Death Dive by Gordon Livingstone
Commando #108 - Death Dive

Gordon Livingstone was a British comic book artist, best-known as the most prolific artist for DC Thomson's war title Commando.

Born in Dundee on 17 August 1934, Livingstone left school and went to work at either a local law firm or a stationery company (the accounts differ). A colleague recognized his talent for drawing, and sent him over to Norman Lee, the head artist of the newspaper publishing firm John Leng & Co. The young Livingstone had his first job as an artist at the age of 16. Shortly afterwards, he was also hired by the local magazine and comic book publisher DC Thomson, and he remained a loyal contributor to this firm for nearly 50 years. His first work was for children's and women's magazines like Secrets, My Weekly and The People's Friend. His career was interrupted in 1952 when he was drafted for his his two years National Service, which he completed in the Royal Army Service Corps. Upon his return to civilian life, he continued his work on girls' and romance papers, adding Golden Heart Love Stories, Love and Life Library and Silver Moon to his list of credits.

He started drawing stories for the digest war comic 'Commando' almost from the start in 1961. The title was launched by editor Chick Checkley to compete with IPC Fleetway's 'War Picture Library' and 'Air Ace Picture Library'. Starting with two published issues per month, this was increased to eight issues per months in 1971 following the title's success. The black-and-white stories are mostly situated in World Wars I and II, and have no continuity or recurring characters. Livingstone remained with 'Commando' until his retirement in 1999, drawing over 360 issues, starting with issue 4 and ending with issue 3293. Adding the later-day reprints and his 63 cover illustrations, Gordon Livingstone's art has appeared in about 600 issues of the comic. The second most productive 'Commando' artist was Keith Page with 236 issues in 21 years. Other prolific artists for the title were John Ridgway, Denis McLoughlin, Ian Kennedy and Jose Maria Jorge. Most of these artist have remained obscure however, Livingstone included, because British comic stories were generally published uncredited at the time. According to legend, Livingstone was offered the right to sign his work by his publisher, but the artist's modesty prevented him from doing so.

In addition, Gordon Livingstone was one of the artists for the educational centre spread feature 'The Falklands File' (1982-1983), which covered the 1982 Falklands conflict between Britain and Argentina in DC Thomson's weekly war comic Warlord. The other illustrator was Terry Patrick. Gordon Livingstone passed away on 19 June 2017 at the age of 82.

Commando cover art by Gordon LivingstoneCommando cover art by Gordon Livingstone

Gordon Livingstone on downthetubes.net
Gordon Livingstone's Commando titles on britishcomics.20m.com

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