Gerald Lip – RIP

British artist Gerald Lip has passed away.

Gerald Lip
May 12, 1929 – January 28, 2021

newspaper cartoon editor, comic letterer, artist

From the Daily Express obituary:




Gerald also worked as colourist and sometime letterer on imported American strips such as Garfield and Hagar the Horrible, occasionally relettering words to give them a local flavour.

Gerald’s name in relation to Modesty Blaise comes up most often in the change of artists when Enric-Badia Romero, the second artist on the comic strip, went elsewhere and a replacement was needed:

John M Burns then picked up the baton after being selected by Beaverbrook Newspaper Group editor Gerald Lip. Burns, whose work on Wrath of the Gods some fifteen years earlier had undergone something of a transformation from OK’ish to truly superb had according to some observers achieved this renaissance by the artist immersing himself in the study of Holdaway’s use of line and strong sense of design and layout. Burns proceeded to turn in some really first rate work on O’Donnell’s scripts.

But whilst Lip and O’Donnell might have been pleased with Burns work, there were other players to be considered and Lip received a call from one of them. Charles Wintour was the editor of the Evening Standard and in terms of influence and patronage, one of Fleet Street’s big beasts – essentially what he said was that he wanted Burns off the strip a.s.a.p. The reasons for this have been mulled over, but it seems that there was not a problem regarding the quality of his work on Modesty Blaise. Whatever the reason, Wintour was implacable saying telling Lip, “I want this artist out of my newspaper!”

As Lip re-engaged with the vexatious task of trying to secure yet another artist who would match the expectations of O’Donnell, Wintour, and numerous other vested interests, not least of which was the strip’s readership, he did what a lot of other harried editors in such a bind have done, he picked up the phone and made a call to Barry Coker of the Bardon Art Agency.

Gerald’s attempts to find a Modesty Blaise artist continue here.


For 35 years Gerald contributed sketches of the Sussex area to The Argus.