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Preston has lost one of its most creative sons

Posted on - 27th April, 2017 - 8:28pm | Author - | Posted in - News, People
Leo Baxendale, left, with one of his comic creations Pic: British Comic Book Awards
Leo Baxendale, left, with one of his comic creations Pic: British Comic Book Awards

One of Preston’s most creative sons has died aged 86.

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Leo Baxendale was one of the most well-known cartoonists in British history.

Creating the likes of Minnie the Minx, The Bash Street Kids and Little Plum for the Beano, the illustrator was born in Whittle-le-Woods.

Baxendale was educated at Preston Catholic College and began his career at the Lancashire Evening Post drawing adverts and cartoons.

He and his wife Peggy had five children.

Paying tribute his son Martin, also a cartoonist, said: “The humour in Leo’s work for children’s comics and his later newspaper cartoons and books was always anarchic, anti the established order and pro fairness and justice in a generally unfair and unjust world, championing the underdog against the forces of oppression; a reflection of his strongly held left-wing, progressive political views.

“In his comics’ pages he saw the child characters he created as the underdogs long controlled and oppressed by the adult world around them and he gave them a voice and actions with which to fight back in hilariously anarchic fashion, allowed them to step into the limelight and control their own destinies.”

His first commission for the Beano came in 1952 and he did a 10 year stint at the comic. Preston was a big inspiration for Leo.

After two decades drawing for children he moved into the adult comics of Willy the Kids.

He retired from cartooning in 1992.

Baxendale died on Sunday 23 April.

Read more: 16 excellent things Preston gave the world

Friends of Fishwick and St Matthews paid tribute saying he was the inspiration behind their mural in the community garden painted in 2012 for the city’s Guild.

The mural inspired by Baxendale for the 2012 Guild
The mural inspired by Baxendale for the 2012 Guild

Did you know Leo? Fan of The Beano? Let us know in the comments below

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