Wildcards, by John M. Burns
Wild Cards (1992)

John Burns was born in Essex. He started his career as an apprentice with Doris White at Link Studios in 1954. His earliest work were illustrations for Amalgamated Press titles like Girls' Crystal and School Friend. He additionally contributed to Express Weekly and then fulfilled his military service with the RAF in Singapore.

Wuthering Heights by John M. Burns
Wuthering Heights (1963)

In 1960 he returned to Britain and began a collaboration with D.C. Thomson (adaptations of novels like 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Great Expectations' in Diana) and Odhams ('Kelpie' in Wham!).

The Seekers, by John M. Burns
The Seekers in Norwegian

Later on, he became an artist of daily comics for newspapers. His first newspaper strip was 'The Seekers' for The Daily Sketch from 1966 to 1971. He took over 'Modesty Blaise' from Enrique Romero, and worked on this strip for The Evening Standard in 1978-79. Other newspaper strips include 'Danielle' (Evening News, 1973-74), 'George and Lynne (1977-84), 'Jane' (a reboot of Norman Pett's original series for The Daily Mirror, 1985-1989) and 'Smythie' (Evening News).

Zetari by J.M. Burns
Zetari (L'Eternauta #71, 1989)

In 1987 he began drawing 'Julia', a newspaper strip for the German market (later renamed to 'Lilli'). Burns also worked on a bulk of TV tie-in strips for TV 21, Look-In and TV Action ('The Tomorrow People). His series for Eagle include 'Wrath of the Gods', 'The Fists of Dany Pike', 'Dolebusters' and 'Roving Reporter'. Burns was one of several cartoonists to make a contribution to 'Spitting Image. The Giant Komic Book' (Pyramid Book Ltd & Octopus Publishing Group, 1988), a comic book based on the satirical puppet TV show 'Spitting Image' by Peter Fluck and Roger Law.

Modesty Blaise by John M. Burns
Modesty Blaise

On the European mainland, Burns is mostly known for his Sword & Sorcery series, 'Zetari', which he made in cooperation with the Dutch scenarist Martin Lodewijk. By the 1980s, Burns joined Fleetway/2000 AD, where he worked on such series as 'Dan Dare', 'Judge Dredd', and 'Trueno'. He co-created 'Bendatti Vendetta' for the Judge Dredd Megazine with Robbie Morrison, and became the lead artist of 'Nikolai Dante'.

John M. Burns was an influence on David Pugh.

Danielle, by John M. Burns
Danielle, by John M. Burns

John M. Burns on Lew Stringer's blog

Series and books by John M. Burns you can order today:


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