In 1959 David Sutherland entered a drawing competition organised by DC Thomson, the Dundee-based publisher of children’s comics including the Beano. He did not win but he did get noticed by Harold Cramond, the comic’s long-serving editor, who took him under his wing and helped to mould his career in cartoon strips. One day Cramond asked him to cover for a colleague on Dennis the Menace and Gnasher. “I was thrilled to get such an iconic figure to be my first comic strip,” he said.
Before long he had been diverted to take control of the mayhem that was consuming the Bash Street Kids. Their strip had been created in 1954 by Leo Baxendale (obituary, April 29, 2017), who was inspired by the