The Seekers is a British comic strip drawn by John M. Burns, written by Les Lilley, succeeded by Phillip Douglas and Dick O'Neil. The strip ran from 1966 to 1971 in The Daily Sketch.
The main characters, Susanne Dove and Jacob Benedick, are two preferred secret agents employed by Una Frost, director of The Seekers, an elite agency of missing person retrieval. Their investigations frequently lead to adventures connected to the sex industry, exploiting the attractiveness of both detectives, and usually leading to the downfall of sexual predators and oppressors.
The Seekers began publication on May 2nd. 1966 in The Daily Sketch. The concept of the strip bears some resemblance to another strip Burns later drew for a brief period, Modesty Blaise. The female characters were consistently drawn in an enticing manner, indicating Burns' evident intent to challenge the limits of the daily British newspaper strip conventions of the times. The initial writer Les Lilley was succeeded by Phillip Douglas starting with episode 14, The Missing Golfers, occasionally aided by Dick O'Neil, who wrote one story, The Curse of the One-Eyed Sailor.
The strip ended on 10 May 1971, abandoned due to its lack of lasting success. It enjoyed some popularity in Italy where it was known as I Segugi, and the Scandinavian countries, serialised as Spårhundarna in Sweden and Sporhundene in Norway and Denmark.
John M. Burns (born 1938) is an English comics artist, with a career stretching back to the mid-1960s.
His initial work was as an illustrator for Junior Express and School Friend. During the 1960s, Burns worked on TV Century 21 and its sister magazines, including the Space Family Robinson series in Lady Penelope.
For a while he drew daily comics strips for newspapers The Daily Sketch, The Daily Mirror and The Sun, including The Seekers, Danielle and, for a period succeeding Enrique Romero during 1978–79, Modesty Blaise.
He moved on to illustrate TV tie-in strips for now-defunct title Look-in, always scripted by Angus P. Allan, Burns was already well known by the start of the 1980s. He also worked on the title story for Countdown.
It was when he made the crossover to 2000 AD, along with fellow Look-in alumni Jim Baikie and Arthur Ranson, that his position in British comics was cemented.
In 1991 Burns began by working on Judge Dredd. By his own admission (in a 2004 interview with David Bishop in the Judge Dredd Megazine), Burns does not enjoy drawing science fiction strips, and the look of Judge Dredd is one that he finds particularly unpleasant to draw.
In 2007, Burns began working on the Nikolai Dante strip. He has also co-created (with Robbie Morrison) a contemporary adventure strip, The Bendatti Vendetta, for the Megazine, this is unique for the title in having no science fiction or fantasy elements at all.
He recently finished an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, whose script was rendered by Amy Corzine, for UK publisher Classical Comics. Having previously worked on similar adaptions of Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore and, which is more, Wuthering Heights by Brontë's sister Emily, Burns was able to bring considerable experience to the project.
Burns's recent work is fully painted, and very solidly crafted.