Steve McGarry is one of the most prolific and widely-published cartoonists and illustrators that Britain has ever produced. In the UK alone, his national newspaper daily strips include Badlands, which ran for a dozen years in The Sun, The Diary of Rock & Pop in The Daily Star, Pop Culture in Today and World Soccer Diary in The Sun.
Over his lengthy career he has regularly graced the pages of soccer magazines Match, Match of the Day and Shoot! and his comics work ranges from Romeo in the 1970s, Look-In and Tiger in the 1980s, SIforKids and FHM in the 1990s, through to the likes of Viz, MAD and Toxic! When The Sunday People launched his Steve McGarry’s 20th Century Heroes series, they billed him as the world’s top cartoonist.
His sports features have been published worldwide since 1982 and he currently has two features – Biographic and Kid Town – in newspaper syndication, with clients including The New York Daily News, Boston Herald and Washington Post. In recent years, he has also created story art for such blockbuster Hollywood movies as Despicable Me 2, The Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets.
Manchester born and bred, Steve has been based in California since 1989. A two-term former President of the National Cartoonists Society, he also served for eight years as President of the NCS Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Cartoonists Society, and is the founder and director of NCSFest. Steve’s honors include Illustrator of the Year awards from the NCS and the Australian Cartoonists Association, and he is a recipient of the Silver T-Square for outstanding service to the profession of cartooning.
But Steve McGarry’s career has its roots in the punk rock explosion that revolutionized the British music business in the late 1970s. Over a two-year period, he designed record sleeves for such new wave luminaries as Joy Division, Slaughter and The Dogs, Jilted John, The Panik, Ed Banger & The Nosebleeds and John Cooper Clarke. He was the in-house poster designer for legendary Manchester punk venue Rafters and the pins he designed for Joy Division were later hailed by The Guardian as “the punk badges that defined the 1970s music scene.” In 2016, the record sleeve that Steve designed on a kitchen table in a Wythenshawe council house for 1978’s “An Ideal For Living,” Joy Division’s first 12” EP release, went on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.