J. EDWARD OLIVER, world-famous underpaid cartoonist, was born one day after Paul McCartney. He started at Dartford Grammar School one year before Mick Jagger and worked for The Greater London Council a couple of years before Ken Livingstone.
JEO became a full-time cartoonist in 1970, with the publication of his cult “E. C. Ryder” cartoon strip in the national music paper, Disc. The strip became so popular that, after three years, it was renamed “J. Edward Oliver” and doubled in size. After the demise of Disc, it triumphantly transferred to Record Mirror where it continued unabated until it was finally ousted by the Punk Music craze in 1977.
During the seventies, JEO strips and puzzles occasionally appeared in such magazines as TV Times, Hi-Fi News and Sounds, not to mention The Luton Evening Post. He also produced ads, sleeves and logos for various record companies, lettering for Screaming Lord Sutch and his Monster Raving Loony Party, work for The Dagenham Girl Pipers and even – once – for Top Of The Pops. Fame at last!
In the eighties, JEO moved to IPC Juvenile Publications, where, for the next twenty years, he wrote and illustrated such classics as Master Mind, Cliff Hanger and Vid Kid for famous comics that included Buster, Whoopee and Whizzer & Chips. In fact, when IPC stopped publishing comics, JEO was the only “live” artist left!
J. Edward Oliver was also commissioned by the discoverer of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Thingy to write the lyrics for a musical, Swan Esther. An album featuring Stephanie Lawrence was issued and the show opened at The Young Vic, where it starred Amanda Redman. Eventually it went on a nationwide tour, where it didn’t star Jess Conrad.
Jack Edward Oliver passed away on 26 May 2007
My beloved cousin and friend passed away peacefully on Saturday, 26 May 2007 - I will miss him dearly. He is the only person I have ever known that would allow me to be so close without insisting we get married. Thank you Jack.
~ Steve Oliver