Friday, 13 December 2019

It's starting to look a lot like a Daft Christmas!

The Christmas issue of Doctor Who Magazine is in the shops now and amongst its many features you'll find a festive Daft Dimension strip from me. I always enjoy drawing the Christmas strips for any publication but this is the only one I've done this year. Here's a little snippet of it above, and below you can see  the original art. (After scanning it into Photoshop I then fill in the solid blacks and add colour.)
Doctor Who Magazine No.546 is out now in WH Smiths, Sainsbury, Asda, selected newsagents and comic shops. 

Thursday, 12 December 2019

COMBAT COLIN wins Best Independent / Small Press Comic Award

I'm very happy to reveal that Combat Colin has won the award for Best Independent / Small Press Comic in the 2019 Comic Scene Awards. Thank you to everyone who voted! There was some strong competition with some great comics out there.

Comic Scene No.11, where all the winners are announced, is available today in digital form, or in print next Thursday. 
https://getmycomics.com/comicscene

Combat Colin comics are available exclusively by post from my website:
http://www.lewstringer.com/page7.htm 

Thanks again to everyone who voted!


Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Busy time

Postman Prat ©D.C. Thomson 
After what hasn't been a great year I'm very busy at the moment. Currently finishing off a strip featuring this character (above) that you may remember. Will also be embarking on a brand new strip very soon too, but you'll hear more about that in February.

And I should have some news to share tomorrow too! 

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Monday, 9 December 2019

Pete's Pimple could be yours! (Update: SOLD!)

This is my ORIGINAL ART for the Pete and his Pimple strip that was published in an issue of OINK! comic in 1987. The artwork is drawn in black ink embellished with a grey wash and grey pencil. Drawn on Bristol board and then affixed to a sheet of cartridge paper underneath with Spray Mount, although the art can be easily removed from the backing sheet if required. (Personally I'd keep it fixed to the backing sheet as it's survived perfectly well for over 30 years like that.) 

I signed it in the last panel. See photos for more detail. 

Size 37cm wide by 32cm high. 

The art will be securely packaged between strong card for posting and wrapped in parcel paper. 
This item will only run until December 15th to try to avoid Christmas post delays so buy soon if you want it. Thanks. Update 10th Dec: SOLD!

See listing here:

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Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Annual bargain

This year's Dandy and Beano Annuals are only £4.00 each, or two for £7.00, in Asda at the moment! Grab 'em now for Christmas!

I have three pages of Keyhole Kate in The Dandy Annual 2020, and I've contributed a lot more pages for next year's book. More news on that in the months to come. 



Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Thanks again, Phil!

It's heartwarming when a reviewer really "gets" your work and understands where you're coming from and your style of humour. My thanks to Phil Boyce for this great review of Combat Colin No.4 on The Oink! Blog:
http://the-oink-blog.blogspot.com/2019/12/combat-colin-4-equal-combat-equal-chaos.html



Monday, 2 December 2019

COMBAT COLIN ORIGINALS FOR SALE! (UPDATE: SOLD!)

I don't usually sell my original Combat Colin art but I've put two of the very early ones up on eBay so this is your chance to grab yourselves a rarity for Christmas. One features the very first appearance of Semi-Automatic Steve! Both are from 1987 and appeared in Marvel UK's Action Force weekly. The auction runs until next Monday, 9th Dec. All bids appreciated! https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/graphite47/m.html

UPDATE: Both sold within an hour with the Buy It Now option.


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Saturday, 30 November 2019

It's a plan!

Something different I did recently. A strip I was commissioned to do for The Planner, a magazine published by the Royal Town Planning Institute for those involved in Town and Country planning. Not available in shops so I thought I'd post some images here to show you. The brief was to show a "Play Street", which is a scheme where busy streets are cordoned off for a few hours for kids to safely play in.


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Thursday, 28 November 2019

OINK! in Germany!

