Tuesday 29 December 2015

My retrospective of 2015

A few of the titles I worked on in 2015.
Looking back at my workload over the past 12 months it's been an interesting year with some diverse jobs. At the start of 2015 I was still freelancing for The Beano on a short series of Joe King mini-strips and another series of Rasher
During the course of the year my Beano strips reached the end of their runs and I moved on to other work, but I hope to produce something new for the comic again in 2016. 
The year had begun with the appalling attack by terrorists on the Charlie Habbo satirical magazine's offices in Paris, leaving several of its staff and cartoonists murdered. The world's comics/cartoon community quickly showed solidarity by producing artwork to convey in whatever way we could our disgust at such a sub-human atrocity. This was my contribution...
I set up a new Facebook page early in the year which I'm pleased to say quickly attracted several hundred followers with more people discovering it every week. You'll find it at the following address and I'd be chuffed if you could give it a 'like'...
I had a change of pace by being commissioned to write an article on the Marvel UK Incredible Hulk stories for the Marvel Fact Files (issue 97). I've also done another article about Marvel UK for an upcoming issue of the partwork, so more news about that soon.
I continued to produce new Team Toxic strips for Toxic magazine throughout 2015 and I'm pleased to say that continues into next year. I've been working for Toxic since issue 1 way back in 2002 (apart from a period between 2012/13 when it used reprints of my work) and I still enjoy coming up with new villains for Team Toxic to clash with as well as reviving older baddies. Toxic is still the top selling boys' magazine in the UK with sales higher than most American comics.
Another regular strip is The Daft Dimension that appears in every issue of Doctor Who Magazine. It's really a privilege to be part of a magazine I've been reading since the first issue many years ago. More Daftness in 2016!
I was pleased to produce another brand new Combat Colin three-page story for the online comic Aces Weekly during 2015, and hope to do more next year. Aces Weekly features a fantastic range of talent from the UK and overseas and at £6.99 for seven issues is well worth buying. Check it out:
Combat Colin © 2015 Lew Stringer.
A pleasant surprise in late 2014 was being commissioned by top comics writer Alex De Campi and her editors at Dark Horse Comics to produce new self-contained comic-horror strips for the American comic Grindhouse. The brief was to create trash cinema type stories for a mature audience so I came up with Kung-Fu Cheesecake (vengeful martial arts daftness), Snowmanic! (supernatural snowman with murder on his mind), and in 2015 I did Sex Pest (loathsome insect gets his just desserts) and Hell Hole (redneck sacrifice). 
Sex Pest! © Lew Stringer 2015
It's true that compared to decades ago there aren't as many annuals around featuring comic strips now, so I count myself very fortunate that I was a contributor to The Beano Annual 2016 and The Dandy Annual 2016 (still available in the Christmas sales if you're quick). I wrote/drew Lord Snooty for The Beano book, while for The Dandy book I scripted/drew The Smasher and Keyhole Kate. I'm currently working on the 2017 dated Dandy Annual, which will be out next July. 
It was a pleasure again to produce more artwork for the Stikkums app, with two new sets, 'Family' and 'Christmas'. This inventive app gives the player the ability to place characters on various backgrounds, move them around, resize. recolour them etc. Primarily a 'reward app' for the young, but fun for all ages. Hey, if you're a fan of my daft creations download it today! 
It was also fun contributing some one-off stuff to a few graphic novels this year too. I did a beatnik illustration for Hunt Emerson's Hot Jazz, a depiction of Octobriana for John Short's Octobriana The Underground History, and three pages of my Suburban Satanists strips for Time Bomb's Bomb Scares anthology. Buy 'em all!

Suburban Satanists © Lew Stringer 2015
Much as I enjoy producing strips and art for various publications I was determined to get some of my older characters back into print in 2015. I started out my career in self-publishing over 30 years ago and the desire is always there to have full control over the production of a comic, editing and designing it as well as creating the strips. It's something I'd intended to do for years so in September I launched Brickman Returns! at the International Comic Expo (ICE) in Birmingham. The 32 page comic collected all the full-colour Brickman pages I'd done for Image Comics' Elephantmen and as a bonus featured a 1980s Combat Colin story and a selection of my early Suburban Satanists strips. 
I was really pleased with the top quality printing by UK Comics Creative and the reaction to the comic was fantastic, so a big thank you to all of you who bought a copy. (Special thanks to Nigel Parkinson and Nika Nartova for selling copies at conventions they attended.) I swiftly had to order another batch to be printed. Who says indie comics don't sell? 

