Johnny Red, by John Cooper
Johnny Red

John Cooper was an artist of mainly UK action and war comics. He worked for nearly all the British publications since the 1970s, and his credits vary from Disney to SHOOT! and 2000 AD. Cooper was born in Featherstone, West Yorkshire, and had his first job in his father's pub in Doncaster. He studied art in York and Wakelfield Art College and, after some studio work, turned freelance in 1963. He was one of the regular artists for TV Century 21 magazine from 1966 to 1969, illustrating features like 'Agent 21', 'Lady Penelope', 'Captain Scarlet', 'Joe 90' and 'Thunderbirds'.

Secret Agent 21 by John Cooper
Secret Agent 21

During the 1970s, he contributed to some DC Thomson titles, but he was mainly active for IPC titles like Mirabelle '(Dixie of Dollycabs'), TV Comic ('Grange Hill', 'Wurzel Gummidge', 'Doctor at Sea') and Look-In ('Flight to Fortune', 'Man from Atlantis', etc.). He showcased a specialism in war and action comics in titles like Valiant and Battle Picture Weekly, most notably with the 'Johnny Red' feature, that he drew for Battle from 1978 to 1984. For 2000 AD, he was the artist of the first commisioned 'Judge Dredd' story (which was published much later due to its extreme violence), as well as other features like 'M.A.C.H. 1' and Alan Moore's 'Abelard Snazz'.

Tharg Future Shock by John Cooper
Tharg Future Shock

He was furthermore present in Starlord ('Timequake') and Tornado ('The Lawless Touch'). Cooper spent the 1980s working on Marvel UK titles like 'Doctor Who', 'Blake's 7', 'Trekker' and 'Biker Mice from Mars'. He remained a regular at IPC with new stories for Look-In ('The Fall Guy', 'The A-Team', 'Knight Rider', etc), Eagle ('Mask and Venom') and Hot-Shot ('Playmaker'). New war and action comics appeared in DC Thomson's Warlord and Victor.

Cooper was present in Roy of the Rovers with 'Goalmouth' and 'Hammersmith FC', in The Sun with 'Striker', and in Private Eye with many satrirical soccer strips. After a couple of years of absence, he drew the historical graphic novel 'Richard the Lionheart: The Life of a King and Crusader' with David West and Jackie Gaff in 2005. He also returned to the pages of 2000 AD with 'Tharg's Terror Tales' and Judge Dredd Megazine with 'Armitage'). Suffering from ill-health, John Cooper spent most of his final years making maritime painting.

Johnny Red, by John Cooper

John Cooper's Johnny Red

Series and books by John Cooper you can order today:


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