Friday 27 September 2013

Still waiting for those Mad Cows

There have been numerous comics over the years that reached the ideas stage and never progressed further for one reason or another. Odhams' sixth 'Power Comic' Spitfire, Marvel's original 1960s Starhawk, Oink spin-off It's Potty... and even my own Mad Cows from Mars

Mad what from where? Back in 1997 I self-published the Combat Colin Summer Special 1967 (produced in '97, set 30 years earlier) and within its pages I announced that my next project would be Mad Cows from Mars, "Coming in '98 - or maybe 1999". (See the ad from that issue, reproduced above.)

Due to my professional strip work and various other commitments I never did get around to doing it, so all that exists was the published promotional artwork shown here. Maybe one day I'll find the time to develop it further. What do you think? 

Tuesday 24 September 2013

It's Affable Alan Moore!

Hard to believe it's been ten years since Gary Millidge and the enigmatically named Smoky Man put together a very enjoyable book entitled Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman in celebration of Alan's 50th birthday. I knew Alan quite well in the 1980s and he helped me get started in comics (as well as giving my Brickman comics a boost when he was writing a review column for The Daredevils) so I was very pleased to be asked to contribute. The book is now out of print, so Smoky Man is posting some pages from it on his blog AlanMooreWorld, including the strip I did. It's loosely based on a true story y'know! 

To see other pages from the book, and to keep up with all the news about Alan's career you can visit the excellent alanmooreworld blog here:

Sunday 22 September 2013

Coco-Pops Cartoons

Being a freelance artist often brings in unexpected jobs that make a fun diversion from the regular material. (Not that the regular material isn't fun too of course.) One such job came my way in (I think) 2005 when I was commissioned to draw cartoons for Kellogg's Coco-Pops breakfast cereal. 

The client wanted a couple of puzzle pics. One, a double-page spread similar to the 'Funny Find-It' spreads I did for Know How magazine, and the other a spot-the-difference cartoon. The cartoons featured the Kelloggs characters, which had to be drawn accurately.

I can't remember now what they were actually printed in. I think they were for a giveaway mini-mag but I never saw a copy. (If anyone out there has one, please let me know.) 

Anyway, I thought you might like to see the artwork, first in the pencil stage (which I had to send off for approval) and then the finished art.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Prehistoric Pencil Art!

For a while in the late 1980s/early 1990s I used to pencil my pages onto thin paper, then trace the finished version in ink onto Bristol Board via the glow of a Lightbox. Eventually I went back to just penciling and inking on the same board as I found using the Lightbox a bit of a strain on the eyes. 

I threw away most of my penciled pages once the inked versions saw print, but I did keep some. Case in point the penciled page for a chapter of Combat Colin's Prehistoric Adventure that appeared in The Transformers No.280 (28th July 1990). 

I don't sell my inked Combat Colin pages but I am selling this penciled version on eBay at present. (Auction ends tomorrow, Sept.22nd). I know some collectors like to see the pencil art so they can see the construction of the strip. If you're interested, visit my eBay page by clicking here

And if you're curious to how the finished version turned out, here it is:

Friday 20 September 2013

Alistair Sadgitt and Rogue Rover

Twenty years ago I used to produce a few comic strips for an independently produced fanzine dedicated to The Prisoner TV series, the excellent, thought-provoking 1960s drama starring Patrick McGoohan as 'Number Six'. The humour of my strips was a bit brutal in places, poking fun at, shall we say, the more eccentric side of fandom. 

Alistair Sadgitt embodied the sort of obsessive fan that every hobby attracts at times. Most fans/hobbyists are nothing like that of course but we all know one or two that are, from comics to football, they're out there. Way out there!

My other strip, Rogue Rover, told the story of one of the strange 'Rover' guards (or "that big balloon" as most people called it) as seen in The Prisoner. 

