Thursday, 5 February 2015

Toxic origins

I thought you might like to see the artwork of the first Team Toxic strip I drew from back in 2003. When Toxic began in 2002, editor Matt Yeo commissioned me to write a 'gross humour' mini-strip featuring characters that Matt and artist John Rushby had co-created. The strip was to be called Team Toxic and the five team members were Doc Shock, Kid Zombie, Sludge, Krunk, and an as-yet un-named member that I dubbed 'Bog'.
Written by me and initially drawn by John Rushby, the strip ran as four mini-strips across the foot of four pages for the first several issues. Apparently it soon proved popular enough to be expanded to a two-page spread, which was good news for all of course. 

With issue 14 I was asked if I could take over the art chores as well. John was still kept busy drawing spot illustrations of the five characters that appeared throughout the mag, so I was asked to 'ghost' his style to a certain extent for consistency. John's style was far more detailed than mine, and considerably different, so I'm not sure how closely I mimicked his style but over time I was able to gradually shift the strip closer to my own style. 

Above is that first Team Toxic strip I drew in 2003, scanned from my original art. Below is the published version, with a fantastic colouring job by the multi-talented Lorna Miller who was the regular colourist on the strip for years. The lettering was done in-house by the Toxic staff.
Toxic is still a popular magazine to this day, and I'm still writing/drawing two pages of Team Toxic every issue (although it was reprint throughout 2013). I also colour it these days too. Toxic is published every three weeks by Egmont and issue 249 is in the shops now with No.250 on sale 11th February. 

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