Thanks to Brendan Quinn on Peter Gray's UK Comics group for finding this curiosity. I'd heard way back when that there was a German language edition of OINK! comic in the late 1980s but had never seen one. My 'Tom Thug' and 'Pete and his Pimple' strips (amongst strips by others) translated into German! Naturally, IPC never paid us for these foreign editions... 
https://www.comic.de/2018/12/oink-wie-wir-bei-bastei-das-ferkel-rausliessen-oder-als-man-bei-bastei-ueberlegte-marvel-aufzukaufen/

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Sunday, 24 November 2019

Pathetic Sharks VIZ art for sale!

I'm selling a piece of my original artwork on eBay this week. It's a large 460mm square illustration of The Pathetic Sharks that I did for the 1992 Viz Calendar. Drawn on Bristol board with black ink, water colours, and Carab D'Ache colour pencils. 

The auction has just started and runs until Sunday 1st December. Good luck if you're bidding! More info and photos at this link:



Saturday, 23 November 2019

It's Doctor Who Day!

November 23rd is apparently Doctor Who Day as the series began on this date in 1963. I'm not sure if I watched the first few episodes but I was definitely there to see the first appearance of the Daleks in December of that year. 

The photo above is an old one, from the Brighton Comic Con in 2005, but I thought I'd dust it off for the occasion. This was the first time I'd seen a Dalek actually moving around and speaking at a convention (thanks to remotes and someone peddling like mad inside) but these days it's commonplace and the Daleks can be controlled without any occupant. (See photo below, which I took at Nor-Con 8 weeks ago.)
I sent off my Christmas episode of The Daft Dimension to Doctor Who Magazine the other day, and you can see it in print in issue 456, on sale in a few weeks! 




Friday, 22 November 2019

'Enry in the spotlight

Here's a sneak peek at a little bit of my Pup Parade strip for next week's Beano. This time it's about 'Enry, the bespectacled one of the Bash Street Dogs.

See the full comic strip in Beano No.4013, on sale Wednesday 27th November. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Tom Thug - in colour for the first time (1986)

It seems hard to believe now but there was a time when most pages in British comics were printed in black and white. Colour printing was an expensive luxury, usually restricted to the covers and (if you were lucky) a few interior pages. Things started to change significantly in the 1980s, presumably as colour printing became more economical to use. Even then, although my first mainstream work appeared in 1983 it would be three years before I did a full colour strip for a comic.

Here's my first published full colour page. A Tom Thug strip that appeared on the back cover of Oink! No.8 (cover dated 9th to 22nd August 1986). It was a bit of an honour to be given the back page of a comic so I was very pleased with that. 

I'd done a bit of colour work before when I was working as Mike Higgs' assistant on his Learn with Moonbird books in 1983/84 but they were single illustrations for children's books. This was the first time I'd been let loose on a comic strip in colour. 

After inking the linework with a Rapidograph I coloured it with Dr.Martins watercolour inks and Faber-Castel pencils. Looking at it now, the colouring is quite crude in places but it suited the rawness that Oink! was about. I'd improve as time went on, but I wish Photoshop had been around back then because I prefer colouring digitally far more than with a brush. (And I think my digital colouring is far better than my hand colouring ever was.) 

I did all my own lettering too. Each balloon had to be done on patch paper (sticky back paper), cut out to the required shape, and stuck onto a clear acetate overlay. 

Anyway, so there you have it. My first full colour comic strip. Yep, the story has some crude elements too, but again that was part of the remit for Oink! Incidentally, Tom's last line was changed by the editor. My original version had him saying "bog" instead of "sink". Yes, even Oink! had its limits. 


Monday, 18 November 2019

Bash Street in the Beano


I had the opportunity to draw The Bash Street Kids recently for a joke page and you can see it in this week's Beano No.4012, on sale Wednesday 20th November.

I also put some of the Kids in this week's Pup Parade too for the same issue...

It's always a pleasure to draw such iconic characters that I enjoyed so much when I was a child. 

Beano No.4012, price £2.75, will be available from WH Smith, supermarkets, and all good newsagents or you can subscribe at this link and save money!
https://www.beano.com/subscribe




Friday, 15 November 2019

Meet The Liver Birds!

