Note - this page has been put together using information from Peter's children, Paul and Susan and also from Mike Schofield's website devoted to that great runner Alf Tupper, the Tough of the Track.
Page last updated October 2012 - further information about the Air Ace war booklets Sutherland drew for Fleetway Publications as been added.
Peter Sutherland – brief biographical notes.
Please note that the following information about Peter Sutherland originally (and still does) appear on Mike Schofield's Alf Tupper appreciation website. This article is reproduced with permission by Mike and Peter's children Paul Sutherland and Susan O'Connor.
Many, many thanks to Pete's son & daughter, Paul & Susan, for putting together this lovely piece about their Father.
Peter Sutherland was born in 1923 in the Leicestershire village of Somerby. He was always fascinated by art and began to hone his own drawing and painting skills at a very early age. By his teens, his drawing abilities were outstanding. His service in the REME during the Second World war was largely spent with a pencil or brush in his hand; he hardly saw a gun fired in anger. The powers that be were far keener on him producing posters for camp entertainments than aiming weapons.
One of the major outcomes of the war, artistically, was the proliferation of American style comic books. Peter was determined to get into this new art genre. He sent in artwork samples to DC Thomson, the major comic publishers, who immediately set him to work. From that time he was awash with scripts to draw. After the war he married Peggy, a Scots girl from St Andrews. They had two children, Paul and Susan. When first married, they lived in Broughty Ferry, near the Scottish headquarters of DC Thomson in Dundee. Here Peter worked in an office full of comic strip artists, having some of the happiest days of his artistic career. He then decided to ‘go freelance’, and moved back down to Leicestershire, where he worked from scripts. He sent the completed Indian ink on board artwork by post to the DC Thomson offices in Fleet Street.
Through the 1950s he worked on Kit Carson comic books. This American frontiersman and hero was ideally suited to Peter’s outstanding ability to draw action scenes – particularly featuring horses – a notoriously difficult skill to master. In the 1960s and 1970s Peter worked on many scripts in the expanding range of comics on the market. The Victor comic was always his main home, but he also worked on the Hornet, drawing characters like ‘The Big Palooka’, a bowler hat wearing Scotland Yard detective assigned to work with a US police force. ‘Mike Fink’, the American raft trader was another popular creation. He was also responsible for a host of other stories among the DC Thomson comic firmament.
Peter started drawing Alf Tupper in the early 1960s, and was still drawing him just before his death in 1977. Alf was always a special character for Peter. If there could be a bond between an artist and his creation, then here one surely was. His visualisation of this backstreet runner breathed life into a simple storyline. Alf was lifted far beyond the given outline script. He had emotions. His body conveyed joy and dejection. His face was a readable human face. Alf was made to live for many of his followers each week in a way which few comic characters ever do. When Alf “ran ‘em”, we all shared his joy.
When Peter died he left a rich legacy of comic creations, and with the knowledge he had given a great deal of joy to many devoted comic followers.
© Paul Sutherland and Susan O'Connor.
Below are a few pages from one of Peter's sketchbooks. Scans provided by Paul and Susan.
D.C. Thomson stories/series that Peter Sutherland drew:- (please note this is not a complete listing).
Note - for details of which issues the various stories appeared in, please visit the Victor Index and the Hornet Index.
The Hotspur (second series)
Sutherland also drew several Fleetway Library Air Ace picture stories and a listing of these stories can be found below.
Fleetway Picture Library books drawn by the artist. Note - not a complete listing.
Below are a couple of images, on the left the front cover of Air Ace 34 with artwork by Nino Caroselli. and page thirty with artwork by Sutherland.
Below are two examples of stand alone stories that Sutherland drew for the Hornet comic.
Stand Back - A Crook's Gonna Burst! (published in issue 68 of the Hornet) and Sergeant Leatherlungs from issue 66 of the Hornet.
Writer(s):-not known Artist:- Peter Sutherland.
Below is the first episode of a Sutherland humorous story (Gerald the Genie), I found in the Hotspur comic no. 346 (14th June, 1966). Another artist drew the remaining episodes in the series. The story tells of what happens when an apprentice genie (with an L plate on his back), attempts to serve his various masters. Sutherland also drew several true stories for the full colour front covers of the Victor and the Hornet comics. Several examples can be viewed below. Hornet covers are from issues 187, 193 and the 11th June, 1966. (Note - the issue number was left off the front cover for this issue). The Victor front and back story is from issue 23 July 29th, 1961.
Reviews of series on this site that feature Sutherland's artwork, can be accessed via the buttons below.
From the Victor comic:-
Red Star Roberts
Sergeant Samson's Scrapbook
Ticker Turner -
Alf Tupper, Tough of the Track -
From the Hornet comic:-
The Big Palooka. - (police).
Nightingale Nobbs - (wrestling).
Finally, below is a montage of images featuring some of the lesser known series and characters that were drawn by Peter. Please note this is not an exhaustive list.
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My thanks to Paul Sutherland, Susan O'Connor and Mike Schofield.