Sean Martin (cartoonist)

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Sean Martin
Born(1950-12-29)December 29, 1950
DiedAugust 3, 2020(2020-08-03) (aged 69)
NationalityAmerican, Canadian
Notable works
Doc and Raider

Sean Stephane Martin (December 29, 1950 – August 3, 2020) was an American-Canadian cartoonist, illustrator, and graphic designer, best known for creating the long-running Doc and Raider comic strip which appeared in LGBT publications in the 1980s and 1990s, and online in the 2000 and 2010s.

Early life[edit]

Martin was adopted as a child. His adoptive mother, Elsie Martin, who died in 2017, estimated his birth date as 29 December 1960 based on the date he was taken from a Catholic-run orphanage in Montreal. She also believed that he was born in Canada. He was raised in Texas, and lived in New York City and San Francisco before moving to Canada in 1986 and gaining Canadian citizenship in 1989.[citation needed]


Martin produced the first Doc and Raider strips for a Vancouver gay publication in 1987. Although the issue featuring Doc and Raider turned out to be the final issue of that publication, the strip was quickly picked up by other LGBT publications, including the Xtra! newspapers in Canada. Martin's fee for the strip was turned over to charities and organizations, going to causes that included AIDS hospices in New Zealand, and an arts festival in Scotland, with total donations estimated to be close to a quarter million dollars (US) (Exact figures are unknown because of variances in the number of currencies and irregularity of reporting involved, but it is a reliable estimate). The characters have also been used to promote safer-sex practices and AIDS education, as well as rodeos, country dance conventions, and film festivals. He published two books collecting strips: Doc and Raider: Caught on Tape (1994) and Doc and Raider: Incredibly Lifelike (1996). He retired the regular strip in 1997, but drew two five-page stories for the Little Sister's Defence Fund[1] anthologies What's Right and What's Wrong in 2002. The strip's archive is housed at the National Archives of Canada and the Pride Archives at the University of Western Ontario. Martin later revived the strip online, using digitally-rendered art from 3D models, and has published a number of anthologies, including "Canadian: Hope That's Okay", "Tastefully Canadian", and "Frankly Canadian". It now stands as one of the longest running LGBTQ comic strips in history as well as the second longest Canadian one, after For Better or For Worse.

Martin wrote a manual for theatre designers, Big Show Tiny Budget, based on his years as a scenic and costume designer, a novella Triptych, and adaptations of classic theatre scripts, including The Prince of Pilsen, The Pink Lady, and The Black Crook. He has also issued a volume of standalone illustrations of life in Montréal, under the title of "Les citains", as well as publications of Candide, Gilgamesh, The Little Prince, and Aesop's Fables. While living in Calgary, Martin worked with the Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo, providing graphic design for the organization's posters and brochures. His work was honoured in 2001 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Gay Rodeo Association. Martin's illustration work for Candide is part of the permanent Voltaire collection at the University of Wittenberg.


Martin ended the digital version of Doc and Raider on July 13, 2020, with its 5600th installment.[2] He died of complications of pancreatic cancer following hospice care on August 3, 2020.[3][4]


  1. ^ Detained at Customs: Jane Rule testifies at the Little Sister's trial. Lazara Press, 1995. See the third page for correct spelling of "Defence Fund."
  2. ^ "5600!". DOC AND RAIDER. 2020-07-13. Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  3. ^ "Randy A. Riddle". Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  4. ^ "RIP – Sean Stephane Martin". The Daily Cartoonist. 2020-08-03. Retrieved 2020-08-04.

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