Stewart Perkins died yesterday.
Stu (under his pseudonym of W.R. Logan ) was my on-ramp into UK Judge Dredd fandom. Around 1997/98 I think, I saw an advert in Comics Interntional looking for art for a fanzine called “Class of ’79” (named for the year that Judge Dredd graduated).
I distinctly remember sitting in my then-girlfriends (now wife) student digs, drawing sketches of Dredd world characters to send off.
He published my first Dredd strip (artwork so awful I’m embarrassed to show it, I’m afraid) and despite the awful quality he was never anything but encouraging.
Later he became my convention partner – stuck in Belfast, all of the conventions then seemed to be happening in Birmingham and Bristol and we ended up sharing more than one hotel room. My weaknesses was organisation, his strength was logistics, and if it wasn’t for his absolutely unerring sense of direction, and generosity of spirit, I’d’ve never gone to any UK comic cons, thereby cutting my career off before it had began.
He was ex-army. (He used to jokingly boast of his one medal he’d earned for “being in range of a scud missile” during the first Gulf War, I think he was stationed thousands of miles away from any actual threat.)
The last time I really spent quality time with him was Bristol 2004, shortly after that my eldest son was born and time sort of got away from me, curtailing my adventures at mainland conventions.
We kept loosely in touch via the 2000AD message board while I raised my kids and he went off and had a life outside of his former obsession (though he still remained an expert brain that John Wagner and others would frequently pick). Though I think he’d felt a little fed up with some elements of fandom, and, for many that’s all they knew of him. In person he remained good humoured, quick to laugh, and just generally joyous.
Stewart was a giant, and I’m glad I could walk in his shadow for at least a little while.
La Placa Rifa, W. R. Logan.
Updated: More photos:
All of those photos were from 2004, I’d taken a camera with me determined to get some photos of the people (as I normally never do) I felt like a prune taking photos (wayback before selfies) but I’m glad I did.
And here’s a new version:
If you’d like to use these images (both the photo and the drawings) for a website/article on Stewart and/or class of 79, please feel free to do so.