Monday, 19 November 2018

AFTER IMAGE (1978)

It's been 40 years this month since my first self-published comic was launched. Back in 1978 I had started to contribute a few articles and spot illustrations to fanzines and decided to publish my own. The result was After Image, which I have to admit was very crudely drawn as you can see. 
Back then I still hadn't decided which direction to pursue with my artwork; whether to try and aim towards adventure comics or humour titles. Clearly, I wasn't much cop at drawing the human figure or possessing the skills required to draw realistically, and I felt more comfortable drawing humour strips, so that's the path I soon embarked on. 
I'd been creating my own little comics since I was seven years old, but they had just been mini comics drawn in biro and never actually printed or distributed, so the only people who ever saw them were my immediate family. After Image was the first time I'd had multiple copies printed for a public audience.

Reactions were fairly kind, as I recall, but obviously my work wasn't anywhere near professional standard back then. It'd be another five years before I sold my first work to Marvel UK in 1983. 

After Image only ran for three issues, over 12 months. I went on to create other fanzines and stripzines afterwards. These days, although I'm busy with mainstream comics work, I still enjoy putting together my own comics, with Combat Colin No.3 being the latest issue. 

Anyway, without further ado, here's a few sample bits from that first issue of After Image of 40 years ago. Read it while I cringe with embarrassment....



All artwork Copyright © 1978, 2018, Lew Stringer

There are some "jokes" in the Arthur Average strip I definitely wouldn't use now. (The '70s were another time, and I was only 19, - but should have known better.) If you want to read the entire issue, it's available as a free PDF as part of David Hathaway-Price's online archive of old fanzines here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz-VsUjOG2SiUXZBVmJOcGpLTVE/view


Friday, 16 November 2018

New issue of TOXIC out today

After a slight delay, Toxic No.314 arrived in shops today. Another bumper package of toys, cards, stickers, poster, and a Fortnite bonus magazine are bundled with the 40 page issue of Toxic itself. 

There's a new Team Toxic story by me entitled The Opposite Effect... where things happen! If this was a Marvel comic they'd be saying "Nothing will ever be the same again!". It introduces a new bad guy, Negatrev, so I hope you enjoy the story!

Toxic No.314, available from newsagents and supermarkets across the UK. £4.99


Thursday, 15 November 2018

This week in EPIC No.153...

There's a new issue of Epic magazine in the shops, and it includes another Hygiene High 2 pager that I drew. Script by Niall Murray. Things get windy for Bean Jean! 

Published by D.C. Thomson, you'll find Epic in newsagents and supermarkets across the UK. 48 page magazine for kids, bagged with a bunch of gifts, for £4.50.


Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Thanks, Stan!

We can't underestimate the importance that Stan Lee played in the lives of most of us working in comics today. Although I never met him, his stories inspired me as a child, and if it wasn't for Stan and the gang making Marvel Comics the success it did in the 1960s there'd be no comics fandom in the form it is, no direct market, no conventions... and none of us working in comics would even know each other. 

In fact, I wouldn't even be working in comics if there'd been no Marvel Comics to keep me interested after I'd naturally grown out of Beano, Whizzer and Chips etc. The first publisher to accept my work was Marvel Comics, at a point when I'd almost given up after being rejected by other companies.

Here's a photo of me 50 years ago holding a copy of Tales of Suspense No.96 bought from a stall on Blackpool prom, written by Stan Lee. (And yes, they're short trousers, not a skirt. :)) The seeds that inspired me and many others were planted back then. Our lives would have been completely different, and culturally poorer, without him. 

Rest In Peace, Stan. You did good.



Monday, 12 November 2018

Rest In Peace, Stan Lee

A hero and inspiration when I was growing up, the comics of Stan Lee had a massive impact on my life. His stories about selflessness and equality shaped me perceptions. I never met Stan, but I was lucky to work on characters that wouldn't have existed without him. R.I.P. Stan, you were and forever will be, "The Man". 









Tim Shaw lives!

This Thursday, 15th November, sees Doctor Who Magazine No.532 arrive in the shops, and my Daft Dimension strip features the first new "monster" of the new season, - Tim Shaw! (Or T'Zim-Sha to give him his proper name.) 

The issue will also include exclusive interviews, features, reviews, and the second episode of The Warmonger, the new 13th Doctor comic strip by Scott Gray and John Ross. Don't miss it!




Thursday, 8 November 2018

Grab yourselves some daftness!

