Saturday, 21 July 2018

Seagull rampage!

The big heat of the 2018 summer continues, and in Skegpool, seagulls are nicking fish and chips (as seagulls do)...

...then a giant robot seagull comes along and scoffs the whole chip shop!

Definitely a case for Team Toxic! Find out what happens in Toxic No.309, on sale Wednesday 25th July!

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Eggo at the museum

Here's a preview of a strip I have in print this coming week. Big Eggo is still searching for his egg, and decides to check out the Beanotown museum to see if it's in there. See the full story in Beano No.3944, on sale Wednesday 18th July!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Dandy Annual 2019 is here!

Yes, it's only July but The Dandy Annual 2019 is out now, well in time for Christmas! I have four Keyhole Kate pages in this, plus a puzzle page. It's always an honour to contribute to a book that I used to have every Christmas when I was a child. (Today I'm drawing a page for the 2020 annual!) 

The Dandy Annual 2019, 112 pages of all-new stories. Available now from the D.C. Thomson shop and other online sellers.
Cover by Ken Harrison.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

My Sonic art on You Tube

25 years ago, I drew a couple of pages on spec for Sonic the Comic. I didn't get the job as an artist, but, as some of you know, they did employ me as a writer for several years so all was good. I later sold my unused pages to a collector, and he's now made a little video on YouTube showing them, panel by panel. Works quite well. (The story is a cliffhanger as they were just sample pages so don't expect a neat ending.)

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Boiled Eggo?

The relentless heatwave continues in the Beano again this week, with Big Eggo in the park. Has he finally found his egg, or is it a mirage caused by the heat? Find out in the Beano No.3943, on sale Wednesday 11th July!

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Hygiene High preview

Here's a little preview of the next Hygiene High strip. Written by Niall Murray and drawn by me, it'll appear in Epic No.148, on sale Wednesday 11th July, published by D.C. Thomson. The two page strip is just part of the 48 page magazine, which comes bagged with toys and other gifts for £4.99.

Friday, 6 July 2018

New event for September!

I'm pleased to add another event to my convention schedule for this year. On Saturday 8th September I'll be at the High Vis Street Culture Festival in Digbeth, Birmingham. (The event runs for two days but I'll just be there for one.) This is a brand new event, and different to the usual comic con in that it focuses on dance, music, and the arts. Should attract a new crowd, so I'm looking forward to it!

Hunt Emerson will be another comics guest, and I'm sure others will be added soon too. I'll post more details as they emerge but for now you can follow their Twitter account for more info!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

'Ear comes Earflapper!

Here's a preview of Toxic No.308, in newsagents today, which features the debut of a new villain in the Team Toxic strip! Grab your copy from supermarkets and newsagents across the UK!

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Macc-Pow! Podcast

Myself and several other comics people were interviewed at Macc-Pow! the other week, and the podcast is now up for you to listen to if you wish. Sound quality deviates in places as it took place in a crowded Town Hall. My bit starts about 40 minutes in, but listen to the whole programme to hear everyone else...

Sunday, 1 July 2018

The heatwave continues

The summer heatwave continues for another week across the UK, and in the pages of the Beano! On Wednesday, Big Eggo is still feeling the heat as he strolls along the prom. See what happens next in Beano No.3942, on sale 4th July!

That same day, Toxic No.308 also arrives in the shops, and Team Toxic have a brand new baddie to deal with! Earflapper has stolen all the Toxics from the shop! See what happens on Wednesday!

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Published this week...

This week sees Big Eggo feeling the effects of the current hot weather in Beano No.3941, on sale Wednesday 27th June!

The following day, on Thursday 28th June, Doctor Who Magazine No.527 features another Daft Dimension strip by me. This time the focus is on fan-friction! (Not a typo.)

Remember that Goof! No.0 is now available and includes the start of an all-new Derek the Troll series! This online monthly comic costs just £1 an issue and you'll find out all the info here:

Happy reading! 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Next stop: Macclesfield!

Next stop on the convention circuit this year will be Macc-Pow! this Saturday, 23rd June at Macclesfield Town Hall. This one's a bit special because the event will be launching Goof!, a brand new online anthology comic, and many of the contributors will be in attendance. 

Goof! will include the return of my Derek the Troll character in an all-new series, so jump on board when issue No.0 becomes available this weekend. 

Goof! is published by Marc Jackson, and here's what he had to say about the launch...

"This weekend sees the launch of GOOF! issue zero, it’s like issue one, but it comes just before it! Like a bonus issue! More comics, fantastic! Featuring a feast of funnies created by an international line-up of cartoonists, all coming together to create something unique. At just £12 for 12 30 page issues, you’d be crazy to not sign-up and if you sign-up in person at MACC-POW! this Saturday then you get it for just £10!! Holy WOW! Only a GOOF! could come up with that idea! Don’t miss out, make yours GOOF! This Saturday!"

