Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Life's a beach!

Whenever appropriate for the story, it's traditional in British comics to have the strips reflect the time of year they're set in. The idea being that it helps the reader identify with them more. This week, it just so happens that strips in two of the comics I work for both have beach holiday themes. 

In Toxic No.242, Team Toxic face the Holiday Horrors of the Beach Bum! A giant monster bottom made of sand! 

In The Beano No.3748, Lord Snooty has a day at the beach with his pals Liz, Scrapper Smith, and Big Fat Joe. 

Typically, in reality the weather's turned a but chilly this week but summer lives on in the pages of the comics! 

Toxic is published by Egmont. A 48 page bumper edition plus a bag of gifts for £3.99.

The Beano is published by DC Thomson. 36 pages plus a bag of gifts for £2.99.

Ivy the Terrible mini-comic, - free!

This week The Beano official website has my latest Ivy the Terrible online for you to read for free! Simply go to the website and click on the 'Issuu Clip' window, then follow the arrows to open the little Ivy digital mini-comic! (Works on a PC and Mac but not on the iPad, sorry.)

Script by John Anderson, artwork by me. Hope you enjoy it! (And don't forget that the latest issue of The Beano is out today!)

Monday, 18 August 2014

New strip for Doctor Who Magazine!

There's a new issue of Doctor Who Magazine out this Thursday (21st August) and I'm very pleased to announce that I have a new strip starting in there!

Doctor Who Magazine has a long history of featuring humour mini-strips, dating right back to the ones by Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett in the 1980s. I'm excited and proud to be the latest cartoonist invited to join the TARDIS as part of the official magazine of one of my favourite TV shows. 

It's a great issue in which to jump on board, because the new series of Doctor Who begins on BBC 1 on Saturday (7.50pm) so the magazine is getting a big push with 100 pages for this issue and a free double-sided poster. Plus loads of features and the beginning of the 12th Doctor's comic strip adventures. (I'll be covering more of the content on my Blimey! blog in a day or two.)

I remember when Marvel UK's intention to publish Doctor Who Weekly (as it was then) was first announced by Dez Skinn at a comic convention in Birmingham in 1979. I've been buying it on and off (mainly on) ever since, and I've been watching the TV show since its beginnings, so I'm chuffed to now be working on a strip for the mag. 

Doctor Who Magazine No.477 will be in shops on 21st August, priced £5.99. Enter the TARDIS and plunge into The Daft Dimension

Visit the official DWM website here:

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Ivy causes chaos in the kitchen

Here's an advance preview of the second Ivy the Terrible strip I drew, which presumably will appear in The Beano this coming Wednesday. It's Ivy in the kitchen! What happens next? Poor Mum! Ivy's nickname isn't 'Terrible' for nothing! 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Extra Team Toxic!

There's an extra helping of Team Toxic this month as the Toxic Annual 2015 has just been published! Although Toxic magazine has been running since 2002 this is the very first time Egmont have issued an annual for the title.

The hardback book is mostly features and puzzles, but there are some strip pages in there including a brand new four page Team Toxic story that I was commissioned to do. As you can see from the preview above, the evil Techno Troll has created a new monster, - a being composed of ten million bogies!

There's also a reprint of a two page Team Toxic strip I did a few years ago, so six pages of my stuff in there in total. I'll be going into more detail about the book on my Blimey! blog tomorrow. 

Toxic Annual 2015. RRP £7.99

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Terrible Day!

Today's the day that Ivy the Terrible returns to The Beano! A brand new series of weekly half page strips begins, written by John Anderson and drawn by me. Ivy's a great character to draw and I'm really enjoying this strip. 

This week's Beano also features another Lord Snooty mini-strip by me, which guest-stars Fatty from The Bash Street Kids...

I also wrote and supplied the artwork for a puzzle page this issue called Swot Down! (A much better title than the one I suggested - 'Real or Rubbish'.) Cuthbert Cringeworthy goes up against Walter the Softy, and they were fun to draw but the bit I enjoyed most was drawing the legendary Big Eggo, - The Beano's original cover star! 

The Beano No.3747 - out now! £2.

Life of a freelancer

New characters? Nah, just doodlin'.

As every freelancer knows, life is often a case of "feast or famine". Sometimes work can be thin on the ground for months, then a stack of commissions come along all at once. It's like waiting for a bus and then three turn up, except in comics the delays aren't caused by road works in the next town and you don't have to make small talk about the weather.

I'm pleased to say that work has picked up considerably recently. I have quite a  few things to do for DC Thomson's  The Beano at present, plus annual pages still to do. Team Toxic is continuing in Egmont's Toxic magazine at 2 pages an issue. I have a brand new strip starting in a popular magazine next week, and... I've just been commissioned for work on an American comic! All-new material of my own creation as a back up in a few of the issues. I'll reveal more about that at a later date but I'm really excited to be on board.

Of course, there are always some who try to kick you when you're down, and they did, and it got to me, and it didn't help matters. But I'm still here, and they're still where they are. I know where I'd rather be. 

I'm also enjoying getting back into the convention scene this year. That's changed a lot over the years. Time was when we'd have one Con a year, and not see most of our colleagues until the next year. Now that there are so many events I think it's creating even more of a united comics community and allowing more friendships to develop. Which is great, because no matter how many friends you have outside of comics it's good to have solid friendships within the industry too, if only to yak about what pens we use. The next event I'll be a guest at will be the Sheffield Film and Comic Con on August 30th.

Anyway, lots to do, so I'm off to bed to get up bright and early tomorrow, springing to my drawing board like a gazelle. Ok, maybe not quite like that.