Monday, 28 July 2014

Spidey mini-strips


I've enjoyed drawing all the strips I've worked on over the past 30 years. Who couldn't enjoy having their childhood dream come true? One of the most satisfying gigs was being commissioned by Panini UK to draw new Mini-Marvel strips when they had run out of the American ones by Chris Giarusso. I've shown some of these before in their original art stages, but here's a few of the printed versions from issues of Spectacular Spider-Man in 2008. Click on them to see the strips at a more readable size.






Spectacular Spider-Man was a really good version of the character for a younger UK audience. The main strip in the comic, often by Ferg Handley and artists such as Andie Tong and Simon Williams, was action-packed and well illustrated. 


Cover art by Andie Tong.

Sadly, Disney's decision to stop Marvel material being originated in the UK put paid to that. There is still a British Spider-Man comic for kids but it reprints American material, and Panini aren't even allowed to run a new humour strip in it now. Still, it was great while it lasted, and having the opportunity to write and draw Marvel characters for an officially approved comic is something I'll always remember fondly. 

Art auction


I've started to sell my old pages on eBay again and this week there's an original Pathetic Sharks page up for auction. It's the art I did for Viz No.221 a couple of years ago. Condition is excellent. 

If you're interested, bidding ends next Sunday evening (August 3rd). Go here to see more photos and place your bid. All bids welcome! Good luck!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Another Snooty Preview


I hear that the mini-strips return to The Beano this coming Wednesday, after an absence of three weeks. I'm pleased to say that amongst them is my Lord Snooty strip. 

I'm not sure which one will be in this week's issue as they're not always published in the order I drew them, but here's a preview of the one it might be. Snooty's Pal, Scrapper Smith is back. 

I've stopped doing Lord Snooty strips for now, but they have enough in stock to last until September. I'm currently drawing a new strip for The Beano (a revival of an old character) and that will start in August. In addition to that, you can expect to see another old favourite return soon too!

Never Be Without A Beano! Every Wednesday! 

Flashback to OINK!


Those of you who grew up reading Oink! in the 1980s are, I hope, regular visitors to Phil Boyce's Oink! Blog where he reviews an issue of the comic every fortnight, 28 years to the day it was published. 

This week, he's up to issue 33 which featured more of my work than usual and Phil's showing several pages of mine on his blog. One strip, Menace of the Headmaster's Brain, I'd forgotten about until I saw it again. Now I remember having fun writing and drawing it. Oink! was a brilliant comic to work for and it's great to see it still has its fans today.  

There's a clip of it above, but you can read the full two page story and more over on Phil's blog here:
http://the-oink-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/33-better-late-than-never.html

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Rasher in the raw


The new Beano Annual 2015 is out now and I have four Rasher mini-strips in there. Above is a photo I took last year of a couple of the strips when they were still in the pencil stage. You can also see part of my Rasher script, printed in red (for no other reason than my black ink cartridge had run out).

Below is part of the completed strip after I'd inked it and scanned it into Photoshop to colour. I thought you might be interested to see how it compares to the raw pencil version. 


The Beano Annual 2015 is available now (online for sure, if not in shops yet).

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Born To Giggle!


Despite the look of the chap above he's one of the illustrations I did fora book called Born to Giggle!, - published by Save the Children in 2012. 

The idea behind the book was to combine poets with cartoonists to produce a book of fun illustrated poetry for children. Amongst the poets are Paul Cookson, Jill Townsend, Ian McMillan, Celia Warren and many more and the cartoonists include Laura Howell, Will Dawburn, Noel Ford, John McCrea, and of course Hunt Emerson, who provided the cover and edited the book with Ian Billings. 

My contribution was illustrating the poem Rainbow Cloud, written by Fi Gallimore.


Profits from the book will help children here in the UK and in 120 countries around the world. The suggested donation is £5. If you wanted to order it from your local bookshop it's ISBN 978-1-84187-129-5

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Dandy Annual 2015


I received a copy of The Dandy Annual 2015 the other day, which I'd ordered online from the DC Thomson shop. It should also be in the shops by now, unless distributors are holding them back again. 

It's an excellent book this year and I'm very proud to be part of it. My contributions are:

Script/art:
The Smasher (Three full pagers, one two pager).
Korky the Cat (One full page, one two pager).
Keyhole Kate (Three full pagers.)

Art only (script by David Mason):
Smashing Word Search.

Plot only (script and art by Nigel Parkinson): 
Cuddles & Dimples (the three page beach holiday story).

The three Korky the Cat pages were a last minute commission and had to be written and drawn over a weekend, but it was great to have a chance to draw my favourite cartoon cat again. (Last time was about 14 years ago for the Fun-Size editions of The Dandy.) I was asked to draw him in my own style, rather than imitate Charles Grigg's Korky, but Charlie's definitive version was an inspiration. 



For the Keyhole Kate strips I chose to do them as a three-part time travel adventure, with the pages spread throughout the book. 



As Kate's adventures took her to different locations I thought I'd make The Smasher more home-based this year, so all of his stories take place in or around his house. 

Cuddles and Dimples was fun. I supplied Nigel Parkinson with a very basic plot and he turned it into a fantastically funny story. 

I'll be reviewing the book over on my Blimey! blog later this week, and showing a glimpse at the work by other artists. 


Cover art by Ken Harrison.