Friday 29 August 2014

Beano preview

Ivy the Terrible skips next week's Beano but the tiny tot of terror will be back the week after. However, Lord Snooty continues his run and here's a preview of next Wednesday's strip. Above is the original artwork before I scanned it into Photoshop to add solid blacks and colour and tidy up the art...

...and here's the finished version. After which it was e-mailed to DC Thomson and the word balloons were added by the comic's designers based on the script I supplied. 

Ok, showing you one unlettered panel doesn't exactly tell you much about the joke does it? Find out what's going on when you read the full strip in The Beano next Wednesday, September 3rd.  

Bid on Syd!

I have one of my old Viz pages up on eBay at present. The original artwork to a complete Suicidal Syd page. Black ink on Bristol Board. The auction ends this Sunday (31st August). All bids welcome!

Click HERE to visit my eBay site. 

Monday 25 August 2014

Sheer Terror!

What's Ivy the Terrible's dad reacting to? What has The Beano's infant terrible done now? Buy The Beano this Wednesday to see the full story! 

Sunday 24 August 2014

Suburban Satanists!

Looking through some old files I came across a strip I hadn't thought about for a while. Suburban Satanists! I created this strip about a family of dysfunctional devil worshippers in 1997 for Geek, a Norwegain comic. Geek folded after a few issues but Suburban Satanists was picked up a year or so later to continue in Egmont's Herman Hedning anthology comic, published in Sweden and Norway (and Finland too I think). 

The strip ran for four (later five) pages an issue and was a regular feature until about 2004, so there are a lot of pages. It also had a one-off book in Norway in 2003. I own the rights to the strip and have all the artwork so one of these days I really must get it published in English language editions. 

I spend all my time focused on freelancing for various comics, and that's what pays the bills of course, but I do need to try and set time aside to get my own characters back into print: Combat Colin, Suburban Satanists, Derek the Troll, Brickman... 

Every year I promise myself I'll self-publish those old strips but I never get around to it. I will... one of these days! 

Saturday 23 August 2014

Sheffield next Saturday!

Just a quick reminder that next Saturday (August 30th) I'll be a guest at the Sheffield Film and Comic Con at the Motorpoint Arena. The event runs for Saturday and Sunday but I'll be attending on Saturday only, and will be at my table doing sketches and signing comics (and selling copies of Brickman Begins!) so I hope to see a few of you there! 

Here's the event website for more details, ticket prices, travel info etc:

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Life's a beach!

Whenever appropriate for the story, it's traditional in British comics to have the strips reflect the time of year they're set in. The idea being that it helps the reader identify with them more. This week, it just so happens that strips in two of the comics I work for both have beach holiday themes. 

In Toxic No.242, Team Toxic face the Holiday Horrors of the Beach Bum! A giant monster bottom made of sand! 

In The Beano No.3748, Lord Snooty has a day at the beach with his pals Liz, Scrapper Smith, and Big Fat Joe. 

Typically, in reality the weather's turned a but chilly this week but summer lives on in the pages of the comics! 

Toxic is published by Egmont. A 48 page bumper edition plus a bag of gifts for £3.99.

The Beano is published by DC Thomson. 36 pages plus a bag of gifts for £2.99.

Ivy the Terrible mini-comic, - free!

This week The Beano official website has my latest Ivy the Terrible online for you to read for free! Simply go to the website and click on the 'Issuu Clip' window, then follow the arrows to open the little Ivy digital mini-comic! (Works on a PC and Mac but not on the iPad, sorry.)

Script by John Anderson, artwork by me. Hope you enjoy it! (And don't forget that the latest issue of The Beano is out today!)

Monday 18 August 2014

New strip for Doctor Who Magazine!

There's a new issue of Doctor Who Magazine out this Thursday (21st August) and I'm very pleased to announce that I have a new strip starting in there!

Doctor Who Magazine has a long history of featuring humour mini-strips, dating right back to the ones by Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett in the 1980s. I'm excited and proud to be the latest cartoonist invited to join the TARDIS as part of the official magazine of one of my favourite TV shows. 

It's a great issue in which to jump on board, because the new series of Doctor Who begins on BBC 1 on Saturday (7.50pm) so the magazine is getting a big push with 100 pages for this issue and a free double-sided poster. Plus loads of features and the beginning of the 12th Doctor's comic strip adventures. (I'll be covering more of the content on my Blimey! blog in a day or two.)

