Classic cover artists: Mike Western
By the early 1970s, Mike Western was the king of the covers at IPC. His talent for celebrity likeness and exciting action scenes that captured a story in a single image led to commissions for more than five hundred front covers for Valiant (starting in the 1960s and running until 1975, and illustrating series such as The Daredevils, The Rivals and Who Is It?), and many more for football title Scorcher (between 1970 and 1974, and including When the Crowd Roared …, Roll of Honour and The Super Stars). Mike was a first-rate strip artist too, and will be easily recognised by fans of The Leopard from Lime Street in Buster, Valiant’s The Wild Wonders, Darkie’s Mob and The Sarge in Battle, Baker’s Half-dozen in Speed and Topps on Two Wheels in Tiger. Many of these led to further, story-based front covers – always a pleasure to see with his bold linework and heavy, confident inking.