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An undressed Commando cover by Ian Kennedy

Charles Ian Kennedy (b. Dundee, 22 September 1932 - 5 February 2022) was obsessed with aeroplanes as a boy, but an ear infection kept him from national service in the RAF. He joined DC Thomson as a trainee illustrator in 1949. He went freelance in 1953, working for both Thomson and Amalgamated Press, later IPC.

His first work as a freelancer was the western strip "Kit Carson" for Knock-Out, but he soon established himself on war comics, particularly aviation-based ones like Air Ace Picture Library. He also drew for Thriller Picture Library, The Hotspur, The Wizard, Buster and Battle Picture Weekly, and began a long association with Commando.

In the 1970s and 80s he joined the science fiction trend, drawing "M.A.C.H. 1" and "Judge Dredd" for 2000AD, "Timequake" for Starlord, "Dan Dare" for the revived Eagle, "Turbo Jones" for Wildcat, Marvel UK's short-lived Blake's 7 comic, and covers for Starblazer. But his first love remained aviation, and in the late 1980s and early 1990s he paintee covers for the annual RAF Leachaurs Air Show programmes. He has been semi-retired since 1997, but still works a couple of mornings a week painting covers for Commando - he has produced over 1200 of them - and occasional one-page features on warplanes for the inside back cover.


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