I remember when Marvel UK's intention to publish Doctor Who Weekly (as it was then) was first announced by Dez Skinn at a comic convention in Birmingham in 1979. I've been buying it on and off (mainly on) ever since, and I've been watching the TV show since its beginnings, so I'm chuffed to now be working on a strip for the mag. 

Doctor Who Magazine No.477 will be in shops on 21st August, priced £5.99. Enter the TARDIS and plunge into The Daft Dimension

Visit the official DWM website here:

Sunday 17 August 2014

Ivy causes chaos in the kitchen

Here's an advance preview of the second Ivy the Terrible strip I drew, which presumably will appear in The Beano this coming Wednesday. It's Ivy in the kitchen! What happens next? Poor Mum! Ivy's nickname isn't 'Terrible' for nothing! 

Thursday 14 August 2014

Extra Team Toxic!

There's an extra helping of Team Toxic this month as the Toxic Annual 2015 has just been published! Although Toxic magazine has been running since 2002 this is the very first time Egmont have issued an annual for the title.

The hardback book is mostly features and puzzles, but there are some strip pages in there including a brand new four page Team Toxic story that I was commissioned to do. As you can see from the preview above, the evil Techno Troll has created a new monster, - a being composed of ten million bogies!

There's also a reprint of a two page Team Toxic strip I did a few years ago, so six pages of my stuff in there in total. I'll be going into more detail about the book on my Blimey! blog tomorrow. 

Toxic Annual 2015. RRP £7.99

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Terrible Day!

Today's the day that Ivy the Terrible returns to The Beano! A brand new series of weekly half page strips begins, written by John Anderson and drawn by me. Ivy's a great character to draw and I'm really enjoying this strip. 

This week's Beano also features another Lord Snooty mini-strip by me, which guest-stars Fatty from The Bash Street Kids...

I also wrote and supplied the artwork for a puzzle page this issue called Swot Down! (A much better title than the one I suggested - 'Real or Rubbish'.) Cuthbert Cringeworthy goes up against Walter the Softy, and they were fun to draw but the bit I enjoyed most was drawing the legendary Big Eggo, - The Beano's original cover star! 

The Beano No.3747 - out now! £2.

Life of a freelancer

New characters? Nah, just doodlin'.

As every freelancer knows, life is often a case of "feast or famine". Sometimes work can be thin on the ground for months, then a stack of commissions come along all at once. It's like waiting for a bus and then three turn up, except in comics the delays aren't caused by road works in the next town and you don't have to make small talk about the weather.

I'm pleased to say that work has picked up considerably recently. I have quite a  few things to do for DC Thomson's  The Beano at present, plus annual pages still to do. Team Toxic is continuing in Egmont's Toxic magazine at 2 pages an issue. I have a brand new strip starting in a popular magazine next week, and... I've just been commissioned for work on an American comic! All-new material of my own creation as a back up in a few of the issues. I'll reveal more about that at a later date but I'm really excited to be on board.

Of course, there are always some who try to kick you when you're down, and they did, and it got to me, and it didn't help matters. But I'm still here, and they're still where they are. I know where I'd rather be. 

I'm also enjoying getting back into the convention scene this year. That's changed a lot over the years. Time was when we'd have one Con a year, and not see most of our colleagues until the next year. Now that there are so many events I think it's creating even more of a united comics community and allowing more friendships to develop. Which is great, because no matter how many friends you have outside of comics it's good to have solid friendships within the industry too, if only to yak about what pens we use. The next event I'll be a guest at will be the Sheffield Film and Comic Con on August 30th.

Anyway, lots to do, so I'm off to bed to get up bright and early tomorrow, springing to my drawing board like a gazelle. Ok, maybe not quite like that. 

Monday 11 August 2014

Ivy the Terrible: inks and colours

As I've mentioned previously, I'm drawing a new series of Ivy the Terrible half page strips that begins in The Beano this week. I'm really enjoying working from John Anderson's scripts and it's a good, fun strip. 

Of course you'll only see the finished version in the comic so I thought you might be interested to see a panel scanned from my original art. (Click on the image to see it in more detail.) On the right is the completed version which I coloured in Photoshop.

You can read the full story in the next issue of The Beano, on sale on Wednesday!

Friday 8 August 2014

The Amazin' Spider-Guy

One of the wonderful things about Oink! comic was the flexibility of its format. It had its regular characters but it also featured many one-off strips. This was a perfect opportunity for contributors to experiment and to produce ideas that may not have had longevity but packed a punch for a stand alone story.

