'One of a kind': Beano cartoonist David Sutherland dies aged 89

David Sutherland was responsible for The Bash Street Kids and Dennis the Menace. Credit: PA / DC Thomson

Beano cartoonist David Sutherland has died at the age of 89.

The artist would draw beloved characters including The Bash Street Kids and Dennis the Menace for the DC Thomson comics every week.

John Anderson, Beano editor, said David Sutherland’s contribution to the comic and British comic history will never be matched, in a tribute paid in The Courier.

He said: “No one will ever repeat what David achieved over 60 years. He was one of a kind, a genuine legend. It is the end of an era.

“Given that David started working for DC Thomson in 1959 and had been drawing The Bash Street Kids since 1962, he is the single most important illustrator in Beano history.”

Mr Sutherland was made an OBE just weeks before his death. He was recognised in this year’s New Year Honours list for services to illustration.

When being given his OBE, Mr Sutherland said: “When I entered the DC Thomson art competition more than 60 years ago, I couldn’t have guessed where it might lead.

“I’ve been so lucky to be able to do something I love for a living, and work with so many talented writers whose words have helped bring these characters to life.

“Working on The Bash Street Kids for so long, these mischievous kids have become a second family to me, and I continue to love spending time in their company.

“To them – Danny, Toots and the rest – I’d like to extend my thanks, and of course to the readers, who I hope continue to enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoy drawing them.”

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The cartoonist was born in Invergordon in the Highlands of Scotland in 1933.

Between 1970 and 1998, he drew over 1,000 episodes of Dennis The Menace, but it was on The Bash Street Kids that he created his legacy.

He started on the strip in 1962 and delivered the Bash Street Kids comic strip every week for the past 60 years.

He also created cinema advertising posters and was the only artist approved to draw Disney characters in the UK, reports The Courier.