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Rushton, William

Entry updated 27 July 2020. Tagged: Artist, Author.

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(1937-1996) UK actor, cartoonist, editor, journalist and author who often wrote or drew as Willie Rushton. The influence of J B Morton is particularly clear in serial cartoon Satires like Brimstone Belcher (June 1960-March 1961 Liberal News), an influence which permeated the journal Private Eye, which Rushton co-founded in 1961. As actor and comic, he was a founding participant in the UK satirical Television revue, That Was the Week That Was (November 1962-December 1963), and until his death he remained a central figure in British television and radio, most consistently as a panel member 1974-1996 on the spoof radio game show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (1972-current). In The Day of the Grocer (1971 chap), a bloviating Satire on UK Politics, a prime minister – unnamed, but clearly Edward Heath (1916-2005) as per Rushton's illustrations to the book – is comically assassinated. The Geranium of Flüt (graph 1975) is a kind of modern fairytale in Graphic Novel form with a few sf trappings: the eponymous monarch (a Rushton lookalike) rules over a tiny modern-day Island whose inhabitants include giant dogs and surviving Dinosaurs. Rushton is of sf interest primarily for W G Grace's Last Case; Or, The War of the Worlds – Part Two (1984), a spoofish Alternate History tale set initially in London in 1900, just after the defeat of an Invasion from Mars as described in H G Wells's The War of the Worlds (1898). Hints of Steampunk are evident throughout, partly through the presence of the larger-than-life cricketer W G Grace (1848-1915), though perhaps especially through the introduction of figures like Dr Watson from the Sherlock Holmes canon and Dr Jekyll from Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) by Robert Louis Stevenson. Time Travel is involved, and Space Flight to the Moon, where the Martians must be defeated a second time. [JC]

William George Rushton

born London: 18 August 1937

died London: 11 December 1996

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