Sunday 30 November 2014

Stikkums is go!

Stikkums, the new app that I told you about a few posts ago, is now approved by Apple and available to download for the iPad. As I mentioned before, the idea is Dan Whitehead's and I did all of the artwork, which was a very enjoyable job indeed. 

Stikkums is a behavioral reward app for kids, whereby parents set their children targets, to be rewarded with points they can use to 'buy' various character 'stickers'. There are 20 characters and two backgrounds per pack, that kids (or adults if you want a dabble) can use in unlimited scenarios. And yes, once you've unlocked a character you can use the same one if you wish multiple times. Build your own army! 

As it's all digital, the characters can be moved around the backgrounds at any time, flipped, rotated, resized, even coloured if you prefer a different colour scheme. You get the Knights pack free with the download, and other packs (Space and Monsters so far) to purchase at just 69p a pack.

Hopefully the success of Stikkums will lead to more work for me in creating more sticker packs, so if you have an iPad I'd appreciate you downloading the app. Find out more on the Stikkums website here:

Here's the link directly to the iTunes store to download the app:

All Stikkums artwork shown in this post is Copyright © The Zebra Partnership 2014.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Malta Comic Con

I hate letting people down, especially those who have gone out of their way to help me. Unfortunately due to a persistent bug I'm sorry to say I won't be flying over to Malta in the morning for the Malta Comic Con this weekend. 

I feel terrible letting down the organizers who have been so supportive of my work and promoting me online, and shouldering the finances of flight and hotel bookings. I also feel bad to let down any friends and readers who were hoping to see me there. It sounds like a great event and with temperatures still over 20 degrees C would have made a nice alternative to our winter climate. 

Yesterday, Malta Today published an interview with me that was conducted last week. All rather pointless now, but you can read it by clicking here if you wish.

I've also fallen behind schedule due to this bug so must press on with work now. My apologies to all concerned regarding the Malta Comic Con and I hope you guys have a great weekend.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Pete and His Pimple: the comic!

Back in 1987 I was commissioned by Oink! comic to produce a special 8 page Pete and His Pimple comic that would be a pull-out section in Oink! No.41. Because of the pagination of the comic, and the limitations of printing back then it meant that the cover would be in black and white unfortunately, - but the centre pages would be in full colour. However, I used this to my advantage because it meant the story began in black and white but then wham! there's the impact of a colour spread for the fight scene. 

I had a free hand in how the pull-out comic would look, so I thought I'd kick off with a gag cartoon on the cover, follow with a five page story, have a feature/daft puzzle section on page 7, and a spoof educational strip on the back page. I didn't want to draw the entire comic myself as I wanted it to be more like a proper UK comic, so I had Ed McHenry draw the puzzles, and asked my old pal Mike Higgs to draw the back page. 

As you can see, it's called Oink! Mini-Comic No.1. The intention was that other cartoonists would create following issues featuring their characters and the pull-out comics would be an occasional series. Sadly there were no more issues, but a few weeks later Oink! had a reduction in its page count so I would guess that was the reason. 

Anyway, if you want a trip down memory lane, or if you didn't see it way back when, Phil Boyce has posted the entire mini-comic on his fantastic Oink! Blog today. Take a look...

What's Ivy up to next week?

Here's an advance preview of the Ivy the Terrible strip I drew for the next issue of The Beano (on sale Wednesday 26th November). Ivy's mum wants her to eat fresh fruit... but that's not going to end well is it? Script by Stu Munro. 

I'm enjoying drawing these Ivy half pagers. As you all probably know, the character was created by ex-Beano editor Alan Digby and was originally drawn by Robert Nixon back in the 1980s, and several others have drawn her since. Bob Nixon designed a great character there and I hope my strips can do justice to his legacy. 

Monday 17 November 2014

Introducing... STIKKUMS!

Remember the top secret non-comics job I said I was working on? This is it. Stikkums is a new app that I did all the artwork for. Tons of individual character drawings to various themes (Knights, Monsters, and Space) and a set of appropriate backgrounds. 

Basically it's a 'reward app' for children. Parents set the goals (brush hair, eat meal, clean teeth, etc) and when they complete each task the kids are rewarded with points on the app which they can exchange for digital stickers. These character stickers (Stikkums) can then be placed on the backgrounds, similar to the Action Transfers of the 1970s. The advantage these digital stickers have over the old rub-down transfers is that they can be moved around, replaced, resized, flipped, and even coloured (if want a change from my original colours). Some Stikkums characters have blank face areas so kids can drop in photos of themselves. The characters aren't limited to their own scenarios, and you can have the Knights meeting Monsters in a spaceship background if you like, or a spaceman fighting a dragon in a castle for example. There are numerous possibilities that hopefully will keep kids entertained for hours. 

