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: