Wednesday 30 April 2014

This week's Rasher preview

Here's a clipping from the Rasher strip I did for this week's Beano (on sale now). One thing I like about doing stuff for The Beano is that it's a shared universe (or shared Beanotown at any rate) so I get the chance to put characters in from other strips. This week, Bones from Pup Parade guest stars again.

As Rasher can only be seen to speak to other animals, not humans, it's useful to have various Beano pets turn up from time to time. Bones and a couple of other Bash Street Dogs will also be seen with Rasher in this year's Beano Annual (on sale from July).  

Tuesday 29 April 2014

I am not a number...

...I'm a free cartoonist. Or at least I was the day I did this drawing for charity. It was sold at the PM2005 event 9 years ago, a convention for enthusiasts of the 1960s The Prisoner TV series. The event took place in Portmeirion in North Wales, where the outdoor locations for the series were filmed. A good time was had by all and all the profits went to the Ty Gobaith Hope House Children's Hospice

You can read more about the event here:

And if you're a fan of The Prisoner, bookmark The Unmutual Website for information:

Friday 25 April 2014

Mini Marvels

One of my most enjoyable gigs was being commissioned by Panini UK in 2006 to write/draw new Mini Marvels when they'd reprinted all of Chris Giarruso's strips in Rampage. I only did a few before Rampage was revamped, then cancelled, but I was then asked to do a second run in 2008 for the Spectacular Spider-Man comic.

I showed a few on this blog last year, and here's another one above, pencil rough and finished inked art. I had to 'ghost' Chris' chubby character style to an extent, but it was still fun to be drawing Spider-Man for Marvel! 

And, seen for the first time, here's one that didn't get approved, so I didn't draw it beyond the pencil rough stage...

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Beano boost

Here's a panel from my latest Rasher strip that's in today's Beano. I've enjoyed drawing the fat pig over the three series it's run but I sent off my final one this week. Yes, Rasher's having a rest, and the last one will appear in June. 

All is not doom and gloom though. I'm still doing another mini-strip for the weekly, and hopefully that will be starting soon. Also, I have a lot of pages to write and draw for next year's annuals. The first scripts have been approved and I'll be drawing The Smasher tomorrow for The Dandy Annual 2016.

On a wider scale, I was pleased to read that thanks to the recent free special issue in the Mail on Sunday, The Beano's sales have increased 25%! It's also gained 1,400 new subscribers. Proof that if more kids are aware of the comic, more will buy it! Never Be Without A Beano!

Sunday 20 April 2014

Tom Thug's Easter: Buster 1992

Detail from original art. 
'Appy Easter, as Tom Thug might say. Here's the Easter Tom Thug strip I did from Buster comic of 22 years ago this week...

...and if you're interested in buying the actual original artwork for that page, I have it up for auction on eBay right now:

Happy bidding, and Happy Easter!

Saturday 19 April 2014

At last, a Toxic Annual!

I didn't want to mention it until the publisher broke the news but now that the book is on Amazon I can tell you that there will be a Toxic Annual out later this year. Although Toxic magazine has been published regularly since 2002, there has never been an annual before! 

I've written and drawn a brand new 4 page Team Toxic strip for the book, featuring the Team up against Techno Troll (above) and Butt-Face!

More info about Toxic Annual 2015 on my other blog:

Friday 18 April 2014

Original Viz artwork

There's just one piece of my artwork on eBay this weekend, but it's a special festive illustration I did several years ago for a Christmas issue of Viz. It features various Viz characters. In fact it's the only time I've drawn some of them, such as Roger Mellie, Gilbert Ratchett, Nobby's Piles, Fat Slags, etc. 

Remember, Viz is for adults only so the cartoon is a bit rude in places! Don't bid if you're easily offended or a child. And if you are a child, what are you doing with an eBay account you fraud? Off to the draughty step with no jam butties and a ban on your Z-Box, (or however naughty kids are dealt with these days). 