Macc-Pow! will also see David Leach and myself being interviewed by Jessica Kemp on our careers in comics, so that'll be a laugh... hopefully! 

You can read more about Goof!, and see some preview images, on my Blimey! blog here:

Monday, 18 June 2018

35 Years in Comics

This month marks 35 years since I had my first work published in a professional comic. The title was Marvel UK's The Daredevils and the job was a pocket cartoon entitled What If Iron Man Really Lived up to his Name?

Looking at it now, the style is crude and the gag very lame, but seeing it in print back in 1983 gave me a huge boost to my self esteem. At the time I was on the dole, having quit a dead-end office job, and had been trying to break into comics for a couple of years with no luck. (In retrospect it's understandable I made no initial headway because my work simply wasn't professional standard then.)

I'd been producing several fanzines and small press comics in order to gain experience and feedback, and Alan Moore (whom I knew from the Westminster Comic Marts and inevitable pub-meets) suggested I try Marvel UK with some ideas. He introduced me to Marvel editor Bernie Jaye in February 1983 and she asked me to submit some work. I soon came up with a variation on Marvel's "What If...?" series, sent in a bunch of cartoons, and at the April Westminster Comic Mart Bernie told me she'd be running them in The Daredevils from issue 7, published in June 1983. I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day!

The rate was very low; £5 a cartoon. Not enough to enable me to get off the dole at that point (and yes, I did declare it) but what it gave me was far more important, - the encouragement to carry on. Prior to that, I'd been on the verge of giving up my ambitions to be a cartoonist, but the euphoria of seeing my work in print gave me the confidence and incentive I needed. It's true what they say; once you've been published it gives other editors the assurance that you can do the job. After that, more work swiftly followed and I went full time self-employed in February 1984. I've been fortunate to work for many publications over the years; Oink!, Beano, Dandy, Sonic the Comic, Viz, Buster, Toxic, Doctor Who Magazine and many more. All thanks to Alan Moore and Bernie Jaye for having faith in me back in 1983.

Most importantly, I'd also like to thank all of you who have supported my work over the years, and I hope you continue to enjoy what I produce. 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Angry Eggo!

Who's annoyed Big Eggo? Find out in the Beano No.3940, on sale Wednesday 20th June!

Friday, 15 June 2018

Batteries recharged!

Photo © 2018 Lew Stringer
When you're self-employed it's very easy to forget to take a break. It's often difficult to find time anyway, when deadlines shift around, or something new crops up, and that week you thought was free suddenly isn't. Fortunately, this week I did manage to get away for a few days. 

One big advantage of being single and freelance is that when the opportunity for a break does come up, I've only myself to schedule for. A last-minute decision, I set off to Blackpool early on Monday morning and stayed there until Wednesday evening. The resort is well past its 20th Century heyday and looking shabby in places now, but I still have an affection for the town and being on the coast, watching the waves crash against the shore, is always worth seeing.

On Thursday I went down to London to see Jessica Martin starring in Shirleymander at the Playground Theatre. I've known Jessica as a friend for a few years now in her capacity as a comics creator, and knew her television work of course, but this was the first time I'd seen her perform live in a play. It's the story of the rise and fall of Shirley Porter and the gerrymandering scandal of the 1990s. Jessica and the cast were superb in this well-structured play and it was poignant to see it on the anniversary of the Grenfell tower disaster, which is relevant to the story. The theatre itself is only a few streets away from Grenfell, and there was a silent march yesterday, so the play felt very relevant indeed, and very moving. The final performances are tonight and tomorrow afternoon, so catch it if you can!

Check out Jessica Martin's website:

Anyway, that's enough gadding about for me this week. I'm back to work today, having just written a Team Toxic script for Toxic No.309, and now colouring Derek the Troll for Goof! No.1. This weekend I'll be drawing Team Toxic and Big Eggo, and scripting the final Big Eggo story. More info on those soon.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

This week's funny business...

I have a few strips being published on Wednesday 13th June, so here's a quick preview of all of them.

First up, Team Toxic encounter a new foe when Skegpool beach is endangered! See Toxic No.307!

That same day, Beano No.3939 will also be out, and Terry Tuff has a new plan to capture Big Eggo! It's doomed to failure! 

Also out on Wednesday, Epic No.147 sees the stinky kids of Hygiene High get back to nature. Nature isn't happy about it! Script by Niall Murray, art by me.

...and still in the shops from two weeks ago (unless they'e sold out already) is Doctor Who Magazine No.526 featuring a new Daft Dimension strip of mine.

That's Toxic, Beano, Epic, and Doctor Who Magazine. All of these titles are available from newsagents and supermarkets across the UK!

