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.
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.
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.
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! 

Friday 6 November 2015

Lancaster Comics Day 2016

I've been booked for another comics event next year. It's the Lancaster Comics Day on Sunday June 5th 2016. Other guests will include cartoonist Joe Matthews, writer Tim Quinn, artists Russ Leach and Sean Phillips, writer Andy Diggle, and independent comics creator Tom Ward.

I'll post more info and reminders nearer the time of course but for now you can find out more details at this link:  

TOXIC No.263 Preview

That cheeky chappie Butt-Face is back in the next issue of Toxic. In a Team Toxic story called Weird Beards, the bottom-featured baddie comes up with an ingenious disguise. Can Team Toxic stop him? Find out when Toxic No.263 goes on sale on Wednesday 11th November. Available from newsagents and supermarkets across the UK.  

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Drawing the future

One of the curious things about working in the comics industry is how far we have to work in advance. Believe it or not there are some who still think a strip is drawn shortly before publication. That's true for political cartoons in newspapers of course, which I believe are drawn the day before publication to keep them topical. In comics we have quite a bit more leeway than that.  

I'm currently drawing pages for The Dandy Annual 2017, which won't go on sale until July 2016. Most people won't even see it until Christmas Day 2016. I wish I could show you a preview but it's far too early for that. I'm afraid you'll have to wait until next summer. (Publishers aren't keen on images being released too far in advance in case rivals imitate them ahead of publication. It's quite understandable I suppose.)

I can tell you the strip I'm drawing includes snow, and references Christmas. I always like to put one winter story in the annuals if I can, knowing that many kids will be reading it at Christmas. 

I'm also working on a seasonal Daft Dimension strip for the Christmas issue of Doctor Who Magazine. That won't be out until December. There'll be an issue before that, out next week. I'll show a preview of that strip over the next few days. 

Then there's the New Year Team Toxic story to do, and a set of drawings for something else. It's a busy month! 

Thinking about it, I've just waffled on and told you virtually nothing. Sorry. Back to the drawing board...

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Brickman Reviewed

Copyright © Lew Stringer 2015

There's some great reviews of Brickman Returns! appearing on the 'net. Here's a few:

"So what’s the appeal of Brickman? Well, quite apart from the nutty concept, Lew – whose pro credits include Doctor Who Magazine, Aces Weekly, VIZ and TOXIC – delivers some great art on the strip as Brickman hurtles blindly from one (often self-inflicted) crisis to another, utilising his considerable skills both as a humorist and comics aficianado to subvert and satirise superheroes and their ilk." - John Freeman, Down the Tubes:

"There are plenty of genuine laugh-out-loud moments in what is a truly nutty comic" - Phil Boyce, The Oink! Blog:

"If these two publications don't have you laughing out loud multiple times you must be a DC lawyer or something." - John A. Short, Kult Creations:

"A very funny comic book of Brickman strips is available now, right up your street if you know your Marvel Comics of the 60s, or The Cloak, or Combat Colin, and especially of course, Batman! Created by comics stalwart Lew Stringer, Brickman Returns is the usual crazy, hilarious and satirically knowing superhero antics, but funnier, crazier and wilder than ever- and all in colour too!" - Nigel Parkinson, Beano artist.

My thanks to everyone so far who has taken the time to review it. If you still haven't bought a copy (or the preceding title, Brickman Begins!) you can buy signed editions directly from me via Pay Pal by going to my online shop:

Sunday 1 November 2015

Support Indie Comics!

My self-published Brickman Returns! comic has been selling well since its September launch but a few more sales wouldn't go amiss. Here's a few details about it, which also answer some questions I've been asked...

Isn't it the same material as in previous Brickman comics? 
No. Brickman Returns collects the 20 stories that appeared in Image Comics' Elephantmen in the USA between 2006 and 2009 but this is the first time they've appeared in a British comic. And they're all in full colour!

What else is in it?
There's a complete classic Combat Colin story from 1989 where Colin and Semi-Automatic Steve encounter their greatest nemesis, The Brain, for the first time.

Daft-tastic! Anything else?
You bet! There's also three pages of early Suburban Satanists strips, which were previously published in Norway in 1997 but now printed in English.

Gotta have it! Can I buy it in newsagents? 
Nope. Brickman Returns is an independent comic with a smallish print run and is only available directly from me by Pay Pal (see below), or from Nostalgia and Comics (14 - 16 Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham B5 4EN). I also have copies for sale on my stand at any conventions I attend. Fellow cartoonist Nigel Parkinson is also selling them at events he goes to that I'm not at, so there's a few opportunities for you to buy it.

When will issue 2 be out?
It won't. Brickman Returns is a one-off. Well, it's a sequel to the 2005 book Brickman Begins (also available from me) but it's self-contained and can be read on its own. However if you buy both you'll have the complete Brickman saga. 

How come it's more expensive than The Beano or 2000AD? 
The unit cost per comic is higher for small print runs than it is for big runs of tens of thousands of copies that mainstream comics have. Don't worry. You're not being ripped off. 

Doesn't this sound like you're talking to yourself?
I suppose so, but some of the above were genuine questions I've been asked.

Well this one isn't is it?
Not this one, no, but you're just being pedantic now.

No I'm not!
Yes you are. 

Not! Not! Not!
Look, can I just give the details of where people can order the comic from?

It's your blog. You can do what you like. I don't care. 
Thank you. If you want a copy of Brickman Returns (and / or Brickman Begins) you'll find the ordering details on my online shop here:

I've already got them. I'm you, remember?

Support British comics!