The Stikkums app is the brainchild of Dan Whitehead, who commissioned me to provide 20 characters per 'pack'. A really enjoyable gig, and more to come hopefully. 

The app should be launching soon on the iPad and Android, but for now if you want to learn more or see more of the artwork go to the Stikkums website:

Thursday 13 November 2014

Original comic art up for sale

I have a few of my old pages on eBay this week. This is the original artwork, not prints. I've noticed that some people sell prints on eBay's Original Comic Art listings and that's not on really. 

So, to clarify, the pages I sell are always the original hand drawn artworks in pen and ink, on Bristol Board. Not prints, not copies, not pages cut from the comics. 

This week there's a Tom Thug page from Oink!, a Pete's Pimple page from Buster, and a Suicidal Syd page from Viz. All bids are very much appreciated and the auctions end on Sunday 16th November, early evening. Good luck!

You'll find them here:

Tuesday 11 November 2014

In the shops this week...

I'm not in The Beano this week as an extra-length story meant some strips had to make way, but Ivy the Terrible will be back next week! However, there are still three other publications out this week that contain some strips I did. 

Toxic No.246, on sale Wednesday November 12th, sees The Return of Sick Squid (above) as he takes on Team Toxic in a two page story. 

Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out No.1 is a comic I told you about in my previous post (see here) and that will be in specialist comic shops on November 12th too. You've already seen a taster of the finished Kung-Fu Cheesecake strip I've done for the back page, but here's an exclusive look at it in the pencil stage in a photo I took while I was working on it...

Thursday November 13th sees the publication of Doctor Who Magazine No.480, which has my fourth Daft Dimension strip in there. I won't spoil the joke by showing you too much, so here's a close up of part of a panel...

I hope there's something amongst that lot which will interest you. Thanks as always for dropping by this blog! Comments are always appreciated. 

Friday 7 November 2014

Are you ready for Kung-Fu Cheesecake?

This coming Wednesday, November 12th 2014, sees Dark Horse Comics launch Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out No.1, an 8 issue sequel series to Grindhouse: Doors Open After Midnight. Once again the comic will feature twisted, over-the-top horror in the tradition of grindhouse cinema. Written by Alex de Campi, the 8 issue series comprises of four stories which will run for two issues each. 

...and on the back cover of issue 1, is Kung-Fu Cheesecake! Who? Whatcake? I was over the moon when Alex de Campi contacted me a while back and said she'd come up with a back-up idea for the comic, called Li'l House of Grind, which would spotlight a different single-page humour strip every issue. Alex commissioned me to create strips for issues 1, 2, 7, and 8. (Other creators will do the middle four issues.) 

The main brief was to keep it in the grindhouse theme, and I knew some grindhouse movies featured kung-fu so that was a possibility. I also knew some movies featured strong independent kick-ass women reacting against stereotyping. I also wanted to add a dollop of my daft humour of course, so... put 'em together and whaddaya got? Kung-Fu Cheesecake! A brand-new, one-off character making her debut in the first issue. I did the whole works, which I always enjoy: script, art, colouring, lettering. 

The strip for issue 2 is also done. A totally different, unrelated character. I'll reveal what that is next month. 

As I said, my strip will be on the back page. The main feature in the comic is Slay Ride by Alex de Campi and R.M.Guéra. You can read a six page preview of it here:

Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out No.1 is published by Dark Horse Comics on Nov.12th, priced $3.99. Mature readers only. As this is an American comic you won't find it in UK newsagents, but you will find it in comic speciality stores such as Forbidden Planet, Nostalgia and Comics, etc. Here's the cover to look out for: 
Cover by R.M. Guéra. From Alex de Campi's website.

I'm really pleased to be part of this comic as the first series of Grindhouse was a title I bought every month. Alex and the guys at Dark Horse have been a pleasure to work with and I'm looking forward to creating more creeped-out comics for issues 7 and 8! 

Alex de Campi's website:

Dark Horse Comics: 

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Today's Ivy

Here's a preview panel from the Ivy the Terrible strip I drew for this week's Beano. I haven't seen the issue myself yet as deadlines loom and I haven't time to go out, but you know the comic's going to be good. The Beano is always good. Never Be Without A Beano! Out now for a mere £2.20.