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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Andy Hutton (1923-2015)

Andy Hutton, an art teacher and comic artist best known for his almost twenty years working on a variety of strips for The Beano, died recently at the age of 91.

His early comic career involved taking over a number of strips from established artists—"The Bird Boy", "Young Davy Crockett", "Jack Flash" and "Longlegs—The Desert Wild Boy" from Paddy Brennan and four series featuring "Red Rory of the Eagles" following Bill Holroyd. These were interspaced with one-off series, including "The Vengeance of One-Eye", set in Canada, "Tough Duff", "The Kangaroo Kid" and "Teeko".

In 1963, he established his own popular strip, "The Q-Bikes", featuring a group of schoolchums from the village of Wrexton: Billy Brown, Alfie Thomas, Tom Steptoe and Judy Baxter, and their leader Johnny Masters. During a cycling race, they witness as robbery and use their bikes to pursue the thieves. Using the reward they receive to purchase matching helmets and radio transmitters, they form "Britain's youngest flying squad" and continue their adventures, later adding a sixth member, Buzz Taylor. In 1969, they headed for Australia where they were renamed ‘Q Karts’ following a mix-up which saw their bikes replaced with go-karts.

Hutton drew six series of Q-Bike adventures between 1963 and 1971. His last contribution to Beano was "Johnny Hawke" in 1973, which coincidentally mirrored his earliest contribution, "The Bird Boy" in 1956, as both concerned boys who had wild birds as pets.

Hutton also worked as a staff artist on Commando.

Andrew J. Hutton was born in Calcutta on 6 August 1923, the son of James and Annie Hutton. Along with his brother John, Hutton spent his first four years in India and Australia before the family returned to Scotland and settled in Dundee. He was educated at Morgan Academy, leaving at the age of 14 to join the staff of D. C. Thomson.

During the Second World War he trained as an RAF pilot, but poor eyesight prevented him from qualifying. Instead, he spent five years as a radar spotter.

Returning to Dundee, he studied for a degree in art and design and lectured at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art. It was there that he met Pamela J. Brightman, whom he married at Muirhead Parish Church, Birkhill, in September 1950.

In 1952, the couple relocated to Canada where Hutton worked for a company making a model of a nuclear reactor. They had their first son, Ranald, whilst living in Canada, eventually returning to Dundee in 1955. Hutton began working for The Beano the following year.

In 1971, the family, now including sons Gordon, Robin and Nathan, moved to Glenrothes where Hutton studied in order to take up a post as art teacher at Glenrothes High School, where he remained until his retirement.

He died at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, on 15 January 2015, survived by his wife, three of his children and grandchildren.

1 comment:

Kid said...

Sadly, another legend gone. I can only surmise that working for DCT couldn't have paid the bills for Andy to have pursued a career as a teacher. An exception, obviously, to the old saying about "Those who can do; those who can't, teach." He certainly could!