Saturday, 19 September 2020

Next week's elephant antics...

Ellis's Great Escapes is back in The Beano next week. Script, art, and colours by me. Here's a sneak peek at one panel. What's he up to? Find out on Wednesday 23rd September when Beano No.4054 hits the shops! Only £2.75. 

Here's the cover to look out for. Plug and Danny drawn by Nigel Parkinson...

Productive day

As we're all well aware, this year has been a struggle in one way or another, and there's no light at the end of the tunnel yet. I hope you're all bearing up. I also hope that my work helps to raise a smile even if only for a moment.

I've had a productive day, writing a script for Ellis's Great Escapes this morning for the Beano, and finishing the art for Part 3 of Sgt.Shouty for the third issue of The77. I won't show you much from the Sgt.Shouty page as it'll give away too much key information but I've posted a close up of a bit of the original art above. Who's the little guy? Just an incidental character, but I thought you'd like to see him. 

I'm pleased to see that The77 has proven to be a great success. So far, every issue has exceeded the Kickstarter target, and No.3 was fully funded in just five hours! It's an exciting new comic to work for and I hope it continues to reach a wider audience. 

If you haven't backed issue 3 yet you can do so at this link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/the77comic/the77-issue-3

The77 No.3 will be published next month. See you there! 


Wednesday, 16 September 2020

In the shops this week

There's no episode of Ellis's Great Escapes in the Beano this week unfortunately as it was replaced by an advert, but I thought I'd just post a reminder that you can still catch Specky Hector in the Battle Special (out today) and The Daft Dimension in Doctor Who Magazine (out tomorrow)!

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Fresh air and green fields


I thought I'd share with you some photos from today's walk by the local lakes and countryside. I'd intended to go for more walks anyway before the pandemic hit but I think I appreciate the green track more than ever now. I don't mind the solitude when I'm walking in the fresh air. Everything feels peaceful and timeless when you separate yourself from the stress of global situations, and it's a good way to recharge. 

 

 

This glorious weather has been the only good thing about 2020. I hope you've all found your own ways to find peace in this mad year.

 

 

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Monday, 14 September 2020

Into BATTLE with Specky Hector!


One comic I never expected to contribute to was Battle, not least because it ended in 1988 and rarely featured any humour strips. Now Rebellion have revived it for a new one-off special and there's a Specky Hector, Comics Collector strip in there by me leading off an impressive package of contents from today's top talents such as Garth Ennis, Keith Burns, Simon Coleby, Staz Johnson, Alex DeCampi, Glenn Fabry, Tom Paterson and more. 

The Specky strip is an old one of mine that appeared in black and white in Oink! in 1986 but I've digitally remastered it and coloured it for a new generation.


The 100 page Battle Special is out this Wednesday from comic shops and selected newsagents! The red logo is the standard cover for shops. Purple logo an exclusive from the Rebellion website. 

 https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/RCS2056

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Daft Time Lord Victorious! DWM 556 Preview


Doctor Who Magazine No.556 is out this week! It includes a 20-page supplement featuring Part One of Time Lord Victorious: Monstrous Beauty, a new Ninth Doctor comic strip. PLUS a Time Lord Victorious guide, giant poster, TARDIS diorama, Big Finish audio download and much more! 

My contribution to this special issue is a Daft Dimension strip that spoofs the Time Lord Victorious!

The whole package is £9.99 and arrives in shops on Thursday 17th September. 

Here's a preview of the magazine's cover plus John Ross' cover art to the comic suppliment...

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Saturday, 12 September 2020

Listen up! Here's a new podcast interview

In the unavoidable absence of comic cons we've seen an increase in comics podcasts about the world of comics. A few weeks ago I was interviewed via Zoom about my life and career by Shane Chebsey for his ICE-CAST and it's now uploaded onto his site if you want to listen to it. Runs for slightly over an hour...

Friday, 11 September 2020

Combat Colin still in limbo


I thought I owed you all an update on the situation regarding my Combat Colin collections. Sorry to say the comic is still on hold at the moment and I have no immediate plans to publish issue No.5 yet.

I had hoped to publish Combat Colin No.5 in October, and there's even a podcast interview coming out soon (recorded weeks ago) where I announced that, but on reflection I'm holding fire for now. 

