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