A good day in Wythenshawe!

The Wythenshawe Comic Con was very enjoyable yesterday. Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table for a comic or sketch. You can read more about it, and see more photos, over on my Blimey! blog here:

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Conventions to come...

I'm at Wythenshawe Comic Con today, so come and join us! After that, my next one will be Macc-Pow! on June 23rd, and several others afterwards at various locations around the UK. Here's the list...

South Manchester
9th June 2018

Saturday 23rd June 2018

27th - 29th July 2018
Olympia, London

17th, 18th, 19th August 2018.
Metropole Hotel,

NICE 2018
1st/2nd September 2018
Bedford Corn Exchange,

ICE 2018
Saturday 15th September

To be announced:
Saturday 20th October 2018
More info soon.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Coming next week...

What's causing panic on the beach at Skegpool? Find out in the next Toxic when Team Toxic have to deal with a new threat! Toxic No.307, on sale from newsagents and supermarkets from Wednesday 13th June!

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A new comic con for the North

I'll be up Manchester way again on Saturday 9th June for Wythenshawe Comic Con, the first such event for the town, at the Forum Centre, Simonsway, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 5RX.

Other guests will include the Beano's Nigel Parkinson, artist of Dennis and Gnasher, plus Doctor Who storyboard artist Mike Collins, Psycho Gran creator David Leach, and the guys from indie comics company Accent UK

We'll have comics, and we'll be drawing sketches and chatting about our characters, so come along and join us!

Listen to the radio ad:

Convention Facebook page:

Monday, 4 June 2018

Thanks for STC25!

I had a great weekend in Manchester for the STC25 con yesterday. It's the first time I've been in the city since the days of Oink! comic in the late 1980s, and it's changed a lot! I was very impressed. (Coincidentally, the FabCafe venue where the con was is just around the corner to where the Oink! office was way back when.)

STC25 was a celebration of Sonic the Comic, commemorating 25 years since the first issue was launched back in 1993. I was a regular writer on the comic for about seven years. Although Egmont's comic folded in 2002, an online continuation by fans has been running since 2003! This week saw the publication of issue 275, which was also published as an impressive print version. Many of the fan strips are of high quality, and I have no doubt that if the original comic had still been running they'd be contributing to it. 
More about the online version here:

STC25 was a small but perfectly formed event that attracted around 90 people. With most comic cons, we know there'll only be a fraction of attendees who know our work, but as this event was dedicated to one comic, every attendee knew our stuff, - better than us in most cases! (Well, it has been over 20 years and I've forgotten the details of most scripts I wrote for it.)

My thanks to Michael Corker and his team for putting on the show and inviting me, and to the attendees for being such a great audience! (It's always heartwarming to meet readers who read your work back when they were kids.) It was also good to catch up with fellow comic creators Nigel Kitching, Carl Flint, Nigel Dobbyn and Ferran Rodriguez.

Nigel Kitching and I were interviewed for a Q and A session in the afternoon, and you can see that on YouTube here around 4.50 minutes in...
Here's a few photos from the great day....


Sunday, 3 June 2018

Eggo Beach

Is Terry Tuff about to capture Big Eggo? He's tracked our octogenarian ostrich to the coast and there's nowhere left to hide. Find out what happens next in the Beano No.3938 on Wednesday 6th June!

Saturday, 2 June 2018

In the papers

Mentioned twice in the papers this week. Firstly in the Macclesfield Express on Wednesday, as part of a report on Goof! the forthcoming online comic I'm a contributor for. The accompanying photo of Marc Jackson and myself was taken by Marc's wife Jane at Macc-Pow! a couple of years ago, and there'll be another Macc-Pow! convention this year on 23rd June. 

Then on Friday, a nice prominent advert appeared in Metro for the Wythenshawe Comic Con, which I'll be attending next Saturday, 9th June. More news about that soon!

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Schedule for STC25

Here's the schedule of the starting times of events for STC25, the celebration of 25 years since the debut of Sonic the Comic. It takes place at the Fab Cafe in Manchester on Sunday 3rd June. If you're interested, there are only a few tickets left, (strictly no admission on the door) so please enquire at the Facebook page here:

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

In print this week...

On Wednesday 30th May, Beano No.3937 arrives in the shops, full of the usual fun. There's a new Big Eggo story in there by me, with Terry Tuff hot on the trail of the escaped ostrich. 

Then, the next day, on Thursday 31st May, Doctor Who Magazine No.526 is published, packed with features includiung an interview with actor/singer/comics creator Jessica Martin, currently appearing in Shirleymander at the Playground Theatre, London. Plus there's another Daft Dimension strip from me, and it's one of the daftest yet...

Support British comics! Don't miss these two publications this week!