This pandemic situation has affected me more than I realised. Health wise I'm ok, so far... physically anyway. The restrictions have affected my mental health more than I expected though, not socialising with anyone for six months, and worrying about what the future holds for us all. I met up with a few local friends last week and that helped a lot though. I miss my comics pals and comic shows a lot

Obviously everyone living alone is in the same boat so I'm not trying to make out it's all about me! It's far worse for people with families that have been separated by the situation. 

It has taken its toll more than I realised though, and I need to get back on track into a more productive schedule. I do have more work coming in now, and I also need to catch up with existing projects, so for the time being Combat Colin and all other self-published ventures are on hiatus while I focus on my mainstream comics work. 

As things stand now, there won't be another Combat Colin comic until next year. I may do another digital compilation like Barmy Comix No.1 but that's at the back of my mind at the moment. 

Anyway, I thought I'd be open with you all about the situation so that's how things are right now. I'm sure we all know how hard it is to be optimistic at the moment and I appreciate that delaying a comic is of no importance in the bigger picture. 

Meanwhile, this blog will continue to report on all my mainstream comics work that's coming up, and I'll dip into the archives at times too to show you some pages from the past, so I hope you'll continue to check in regularly.

Stay safe, wear a mask, avoid the idiots, and best wishes. 

 

Monday, 7 September 2020

This week's Ellis

I've just received my subscription copy of Beano No.4052 so here's a sneak peek at the next episode of Ellis's Great Escapes! The comic will be in the shops on Wednesday. 


Meanwhile, I'm drawing a future episode today, which will appear in November. Personally I'm hoping this long summer continues and the weather remains mild by then as the good weather has been the only saving grace of 2020! Well, I can dream.

 

Friday, 4 September 2020

Currently in print...

A quick plug for the comics / mags currently on sale that I did some work for:

Buster and Gums strips for the Cor!! Buster Easter Special.

https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/humour/RCS2052

The Daft Dimension mini-strip for Doctor Who Magazine.

https://doctorwhomagazine.com/

Ellis's Great Escapes for The Beano.

https://shop.beano.com/beano-comic-subscription


Sgt.Shouty for The77.

https://getmycomics.com/The77

Postman Prat for The Dandy Summer Special.

https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/dandy-summer-special-2020

Postman Prat and Keyhole Kate for The Dandy Annual 2021.

https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/the-dandy-annual-2021

Lord Snooty mini-strips for The Beano Annual 2021.

https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/beano-annual-2021

Coming up:
Specky Hector, Comic Collector mini-strip for the Battle Special.

https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/RCS2063

(It sounds like I've been busy but the annual and special strips were drawn long before the pandemic.)

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Ellis is back today!

 
I had a pleasant surprise today to find that my strip Ellis's Great Escapes is back in the Beano this week! (I expected it to return mid-September.) It feels good to be part of the Beano community again after a long and stressful summer. 

I believe the strip will run until sometime in December. I'm currently working on the ones for November anyway. 

Here's a glimpse of my original art for this week's strip... 
The Beano No.4051 is in the shops now! 36 full colour pages for £2.75. 
Cover art by Laura Howell.

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Postman Prat meets Keyhole Kate!

 
It was inevitable that as both of them live in Dandytown that Postman Prat would eventually run into Keyhole Kate on his rounds. After all, she spends most of her time peeking through keyholes, and Prat is delivering the mail so...

The meeting is brief but it's connected to the main plot of a Postman Prat two pager in The Dandy Annual 2021, out now! There are also three other Postman Prat double pagers in there plus no less that eight Keyhole Kate mini-strips! Grab your copy now! 
https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/the-dandy-annual-2021 

 

Thursday, 27 August 2020

New interview in VWORP! VWORP!



It humbly calls itself a fanzine but this wonderful publication is easily on a par with High Street magazines in terms of design and its quality of writing. Vworp! Vworp! is devoted to covering the history of Doctor Who Magazine, and as the latter has been around for 41 years there's a lot of insider knowledge to unearth. Vworp! Vworp! manages that admirably by interviewing as many peopole involved with DWM as it can, including editors, artists, writers, and more. 
The latest edition is a combined and updated version of volumes 1 and 2 in a sumptous 196 page full colour softback book. Vworp! Vworp! isn't published very often (it's been three years since Vol.3 was released) but that's ok because there's so much in the books that they'll take you ages to read anyway! 

