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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Jim Baikie (1940-2017)

Jim Baikie, best known as an artist for Look-In, 2000ADndash;where he painted the adventures of Skizz, an alien lost in Birmingham–and Star Wars: Empire's End for Dark Horse, died on 29 December 2017, aged 77.

Jim Baikie (1987)
James G. Baikie, born in the Orkney Islands on 28 February 1940, served as a Corporal with the RAF in 1956-63 before joining a printing company. Baikie joined Morgan-Grampian studio as an artist in 1964 and was an illustrator for the National Savings Committee in 1965-66.

He began his career as a comic strip artist drawing for Fleetway Publications' girls' comics in the mid-1960s, producing romance and biographical strips (e.g. The Small Faces, The Herd) for Valentine. Over the next decade he drew strips for Lady Penelope, Look and Learn, TV 21 & Joe 90, June, Tammy, Sandie and House of Horror, his work including a brief run adapting Star Trek, drawing Doctor Who and Dan Dare for annuals and, in between, drawing 'Gymnast Jinty', 'The Reluctant Nurse' and 'No Time for Pat' amongst many other stories for girls. Baikie was one of the leading artists for Jinty in the late 1970s, his strips ranging from the bizarre 'Spell of the Spinning Wheel' (sports meets horror!) and the ecological SF of 'The Forbidden Garden'.

Baikie then made a name for himself in the pages of Look-In, drawing adaptations of Charlie's Angels, CHiPS, The Fall Guy and Terrahawks. At the same time he came to prominence in 2000AD with the Alan Moore-penned 'Skizz' and, in Warrior, the Steve Moore-penned 'Twilight World', which led to work for DC Comics in New York.

He subsequently drew Batman, New Teen Titans, The Spectre and other major characters. Other notable strips by Baikie include 'New Statesmen' for Crisis in the UK, Star Wars: Empire's End for Dark Horse Comics and 'The First American' in Alan Moore's Tomorrow Stories anthology.

Baikie won the 1983 S.S.I. Award as Best British Adventure Artist and the 2000 Eisner Award for his contributions to Tomorrow Stories. In later years he retired from comic strip artwork. In 1984 he was awarded the Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, which "enabled me to spend valuable time in America doing research."

Outside of comics, he was also a member of various bands, playing bass in The Whirlwinds (fl.1962, formed in Cyprus while Baikie served with the R.A.F., performing at the Akrotiri Families Club and possibly releasing a single), Jaymes Fenda & the Vulcans (fl. 1964, who released a single on Parlephone, 'Mistletoe Love'/'The Only Girl', in 1964 and who supported The Kinks), Cross Ties / Lonesome Jax Blues Band (1966-68, which also included 'Lonesome Dave' Peverett, later of Foghat and Savoy Brown), Spilt Milk, Compass and Gerbil (three Orcadian bands, the latter launched in 1972 or 73 and who played together for 34 years). Baikie and his family moved back to Orkney in 1970, living in an at first run-down house in the village of Stenness that remained their home for almost fifty years.

In 1991, Baikie was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease but was able to carry on working until 2004, when his condition made it impossible to continue. He died peacefully from complications from the disease.

He is survived by his wife, Wendy, children Jacqueline, Jane, Vanessa, Caitrian and Ellen, twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

1 comment:

  1. Man, just knew of this today.
    A great artist and storyteller. I knew of his work through his DC comics first and then discovered his Uk work after that ( I didn't even suspected of the sheer amount of work he had done previous to those DC comics).
    My condollences to his family.
    RIP, Mr Baikie.

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