Classic cover artists: Yvonne Hutton
Yvonne Hutton was the Roy of the Rovers artist for ten years between 1967 and 1975, and 1976 and 1978. She oversaw a period of massive change in the history of one of Britain’s most iconic comic characters, being the artist who brought Roy out of the stuffy 1960s and into the grittier 1970s, designing Melchester’s iconic red-with-yellow-stripe kit, and Racey’s popstar bobbed hairdo. She also kept the Roy of the Rovers strip running in Tiger, its original home, after Roy had established his own comic title in 1976.
But before all these innovations, Yvonne was responsible for many years of truly outstanding Roy of the Rovers covers for the front of Tiger. These were at their most powerful and dynamic in the early years of the 1970s, during which she produced a stunning new cover every other week (alternating with Johnny Cougar one week, Skid Solo the next). I’ve commented before on the blog that the ability to capture the atmosphere, excitement, athleticism and realism of a professional football match was quite a rare gift among comic artists, but Yvonne was one of the best. Just look at the depth of her images, the involvement of the crowd and so many players in individual panels. The cover below dated 22 July 1972 is one of my favourites because of the way she conveys, in just two images, a move of such speed and force, and the incredible satisfaction of that thumping header rocketing into the back of the net.
Tragically, Yvonne died in a car accident in 1991, at a time in which she had returned to draw Roy’s adventures once more, for a licensed Daily Star strip.