Saturday, 25 September 2021

National Comic Book Day

Apparently it's National Comic Book Day, a celebration that began in America but is now recognised worldwide.  Here's a quick compilation of fragments of panels from various strips I've done over the past 38 years that I hope have cheered people up along the way. Thanks to all of you who have supported my work over the years.

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Currently out there...

Here's a quick rundown of what I currently have in print. First off there's Sgt.Shouty of the Moon Force in the independent comic The77, and you can buy the latest issue (No.6) and previous editions from their website at this link...

https://the77comic.bigcartel.com/

Then there's The Daft Dimension in Doctor Who Magazine, available from newsagents, comic shops, and supermarkets or directly from Panini UK at this link...

https://www.panini.co.uk/shp_gbr_en/magazines-comics-books/doctor-who.html

...and The Dandy Annual 2022, where I have several Keyhole Kate pages. You can buy the 112 page book from bookshops or directly from D.C. Thomson at this link...

https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/the-dandy-annual-2022

Coming up in a few weeks is the Monster Fun Halloween Spooktacular, but I'll talk more about that when it's published. I'm also an infrequent contributor to Animal Planet magazine, although I'm not sure when my next strip will appear there. Will let you know as soon as I know!


Friday, 24 September 2021

Ally Sloper lives!

Ally Sloper lives! My thanks to renowned comics historian Alan Clark for sending me his latest two books, and they're wonderful! Ally Sloper: His Life and Times is the definitive history of the first ongoing British comics hero, covering the publications, the artists, the stageplay, and the merchandise of the character who became hugely popular in Victorian and Edwardian times. The multi-media star of his day! 

The other book, Sugar Plums and Tootletum: The Work of C.H. Ross is the biography of the creator of Ally Sloper and reveals the many other works that he wrote and created. Both books are well illustrated throughout with scans of very rare covers and other items.

Alan Clark always reseraches his subjects thoroughly and these are essential purchases for fans of the history of comics. The print run will be small so hurry for your copies, avalable as a pair from Alan's eBay page at this link... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/224613543634

I had a go at drawing Ally Sloper myself a few years ago, just for fun. Here's the result...

 

 

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

New interview on YouTube

Screen grab ©Leonard Sultana.
 

I did three video interviews last Saturday at the Meanwhile in Coventry festival. Here's one of them on Leonard Sultana's YouTube channel. After 18 months of barely seeing anyone my voice was wearing a bit thin after talking all day but I hope it comes across ok....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5ycQyt7RLs

Thanks to Leonard for the interview. Don't forget to like and subscribe to his channel to see more interviews he posts with other comics people in the future!

Sunday, 19 September 2021

MEANWHILE... a highlight of the year

Coventry Cathedral yesterday.

After two years without comics conventions (due to the pandemic, if you're reading this in the far future) it was a pleasure to attend the Meanwhile... In Coventry festival yesterday as one of the guests. I'm still cautious about traveling any distance by train now that many people have abandoned masks or respect for personal space (in other words, abandoned common sense) but as Coventry was only half an hour away on my local bus route I thought I'd go for it.

I arrived at the venue around 9am, which was a spacious tent erected in the ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral. (In case you didn't know, the old Cathedral was bombed in WW2 and they've kept the remaining ruins as a tourist spot and for quiet contemplation.) I've wandered through those grounds many times during my life but never expected to attend a comics convention there! As it turned out, it proved to be an ideal venue, - in good weather at least. Thankfully yesterday was mostly a day of glorious sunshine and the well ventilated tent provided lots of light and fresh air. 

My table was situated alongside my good friends Marc Jackson and Rachael Smith. Across he way were more friends, Laura Howell and Sonia Leong, and elsewhere familar faces such as Nick Brokenshire, John Higgins, Al Ewing, Ian Churchill, Kev F Sutherland, Tony Lee, Colin Mathieson and many more. Over the road in the Herbert Art Gallery were Shane Chebsey, Sam Morgan, and Chris Ball doing their live stream interviews for the ICE podcast. Leonard Sultana was also there filming interviews for his podcast and it was great to see Jeff Chahal of the NICE comic con drop in for a visit. Yes, comic conventions had returned and the positive vibe throughout the day was tangible. 

Artist Sonia Leong.
 
Minnie the Minx artist Laura Howell

Attendance from visitors was steady but not packed, but that's often the case at new events, and no doubt the pandemic played a part too. I think we all appreciated it being comfortable rather than rammed under the circumstances. There were lots of visitors throughout the day though, with many enjoying the sun in the outdoor activities and strolling over to the Herbert gallery where more exhibitors were situated. 

 

My thanks to Simon Mayers and his team for putting on such a well organised event that provided a genuine boost for us all after two years without shows. I hope it proved a success and, I hope, showed what Coventry has to offer in this year being its turn as City of Culture. 

Artist Rachael Smith with her partner Rob.
Cartoonist Marc Jackson, also the organiser of Macc-Pow!

This is most likely to be the only comics event I'll attend this year. As situations are so uncertain these days I don't know when my next one will be but I'll always appreciate the lift that Meanwhile... In Coventry gave me. Definitely one of the few highlights of the past two years.

With fellow creators Rachael Smith and Marc Jackson

Links:

Meanwhile festival Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/meanwhilefestival

Sonia Leong's website:

http://www.fyredrake.net/  

Laura Howell's website:

https://www.laurahowell.co.uk/ 

Rachael Smith's website:

https://www.rachaelsmith.org/ 

Marc Jackson's Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/marcmakescomics/

Shane Chebsey's ICE Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/ICECOMICON 

Leonard Sultana's Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/anenglishmaninsandiego 

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Wednesday, 15 September 2021

MEANWHILE... on Saturday...

It's going to feel very strange setting off for a comic convention again after two years but I'll be in Coventry on Saturday for the Meanwhile comics festival! Feeling a bit anxious about it but at the same time excited to see my comics pals again.

Here's the floor plan of where you'll find me, in the grounds of the old Coventry Cathedral at table No.8. (Saturday only. I won't be there on Sunday but other guests will.) There's been a slight change since the floor plan was designed and you'll find Rachael Smith on the table next to mine now. 

I'll be bringing along some of the remaining stock of my comics (Derek the Troll, Combat Colin 2 and 3) and a few issues of The77. I'll also be available all day for A4 size sketches on request.

Admission is FREE *but* you'll need to download a ticket first from their website. A safety policy will be in place so you'll be asked to wear a mask when inside the venues and respect social distancing. It's going to feel different to the pre-pandemic days but we'll still have fun! See you there!

https://www.meanwhilefestival.com/

Click to enlarge map.



Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Your next Daft Preview!

This Thursday sees another issue of Doctor Who Magazine hit the stands and amongst its packed content you'll find another Daft Dimension mini-strip by me. There's a little preview above featuring the Master! What's his Master-plan? Find out in Doctor Who Magazine No.569, available from WH Smith and comic stores from Thursday 16th September!