David Sutherland (comics)

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The Bash Street Kids, drawn by Sutherland

David Sutherland (born 1933) is an artist with DC Thomson, responsible for The Bash Street Kids (1962–present), Dennis the Menace (1970–1998, still does work for annuals), Fred's Bed (2008-2012) for The Beano, and the second version of Jak for The Dandy in the early 2000s. He started out as an adventure strip artist, drawing strips such as The Beano's The Great Flood of London in 1960-61 (reprinted in Classics From the Comics in 2007) and Billy the Cat (see [1]), before replacing Leo Baxendale as the artist for The Bash Street Kids, who were given the two pages in the centre of the comic at the same time. He has been the strip's main artist since then, during which time he has drawn more than 2000 individual strips for the weekly comic. He also replaced Dudley D. Watkins on Biffo the Bear after his death in 1969, and continued to draw the character through the 1970s, after his strip relinquished that cover of the comic to Dennis in 1974.

In 1977, Gnasher was given his own strip in the Beano, Gnasher's Tale, which like the main Dennis strip was drawn by Sutherland. Similarly, when Dennis's pet pig, Rasher, received his own page in 1984, Sutherland was again the strip's artist, as he was when Gnasher's Tale was replaced by Gnasher and Gnipper in 1986.

Sutherland began to draw The Germs for the comic in 1988, although in the early 1990s he was replaced by Vic Neill. He also stopped drawing Gnasher and Gnipper in 1992, with artistic duties being handed to Barry Glennard. In 1998, Sutherland stopped drawing Dennis the Menace after 28 years, handing over to David Parkins, although he has continued to draw the Bash Street Kids since then. Over the next few years, he drew Korky the Cat for the Dandy, as well as the second incarnation of Jak. In 2009 it was confirmed that he was the new artist for the Beano's Fred's Bed. Initially taking over for a three-month period as replacement for Hunt Emerson, he later shared the workload with Tom Paterson before taking as over the strip's main artist during 2011.

He sometimes draws himself into strips, such as Biffo in the 2010 annual.

To mark Sutherland's 50 years as illustrator of the Bash Street Kids, an exhibition of original artwork from D C Thomson's collections was held at the University of Dundee in June–August 2012, with the artist appearing for a free Q&A event on 13 June (see [2]).

Comic strips[edit]

The strips that David has drawn for DC Thomson over the years include:

Comic Strip Dates Comic drawn for Type of strip Notes
The Bash Street Kids 1962-p The Beano Comic strip He has drawn over 2000 sets for this strip, a record for a Beano artist on a single strip.
Biffo the Bear 1969-197? The Beano Comic strip
Billy the Cat and Katie 1967-1974 The Beano Adventure strip
Danny on a Dolphin 1960 & 1962 The Beano Adventure strip Sutherland's first strip for The Beano.
Dennis the Menace 1970–1998 The Beano, BeanoMAX Comic strip Took over from David Law from issue 1464, dated 8 August 1970.
General Jumbo 1962–1963 The Beano Adventure strip Sutherland drew the third, fourth and fifth series of this adventure strip.
The Germs 1988–1992 The Beano Comic strip Later taken over by Vic Neill, and reprinted under the name 'Totally Gross Germs' between October 2011 and August 2012.
The Great Flood of London 1960–1961 The Beano Adventure strip
Korky the Cat 1999–2000 The Dandy Comic strip
Lester's Little Circus 1962–1963 The Beano Adventure strip
Rasher 1984–1995 The Beano Comic Strip Ran regularly between 1984 and 1988, then appeared sporadically. These strips were later reprinted in 2009.
Fred's Bed 2008-2012 The Beano Comic Strip Sutherland drew the strip in David Parkins' style for the Beano's 70th birthday issue in 2008, and in late 2009 became one of the strip's main artists, this time basing Fred's design on Hunt Emerson's version.


  1. ^ "The Beano & Dandy History". Scarcecomics.com. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  2. ^ "David Sutherland : Museum : University of Dundee". Dundee.ac.uk. Retrieved 20 May 2016.