Darkie's mob

"Darkie's Mob", from Battle Picture Weekly, 1970s

Mike Western
Born (1925-02-04)4 February 1925
Southampton, Hampshire, England
Died 13 May 2008(2008-05-13)
Nationality United Kingdom
Area(s) Artist

Mike Western (b. Southampton, 4 February 1925; d. 13 May 2008)[1] was a British comics artist. He worked as a clean-up artist for GB Animation after military service in the Second World War, and later at Halas and Batchelor on their 1954 film adaptation of Animal Farm. In the early 1950s he joined fellow former GB Animation artists Ron "Nobby" Clark and Eric Bradbury at Amalgamated Press, drawing adventure strips for Knock-Out, including the western "Lucky Logan" and the aviation series "Johnnie Wingco".[2]

In 1960 he moved to TV Express, where he drew TV tie-ins "No Hiding Place" and "Biggles", the latter in colour.[2] In 1962 he began drawing for Buster, including "The Leopard from Lime Street", on which his pencils were inked by Bradbury,[3][4] "When Britain Froze", "World in Peril", and "The Star of Fortune".[5] The same year he joined the newly launched Valiant, a title he would be associated with for the next thirteen years. One of his most notable strips there was "The Wild Wonders", written by Tom Tully, about a pair of wild boys, brought up by animals, who turn out to be fantastic athletes, for which he used a semi-cartoony style which was much imitated.[2] Other strips he worked on included "Jack O' Justice" and "The Duke of Dry Gulch".[5] Valiant featured covers on historical topics, and Western drew over 500 of these.[6]

After Valiant folded in 1975, he moved to Battle Picture Weekly, where he reverted to a grittier style and drew John Wagner's "Darkie's Mob"[7][8] and "HMS Nightshade", as well as "The Sarge" and Tully's "The Team That Went to War".[9] He did some work in romance comics, but was not comfortable there,[4] and drew two covers for 2000 AD in 1977 and 1981.[10] He drew "Baker's Half Dozen" for short-lived sports title Speed in 1980, then "Topps on Two Wheels" and "Golden Boy" for Tiger, and "Computer Warrior", "The Hard Men", "Shadow" and "The Avenger" for the relaunched Eagle. He drew "Billy's Boots" for Scorcher and Roy of the Rovers for four years, as well as the Roy of the Rovers daily strip in the Daily Star in 1992-93. He then retired from comics, with the exception of a strip in a theatre magazine in 1997-2000, and concentrated on painting and magazine illustration. He died in 2008, aged 83, having been confined to bed for a few months following a heart attack and a stroke.[1][2][6][11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ian Wheeler, Mike Western remembered, Down The Tubes, 21 May 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Steve Holland, Mike Western (1925-2008), Bear Alley, 20 May 2008
  3. The Leopard from Lime Street at
  4. 4.0 4.1 Darkie's Mob: Three Mike Western Interviews
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dominik Vallet and Steven Taylor, Mike Western,
  6. 6.0 6.1 Lew Stringer, Mike Western 1925 - 2008, Blimey! It's Another Blog About Comics!, 26 May 2008
  7. Darkie's Mob at Comics UK
  8. Darkie's Mob at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle
  9. The Team that Went to War at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle
  10. Mike Western on Barney's 2000 AD database
  11. "The Team That Went to War" at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle

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