A reminder that Combat Colin No.3 is now available exclusively from my online shop at http://lewstringer.com/page7.htm

It's 40 pages of daft comedy-action for all ages, collecting strips from 1989/90. Colin and his dozy assistant Semi-Automatic Steve encounter Madprof, The Brain, Bankrobber Man, The Amazing Dave, The Gunge, and many more! 

Also available are the first two issues of Combat Colin, the Derek the Troll / Rock Solid special, and Pedantic Stan, Comics Fan

Newsagents don't carry the number of comics they used to but that doesn't mean the British comics industry is dead. Give independent comics your support by buying them directly from the creators! 


Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Still working on it!

There seems to be a theme running through my life.

I'm not unique in this regard of course. Most people I know in the arts and entertainment fields have had their particular passions since they were small children. You have to follow your dream. If you're lucky, as well as talented, you'll be able to make a living out of it. Professionally, the best thing I ever did was to quit my dead end job in 1980 and focus on what I always wanted to do; create comics! It took a few years to sell my first cartoons but once I did, other editors had confidence in me, and the more work I had, the more I could develop my skills. That was 35 years ago and I've been working ever since.

If you have an ambition, and a realistic ability to pursue it, you have to go for it. Life's too short not to. And when you do make it, be confident but never cocky, because I've seen a few people fail in this business because of their own arrogance. The comic industry is relatively small and doesn't suffer fools gladly. We're all learning every day, and the most important lesson is to be grateful for how lucky we are to be working in a career we love. 

Good luck!


Monday, 5 November 2018

Postman Prat's Firework Fun

Firework themed comics don't happen these days, except... in 2011 a few of us were allowed to do firework stories for The Dandy. Here's Postman Prat in a story written by David Mason, drawn by me.

Have a safe Bonfire Night! 



Friday, 2 November 2018

Derek preview

The fourth issue of Goof!, the online monthly comic, goes live tomorrow (3rd November) and it'll feature another chapter of Derek the Troll. Here's a sneak preview of the finished art of the roughs I showed you yesterday.

Goof! features all-new humour strips for children from a variety of artists and each new issue goes live on the first Saturday of every month. It's just £12 to subscribe for 12 issues, and you can find out all the details here:
https://www.goofcomic.co.uk



Thursday, 1 November 2018

Rough Troll (updated)

One of these days I'll do a blog post on my production methods from beginning to finished version. For now here's a peek at the pencil roughs for the next Derek the Troll strip. The ruled lines are a guide for lettering, which I'll do before I ink the strip. (I letter directly onto the artwork.) 

Update: And now here's the inked version. I'll clean it up a little when I scan it into Photoshop to colour it. At the last minute I decided to have his tongue handing out, after I'd drawn the mouth, so the original bottom lip line needs erasing. 
The deadline is Friday and the finished strip will be in Goof! No.4, which goes online on Saturday! I'll show the completed preview in my next post.
https://www.goofcomic.co.uk



Monday, 29 October 2018

Combat Colin on his way all over the UK

This morning I posted another dozen copies of Combat Colin No.3 to people all over the UK who had ordered copies (above). Tomorrow I'll be posting the stack shown below. And a few more every day this week.
Many thanks for your orders so far. Issue 3 is doing as well as previous issues in its launch week and although orders are bound to slow down soon I'm pleased with the response.

Of course, after PayPal's taken it's cut and the taxman takes his, I don't make much out of self publishing, but it breaks even at least... AND people who have been wanting my old strips back in print get their wish, so all's well!

If you're interested in buying copies of issue 3 or previous comics, you can order them directly from me here:
http://lewstringer.com/page7.htm


Thursday, 25 October 2018

Combat Colin No.3 - out now!

The third issue of Combat Colin is now in stock and ready for you to order from my online shop! 40 packed pages (4 colour covers, 36 black and white interiors) collecting more classic Combat Colin strips that originally appeared in The Transformers in 1989 and 1990. 

This time, the stories become more bizarre than ever with Colin encountering The Brain, The Gunge, becoming trapped in The Place of No Return, and journeying to Mars! 

PLUS bonus back-up features! 

Not available in shops! Only available exclusively from me! Back issues also available! Order it via PayPal from my online shop:
http://lewstringer.com/page7.htm



Sunday, 21 October 2018

Back from Nottingham

My thanks to Kev Brett and his team for a very enjoyable Nottingham Comic Con yesterday. It was my first time as a guest at that show and I really enjoyed it. There was a steady stream of visitors to my table all day so I didn't have time to take many photos. Drew plenty of sketches of a variety of characters from Korky the Cat to Vampirella, and sold a few comics too. 

