Sad news via Steve Holland's Bear Alley: one of the giants of British comics, Mike Western, has laid down his pen for the last time.
Mike, who suffered a heart attack in 2007 and was laid low by it for several months, died late on Tuesday, 13 May, at the age of 83.
His credits included The Wild Wonders for Valiant, HMS Nightshade and The Sarge for Battle and many, many more fantastic strips.
It's no secret that Steve Holland was a huge fan of Mike's work and over the last few months had begun putting together a new edition of The Mike Western Story. Read his tribute in full here.
"I'm sure you'll all join me in sending his family your best wishes," Steve writes. "Mike still has a lot of fans and, whether he realised it or not -- and I hope he did -- he brought a lot of laughter and thrills into our lives through his work."
For my part, Mike was one of many British comic creator who enthusiastically supported the fanzine Eagle Flies Again edited by downthetubes contributor Ian Wheeler and sent us wonderful notes thanking us for mentioning him.
The fanzine paid a special tribute to him in 2005 and as soon as I can, I'll post articles from that on the main downthetubes site. Tributes and memories from downthetubes readers would be welcomed: we'll pass these on to Mike's family.