John Ryan was a British children's book illustrator and comic artist, and the creator of 'Harris Tweed' and 'Captain Pugwash'. He was born John Gerald Ryan as the son of a diplomat in Edinburgh, Scotland. Aged 7, he wrote his first book 'Adventures of Tommy Brown' and sold it to his mother for two pennies. After his military service in Burma during World War II, he enrolled at the Regent Street Polytechnic, where he studied until 1948.
From 1948 until 1955 he was Assistant Art Master at Harrow School. As a comic artist, he was present in the first issue of Eagle magazine with the creation of the character 'Captain Horatio Pugwash' in 1950. 'Captain Pugwash' ran for 19 weeks, but was later adapted into a TV series, using cardboard cut-outs filmed in live-action by the BBC in 1957. New comic features with the character appeared in Swift (1958), Playland (1974) and Pippin in Playland (1975).
He was also the creator of 'Harris Tweed, Extra Special Agent', a would-be private eye, that ran in Eagle from 1950 until 1962, and 'Lettice Leefe, the Greenest Girl in School' for Girl (1951-1964) and Princess (1964-1967). John Ryan has also written and illustrated numerous children's books such as 'The Story of the Tiger-Pig', 'Crockie Takes a Swim', 'Mr. Noah's Birthday', 'Bad Years for Dragons', 'The Very Hungry Lions', 'Mamel and the Tower of Babel' and 'Giantkiller'. Other TV cartoon character he created were 'Sir Prancelot' and 'Mary, Mungo and Midge'.