Press release

Sci-fi comics legend celebrated in new exhibition

Published on 12 October 2023

An exhibition that celebrates the work of a living legend of comics has opened at the University of Dundee

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Sydney Jordan, best known for creating the science-fiction strip Jeff Hawke, was born in 1928 in Dundee’s Balfour Street, which today is part of the University campus.

Prior to his work on title, Jordan began his comics career working at the Strathmore Studios on Dundee’s High Street, with former DC Thomson artists Bill McCail and Len Fullerton. 

It was following a move to London in 1952 that the science-fiction strip Jeff Hawke was born, running in the Daily Express six days a week from 1954-75. 

The University’s Museum Curator, Matthew Jarron, said, “Jeff Hawke was the first regular sci-fi comic series that appealed to adults as well as children. It avoided the usual bug-eyed monsters of the time and instead created intelligent and sophisticated alien characters and worlds.

“However, its success in the UK was eclipsed by its enormous popularity in European countries, particularly in Italy and Scandinavia, where it had a significant influence on the development of European science fiction and fantasy comics.” 

Following the end of Jeff Hawke, Sydney created the Scottish character Lance McLane for a strip in the Daily Record, which ran from 1976-88.

This exhibition features a feast of original art from Jeff Hawke, Lance McLane and more, revealing Sydney Jordan’s extraordinary skill and visual imagination. 

Most of the material is on loan from the private collection of Alastair Hunter as well as various unique pieces from Sydney himself.

The Art of Sydney Jordan: Dream Pedlar’ can be seen at the University’s Tower Building Foyer Gallery until 6 January 2024, Monday-Saturday (closed for Christmas 23 Dec – 2 Jan). Admission is free.


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878
Story category Events and exhibitions