not all of them with Mitchell although he was the longest serving member of the current line-up.

Mitchell was diagnosed with bowel cancer in March 2007 which, according to his daughter Lyn, he fought bravely and brightly for three years. He was still working up to a week before he passed away.


The Cadillacs live at Sale Masonic Hall, February 2010.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How sad. I was one of Roy's students at his online cartooning course, and he was a great tutor, very encouraging. I refined a lot of my cartooning skills thanks to his tutoring. He will be sadly missed.