Both strips appeared in the Birmingham-produced fanzine Camera Obscura in 1993/94, and I collected them into a couple of self-published mini-comics in the year 2000. The print runs of all of them were very small so very few people have seen them. Here's a few examples. Some are a bit in-jokey so if you've never seen the TV series you might miss a few gags but I hope you enjoy them. Click on each image to enlarge it to make it easier to read.

If you're interested in The Prisoner TV series be sure to bookmark The Unmutual Website, a free online resource for Prisoner-related articles and news. You can find it here: 

Saturday 14 September 2013

The new Viz Annual

This year's Viz Annual has just arrived today. Continuing with it's traditional risqué titles, this one is The Camel's Toe, collecting selected material from Viz Nos.202 to 211. With 160 pages packed with strips and satirical features it's worth every penny of the £10.99 R.R.P. (although no doubt you'll find it cheaper if you shop around).

There's a Suicidal Syd page in there that I did, and like many Viz strips it features over 20 panels on a page. (So when some people say how comics today aren't value for money, point 'em towards Viz.)

Viz: The Camel's Toe. Dennis Publishing. £10.99. ISBN 1-78106-245-5 

Cover by Simon Thorp

Friday 13 September 2013

Combat Cut-Outs

Every now and then, when I was doing my Combat Colin strip for Marvel UK, I'd do something a bit different with the page. Just for some Friday Fun (or Anyday Amusement if you're reading this another day) here's one of 'em, from The Transformers No.262 in the late 1980s.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

New strips a'comin'!

I've just had my proposals for two brand new mini-strip series approved for The Beano and they should start in the comic sometime in October or November. I can't reveal any more about them yet but they're all-new strips, not revivals of old characters. They're likely to have short runs of six weeks or so as The Beano likes to keep things fresh these days. Two episodes are already drawn (there's one masked out above) and I'm looking forward to setting to work on the rest. More news soon! 

Monday 9 September 2013

Spider-Man and Captain Pimply!

My thanks again to those of you who bid on my artwork last week. All the items have sold and will be posted off this week. I've now listed a few more pages on eBay including a Mini-Marvels strip featuring Spider-Man that I did for Panini UK and a 1987 Pete and his Pimple strip from Oink! where Pete reads a Brickman comic and dreams of being the superhero Captain Pimply! This was the spotty superhero's only appearance. I should have done more. Maybe I will one day. 

There's also an early Tom Thug page from Oink! which features the very first appearance of Wayne Brayne, a later Tom Thug page from Buster in full colour, and a Robo-Capers strip from Transformers. (I don't have many Robo-Capers originals left now so I'm not sure how many more I'll list.)

If you'd like to own some of my original artwork, visit my eBay page here to see more details and photos of the pages on offer. Good luck!

Saturday 7 September 2013

Brats, Sharks, Thugs and more

I have a few more pages of my original artwork on eBay again this week. This time there's a Vampire Brats colour page from Buster, a Tom Thug page from Oink!, a fairground spread from Toxic, and a Pathetic Sharks page from Viz.

You'll find the listing here. Bidding ends on Sunday, and all bids are welcome. Good luck!

Wednesday 4 September 2013

The Giggly Sisters!

When I was doing the Combat Colin strip I started to introduce a few supporting characters who would occasionally turn up in the stories. Two of which were the Giggly Sisters, identical twins who became the regular girlfriends of Colin and Semi-Automatic Steve. (They also later became a bit more proactive than just being, well, giggly.)

This is their first appearance (I think) from The Transformers No.196, December 1988.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this anywhere before but the Giggly Sisters were originally inspired by the Pigeon Sisters in the 1968 movie The Odd Couple

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Smasher logo

I'm still working away on pages for the annuals. I won't show any full panels just yet as it'll be almost another 12 months before they're in the shops, so plenty of time for a few previews closer to the publication date. 

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at a logo I did for one of my Smasher pages for The Dandy Annual 2015. It's always fun to do a title design for a strip. Hope you like it.