HE is one of the comic book world’s leading talents, but now he is to experience a new degree of success.

Glasgow-based artist Frank Quitely (real name Vincent Deighan) is one

of the world’s leading illustrators whose work has brought to life the adventures of Batman, Superman and Judge Dredd, among others, for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and more.

Mr Deighan, who grew up in Rutherglen, attended Glasgow School of Art as a youth but lost his place after two years. However, Glasgow University will

now honour him with a Doctor of Letters (DLitt).

This week he will receive one of 15 honorary doctorates given out this

year in recognition of achievement in various fields, including peace campaigning and services to science and industry.

The award will be presented at a ceremony  on Wednesday on the institution’s Commemoration Day to mark the foundation of the university in 1451.

Mr Deighan’s artwork, which has been acclaimed for years within his field, is presently the subject of an exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

His Quitely working name is a word play on the phrase “quite frankly” and was adopted by Mr Deighan almost 30 years ago in case his family were offended by his risque creation, The Greens, which he drew for the underground Glasgow comic, Electric Soup. 

On the award, he said: “At first, I just felt surprised, and then wondered what it meant, because over the years I have occasionally seen musicians wearing a mortar board and wondered what it meant to them.

“I was surprised at first, and then I thought: ‘Do 

I deserve this?’ But then I talked to some of the professors at the university, and they explained [it is awarded] if you have done a significant amount of work, or broken new ground, or you’re at the fore of your chosen profession. And, having done this for between 25 and 30 years, it’s not because I have not done enough work. 

“The more I have thought about it, the more it has become apparent to me it really is quite an honour.

"I am very pleased about it.”

Mr Deighan is also pleased to have a degree so many years after his time at art school studying drawing and painting, before “falling into comic books almost by accident”. He added: “As it happened, I got chucked out of art school for not doing enough work. So this degree is my first degree. 

“For as long as I can remember I wanted to be some kind of artist, and early on in secondary [St Bride’s in East Kilbride, where his father was a teacher] I set my sights on art school. I got what I needed in terms of Highers, and I got in. I was just 17 when I started. 

“I totally loved art school, but the socialising and the lifestyle and the swanning around being and art student got in the way of doing any work, or enough to get a pass.”

After leaving art school, 

he freelanced as an artist, designing posters, T-shirts, portraits, murals in restaurants and schools, and window dressing, until he got involved in comic books in 1988/89. 

“As soon as I started drawing comics, something clicked and I thought, ‘I can do more of this’”, he said.

Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at Glasgow, said: “Awarding honorary degrees is an opportunity for the university to recognise the achievements of individuals from across all walks of life whose work and public spirited efforts have made a positive impact not just in Scotland, but the UK and around the world.

"We look forward to celebrating the successes of all our honorary graduands, and we also look forward to working with them in the future, for the common good.”