British artist Don Lawrence is best known for his highly detailed and full-color artwork on successful series like 'The Trigan Empire' and 'Storm'. Lawrence, whose real name is Donald Sautham, was born in London. Evacuated from the city during World War II, he lived in several places throughout Britian before settling in Crawthorn, Berkshire. There, he attended Borough Polytechnic, where he studied Art for four years. In 1954, he made his comics debut, drawing 'Marvelman' for Mick Anglo's Gower Street Studios for a period of four years.
Harold the Great
Afterwards, Lawrence began working for Amalgamated Press and other publishers, like IPC and Longacre. He mainly did art on westerns, such as 'Davy Crockett', 'Daniel Boone', 'The Wagon Train', 'Wyatt Earp', Buffalo Bill', 'Billy the Kid', 'Wells Fargo', 'Pony Express', 'Blackbow the Cheyenne' and 'Cheyenne Veneance'.
He also drew comics like 'Karl the Viking' (for Lion), 'Wrath of the Gods' (for Boy's World), 'Tarzan' (for TV Tornado), 'Eric the Viking' (in Smash) and 'Olac the Gladiator' (in Tiger).
Fame came with 'The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire', a science-fiction epic written by Mike Butterworth and published in Ranger and subsequently Look And Learn from 1965 to 1974. 'The Trigan Empire' was a hit all over Europe, especially in Holland. Affiliated with the Temple Art Agency, Lawrence additionally worked on 'Fireball XL5' (in TV 21), 'Thunderbirds' (in Joe 90), 'Blackbow the Cheyenne' (in Eagle) and the erotic comic 'Carrie' (in Mayfair).
In 1974, he was contacted by the Dutch publisher Oberon to draw stories for the new magazine Babariba. Only one issue appeared, containing the story 'De Zoon van de Jager', and Lawrence returned to 'The Trigan Empire' for one final episode. However, he eventually returned to Oberon to draw the science-fiction comic 'Storm' for Eppo magazine. Starting in 1977, the series has been scripted by British writers like Vince Wernhame, Saul Dunn and Kelvin Gosnell, but mainly by the Dutch writers Martin Lodewijk and Dick Matena.
Don Lawrence continued to draw 'Storm' until his retirement in 2002 (he was assisted for the final episode by Liam Sharp). Don Lawrence died on 29 December 2003. He was honored with a knighthood by Dutch Queen Beatrix. The artwork of the 'Storm' series was handed over to Romano Molenaar and Jorg de Vos.