Tuesday 29 November 2016

Monsters unleashed!

Here's another preview panel from the next issue of Toxic, in shops this Wednesday. Apparently kids like seeing monsters in the strips, and I certainly like drawing 'em, so it seems to work out ok. 

Sunday 27 November 2016

Remembering my grandad

Grandad in his railway uniform, 1939.
On this day 125 years ago, my grandfather William Bakewell was born, in Leicester in 1891. He had a very hard start in life, orphaned by the age of 5 he was put into a boys home in Desford where life was very strict. When he left the school (at age 14 I think) he earned his keep by working as a farm hand on various farms around the Midlands.
He eventually settled in Nuneaton, finding regular work looking after the horses that did the deliveries for the local railway. It was in Nuneaton where he met and married my grandmother in 1920. Tragically, their first child, also called William, died as a baby on Christmas Eve, but they went on to have two more children, my mum, and my Aunt Joan.
Grandad and grandma, late 1930s.
Grandad was in the ARP during WW2 and continued to work for the railway until he retired, working on the capstan after the horse-drawn deliveries were replaced by lorries. He and his family lived in the houses rented from the railway (specifically for railwaymen) in Bond Gate, where the road to Asda is now, near the station. Those houses were set for demolition in 1957 so they had to move. My grandmother had died in 1952, and my grandad never remarried.
Grandad, Grandma, Aunt Joan, Mum, Blackpool 1946.

By the time I was born in 1959, my parents were living with my grandad and Aunt Joan (plus two cats and a dog) in a three up, two down council house. We were a small, close family, which is why I still miss them all today. (My parents and I moved to our own council house nearby in 1963, and I bought my own house years later.)
Giving me a ride in his wheelbarrow, 1961.
As you can see from the photos, my grandad looked like a traditional grandad of the times. He was the best grandad I could have wished for, and used to take me long walks with the dogs on Sunday mornings and was good company. There's a comics connection too, as I remember him telling me how he used to read Illustrated Chips that was shared around the boys' home in the 1900s. (His favourite characters were Weary Willie and Tired Tim.) He also bought the occasional Andy Capp book for himself when he was older.

With all the pets, 1966.
When I started making up my own comics when I was 7, they were mostly about my grandad and family pets. Here's one of my first crude efforts from early 1968...
My grandad was a good, kind, honest, hardworking man with old values who inspired his family to be likewise. He passed away in 1980, but I still remember him well so I wanted to post this tribute to him today.
Grandad and me, Christmas Day 1979.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Krunk goes crazy!

Here's a preview panel from the next issue of Toxic, on sale Wednesday 30th November. In the previous issue, Krunk's robot body was melted, so now Doc Shock puts his hard drive into a new body. But it's affected Krunk's personality! See what happens next in Team Toxic in Toxic No.281 this Wednesday!

Friday 25 November 2016

The 30 year old Pimple

I'd forgotten that last week was the 30th anniversary of Pete and his Pimple! The character and his huge zit debuted in Oink! No.15 in November 1986, and became a regular in the comic until the last issue in 1988, before transferring over to Buster for about six months. 

There's the first episode above. I remember I was experimenting with inking with dip-nibs at the time, and I wasn't too happy with the results so I soon reverted back to using Rotring pens. 

I changed the look of Pete a bit as time went on, particularly his hair. Here's a later appearance where he starred on the cover...

...and he even had his own 8 page pull-out comic in Oink! one week...

Here's a page I did for the United Comic Art Convention (UKCAC) booklet in 1988. The original art was auctioned for charity so I've no idea where it is now.

I really enjoyed doing the Pete strips, and Oink! allowed me to do a few unusual strips, such as this musical one...

The high print standards of Oink's early issues meant that I could embellish the strips with a grey wash (ie: diluted black ink), which gave it a nice depth. 

Will Pete and his Pimple ever return? Who nose? 

If you want to find out more about Oink! comic or wallow in a prime pigsty of nostalgia, move your trotters to click on this link to Phil Boyce's Oink! Blog...

Monday 21 November 2016

Ivy the Terrible to return for 2017

Along with Pup Parade, I'm doing another strip for the Beano after Christmas. Ivy the Terrible is to return for a short series of mini-strips, running for 8 issues.

Ivy has been around since the 1980s, originally conceived by now-retired Beano editor Alan Digby and drawn by Robert Nixon. A few other artists have drawn her over the years and I did a series of half page strips in 2014. For the new series of mini-strips I'm both writing and drawing the character.

Ivy the Terrible and Pup Parade both return to Beano on December 28th! 

Friday 18 November 2016

Busy times

The strip on my drawing board right now.
I'm not likely to update my blogs very often over the next week as I'm snowed under with work at the moment. Not that I'm complaining of course. 

I was up late last night finishing off the Christmas Daft Dimension for the festive issue of Doctor Who Magazine (on sale 15th December). Today I'm drawing Pup Parade and another strip for a January issue of Beano. This weekend I'm drawing a page for The Dandy Annual 2018 (with 7 more to follow over the next few weeks) and next week I'm drawing Team Toxic for Toxic magazine and a brand new two page strip for Epic! magazine. Oh, and coming up with new scripts for Beano too. 

