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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jim Hansen (1948-2018)

Jim Hansen, a forty-year veteran of British comics during which time he drew two of the most iconic figures in British humour comics, Buster and Dennis the Menace, died on Tuesday, 19 June, aged 69.

Born James Hansen in Ndola, Zambia, on 15 July 1948, he began working in British comics in the 1970s. His first published strip was ‘Hot Rod’ in the Whizzer & Chips, Summer Special, but he quickly established himself as a ‘ghost’ for Mike Lacey, taking over or filling-in on strips such as ‘Shiner’ and ‘The Bumpkin Billionaires’ in Whizzer & Chips and ‘The Winners’ in Jackpot. He was a regular contributor to Buster where he drew ‘S.O.S. Squad’, ‘The Winners’, ‘Ricky Rainbow’ (imported from Nipper) and then a decade-long run on ‘Buster’ in the 1990s, drawing countless covers for the comic until its demise.

In 1993, Hansen began drawing for The Dandy, his strips during the 1990s and early 2000s including ‘First Class’, ‘The Verminator’, ‘Little Boots Cassidy’, ‘Jak’, ‘P5’, ‘Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber’ and ‘Dreadlock Holmes’. For The Beano he drew ‘Gordon Bennett’ and was and occasionally drew ‘Dennis the Menace’ from 2002, becoming its regular artist (along with Nigel Parkinson) between 2004 and 2010.

Hansen began an association with Wallace & Gromit when he illustrated five titles for Titan Books (2003-07); he was also one of the artists who worked on the strip when it became a daily in The Sun (2010-12).

He wrote and illustrated a number of books (with John Burns colouring), including Creating Superheroes and Comic Book Characters (2005), Creating Manga Superheroes (2006) and Drawing Dragons (2006). He also illustrated the Smiffy books by Chris Smith and the Agent Alfie series by Justin Richards.

Peter Gray has described him as having a distinctive, energetic style, and having “one of the best humour artists in the business.”  David Leach, who worked with Hansen on ‘Wallace & Gromit’, wrote on Facebook, “He had wonderful drawing style and I loved his sense of energy … He was an editor’s dream to work with.”

Although best known for his humour work, Hansen also drew ‘Biker Mice From Mars’ (1995) and a 16-page comic for DC promoting the direct-to-video movie Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero (1998). In recent years he teamed up with Bambos Georgiou to draw ‘Supercar’ for a one-off promotional edition of TV21 (2014) and on ‘Slash Moron’ for the digital comic Aces Weekly (2014-17). He continued to work on the latter despite being treated for long-term cancer and a tumor on his spine which meant he had to work standing.

Hansen is survived by his wife Margaret and two sons.

Lew Stringer has posted a tribute at his Blimey! blog in which he comments that Hansen was "a very versatile artist, able to draw licensed characters as well as traditional humour ones. Definitely one of the best humour artists to have worked in UK comics."


  1. Lovely to find out so much what he did...

    saw a small error..saw Peter Grey in must mean someone else..

  2. Sorry, Peter. Now corrected.