Copies of Brickman Returns! are still available from my website, along with my previous collection, Brickman Begins:

A few copies are also still on sale at Nostalgia and Comics, 14 - 16 Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham. I'll also be taking copies to the various conventions I'm guesting at in 2016, along with my next comic production. (I'll reveal more about that soon!) 
Speaking of conventions, I thoroughly enjoyed the six events I attended in 2015:  Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Birmingham, and three in London. It really is very rewarding to meet readers past and present, and it's genuinely uplifting to meet people who read Combat Colin, Tom Thug, Robo Capers and other old strips of mine when they were growing up. 
My apologies for letting people down by pulling out of the Birmingham Comics Festival and the Showmasters Bornemouth Film and Comic Con due to various viruses. My thanks to organizers Steve Tanner (Birmingham) and Mike and Cassandra Conroy (Showmasters) for being so understanding. I'm pleased to say I'll be at the Birmingham Comics Festival this coming April though, and several Showmasters events throughout the year. 

If you've managed it this far though this extra-long posting, thanks for your patience! Thanks also for your interest and support of my work over the past year and I hope the strips I'll be producing in 2016 will also make you chuckle. Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Monday 28 December 2015

There's a new TOXIC out this week!

Team Toxic find themselves, and their house, cast adrift in another dimension in the new issue of Toxic on sale this week. One of their old enemies is behind it, but which one? Find out this Wednesday when Toxic No.265 goes on sale in newsagents and supermarkets.  

Saturday 26 December 2015

New Stikkums for Christmas!

I'm a bit late promoting this but as it's still only Boxing Day, here's news of a seasonal addition to the Stikkums app I do the artwork for. 
The latest digital Stikkums pack has a Christmas theme, with two Santas, a snowman, a snowwoman, three elves, four kids, a reindeer, two new backgrounds and more! As with the previous Stikkums packs you download the pack and position the characters onto the backgrounds. 
You can use characters multiple times, reposition them as you like, flip, resize, rotate, recolour them, and some even have blank faces you can upload your own photo into. You can also use them to interact with characters in previous packs of course, and vice versa. 
You can find out all the info at the Stikkums website here:
Stikkums is a behavioral reward app for children but it's fun for all ages really. (And presumably you're reading this blog because you like my artwork, so collect 'em all! :))
I hope you're having an enjoyable Christmas / holidays. I'll update this blog again in a few days. 

Thursday 10 December 2015

It's Daft day again!

For 36 years, Doctor Who Magazine has featured strips by some of the top names in the UK comics industry... and me too, over the last 18 months. Today sees the publication of the whacking great 100 page Christmas issue and I have another of my Daft Dimension strips in there. (Preview clip above.) 

This issue comes bagged with a massive free poster. Here's what to look out for...

Don't miss out! DWM No.494 is in the shops now! £5.99.

Monday 7 December 2015

Grab a Grindhouse for Christmas!

This Wednesday (9th December) sees Dark Horse publish the final Grindhouse graphic novel, Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight Double Feature Volume 4. It features Lady Danger by Alex de Campi and Muele Jarvis in one half of the book and the flipside features Nebulina by Alex de Campi and John Lucas. It'll also feature two of my most bizarre strips of this year.

The book includes the Sex Pest page I did for Grindhouse No.6. (shown above) and the Hell Hole page I did for issue 8...

Here's the cover by Muele Jarvis to look out for...

Also still available is the previous volume, featuring Slay Ride by Alex de Campi and R.M. Guéra, and Blood Lagoon by Alex de Campi and Chris Peterson...

That book also featured two pages by me. One being Kung-Fu Cheesecake...

...and the other being Snowmanic!

As you may have guessed, the books are for mature readers. I'm guessing most of you are mature so look out for them at a comic store near you. They're also available from Amazon, and Alex's site here (www.tfaw.com/alexdecampi) and digitally on ComiXology

Any questions or comments about these strips? Please post below. 

Sunday 6 December 2015

Have a Happy Brickmas!

With Christmas fast approaching, if you want a copy of my comic Brickman Returns for yourself or anyone else, now would be a good time to order it. The comic is in stock and will be sent out within a day of receiving your order. I'll sign every issue I sell, and will add a dedication if you wish, at no extra charge obviously. 

Brickman Returns has 32 pages featuring 20 pages of Brickman in full colour, plus Combat Colin and the Suburban Satanists! Professionally printed and on quality paper with excellent reproduction. 

