cover art from Bunty issue 1736, 1991

John Armstrong was an artist best known for his work in girls' comics in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Although he drew as a child, his first formal art lessons were in the army while serving in the Far East. After leaving the army he went to Constantine College in Middlesborough, where he passed Intermediate Arts and Crafts and gained National Diplomas in Design in both painting and illustration, and then trained as a teacher, but did not enter the profession, instead becoming a commercial artist for a Newcastle ad agency.

After a year there, he moved to London, hawked his portfolio around, got a job in a studio near St. Paul's Cathedral, and began doing freelance work in educational books. His first work in comics was a ballet story in Girl's Crystal. This was followed by work on School Friend (including "Cherry and the Children"), Misty (including "Moonchild") and Tammy (including the long-running gymnastics strip "Bella"). After these comics folded, he drew a comic version of the children's school drama "Grange Hill" for Beeb for about a year, and then began working for DC Thomson's girls' titles, including "The Secret Gymnast" for Bunty. He worked in colour for the first time on Bunty covers and annuals, and drew some horse stories, a personal passion.


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