Saturday 31 March 2018

Easter 1990, Tom Thug style!

With the 14th April 1990 issue, Buster comic underwent a significant revamp, gaining a new masthead and gaining 'all colour' throughout its 32 pages. (It had previously featured a large amount of black and white pages.) Truth be told, some of the 'all colour' pages were only done with basic primary spot colour rather than hand inked/painted full colour. However, I was fortunate in that Tom Thug had proved popular enough to be one of the pages to switch to proper full colour.

Above is the Tom Thug's Skooldayz page I did for that issue. The first in full colour for the new-look Buster. I created a new logo for it because the previous blackboard style one would have looked too drab for a colour page. I thought a tatty, stained exercise book style would be more suitable and still 'Thuggish'.

As the strip has an Easter theme I thought I'd resurrect it for this weekend. Some of you may remember the page from 28 years ago! Happy Easter!

Friday 30 March 2018

Easter Beano - out now!

The Easter issue of the Beano is in the shops now. It includes loads of Easter-themed strips, although admittedly my Big Eggo strip doesn't fit that category. (I didn't know this would be the Easter issue when I wrote the script.) Even so, he's still hunting his egg, - and being hunted by Terry Tuff! 

The Beano is very rarely bagged with gifts these days, but this week is an exception for the holiday period. Here's what to look out for in your local shops...

You can find out more about this issue at the Beano website:

Thursday 29 March 2018


I've been working late hours again this week but I've met my deadlines now so I'm taking a few days off. I know that many of us who are freelancers work long hours, often into the night, and ultimately it's not healthy. Let's be good to ourselves, folks. 

On a lighter note, here's a screen grab of a panel from the latest Team Toxic strip that I've just emailed to the editor. It'll be in print on 2nd May in Toxic No.305.

(Below: Same panel prior to colouring.)

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Your thoughts on comic cons

I've said it before, but I really enjoy attending comic cons. I enjoy travelling to places I might not otherwise visit, meeting the readers, and the cameraderie of fellow comics creators. I have ten events on my calendar for this year (including three still to be announced) and I'm looking forward to them all, particularly the summer ones.

I know some people think that "comic cons" should focus solely on comics and not film and TV. There's no question that a comics-only event will attract people who are comics fans, but I've found it can work to a comics guest's advantage to have actors on the bill at some shows. I've met a lot of people who wouldn't think of attending a comics-only show, but are attracted by the film/TV aspect and are then pleasantly surprised to find guests from the Beano and Marvel comics there too. The recent Bath Comic-Con for example only had four comics guests but we were very busy most of the day! Same for last year's London Film and Comic Con, which had 50 comics guests and maybe twice as many actors but was the busiest show I've ever done. Sometimes it doesn't work like that, and some film fans aren't interested in comics at all of course, but all shows are worth trying to find out. 

That's from my perspective as a guest anyway, but what of you, the readers? Are you happy with the conventions you've attended, or are there things you'd change or add to the day? Perhaps you haven't attended any cons for some reasons? Any constructive thoughts? Please post a comment below and let's see what happens...

Tuesday 27 March 2018

DTT reviews Combat Colin No.2

"...slip back to more innocent times, when a machine gun wielding nutter was a perfectly acceptable as a humour strip character."

My thanks to John Freeman at the Down the Tubes website for his review of Combat Colin No.2. (See it here: He raises a fair point about Colin's use of firearms; something that's bothered me somewhat in modern times, as it was more acceptable in comics of 1988 when those strips first appeared. In my defence, as the series progresses, Colin's weapons become ever-more surreal. (Look out next issue for the Tarby Gun whose bullets drive people mad by telling mother-in-law jokes, or the Saucepan-Shooter, that fires saucepans.)

As John points out, a strip like Combat Colin just wouldn't be commissioned today for a kids' comic. In truth, it wouldn't have been commissioned by IPC or D.C. Thomson back then either due to the gun aspect, but Marvel UK were sensible enough to regard it as a spoof of gun nuts, and I think the readers understood that. 

Anyway, thanks again to John for his positive review! Remember, if you're interested in a copy of Combat Colin for yourselves, you can buy them directly from me here:

Monday 26 March 2018

Big Eggo in pencil

On my drawing board this morning is another Big Eggo strip for the Beano. Here's a photo of part of it at the rough pencil stage. The finished strip will be in print in early May.

Updated convention list

Updated convention list:
15th April:

1st/2nd June:
To be confirmed.

9th June:
Wythenshawe Comic Con

23rd June:
Macc-Pow! (Macclesfield)

1st/2nd September:
to be announced.