To find out more, and how to buy your copy, see my website:

Wednesday 2 December 2015

"Rollickingly Revolting"

Quoted from Olly MacNamee's review of my Suburban Satanists strips in the Bomb Scares anthology:

"Alongside truly spine chilling stories like Flesh of My Flesh sits the comedy stylings of Lew Stringer (The Beano) who brings the tradition of UK children’s comics and comic artwork and mashes it up with the conventions of horror to produce a set of devilishly delightful strips that are both reverential and rollickingly revolting. This ain’t for littluns, make no mistakes about that."

To read the rest of Olly's review, see here:

To buy the Bomb Scares book, visit the Time Bomb Comics website:

Saturday 28 November 2015

Season of the Slap-Up Feed

Here's an advance preview of my Team Toxic strip in the Christmas issue of Toxic, which will be on sale from this coming Wednesday, 2nd December. I always enjoy illustrating the Christmas strips and as you can see I've designed a special festive logo for this issue, snow on the lettering of course. (A tradition in comics since the 19th Century.) 

Another Christmas comics tradition is the 'slap-up feed' of course. This dates back to the early days of comics too. It might not be such a big deal these days but I still like to include it in my festive stories. 

What happens in this episode? Buy Toxic No.264 on Wednesday to find out! 

Thursday 26 November 2015

An Annual Treat

The 'Christmas' annuals have been out since July and seem to be selling fast. My local WH Smith and Sainsbury's sold out of The Dandy Annual 2016 weeks ago and haven't restocked. The Beano Annual 2016 is available in Sainsbury's for £3.49 so this is the time to grab them! Waiting until the last minute, or the January sales, may result in disappointment. Treat yourselves or a relative/friend to an annual for Christmas!

For The Dandy Annual 2016 I wrote and drew all the Keyhole Kate and Smasher pages. It was a pleasure to work on those classic characters again. I don't know if this book will feature Kate's last appearance but I haven't been commissioned to do any strips with her for the 2017 dated annual, which I'm working on now.  

For The Beano Annual 2016 I wrote and drew the three Lord Snooty pages. I haven't been asked to do anything for the 2017 dated book (on sale next summer) so I'm not sure what the future holds for Snooty.

Below is a panel from one of my Lord Snooty pages for the annual. First in pencil rough form, then the completed inked and coloured version... 

Very few of you post comments on this blog but if you have any requests to see old strips of mine shown here, or any thoughts about my work in general, please post a comment below.

Saturday 21 November 2015


The brilliant Hunt Emerson has a new book out, Hot Jazz, collecting all his many wonderful strips featuring jazz characters Maz Zillion and Alto Ego. The back of the book features a bonus section containing jazz-themed artwork by various artists Hunt invited to contribute. It was my pleasure and privilege to be one of those invited. 

Above is my contribution. I really enjoyed drawing those beatniks. Each character drawing appears separately in the book but I thought I'd show the complete image here. 

I'll be reviewing the book soon on my other blog, Blimey!, but I can tell you now that Hot Jazz is well worth buying. Treat yourself for Christmas by buying a copy directly from Knockabout at the eBay store:

Wednesday 18 November 2015

More 2016 Convention dates

I'm very pleased to say that I've been invited to a few more conventions for 2016 so I can now add four Showmasters events to my schedule. So far I'll be attending eight events next year, up and down the UK, and at least two more will be added later when it's officially announced on their websites. 

Here's my 2016 schedule so far. I hope some of you can make it to at least one of the events. As well as selling copies of Brickman Returns I'll also be publishing more comics next year and will of course have copies with me at the shows.

London Film and Comic Con: Spring
27th and 28th February 2016
Hammersmith Road,
W14 8UX.

Cardiff Film and Comic Con
5th and 6th March, 2016
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff.

The Birmingham Comics Festival
Saturday 23rd April, 2016 
Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham.

Manchester Film and Comic Con
21st and 22nd May, 2016.
Event City.
Phoenix Way,
Barton Dock Road,
M41 7TB.

Lancaster Comics Day
Sunday June 5th, 2016.
(Not much info about this so far so stay tuned!)

London Film and Comic Con
29th to 31st July 2016.
Hammersmith Road,
W14 8UX.

Bristol Comic Expo
Saturday August 6th, 2016.
Double Tree by Hilton,
Redcliffe Way, Bristol.

ICE (The International Comic Expo)
Saturday September 10th, 2016.
The Studio, Cannon Street, Birmingham.

