The Grimsby-born cartoonist who appeared in The Beano
A cartoonist, illustrator and author from Grimsby will feature in a collection of the best British comics.
Mark Bennington, 58, has over 30 years of experience as a designer and illustrator.
Also an author, Mark has had his work published in some of the biggest comics, including The Beano and The Dandy.
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It should now be in a new book, The Treasury of British Comics presents: the Tom Paterson collection, which will be released in November.
Tom Paterson, a Scottish cartoonist, is one of the UK’s best-known cartoonists.
He has worked on classic comics such as Sweeny Toddler, Calamity James, Buster, Grimly Feendish, The Numskulls, Bananaman, and Dennis the Menace.
Mark says he feels honored to be in this collection of a great comic book.
He said: âIn November a book is due to be published to celebrate the work of Britain’s greatest cartoonist, Tom Paterson.
âIf you read comics from the 1970s onwards, you will instantly recognize Tom’s work.
“He drew Dennis the Menace, The Bash Street Kids and Sweeny Toddler among many classics from the golden age of British comics.
âAnd he drew my scripts when I joined Fleetway in the mid-1980s.
âAt least 15 of my comic book scripts, illustrated by Tom, appear in this book – including my greatest creation Lucy Lastic.
“It is quite an honor to be considered worthy for publication and I have been approached for a quote for the book.”
Ideas always crop up in Mark’s head as he often scribbles them along with the possible characters.
He said, “I’m literally happier with a creative flow. You get a buzz when an idea works or a storyline comes to a successful conclusion and ties together. And you get a big bunch of pieces of paper.”
Mark, 58, grew up in the West Marsh area and has fond memories of his time in the fishing village.
He told Grimsby Live: âI have vague memories of the old arena quarter, the open air market and the smell of Chambers coffee.
âAs a kid, I was probably the happiest hanging out in the Cowboys and Indians toy department of Evington or the magazines and comics department of Albert Gaits.
âYou can’t beat the smell of a newsagent and the mixture of fresh newspaper and sugary vampire tooth treats.
âThere weren’t any social media or Xbox games back then, so the escape was a copy of Superman or Amazing Tales or funny ones like Sparky and Topper.
“The thrill of the free gift and I have always admired the illustration work. The excellent teachers at South Parade nurtured my natural artistic talents and I generally received requests from all the other children in the class to draw a picture. for their stories. “
Mark got A’s at O ââ’Level and A’ Level Art and thinks he should have been destined for art college until he was affected by a terrible condition.
He said: âAt 16, I was cursed with the dreaded epilepsy and kind of slipped back into self-imposed exile.
âI spent a lot of time alone which I guess cultivated my imagination and I scribbled a lot and came up with character ideas.
âIf you have a creative brain you need an outlet for your ideas and in my case it has turned into cartoons and comics.
“It was in the early 80’s, a lot of unemployment and I started to think that maybe a career in comics was an issue.”
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Mark made his first appearance in the post with the Grimsby Target.
He said: âLocally, Tommy Target for the Grimsby Target was my first foray into cartoon illustration.
âUsing them as samples, I then reached out to tabloids nationwide. The News of the World art editor was very helpful and gave me an agency manager at King Leo Studios.
“They kicked me in at Fleetway Comic Publications and then IPC Magazines.
âI have been fortunate to have been published in just about every British comic book for the past 35 years with Buster, Whizzer and Chips, Roy of the Rovers, The Beano and The Dandy.
âI drew a regular Freddy Ljungberg comic for Arsenal FC and illustrated an 8-part BBC Schools TV series Captain Crimson – currently on YouTube.
âI have illustrated several books over the years, including The British travel guide which caused a media outcry for mocking the British.
And what has Mark been up to the most recently?
He said: âWith the decline of comic book publishing I have self-taught as a digital artist and these days I get online illustration work for blogs and websites.
âI currently work for an Australian football team, the Melbourne Tigers.
“And I signed a contract to publish my first children’s book Salty Jack the Fishing Smack – which will hopefully do for trawlers what Thomas the Tank Engine did for steam trains.”
The Treasury of British Comics Presents: The Tom Paterson Collection will be available at Waterstones and Amazon November 25.
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