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8 June 2012

'David Sutherland: Comics Genius' - new exhibition at the University of Dundee

Photo opportunity: 7pm on Wednesday, 13th June. Q&A session with David Sutherland chaired by Euan Kerr.

A new exhibition at the University of Dundee will mark 50 years of comics legend David Sutherland illustrating the perennially popular Bash Street Kids strip.

The exhibition of Sutherland's work on the Bash Street Kids and other much-loved Beano strips will open at the Baxter Suite on Monday, 11th June, while the artist will attend a special Question & Answer event at the venue two days later.

The exhibition is being held as part of the city's West Fest celebrations, and is being hosted by Museums Services at the University and the newly established Scottish Centre for Comics Studies (SCCS).

SCCS Director Dr Chris Murray said he was delighted to be welcoming the artist to the University and to be able to offer people the opportunity to view the work in an exhibition setting.

"As the illustrator of the Bash Street Kids for 50 years, David Sutherland is a bona fide legend in his field, and we are thrilled to offer people the chance to come and see this work and hear from the artist in person.

"Aside from the Bash Street Kids, David Sutherland also contributed to many other classic Beano characters, and his creations will be on display in all their glory."

David Sutherland was born in Invergordon, Ross-shire in 1933, and attended Glasgow School of Art. After working for an advertising agency in Glasgow, he began contributing to D C Thomson publications in 1959, and was soon illustrating adventure strips for The Beano including The Great Flood of London, Danny on a Dolphin and Billy the Cat.

In 1962, he took over responsibility for drawing The Bash Street Kids from Leo Baxendale and has crafted well over 2000 separate strips since then. He then replaced Dudley D Watkins illustrating Biffo the Bear (1969-84) and took over from David Law drawing Dennis the Menace (1970-1998).

It was during this period that Dennis became the Beano's most iconic character, moving to the front page in 1974. The Dennis the Menace Fan Club was established in 1976, and peaked at over 1.5 million members.

The Scottish Centre for Comics Studies (SCCS), based at the University of Dundee, brings together researchers, teachers, archivists, artists and writers, industry professionals, and others involved in the promotion of Comics Studies.

With dedicated exhibition space at the University, and a commitment to building the resources required to expand the provision of this field, the SCCS hosts workshops, lectures and exhibitions intended to raise the profile of comics in Scotland.

The exhibition will be open from 10am-5pm (weekdays) from June 11th-22nd. It will then remain open on Wednesday afternoons only until August 15th.

The Q&A session on Wednesday, 13th June is a free event, which will be chaired by former Beano editor Euan Kerr, and takes place at 7pm.

For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384768
MOBILE: 07854 953277