Friday 20 December 2013

Stocking Stuffers

If you still have a few presents to buy, don't forget that The Dandy Annual and The Beano Annual are still in the shops (if you're lucky). Both contain all-new full-colour strips of the familiar favourites. For my own small contribution I drew Biffo the Bear for the Beano book, and The Smasher and Keyhole Kate for the Dandy Annual. I really enjoyed drawing those classic characters. 

If you're looking for a comic annual for an older reader, and one who doesn't mind a bit of swearing and social comment, then Viz: The Camel's Toe is right up your street. 160 pages collecting strips and features from Viz Nos. 202 to 211. 

The Dandy Annual and The Beano Annual are £7.99 each, whilst the Viz book is £10.99, but you'll easily find them discounted in shops or online.  

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Tom Thug - Christmas Fairy

Photo Copyright © Andy Hall 2013
For the 1987 Christmas issue of Oink! I produced a cut-out Christmas fairy for readers to decorate their Christmas trees with. And what better choice of fairy could there be than to humiliate the comic's resident bully Tom Thug? 

Reader Andy Hall (who these days is a contributor to Starburst magazine) has been adorning the top of his Christmas tree with it every year since then - and he posted that photo above on Twitter to show that the skinhead fairy is still going strong and Tom is still scowling 25 years later. Ah if only bullies in real life could be humiliated so easily eh? 

My thanks to Andy for the photo, and if you want to make your own Tom Thug fairy here's the page from that old issue of Oink!

Monday 16 December 2013

Christmas Comic Card 2001

I've drawn a few self-created Christmas cards over the years and in 2001 I thought I'd design it as a comic. Only a two page comic admittedly - front and back of the card - but with a few mini-strips. I was still relatively new to using the computer for design back then but it turned out ok I think. The plan was to do a new Comic Card every Christmas but I never did so here's the one and only edition! 

Saturday 14 December 2013

Know How!

I've been commissioned to draw some odd things in my time and one of the strangest was this robot for Know How! magazine in 2002. 

Know How! was a lighthearted educational / activity magazine for young children which was published by Egmont UK. To appeal to modern kids the tone was cheekier and more irreverent than educational mags of the past and was more like Horrible Histories than Look and Learn. So when the editor wanted a cutaway illustration of how the body works she sent me a rough and asked for the figure to be drawn as a glass robot and for the 'gross' factors to be included. And yes - that meant they wanted the robot to have a willy - but as he was a robot it should be in the form of a water tap. 

This illustration spanned a two page spread in Know How! No.5. This is my art before the text was added. The mag was always great to work for as you'd never know what you'd be asked to draw next!

Sunday 8 December 2013

Introducing... Doctor Flu!

As the news has already been revealed in the Christmas Beano that subscribers have now received I thought I'd show an image of my new mini-strip, Doctor Flu, that will begin in The Beano in the New Year. (I understand it starts in the issue on sale January 9th.)

As you can guess, it's basically a Doctor Who type with the flu, on an adventure in space and time with coughs and sneezes for six self-contained episodes. I really enjoyed doing this strip and I'm looking forward to it appearing in print. 

Friday 6 December 2013

A Combat Classic

For some Friday fun here's a complete Combat Colin serial that ran in three issues of The Transformers back in 1990. (Specifically Nos.264 to 266, 7th to 21st April 1990.) As ever, click on the pages to see them much larger.

By this stage the strip had evolved from a half page gag to a full page format where I could do multi-part serials, introduce supporting characters and recurring villains and develop continuing sub plots. In short, it had become the sort of comedy-action strip that I always wanted to see in UK comics, influenced in part by the serial strips I read in the sixties such as Eagle Eye, The Cloak, and I-Spy.

Back then I was drawing the strips in pencil on thin paper, then tracing them in ink on a lightbox. I eventually gave up that technique as it's not easy on the eyes (plus you need to have the curtains drawn all day) but I recently found a few of those original pencil pages, still in great condition. 

I never sell my original finished art pages of Combat Colin but I am selling some of these pencil stage pages. I currently have all three parts of the pencils for this Deadly Duo serial on eBay if any of you are interested in purchasing them. Un-inked and with no dialogue, but they give you an insight into the construction of the strip, and it's still Combat Colin original art after all.

To see more photos of the pages (and other items I have listed this week) visit my eBay page by clicking here. This will be my last auction this year so I can avoid any delays with postage over Christmas. Bidding ends on Sunday (Dec.8th).

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Celebs, Robots, and Pranks

It's Wednesday, so there's a new Beano in the shops today. This week becomes the latest of the Celebs on a Sledge, there's a new Rubbish Robots in town, and I also illustrated another prank in the You've Been Pranked series. There are also lots of other strips from many other artists of course. If you haven't read The Beano for a few years, you might be surprised. It features a variety of art styles these days, both traditional and more unconventional. Give it a try.

Next week sees the arrival of the bumper Christmas Beano, so I'm not sure if I have anything in that issue. (I didn't do anything specifically Christmassy, but I suppose a Celebs on a Sledge might fit, with its snowy scenes. We'll see.) However, there's still two Rubbish Robots mini-strips to go, and three more Celebs to face their fates on those sledges, so they'll probably conclude in the New Year. Just in time for my new strip to begin, - closely followed by another. More news soon!

The Beano is out today, price £2, or even cheaper if you buy the digital edition via the Beano App. 

Tuesday 3 December 2013

New Team Toxic for 2014

The Christmas issue of Toxic is out today and it features a reprint of a Team Toxic strip I did several years ago. However, from the next issue I'll be doing all-new Team Toxic stories again for the mag. The usual format; two full colour pages of the Team up against bizarre villains and monsters. Here's a little preview of one of the panels above in a quiet moment before a brand new bad guy arrives on the scene!

Team Toxic began in Toxic issue 1, back in 2002. Originally I was only commissioned to write the strip (with John Rushby doing character designs and artwork). Then I was asked to take over the artwork as well from issue 15. The strip has appeared in every issue, although it's been reprint for the last 14 months or so. I'm very pleased to have been asked to return to the strip as Toxic embarks on its 12th year of publication. 

In the meantime, if you want to see one of my old Team Toxic strips, check out the Christmas issue of Toxic that's in the shops now! (See preview here).