Mike Western

Biggles by Mike Western

Mike Western only drew for British comics, and yet many of his strips are well known in France, being reprinted mainly in Mon Journal. His most popular strip in France was undoubtably Klip et Klop (The Wild Wonders in the UK) that still appears in the pages of Capt' Ain Swing, but which had already been published in Safari and Akim.

Western began his career working for the Fleetway comic group's Buster comic for which he drew various fantasy adventure strips such as; When Britain Froze (1962), World in Peril, and The Star of Fortune in 1963. He was also responsible for the first episode of the series The Shrinker (1965) this was reprinted as Reducer in France.

For the Valiant comic he drew an episode of Jack O' Justice in March 1964, then the account The Duke of Dry Gulch the same year before starting The Wild Wonders (Klip et Klop in France). The Wild Wonders appeared between March 1964 to December 1969 in 31 adventures based on stories by Tom Tully.

The French comic Mon Journal also published episodes of Klip et Klop by Tomas Oporto and Fuentesman. These French episodes are recognized by the fact that these artists' signatures appear on the strips, which was never the case of Mike Western.

The cover of 2000AD issue 12 by Mike Western

Western also drew the two western strips The Laird of Lazy Q (1967), Trail to Nowhere (1974) and various war stories such as Death Wish (1976), as well as the illustrations for articles like Famous Fighters, The Greatest, Who is it? or It happened this week. He also drew the front cover for TV Crimebusters Annual.

Elsewhere, he drew Topps one two wheels (On two wheels) for the Tiger comic, and Skid Solo, both published in French as The Kings of the Exploit and Odyssée of Nighshade which is appeared in the comic Atémi. He is probably best known for his work on The Leopard of Lime Street, ( which appeared in France in Sunny Sun, Janus Stark and Antares), Johnny Winco (Knockout), Davy Crockett, No Hiding Place and Biggles (the latter two for TV Express) as well as some episodes of Roy of the Rovers (Daily Star Newspaper). He also drew Darkie's Mob and Operation Shark and Wardog (all for Battle comic), Bakers Half Dozen (Speed) and The Sarge.

Western's last work was on the covers of 2000 AD, namely those from Nos. 12, 243 and 279. There has been a book published on Western's life and work called The Mike Western Story, which can be ordered by sending an email to David Miflin.

Original French text by Dominik Vallet
Translation and additional notes by Steven Taylor

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