January 26, 2004 by

Don Lawrence


Categories: Artists

dlawrence.jpgDon Southam Lawrence, one of Europe’s most famous comic book illustrators, died on Dec. 29 from pneumonia and emphysema. He was 75.
Lawrence, who influenced an entire generation of European artists, served two years in the Army then studied art at Borough Polytechnic in London. He made his comics debut drawing “Marvelman,” the first British superhero, for £1 per page.
Lawrence spent the 1960s drawing black and white strips for Amalgamated Press, working on titles such as “Olac the Gladiator,” “Erik the Viking” and “Karl the Viking.” But he was best known for his full-color artwork in the science fiction series, “Fall of the Trigan Empire.” The comic, written by Mike Butterworth, ran for 11 years in Look and Learn Magazine.
Unfortunately, “Trigan” was also published in graphic novel form in Britain. When he learned about the unauthorized usage in 1976, Lawrence confronted his publisher and asked for back wages to compensate for using his drawings. The publisher, IPC, severed ties with him instead.
Lawrence spent the last 25 years of his life working on the best-selling, 23-volume series, “Storm.” An English edition of the series will be published in May.

2 Responses to Don Lawrence

  1. Eric Elshout

    Why are there no tributes to be found on this page?
    I will post my own: He was quite simply the most realistic cartoonist there ever was. A very gifted artist who should get all the credit possible.

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