One such strip was The Amazin' Spider-Guy; a half pager I did for Oink! No.34, dated 8th to 31st August 1987. Obviously it's a parody of Spider-Man, and I really enjoyed doing my spin on Marvel's hero. I'm sure the gags would have worn thin if it had become a series, but it was intended as a self-contained strip.

If you'd like to see more strips from this issue of Oink! head over to Phil Boyce's brilliant Oink! Blog:  

Also from that issue, I've posted a two page collaboration between Mike Higgs and myself called The Case of the Kidnapped Celebrities. Read it on my Blimey! blog here:

Cuthbert Cringeworthy!

Another of my puzzle pages appears in The Beano next week and this one features Cuthbert Cringeworthy and Walter. Cuthbert is the swot of Bash Street School who sometimes appears in the strip. Yes, he bears a remarkable likeness to Teacher! I'd never drawn him before, and he was perfect for the activity page I had in mind so I thought I'd use him. 

See the full page with other illustrations I did in The Beano next Wednesday. That same issue also sees the start of my new Ivy the Terrible half pagers plus another Lord Snooty mini-strip.

Never Be Without A Beano!

Thursday 7 August 2014

Into the unknown

As I mentioned the other day, my new series of Ivy the Terrible starts in The Beano next week (on August 13th). The week after that I have another new strip beginning. Something brand new. Not in The Beano, but elsewhere. 

I can't say what it is yet, although some of you know if you were talking to me at the ICE event last weekend. (Shhh! No spoilers please.) However, here's a photo of the pencil and pens I drew it with. (Yeah, fat lot of good that is, I know.) It's a strip I'm really excited about and I'll reveal the details soon!

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Snooty at the fair

It's the summer holidays, so this week Lord Snooty goes to the fair in the mini-strip I did for the latest Beano. I actually e-mailed this strip in to the office on April 4th but of course we sometimes work quite a bit in advance. There'll be another seaside-themed Snooty strip coming up in a week or two.

The Beano No.3746, on sale now! Only £2.00. 

Monday 4 August 2014

Bash Street Plus

I did a few puzzle pages for The Beano a while ago and the first of them will be in this week's issue, on sale Wednesday. It features a few of The Bash Street Kids plus several other Beano stars. Great fun to draw such classic characters! Here's one of the illustrations I did for the page. 

The Beano. Still only £2. 

Sunday 3 August 2014

Back from Birmingham

I really enjoyed ICE the International Comic Expo yesterday in Birmingham. After being away from the convention scene for a while it's a good feeling to get back into it this year and, as always, very rewarding to talk to readers and sketch for them. Thanks to everyone who dropped by my table.

Although I took a camera along I didn't get around to taking any photographs so for once this is a photo-free report I'm afraid. However, I'd like to give a namecheck to some of my fellow guests and attendees who made the weekend a lot of fun: Mike Collins, Bryan Talbot, David Leach, Phil Clarke, Yishan Li, Dylan Teague, Jessica Martin, Steve Pugh, Laura Howell, Emma Viecelli, David Lloyd, Phil Winslade, Dave Taylor, Patrick Chaduc, Tony Lee, Cavan Scott, Martin Cater, Rufus Dayglo, David Roach, Tim Pilcher, John McCrea, Steve Tanner and family, and many more.

Special thanks of course to Shane Chebsey and his team for putting on the event! If it wasn't for people like Shane and other show organizers we wouldn't have such an active comics community in this country. The best thing about it was its friendly, relaxed atmosphere due to it being attended by some of the nicest people in the industry. ICE was definitely a cool place to be. 

Friday 1 August 2014

Ivy's back!

Beano subscribers will probably find out any day now so I thought I'd mention that the new strip I'm drawing for the comic is Ivy the Terrible, and she's scheduled to start in The Beano dated August 16th (on sale August 13th).

Regular readers will remember Ivy the Terrible as a 1980s character who has been revived several times over the years. I even did a fill-in strip myself several years ago. 

The new series will be half page strips and the scripts I've been getting are full of slapstick fun and a delight to draw. 

My Lord Snooty mini-strip will also continue in The Beano for another month or so, and I'm also writing/drawing another mini-strip featuring an old favourite that will begin in a few weeks. 

Never Be Without A Beano! Every Wednesday. £2.00.