Thursday, 21 February 2019

Return to Stoke-Con-Trent

My first convention for 2019 will be Stoke-Con-Trent 10 at Staffordshire University (above) on Sunday 14th April.

I'm pleased to be invited again, having been a guest at several previous events. I'll be bringing along my comics including Combat Colin, Pedantic Stan, and Derek the Troll and drawing sketches on request. 

Other guests will include my old comics pals David Leach and Lee Sullivan amongst others. More to be announced soon!

For more details, check out the website here: 

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Combat Colin cover vignette

Every issue of Combat Colin shows a little figure of him beside the masthead. The idea was inspired by Marvel comics of the 1960s and 1970s, which I always felt was a nice touch to enable new readers to quickly identify the hero. 

Here's my original artwork for the figure next to a recent cover. (The solid blacks and colour were added to the art in Photoshop after I'd scanned it.) The original is A4 size so you can see the considerable reduction it needed for the cover icon. It reduced well though, as I made sure the inking was strong enough to work at any size. 

The art also appeared as a postcard (see below) but they're almost gone now.

If you haven't ordered copies of Combat Colin yet you can do so from my online shop here:

I'll be starting work on Combat Colin No.4 soon, to be published sometime in April. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019


I thought you might like an advance look at the new logo I designed for the Keyhole Kate strip. This title banner will appear on all three of the Keyhole Kate pages I've written/drawn for The Dandy Annual 2020, on sale later this year (sometime between July and September).

As Kate originally appeared in the late 1930s I wanted to design something that looked like a classic comic header but also modern (or at least timeless). It took a while for me to decide on the right colour scheme but I felt blue on gold worked well.

The logo and the strips were all drawn last summer (we work way in advance on the annuals!) and I'll post some preview panels from my Keyhole Kate strips later in the year.  

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Robo-Capers for sale. Original artwork!

I don't have many of my original pieces of Robo-Capers artwork left but I've put a couple on eBay for auction this week. The strips appeared in Marvel UK's The Transformers comic in the late 1980s. These are my original pieces; black ink on Bristol Board, still in great condition after more than 30 years.

If you're interested, hop over to my eBay page here. Bidding ends next Sunday (24th Feb.):

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Fred's Bed (2007)

Back in 2007 I hadn't had a lot published by D.C. Thomson, despite trying to get regular work.  An editor told me they considered me "a Fleetway artist", and it was true that most of my published work since the mid-1980s had been for IPC / Fleetway / Egmont but that's the nature of freelancing; you work for whoever pays you.

I'd drawn some strips for the "Fun Size" versions of Dandy and Beano for Thomsons around the year 2000 (see here), but could never crack the weeklies. Then in 2007, new editor Alan Digby gave me a chance to do a couple of fill-ins on The Beano. One was an Ivy the Terrible strip and the other was Fred's Bed

Fred's Bed was usually drawn by Tom Paterson, so I had to "ghost" his style to an extent. Not a problem, as Tom and I both had the same influences to our style (that of Leo Baxendale). 

The script was supplied to me by the editor, but I can't remember if Alan wrote it, or possibly it was by Iain McLaughlin. As this was a try-out for me on the Beano I had to submit pencilled pages first for approval. Alan Digby suggested a couple of changes; panel two needed to be redrawn and the camel needed to look more like a camel, and then I inked the strip. 

I thought you might like to see my pencilled pages compared to my inked pages.

The strip was accepted, and coloured and lettered by the in-house Beano colourists before publication. It was published in The Beano No.3411, which was the Christmas 2007 issue. (Even though my strip had no Christmas relevance I was still very happy to be in the festive edition.) 

It would be another few years before the Beano commissioned me to do regular work though, on Super School, and later on Pup Parade, Ivy the Terrible, and several other strips. Wheels turn slowly at publishers sometimes! 

I'm not currently drawing anything for the Beano. They have a lot of talented young artists these days, but hopefully I'll be back one day! 

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Coming to Comic Scene...

I wrote my first article for Comic Scene this week and sent it off to the editor. As I mentioned previously, I've been commissioned to write a regular column on British humour comics, and the first one will appear in Comic Scene Vol.2 No.2 in March. (In case you somehow haven't heard of the mag, Comic Scene is a monthly full colour magazine dedicated to British comics, and it's available from comic shops and WH Smith.)

I've also had my suggestions approved for the following two articles, so I'm looking forward to writing those.

Basically it'll be a print version of the sort of articles I did for my Blimey! blog (which I'm winding down this year). Sometimes I'll be talking about comics creators, sometimes the comics or the characters. I'll mainly be focusing on the past, because Comic Scene already covers current UK comics pretty well. 

As I own thousands of old British comics they'll certainly come in handy for research! 

I'm very pleased that editor Tony Foster invited me to join the Comic Scene team. Writing articles makes a nice change from drawing or scripting comics (although I'll be continuing with that too of course). It's good to have variety in one's job! 

There's a new issue of Comic Scene in the shops next week (I'm not in that one) and you can find out more about it here:

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Back to MACC-POW! this June!

Ad design by Marc Jackson.
I'll be one of the guests again at Macc-Pow! on June 22nd as Macclesfield plays host to the 4th annual comics event. Other guests will include Rachael Smith, David Leach, Hannah Berry, Tor Freeman and more!

Find out more info at the Macc-Pow! website here: