How can I have possible have overlooked the recent passing of the cartoonist, illustrator and animator, JOHN RYAN...?
He was the creator of almost three decades of childhood icons, first in the pages of comics like Eagle, Swift and Girl with Harris Tweed, Sir Boldasbrass and Lettice Leefe and then as one of the masters of BBC Children's TV with Mary, Mungo and Midge, Sir Prancealot and the long-suffering Lady Hysteria.
But, above all, John Ryan gave us that kind-hearted (yet basically cowardly and inept) buccaneer, Captain Horatio Pugwash, who sailed the main in his ship, the 'Black Pig', and whose exploits were always introduced by that memorable hornpipe theme tune as played on the concertina by Tom the Cabin Boy.
John, who died on 23 July, aged 88, was a modest, witty, gentleman who - long before the age of high-tech animated kids' TV shows - created charming little films brought to life with cut-out cardboard figures enacting their simple dramas in a world of painted story-book settings.
I had the pleasure of meeting John on a number of occasions when we shared judging honours at an annual competition for young pavement artists.
I always enjoyed talking and corresponding with this engaging man who, with his cravats and fly-away hair, cut a somewhat dandified figure but who was also a sensitive, serious-minded man and, as a devout Christian, was the resident cartoonist on The Catholic Herald and the author of several biblical-based picture books for children. John was always most at home talking to his youthful fans and drawing them pictures of Captain Pugwash and his arch-nemesis Cut-Throat Jake.
Here's a snippet from one of those Pugwash adventures as a reminder of a talent that brightened the young lives of so many of us...
Thanks for all the fun, John, and I wish your spirit a calm sea, a following breeze and a safe harbour in which to drop anchor...