I've no time at the moment to work on the Combat Colin comic but that will happen in 2017 for the character's 30th anniversary. The plan is to do 5 or 6 issues over a few years reprinting all the 1980s strips in sequence.

I also have six comic conventions planned so far for next year so I hope to see some of you at those. More details at a later date.

Who says British comics are dead? It's a hectic time! Back to the drawing board!

Detail from the Christmaas Daft Dimension.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Comical continuity

Continuity has never been a major issue in humour comics. Characters rarely age and can stay static throughout the entire run of a strip. I always aged my Brickman character in "real time", and Tom Thug grew up, and left school in the later issues of Oink! (only for that to be retconned and have him to become a schoolboy again in Buster), but usually, humour characters are frozen in time.

In recent times however, Nigel Auchterlounie and Nigel Parkinson had fun with that by showing that the Dennis the Menace of the past is the father of the current Dennis in the Beano. More recently, I thought I'd suggest a similar thing in a Smasher strip I did for The Dandy Annual 2017 (in the shops now). Yes, Smasher's "grandad" is The Smasher of the early 1960s (as far as I'm concerned anyway).  

A few years ago, in The Dandy Annual 2015, when Keyhole Kate travelled back to 1937, I also showed that the original Keyhole Kate of the 1930s/40s was the Great-Great-Grandmother of the current Kate. Of course, such things can be retconned by future writers in an instant, but it's all a bit of fun for readers past and present. 

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Announcing three new strips!

Remember that I'd said I was drawing new strips for a magazine? The material is in print this week as I join D.C. Thomson's Epic! magazine as a new contributor. 

I strips are all written by someone else (sadly uncredited) and I'm on board as the artist. There are three mini-strips which are…

Eric Fail, the boy for whom everything goes wrong!

Zombie Sports. Does what it says on the tin.

Terrible Movies. Short strips inspired by / spoofing popular movies. This month it's Harry Snotter.
Epic! magazine was previously titled Dennis and Gnasher's Epic Magazine until several months ago but now it's unconnected with the Beano.  Although it still has the same publisher (D.C. Thomson) Epic! is now part of the boys' magazine group, along with their Thunderbirds Are Go and Danger Mouse comic magazines.  It's a feature-led mag although it seems the strip content will be increasing as I've also been commissioned to draw a two pager for it starting next year, and I hear that another writer is working on another strip for the magazine. 

You'll find my new strips in Epic! No.125, on sale from Wednesday 16th November, in newsagents and supermarkets across the UK.

Saturday 12 November 2016

Return to Enniskillen

I'm very pleased to announce that I've been invited back to the Enniskillen Comic Fest for their event in 2017. I had a great time at this year's show and I'm really looking forward to flying over there again, meeting the new friends  made this year and meeting new people too of course. 

For next year's show, my Beano pals Nigel Parkinson (artist Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx) and Beano colour artist Nika Nartova will also be guests. Joining us will be guests from 2000AD including Steve MacManus, John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Alan Grant (also his second visit) and Colin MacNeill. 

There'll be other guests announced over the coming weeks too, so keep an eye on the Enniskillen Comic Fest Facebook page for news!

If you live in Northern Ireland, or you're visiting next May, I hope to see you there!

Wednesday 9 November 2016

In the shops now...

Another quick reminder that on sale in newsagents and supermarkets across the land now is Toxic No.280, featuring a new Team Toxic story by me. This one brings back Hallie Tosis (above) creating problems with her Breath of Doom! Don't miss Toxic, just £2.99!

Tuesday 8 November 2016

New convention for 2017

I've been invited to a few conventions for 2017 but I won't list them until they're officially announced. One show I can reveal though is International Comic Expo Brighton which will take place on June 10th 2017. There'll be more info in the months to come but for now, here's the website...

Comics by the seaside! What's not to like? Hope to see you there! 

Something new

Today I had editorial approval on the character designs for a new series I'm drawing. The strip will start in the New Year for an existing kids' magazine and I'll reveal more about it on publication. 

Also in the New Year, a new series of Pup Parade starts in Beano. I'm writing and drawing that. And... I'm also doing a new mini-strip that starts in the same issue. More news on that later this year.

Plus my regular Team Toxic strip for Toxic, and The Daft Dimension for Doctor Who Magazine.

And this week I'm writing scripts for The Dandy Annual 2018 (which goes on sale next July or August). I also have some private commissions to draw. So... lots to do! And sometime soon I want to start work on my next self-published comic, Combat Colin

As always, my thanks to all of you who follow this blog. It means a lot! 

Sunday 6 November 2016

This week....

This week I'll be writing scripts for the pages I'll be drawing for The Dandy Annual 2018. Yes, the book that kids will be having for next Christmas! We work well in advance in Dandytown.

I'll also be drawing the first in the new series of Pup Parade (and another strip) that return to Beano in the New Year issue. Plus I also have stuff to do for other titles. Busy week!

Friday 4 November 2016

Coming up in TOXIC No.280

The villainous Hallie Tosis lives up to her name in the next Team Toxic story, Breath of Doom! After eating a concoction of garlic curry, pickled onions, and more, Hallie uses her breath to defeat Team Toxic. What happens next? Find out in Toxic No.280, on sale in newsagents and supermarkets from Wednesday 9th November!