Here's something new I'm working on. Meet Askey and Dodd, The Liver Birds! It's a brand new full page strip, created and written by Tim Quinn and drawn by me for a new comic magazine that's coming soon! The magazine was announced at Liverpool Town Hall the other week, with Tim Quinn giving a presentation of some of the contents. Thanks to Alan Cowsill for the photo above.

Here's how Tim announced the strip on his Facebook page:

"THE LIVER BIRD has been a symbol of Liverpool for over 800 years but little has been known about the private life of this extraordinary creature ….. until now!

Askey & Dodd, the two beloved Liver Birds who stand proud with watchful eyes high above our beloved city, will feature in each issue of the brand new LIVERPOOL HEARTBEAT MAGAZINE hatching in January 2020. The work of comic book legend Lew Stringer (Bash Street Pups, Brickman, Keyhole Kate, Combat Colin, Doctor Who’s Daft Dimension, etc), the Liver Birds strip will be a bird’s eye view of Merseyside’s most famous characters.

The magazine will also feature the imaginative work of school children of all ages from across the region alongside pages created by some of the greats from the comic book world. Editor Tim Quinn says, “I’ve met so many talented young people in Merseyside that it is great to be able to create a brand new magazine to showcase their ideas.” Keep an eye on the Liverpool Heartbeat sites for launch date! http://www.liverpoolheartbeat.com/ "

More news soon!




Thursday, 14 November 2019

Behold my Six Pack!

Now you can order all six of my comics in one parcel and save money! That's Combat Colin issues 1 to 4, Derek the Troll, and Pedantic Stan. Six comics, 200 pages in total! 

Combat Colin reprints the strips that appeared in Action Force and Transformers in the late 1980s'early 1990s. Most pages have been scanned from my original art. 

Derek the Troll reprints the strips that appeared in Warlock and White Dwarf magazines in the late 1980s. PLUS the second half of the comic reprints the complete Rock Solid, Space Hero series that appeared in Swiftsure comic in the mid-1980s. 

Pedantic Stan, the Comic Fan reprints the 1990s strip that appeared in Speakeasy fanzine. It was created by John Freeman and myself.

Six comics in one parcel. Shop early for Christmas! Here's the link if you're interested:

Please note: The prices on my website are for UK customers only. If you live outside the UK, contact me at lew.stringer@BTopenworld.com for postage rates. 


Tuesday, 12 November 2019

In this week's BEANO...

Characters Copyright ©D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.
Here's a sneak preview of my next Pup Parade strip. This week, Manfrid is in the spotlight! See the full story in Beano No.4011, on sale Wednesday 13th November, £2.75. 

Monday, 11 November 2019

Coming in the next DAFT DIMENSION...

It's Daleks like you've never seen them before, - playing football! Here's a preview of my next Daft Dimension comic strip, and you can see the full version in the official Doctor Who Magazine No.545, on sale this Thursday (14th November). 




Sunday, 10 November 2019

Lest we forget

Quick finger painting done digitally on my iPad with the Procreate app. 



Saturday, 9 November 2019

Pencil rough for something new

Here's a glimpse of something I'm drawing this weekend. This is just the rough pencil stage, and it's only part of a panel. I won't be able to reveal what it is, or show you any finished art for a while, but it's a one-off for a non-comics company. It's always good when a magazine that doesn't usually run comics uses the strip format to illustrate its articles.

I'll tell you more about it when it's published (next month I think). 

Monday, 4 November 2019

Christmas merchandise!

I've added a bunch of brand new merchandise to my Redbubble store, designed as potential Christmas presents. Socks! Coasters! Stickers! - and more! 
Take a look by clicking this link:
https://www.redbubble.com/people/LewStringer

All items are manufactured to order by Redbubble and they ship them to buyers. I then receive a percentage, when sales reach a certain amount. So if you're interested, please support my shop. Thank you. 

Combat Colin Socks! How can you resist? 







