Having never physically met Steve Holland, John Freeman or Vic Whittle, I know little of their physical stature, but in comics, they certainly are giants upon whose shoulders I stand upon. I have unashamedly mined their websites for the pure gold that is Commando credits. So you can visit Bear Alley, Down The Tubes or British Comics and see for yourself how much information is available on their sites so that you can also identify the cover artist, the story artist or the writer. I have now been at it for a month and have made some fairly decent progress.
Honourable mentions also go to Lew Stringer’s Blog spot, The Commando Wiki, Comic Vine and D C Thomson of course as I have picked up information off each one as I have gone along. For those that are surprised at the D C Thomson site not getting a more prominent mention, this is simply due to the fact that their main site retires pages after a specific time which is a bit of a shame as there are some really great bits on there. So get them while you can.
So as of today, 22nd May 2016, I have managed to discover the artists for 3,509 of the covers, 2,924 of the stories and 1,456 of the writer credits. And when you consider that is out of 4,918 issues, that is not bad going for just over a month.
Now even with an incomplete listing of artists, I already have Ian Kennedy as the main man as I have recorded him as doing 1,774 of the covers. I know that I still have to fill in the data for many more issues, but that still puts Ian far ahead of anyone else. Now those that know Commando will know that a few of those are reprints, so I can take those out and that gives me at least 1,224 original covers that Ian has created for Commando. Oops, he did a new cover for the reprint of The Sand-Devils, so that makes it at least 1,225 original covers. Of those that have been reprinted once, Ian’s had at least 483 covers reprinted once and at least 66 of those covers have been reprinted a second time.
Next up on the covers front is Jeff Bevan with 231 original covers with 169 reprints and 19 of those have been reprinted a second time.
However, Keith Page is catching up fast with 184 original covers and 1 reprint.
In case you are bored with how many “at leasts” are in the previous paragraph, I can’t say a definite figure until I complete my cover listings, so that’s only another 1, 409 cover artists, 1,894 story artists and 3,462 writer credits to go!
For the internal artists, one artists stands above all others and that is Gordon Livingstone with at least 369 original Commandos to his credit. When I add in the reprints, his score shoots up to 600 of which 40 have been reprinted twice. The only artist that looks likely to equal or better this is Keith Page and he has drawn at least 223 issues to date with only two reprints so far.
Alan Hebden is the lead writer so far with 122 original scripts published. If I add in the reprints, this goes up to 149. Ferg Handley is a little bit behind with only 85 credits and 2 reprints. (This is where Ferg sends me an email with the full list of his credits!)