Vworp! Vworp! Volumes One and Two Collected includes interviews with Dave Gibbons, Mike McMahon, Adrian Salmon, Tim Quinn, Dez Skinn, the late Steve Dillon, and many more, plus a new interview with me. The interview also shows you one of my original Daft Dimension scripts and the inked and coloured version of the artwork. 
Even putting personal input aside, I can't reccommend Vworp! Vworp! enough. If you like Doctor Who comics, or comics history in general, this is for you!  It's a chunky publication and it comes at a chunkly price (£15.99) but for a 196 page A4 sized book on quality paper that's a good price. 

More info and ordering details at their website at this link:
https://www.vworpvworp.co.uk/ 

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Batman in the news

 
With Batman in the news again... or rather the movie version... I thought it might be appropriate to show this page I drew 30 years ago for the Glasgow Comic Art Show 1990. Sergio Aragon├ęs bought the original art in a charity auction at the event so this is scanned from the convention booklet. 

Thirty years on and it still seems relevant.  

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Kickstarter is live for The77 No.3

 
The Kickstarter campaign for the third issue of The77 is now live! The brand new Britisgh anthology comic has proved successful enough to go from quarterly to bi-monthly now so this campaign only runs for a couple of weeks. 
 
It'll feature another packed collection of new strips including part 3 of my Sgt.Shouty strip! 
 
Pledge your support at the link below:
 
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First look! COR!! BUSTER BUMPER FUN BOOK

Rebellion have just revealed the front cover to a new collection. The Cor!! Buster Bumper Fun Book will collect the strips from the 2019 and 2020 Cor!! Buster specials into one 96 page package. 

Above is a clip from one of my strips in the book and below is the cover drawn by Edward Whatley.
Cover by Edward Whatley.
No doubt Rebellion will reveal more info closer to publication but at the moment the book is available to pre-order on Amazon at this link:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cor-Buster-Bumper-Fun-Book/dp/1781088640

Friday, 21 August 2020

Ellis is back on the drawing board

 
As you will have noticed, my Beano strip Ellis' Great Escapes was interrupted at the start of the lockdown when the comic dropped all the mini strips to replace them with activity pages to keep kids occupied during the time off school. It was quite a blow at an already stressful time, but the mini-strips will be returning in September and Ellis will be back for another run! 
I'm very pleased to be working for the Beano again after this long and difficult summer. I think this pandemic has affected everyone's mental health to various degrees but hopefully we can emerge as better people. Using our creative imaginations is a good distraction, as is reading the end product, so I hope readers will enjoy the escapism of Ellis' Great Escapes when it returns next month!

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

It's the Daft 1970s!



The next issue of Doctor Who Magazine has something of a 1970s theme so I thought I'd join in with a Daft Dimension featuring the Third Doctor! 

You can read the strip, and plenty of other content too of course, in Doctor Who Magazine No.555, on sale Thursday 20th August! Here's the cover to look out for...
 

Sunday, 16 August 2020

New badges!

 
As you know, I have a Redbubble store that sells my merchandise designs including T-shirts, stickers, and much more. Well, now there's an option to produce pin badges so I've added a bunch of them to my store. Designs include Combat Colin, Brickman, Derek the Troll and others. I hope you'll find some that appeal! 

Here's the link:
https://www.redbubble.com/people/lewstringer/shop?artistUserName=lewstringer&iaCode=u-pin-button&sortOrder=recent 


Thursday, 13 August 2020

In Space No One Can Hear You SHOUT!

Issue 2 of the brand new British comic The77 is out now and it contains the second episode of my new series Sgt.Shouty of the Moon Force!

Shouty on trial! That's not going to end well is it? 

See what happens in The77 No.2 by ordering your copy from this link:
https://getmycomics.com/The77

The77 is a 68 page comic featuring 15 all new stories from a variety of comics creators including Steve MacManus, Dan Whitehead, Kek-W, Bambos Georgiou, PJ Holden, Neil Sims and many more! Financed by successful Kickstarter campaigns that exceeded their targets, The77 is the breakout title of 2020!