Friday, 1 November 2019

Bones in the spotlight

With Pup Parade only being a mini-strip of 3 or 4 panels, there's not room to give every one of the Bash Street Dogs equal time, so instead I tend to focus on one or two different characters each week. In next week's Beano the spotlight falls on Bones, the leader of the pups. 

See what happens next in the Beano No.4010, on sale Wednesday 6th November!


Thursday, 31 October 2019

Tom Thug will return!

I'm going to make sure that Tom Thug turns up in next year's Cor!! Buster Easter Special. In fact, John Freeman has written him into the script. It's only a cameo part, but he'll be part of a crowd scene in a few panels. (He also appeared briefly in this year's special, if you recall.)

Hopefully it'll eventually lead to Tom coming back in his own strip one day. After all, he was one of the most popular strips in Oink! and Buster from the late 1980s to the final Buster in 1999 and even took over the cover position on several occasions.  When I did the last one I counted up how many Tom Thug strips I'd drawn, and it was well over 400. 

People still ask me for a sketch of him at conventions, so the brainless bully is still fondly remembered. He was never a character to emulate of course. More of a catharsis for readers to see the bully get his just desserts every issue. Readers laughed with the other Buster characters, but Tom was designed to be laughed at

If you'd like to know how Tom Thug came to be, I wrote a blog post about it five years ago. Click on this link to read it...
https://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-origin-of-tom-thug.html


Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Fireworks!

Comics tend to avoid stories featuring fireworks these days. Maybe because it's not easy to feature them in a story without characters acting irresponsibly with them, - but years ago we knew it was wrong to be foolish with fireworks. Even if the comics showed characters holding onto a rocket or being surprised by a banger, we knew it shouldn't be imitated. 

Anyway, I didn't want the opportunity to pass if I could help it so in this week's Pup Parade I came up with a story where I could show a firework display (at a distance) and do a plot about keeping pets safe. See how it turns out in the Beano No.4009, on sale Wednesday 30th October! 


Saturday, 26 October 2019

BUSTER is coming back in 2020

As you may have read on my other blog, 2020 will see Rebellion publish twelve specials across the year, most of which will revive classic comics of the past with brand new material. 

One of the first to be released will be the Cor!! Buster Easter Special. A second outing for the successful humour special published last year. It'll be packed with old favourites given a new spin, and I'm very pleased to say that I'll be drawing a three page Buster and Delbert strip written by John Freeman
The three pager involves an Easter egg hunt, and will feature a lot of familiar comic faces, - not just from Buster, but from other comics of the past too. (A few going wayyy back.) 

I was one of the original artists in Buster comic (on Tom Thug) throughout the late 1980s until it's end in 1999 so it's a thrill to draw the title character. I'm excited to be following in the footsteps of such great artists as Bill Titcombe (the first artist of Buster in 1960), Angel Nadal, Reg Parlett, Tom Paterson, Jimmy Hansen and many more! My version will try to capture the essence of all the previous styles but will essentially be my own. A few preliminary sketches accompany this article. 

The Cor!! Buster Easter Special will go on sale in early April 2020. I'll post more news about it in the future! 

Below: the cover by Neil Googe and Jim Boswell...


Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Combat Colin nominated for an award. VOTE NOW!

I'm pleased to see that my Combat Colin comics are amongst the nominations in the Best Indie/Small Press category of the new Comic Scene Awards. If you enjoy my comics please consider voting and perhaps I'll win an award for the first time in my life! 
https://comicsflix.org/2019/10/23/comicscene-awards-2019-the-final-nominations-its-time-to-vote-for-your-favourite/

Here's how Comic Scene explain how to vote...

"E mail your preferred winner in each category by giving the category number and letter of your choice to comicsflix@gmail.com – you don’t have to vote in all categories if you do not wish to do so.  There will be daily polls on our ComicScene Facebook and twitter feeds for extra votes!" 

Thanks to those of you who nominated me, and thanks in advance if you're going to vote for Combat Colin in these final nominations.