My table neighbours were the writer Michael Robertson and fellow cartoonist Marc Jackson. I hadn't met Michael before so it was good to make his acquaintance. As well as being an author he's also the publisher of Off-Kilter Comics which you can find here: 
https://offkiltercomics.bigcartel.com

Marc Jackson is also the editor/publisher of online comic Goof! which you can find here:
https://www.goofcomic.co.uk

It was also good to meet fellow Beano artist Steve Beckett at last, and to catch up with Matt Brooker, The Etherington Brothers, Steve Tanner and his family, - all too briefly unfortunately, and many more.

I was part of a panel on working in mainstream comics, alongside top artists Marc Laming and Chris Wildgoose, interviewed by the cartoonist Brick. An interesting and refreshing interview, focusing more on what the job involves rather than talking about the characters or the industry itself. 

All in all, Nottingham Comic Con was a great day, and an ideal show to end my run of conventions for this year (13 in all). 

**********************

Combat Colin No.3 made its debut at the convention, and will be on my online store sometime this week.
http://lewstringer.com/page7.htm


Friday, 19 October 2018

The Lewniverse awaits

It's always a risk to self-publish, but I've produced six comics over the past three years and they've all been steady sellers. (Well, I hope Combat Colin No.3, out tomorrow, will be the same anyway.) 

They'll never make me rich, - it's just a sideline to my mainstream comics work, - but they break even and I enjoy putting them together and bringing my old characters back into print. Some people can't understand the pleasure of producing comics for limited financial gain, but that's their loss. I enjoy the creative control and people enjoy reading them, so that's my reward.

All of these comics will be available to buy at Nottingham Comic Con this Saturday, 20th October, at the Nottingham Conference Centre, Level 0. Hope to see you there!
http://www.nottinghamcomiccon.co.uk

Incidentally, in case you were puzzled because I'd previously said Brickman Returns had sold out... I found a few at the bottom of a box today, so I'll be bringing those along to Nottingham. (I'll be doing a third printing next year.)

I'll update my online shop next week so you can buy Combat Colin No.3 from there too!
http://lewstringer.com/page7.htm


Thursday, 18 October 2018

Combat Colin No.3 is here!

To confirm what I hoped in my previous post, I will have a limited number of copies of Combat Colin No.3 on sale exclusively from my table at Nottingham Comic Con this Saturday, 20th October. (It will be available to order online next week when I've received more copies.)

Combat Colin No.3 is another 40 page issue reprinting classic Combat Colin strips that originally appeared in Marvel UK's Transformers comic. This issue covers the period from July 1989 to February 1990 when the strip hit its stride, with Colin (and his assistant Semi-Automatic Steve) encountering monsters, aliens, and new bad guys. 

The comic also has a few back-up bonus features, including a look back at the comics that inspired me to create Combat Colin!

Come along to Nottingham Comic Con on Saturday to buy a copy!
http://www.nottinghamcomiccon.co.uk




Wednesday, 17 October 2018

See you in Nottingham!

It's Nottingham Comic Con this Saturday (20th October) and you'll find me there, on the lower level at table 49. (See above.) The venue is the Nottingham Conference Centre NG1 4BU. 

More info at their website:
http://www.nottinghamcomiccon.co.uk

This is the first time for me at this event so I'm looking forward to it. I've heard good things about this show and it's totally dedicated to comics, so you know that everyone who attends is interested in comics, not actors or wrestlers!

This will be my final convention appearance for this year. My next one is a long way off yet, April of next year.

I'll be bringing along my comics to sell, and hopefully launching Combat Colin No.3 at the event! Another 40 page issue packed with lunacy, collecting stories from 1989 into early 1990. They're only available from me so come along and buy one! (Mail order will be available next week.)


Monday, 15 October 2018

In the shops this week...

I have strips in three titles this week. Here's a brief preview...

Team Toxic star in Game On! in Toxic No.313, on sale Wednesday 17th October, published by Egmont. (Preview above.)

That same day, Hygiene High, the stinkiest school kids on Earth, are back again in Epic No.152. Script by Niall Murray, art by me. Published by D.C. Thomson.


The following day, Thursday 18th October, sees Doctor Who Magazine No.531 hit the stands, and another Daft Dimension from me featuring more Daft Daleks! Published by Panini UK.

All titles available from newsagents and supermarkets across the UK.  


Sunday, 14 October 2018

Combat snippets

Here's a brief preview of a few snippets from Combat Colin No.3, - on sale soon! More news this week. 