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Saturday, 8 August 2020

RASHER returns for a guest spot!

 
This was a pleasant surprise today. Back in February I was commissioned to write/draw a one-off Rasher strip for the Beano. In the end it wasn't used due to lack of space, but it's turned up in the latest issue! 

As you know, I've drawn three (or is it four) series of Rasher over the years and he's one of my favourite Beano characters to script and illustrate. I've no idea if he'll ever be back on a regular basis but you'll get to see one new Rasher strip in the Beano No.4048, in the shops this Wednesday 12th August. Here's the cover to look out for...
Cover art by Nigel Parkinson and the Beano design team.
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Roll up for the Circus!



I was recently commissioned to do a drawing of a clown for the forthcoming book Circus DeNiro (written by Michael Powell and illustrated by Phil Elliott). I thought I'd make him a sleazy looking weirdo, because those sort of characters are more fun to draw. 

I submitted my black and white version (above) and Phil coloured it. I usually colour my own work so it was interesting to see another artist interpret it. In this case Phil felt there was something "Homer Simpson" about it so gave him yellow skin....


Circus DeNiro sounds like it'll be a great book and I'm honoured to have a small part in it. I think Phil's done the best artwork of his career on this book (and he's always been good). You can check out some samples, and back the Kickstarter, at this link:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1715620850/circus-deniro-a-gothic-adventure

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Thursday, 6 August 2020

Don't miss out on the fun!

 
With unpredictable bad timing The Cor!! Buster Easter Special was available in WH Smiths... during the lockdown, so as most branches of Smiths were closed it meant that some readers missed it! 

However, the good news is you don't have to miss out because the comic is still available to buy by post, directly from the publisher!  

The Easter theme is only present in a few of the strips so you can look at it as a Summer Special if you wish, although hopefully you'll still find the Easter stories egg-selent too! (Couldn't resist. Don't worry. The humour in the special is funnier than that!)

I'm very pleased with how the special turned out and it was a pleasure to contribute, so I hope you enjoy it too! Hop over to the Treasury of British Comics website to order it now!
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/humour/RCS2052 

...and if you missed last year's special, that's still available too! 
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/humour/RCS1951 
 

Sunday, 2 August 2020

This week in 1991 in BUSTER...

It was a very busy time for me this week 29 years ago! I had three pages in the issue of Buster dated 10th August 1991, (which was published 3rd August.... remember that back then comics were dated for the following weekend after publication).

First up, Tom Thug on 'Oliday was the strip on page three. Every year during the school holidays I'd do a six-week story with Tom on his holidays. (Usually Blackpool as I recall, as is the case here.) Note the old sea wall, which has since been replaced by a smarter looking seafront.

Next, The Vampire Brats was my other regular Buster strip. Initially written by Mark Rogers, then by me, but by this period the scripts were by Roy Davis with me on art. Roy's method of writing was to rough everything out on an A3 sheet in biro (as he was an artist himself). It was then up to the artist, such as myself, to interpret it as they wished. I chose to give the Lion Tamer a wildly exaggerated reaction in panel 7.

Writers never had a credit in Buster but on some strips I added Roy's initials next to my signature because I felt that all contribitors should be credited! If I'd known who'd be lettering it I'd have added that too. In this case it was Jack Potter (who also lettered the Tom Thug strip shown here).

Finally, Specky Hector's History of Comics reached its 10th and final part. I did everything on this; script, art (apart from the Turtles panels), lettering, colouring, layout. Specky Hector was a character I'd created for Oink! and used a couple of times there, so I thought he'd be an ideal character to host this series of articles for Buster. Editor Allen Cummings agreed and these History features appeared about once a month. A reprint of Specky's first strip will appear in the forthcoming Battle Special, newly digitally remastered and coloured by me. 

So... that was a glimpse at my work for Buster back in 1991. Great times and a very busy decade! Were you a Buster reader? Post your memories about those days below!

Remember also that Buster is back, in the latest Cor!! Buster Easter Special, still available to order by post from Rebellion's website at this link: