Thursday, 28 May 2020

Cover in production (2017)

I can't remember if I've posted all of these photos before. I don't think I have, but I recently found them on a memory stick so here you go. They're shots I took when I was drawing the cover for Combat Colin No.2, photographed on 8th December 2017. 

...and here's how the finished cover turned out... 
I've put my self-publishing and mail order on hold at present due to the pandemic and worries over financial issues but I will hopefully resume later in the year.

Don't forget that the digital Barmy Comix No.1 is available for you to download. More about it here:


Wednesday, 27 May 2020

New DWM this week

Many comics and magazines are on hiatus during the lockdown but thankfully Doctor Who Magazine has stuck to its regular schedule, publishing an issue every four weeks. There's a new edition out this Thursday, 27th May, and amongst its 84 packed pages you'll find another Daft Dimension mini strip by me. 

Doctor Who Magazine No.552, out this week. £5.99. If your local shops are closed you can buy it directly from the publisher. Click on this link to find more info:


Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Happy 60th, Buster!

Advert for BUSTER NO.1 from the DAILY MIRROR, 23rd May 1960.
It slipped my mind but it was the 60th anniversary of Buster comic the other day! Launched on 23rd May 1960, Buster was the first of Fleetway's new style 1960s comics. It heralded a more modern style of British weekly, moving away from the artistic styles of the long defunct titles such as Comic Cuts and Funny Wonder. He was billed as the "Son of Andy Capp" in those days when they shared the same publisher, but that was soon dropped and there's no connection between the two characters today.

Buster ran for almost 40 years, ending in December 1999. 

As this is my personal blog I thought I'd write some personal remembrances about it. I'd been a reader of Buster in the 1960s, becoming a regular reader in 1969 as it seemed to be the closest thing to the much-missed Power Comics, with its balance of humour and adventure strips.

I was privileged to be one of the numerous artists/writers that contributed to the comic in its later years. I came on board in 1988, when Oink! merged into Buster, bringing with me my characters Tom Thug and Pete and his Pimple.  
One of the covers I did for BUSTER. Colours by John Burns.
Tom Thug proved to be the most popular of those two, and gave the more established characters a run for their money too, as explained in this letter I received from the editor... 
After his two year run in Oink!, Tom Thug ran for another eight years in Buster before the comic went all-reprint in 1996. Then reprints of Tom Thug continued until the final issue in 1999, so the character was in print consistently for thirteen years, ten years of which were new material (over 400 episodes, all written and drawn by me).

Buster was an excellent comic to contribute to in the 20th Century, so I was over the moon to be invited back as an artist on the recent all-new Cor!! Buster Specials and drawing the Buster strip itself (and also the Gums strip this year.)
Page 1 of the new Buster and Delbert. Script by John Freeman, art by Lew Stringer.

Page 1 of the new Gums strip. Script by Lizzie Boyle, art by Lew Stringer.
I'm pleased that, for Buster's 60th anniverary, there is currently a new Buster title on the stands... and if you have difficulty finding it during the lockdown you can order it directly from the publisher at this link:

Happy 60th, Buster! Now you're back, let's hope you stick around for a long time to come!  


Combat Colin No.4 is now SOLD OUT!

Please note that I no longer have any copies of Combat Colin No.4 left in stock. I have a few assigned to send out for recent orders, but that'll be it for the time being. 

I will be getting a second printing done later this year, along with publishing Combat Colin No.5, but not yet. It's all dependant on finances and the safety of sending out items during the current pandemic.  

As I posted a few weeks ago, I'm avoiding post offices at the moment but I will honour the orders from those of you who have recently bought comics. Thank you for your patience. 

In the meantime, don't forget that you can download Barmy Comix, a 32 page digital comic that includes a 9 page preview of Combat Colin No.5 plus lots of other strips! More about it here:

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Robots made in Bryce

Years ago I dabbled with the 3D software Bryce to create some images. Bryce is really intended for terrain modelling but it was fun to play around with the shapes and textures to create figures instead. Here's one of my efforts from 2005. 

It took ages to create this so 3D modelling isn't something I'm likely to return to anytime soon. (I don't have any software to create it now anyway.) Give me a pen and paper any day.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Development of my convention banner

Here's the artwork for the banner I use at conventions. Pencilled, inked, and finished stages. I've been using this banner since 2016 and will be designing a new one for future shows whenever they can, hopefully, resume.

Comics Salopia, Shrewsbury Castle, June 2019. Artist Aneke on the left.
Laura Howell's banner to the right.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Bash Street from the board to the page

I thought you might like to compare a Bash Street Kids puzzle page I drew from the roughs to the published version. The photo of the version at the pencilled stage on my drawing board was taken on 10th August 2018. After inking and colouring it I emailed the art to the Beano offices on 13th August 2018. 

The published version (below) appeared on 26th September 2018 in Beano No.3954.
A six week gap between deadline and publication is the norm. Sometimes, in the case of specials and annuals, the gap is many months! For example I'll soon be drawing a Keyhole Kate page for The Dandy Annual 2022, which will be published in July 2021! 

Weekly comics pages are drawn 6 to 8 weeks in advance. Annual pages between 9 and 12 months in advance! Obviously we have no way of knowing if any calamity will be affecting society by the time the material is published (as is currently happening with COVID-19) but I like to think that the Dandy/Beano universe exists separately from ours in an escapist world where the worst things never happen.