In the meantime, if you haven't bought the first two issues yet, you can order them directly from me here:
http://lewstringer.com/page7.htm


Saturday, 13 October 2018

In the next Team Toxic story...

The next issue of Toxic goes on sale Wednesday 17th October and is a bumper edition with a games theme, packaged with various extras. My Team Toxic story gets into the spirit as they're plunged into a video game dimension! See what happens in Toxic No.313 next week!



Tuesday, 9 October 2018

This week's Beano...

...has a page in it that I drew. The Helter-Skelter of Doom is a puzzle page featuring several Beano favourites who are always fun to draw. The issue goes on sale from tomorrow, Wednesday 10th October. 
This will be my last contribution for the Beano for the foreseeable future but I hope to be invited back again some day. I'd guess they're working on the Christmas issue now so it probably won't be until next year before (if) you see any of my work in the comic again. 

I'm still contributing to Toxic, Epic, Doctor Who Magazine, and Goof! though, so you'll still find my work in newsagents (or online in the case of Goof!).



Saturday, 6 October 2018

Have you subscribed to GOOF! yet?

First Saturday in the month means a new issue of Goof! comic is online, including all-new Derek the Troll and lots of stuff by other cartoonists. The strips are creator-owned and the idea is we'll receive an equal share of the profits... but no sales will mean no money, so we need your support! 

Subscriptions are just £12 for all 12 monthly issues, and whichever number you start subscribing with you'll still have access to the back issues so you won't miss a thing! 

Have you subscribed yet? If not, what are your reservations? If you have, what do you think of the comic? Post a comment below, pro or con, and let me know.

Support independent comics! https://www.goofcomic.co.uk/ 

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

See you at Stoke-Con-Trent this Sunday!

Just a reminder that on Sunday 7th October I'll be one of the guests at Stoke-Con-Trent. It takes place at Staffordshire University, Stoke-On-Trent, and you'll find me alongside the other comics creators in the Science block.

Details here: http://stokecontrent.co.uk

I'll be bringing along copies of Combat Colin 1 and 2, Derek the Troll, Pedantic Stan, and Brickman Begins, - plus doing sketches on request.

Yes, it's the same day that Doctor Who returns to our screens, but the con runs from 10am to 4pm so you'll still have time to get home to switch on the TV at 6.45. (That's my plan anyway!) 

Come along and join us at Stoke-Con-Trent this Sunday! 
http://stokecontrent.co.uk


Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Geeky Brummie radio show

If any of you missed our Beano panel at ICE 2018 you can listen to it on the Geeky Brummie podcast, as it was recorded for Brum Radio on the day. Nigel Parkinson, Laura Howell, Hunt Emerson and myself talking all things Beano...

https://www.mixcloud.com/BrumRadio/geeky-brummie-with-ryan-parish-29092018/


Thursday, 27 September 2018

Cover preview: Combat Colin No.3

Here's an advance peek at the cover to Combat Colin No.3, which will be another 40 page issue. I've just sent the pages to the printers so hopefully it'll be out in time for Nottingham Comic Con on 20th October.

This issue reprints the stories from the latter half of 1989 and early 1990, when the strip saw Colin encounter weirder villains than ever before. More news soon, but if you're missing the first two issues you can order them from me here:
http://lewstringer.com/page7.htm



Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Chaos in the classroom!

I'm back in the Beano this week, albeit temporarily, with two full pages. They're puzzle pages, not strips, but they were great fun to draw! 

The first is a Bash Street Kids "find the objects" type puzzle, and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to draw a traditionally chaotic Bash Street classroom scene! There's a snippet of it above.

The other page features Roger the Dodger and various Beano adults in a tangled rope rock climbing puzzle. This one is based on the Roger strip that Barrie Appleby drew this week. I think this is the first time I've drawn Roger's dad. Again, good fun to do.

I won't be in the Beano again until... two week's time I think, with another puzzle. After that...? Your guess is as good as mine. The Beano has a lot of cartoonists to share work out to these days, and new artists are coming in all the time, so it's a case of being patient and keeping busy on other comics and mags. 

Anyway, if you want to see my puzzle pages in full, check out Beano No.3954, out today!


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Nottingham at last!

I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be a guest at Nottingham Comic Con on 20th October. I've been invited before but various things prevented it so I'm looking forward to finally being there!

They've interviewed me for their website too, which you can read here:
http://www.nottinghamcomiccon.co.uk/announcing-a-new-guest-for-all-ages/