If you are interested in bidding on this illustration, here's where to go:

Good luck! Auction ends on Sunday.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Behold... Fartacus!

Kids who like gross humour in comics (which is a lot, according to sales figures) will hopefully enjoy the debut of a new baddie in my Team Toxic strip this week. Fartacus is his name, and his deadly bottom-burps have made him the champion of the arena on Planet Stinky!

It all begins when Bog, Team Toxic's resident living poo, is abducted by a UFO to fight in the galactic farting games. Don't miss Slave of Planet Stinky in Toxic No.236, on sale now! 40 pages of features and fun plus gifts for just £2.99. (Although check your receipts as the WH Smith I bought mine from rang up £3.99 on the til until I challenged them about it. They blamed the barcode.)  

Rasher Returns

After being absent for the last two issues, my Rasher mini-strip returns to The Beano today. I'm not sure why it skipped a couple of issues. Replaced by an ad? Squeezed out by Beano fun-power overload? Anyway, the pig is back! Hopefully he'll stick around now until the end of his run.

The latest issue of Britain's longest-running comic, The Beano, is out now. £2.00.   

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Looking ahead

Work on the comic annuals has always been done way in advance due to various scheduling reasons including printing. All the strips for the 2015 dated annuals were completed last summer, even though they won't be out until July to September of this year. 

Today, I was commissioned to produce a bunch of pages for the Dandy Annual 2016 and three for the Beano Annual 2016. Yes, 2016 cover dates, - books that won't be in the shops until late summer next year! Stories that many readers won't actually see until Christmas Day 2015, if they have the annuals as Christmas presents. 

I won't reveal any more at present as I've yet to write the scripts, then they have to be approved before I set to work drawing them. However, it's shaping up to be a very busy time over the next six weeks so if I don't get the chance to update my two blogs very often you'll know why. I'm sure you're as pleased as I am to hear that although the weekly Dandy was axed in 2012, the annual still survives.

In the meantime, above is a quick glimpse of Smasher, back in the next Dandy Annual! 

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Second chance to buy Brats

The Vampire Brats page of original artwork I put on eBay last week didn't sell so I'm offering it once more. Full page complete story, black ink on Bristol Board. The actual art used for an issue of Buster in the late 1980s.

Starting bid £15. Good luck! 

Sunday 6 April 2014

He must be Joe King!

If you buy today's Mail on Sunday with its free 32 page all-new Beano you won't find any strips by me in there unfortunately BUT you will find a series of little vignette head drawings that I did, running along the foot of several pages. It's the return of Joe King to The Beano, and recently I was commissioned to supply numerous head shots of the character to accompany the joke strips that now appear at the end of each story. 

They use six of those drawings in the free issue, and I presume you can expect to see the others over the coming weeks in the regular Beano. I've noticed that reader surveys often show they'd prefer more jokes in the comic so this is a good way of including them without taking up a page. Reminds me of the gags that would run across the foot of some pages in the early issues of Wham! Sure, some of those jokes aren't exactly new to us, but for The Beano's young readership they'll be as fresh as a daisy.

As an aside, it reminds me that I can still clearly remember the first joke I was told, 50 years ago at infant school. Yep, it was the old "Why did the chicken cross the road" gag. Told to me by classmate Dave Gadsby, in the playground. I was five years old. I thought it was hilarious. Like most of us, I soon took jokes for granted, especially when the same ones kept rolling around, but the memory of that first one still remains. That gag was ancient even by 1964, but I guess when you're that young, every joke is someones first! 

Thursday 3 April 2014

The 7 Ages of Fan

Thanks to Alex De Campi for reminding me on Twitter yesterday of this cartoon I did back in 1998. It was drawn for the con booklet of that year's United Kingdom Comic Art Convention (UKCAC) and auctioned off for charity. I can't remember who bought it, but if you're out there, thanks!

Speaking of Alex, check out her current comic series Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight from Dark Horse. Good trashy adult comic horror! The latest issue (Flesh Feast of the Devil Doll) features artwork by Gary Erskine, so what's not to like?