Sunday, June 07, 2009

Malcolm Douglas [J. T. Dogg] (1954-2009)

Malcolm Douglas, artist best known for his work for Oink!, died on Sunday, 22 March, aged 54. Douglas had been suffering from cancer and had been taken to Royal Hallamshire Hospital in December 2008, where the condition was diagnosed, although he had subsequently returned home.

Douglas was born on 10 August 1954 and raised in South London and educated at Trinity School of John Whitgift, Croydon, and Sheffield University, where he studied French and English. Drawing was one of his hobbies and he volunteered to illustrate the student union newspaper. He went on to draw "The Street-Hogs!" (written by Mark Rodgers) and "Ham Dare, Pig of the Future" (written by Lew Stringer) for Oink! His contributions, often across the colour centre spread and signed J. T. Dogg, were amongst the most popular in the paper.

When Oink! was merged with Buster, Douglas went on to draw for a number of adult comics, including Brain Damage, Gas, Comic Strip, Zit! and UT as well as adult magazines Knave and Fiesta. For five years, he also drew a regular strip for the Manchester United match programme featuring "Fred the Red", the Man U. mascot.

Aside from drawing, his passion was for folk music. A musician himself, playing fiddle, mandolin and cittern with various bands, he was a driving force in the English Folk Dance and Song Society and the South Riding Folk Arts Network and was responsible for republishing the songbooks English Classical Folk Songs (2003) and Marrow Bones (2007).

Some pages from an unpublished comic strip, "Night Falls on Jericho", appear on Douglas's website.

Further information: Website; The Guardian (15 April). Lew Stringer has written a tribute to Douglas on his Blimey! blog (6 June).

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