Monday 16 November 2015

A Golden Age for UK fandom

A Dalek, yesterday.
The Doctor Who Festival I attended on Saturday was the last convention I'll be doing this year, so it was great to go out on a high. I really enjoyed having the company of artist Russ Leach and the Panini editors on the stand, and meeting so many Doctor Who fans eager for a Daft Dimension sketch! You can read more about the day over on my other blog here:

The Festival was the sixth event I've attended this year. (It would have been eight, if I hadn't cancelled two due to illness.) Three in London, one each in Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Sheffield. All different, and all enjoyable in their own ways. I already have invites to four next year, and will hopefully add more soon. Long gone are the days when we only had one convention a year (if we were lucky). There are now events almost every weekend of the year. The UK comics community has never had it so good. Too good in fact, as there are now so many events that they sometimes clash. There were at least three on Saturday for example, at different parts of the country. 
London Film and Comic Con, July 2015.
More events mean more choice and more opportunities for fans and pros to meet up. This is fandom on a large scale. I hear a lot about "geek culture" but in truth these events now 
attract tens of thousands of people from all walks of life. It's a day out for many families now. True, many of them are not there for comics, especially at the events that have Hollywood stars as the attraction, but with comics guests and stalls also present it raises the public's awareness of comics. People notice the art that reminds them of their childhood comics, or are simply intrigued by it, and come over to chat, and sometimes buy a sketch, a print, or a comic. 

There are still events that focus on comics of course, such as the Thought Bubble Festival over the weekend, or ICE and the Birmingham Comics Festival. These shows are not only excellent for mainstream comics and creators but they also raise the profiles of independent creators and publishers and are well worth supporting. 
ICE, Birmingham, September 2015.
Comics conventions of the 21st Century are a great way to attract a new audience. It might not be a success for everyone, but it works for some. The remarkable thing is how quickly it's grown. Comic cons in Britain started in 1968 from a Birmingham event by Phil Clarke and Steve Moore, and subsequent cons pretty much stuck to the same template for the next 30 plus years. It was a template that worked though, and many enjoyable conventions came out of it. In more recent times, the inclusion of film and TV stars has broadened the appeal of such events, with some shows having a weekend attendance of around 100,000 people. Yes, only a fraction of those people might buy a comic, but it all helps. 
Collectormania event, Milton Keynes, June 2015.
After the winter break I'm looking forward to attending the 2016 events and I have plans for self-publishing more comics next year (as well as continuing working on newsstand titles of course). This is a golden era for comics fandom and indie publishers. See you out there!  

News of some shows I'll be at in 2016:

Monday 9 November 2015

Doctor Who News

It's time to enter The Daft Dimension again this week when Doctor Who Magazine No.493 goes on sale on Thursday 12th November. There's a clip of my artwork above. See the mag for the full comic strip.

The issue will of course feature the regular 12 page Doctor Who strip, plus a ton of features, interviews, reviews, and more. Here's the cover to look out for, featuring departing companion Jenna Coleman...

On Saturday 14th November I'll be attending the huge Doctor Who Festival at the ExCel in London. You'll find me on Panini's Doctor Who Magazine stall so drop by for a chat or a sketch, or better still, both! Copies of the latest issues will be available to buy from the editors, as well as Doctor Who graphic novels, Doctor Who Adventures, and Doctor Who The Complete History

I'll be bringing along copies of Brickman Returns! so stop me and buy one. See you there! For full details of the event, see their website:

Saturday 7 November 2015

Comics Events for 2016

Here's a list of the comics events I've been invited to so far for 2016. There'll be a few more added later. I hope to see many of you at some or all of these shows. They're always fun and informal and a great opportunity for pros and fans to mix. I'll be bringing along my self-published comics as well as selling sketches on request and chatting about any of my work from over the past 30 plus years. 

The Birmingham Comics Festival
Saturday 23rd April, 2016 
Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham.
Website: http://www.thecomicfestival.com/
I missed this event this year but I heard good things about it so I'm looking forward to attending the 2016 show.

Lancaster Comics Day
Sunday June 5th, 2016.
Info: http://downthetubes.net/?page_id=21591
Not much details about this yet but it sounds like a good comics-focused event!

Bristol Comic Expo
Saturday August 6th, 2016.
Double Tree by Hilton,
Redcliffe Way, Bristol.
Facebook page: 
Yes, the Bristol Comic Expo is back! - And also back in the hands of Mike Alwood. I enjoyed the Bristol shows of old so this is definitely one to look forward to!

ICE (The International Comic Expo)
Saturday September 10th, 2016.
The Studio, Cannon Street, Birmingham.
Website: https://internationlcomicexpo.wordpress.com/
The previous ICE events have been great and this looks like it's going to be another winner!

Looks like 2016 is shaping up to be another good year for the UK comics community!