15th September:
ICE 2018 Birmingham

Saturday 24 March 2018

All aboard for EPIC No.144

There's a new issue of D.C. Thomson's Epic magazine out on Wednesday, and it'll contain another Hygiene High two-pager written by Niall Murray and drawn by me. This time, the stinky kids cause chaos on a train! See the results in Epic No.144, on sale 28th March.

As a bonus, I thought you might like to see the comparison between my original black and white artwork and the published version after I'd coloured it and cleaned up any mistakes in Photoshop...

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Frankendrac on the rampage!

It's outrageous! Frankendrac is being anti-social in Spud City, scaring old ladies, burping in the library, and showing his bum to newlyweds! Why can't Team Toxic stop him? Find out in the latest issue of Toxic (No.303), out today!

It's Wednesday so it must be Beano day!

Catch Big Eggo again in the latest Beano (No.3927), on sale today. He's quite a spry ostrich for an 80 year old! 

Sunday 18 March 2018

Photos from Bath Comic-Con

Conventions are always a gamble and no one can predict how well they'll go, but Bath Comic-Con yesterday was a resounding success. Far busier than anyone expected, and a very enjoyable day. My thanks to Paul Waidley and his Creed Conventions team for organizing the event and looking after the guests. 

Great to catch up with Graham Bleathman, who I've known for 40 years now (but rarely see at events) since the days when we started out doing our fanzines way back in the late 1970s! I think we both turned pro around the same time too. You'll know Graham's famous cutaways of course, of various Gerry Anderson craft and more that he did for Thunderbirds the Comic and more, and he's also illustrated many covers for The People's Friend. See his website here:
I also enjoyed catching up with Lee Townsend, Simon Wyatt, Sam Denham, Jonathan Green, Andy Richmond, John Anderson, and more. Many thanks to all those who stopped by my table for a sketch or to buy a comic.

Here's a few more photos of the day. Some taken by me, some are screengrabs from Twitter... 
Young Theo in the photo above gave me this smashing picture of Combat Colin that he'd drawn. He's a better artist than I was at his age! Keep drawing, Theo!




Friday 16 March 2018

Derek the Troll will return!

I can't reveal too much about it yet but I'm working on a brand new series of Derek the Troll strips for a new digital comic!

Derek the Troll is a humour strip set in the time of pre-history, involving dragons, wizards, barbarians and all that stuff that's perfect material to parody. I originally created the character for Games Workshop's Warlock and White Dwarf magazines in the mid-1980s, and collected those stories into the one-off Derek the Troll comic a couple of years ago. 

I always felt that Derek had potential for more stories so when I was invited to pitch a character for a new upcoming digital comic I thought it was the ideal opportunity to revive one that's already developed, to plunge him into an all-new adventure. 

I'll reveal more about the new Derek the Troll series, and where it'll appear, over the coming months.

Thursday 15 March 2018

Combat mail out

I'm just about to post another stack of Combat Colin comics to those of you who have ordered them recently. You should have them by the weekend.

Don't forget that I'll be at Bath Comic-Con this Saturday (17th March) and I'll be bringing along copies of Combat Colin, Brickman Begins, Brickman Returns, the last few issues of Derek the Troll (second print coming soon) and a bunch of prints. I'll also be sketching on request, so I hope to see some of you there! 

Strax: Pencils and finished art

I thought you might like to see part of my pencils for the latest Daft Dimension, compared to the finished version. This one featured Strax, a Sontaran from Doctor Who. I took the photo on the left when I was working on the strip. As you can see, my pencils are quite rough and I tidy things up a bit and add a little more detail and shading when I ink the work. Then I scanned the inked strip into my Mac (and the scanner doesn't pick up the blue pencil lines) and coloured it in Photoshop. 

The printed strip is in Doctor Who Magazine No.523, currently available in newsagents, supermarkets, and comic shops now. Mote info here:

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Convention list 2018

Here's my updated list of conventions I've been invited to for 2018. Three new ones added this week! If you're attending any of these shows please drop by my table for a chat. I'll be bringing along my comics to sell and drawing sketches on request.

Saturday 17th March 2018
Bath Pavilion
North Parade Road


Staffordshire University.
Sunday 15th April 2018


Saturday 12th May 2018


Saturday 26th May 2018


South Manchester
9th June 2018


Saturday 23rd June 2018
Town Hall,


ICE 2018
Saturday 15th September
Hill Street,

More dates to be added throughout the year.

Tuesday 13 March 2018

...and another event announcement!

I'm pleased to be able to announce that I'll be one of the guests at Wigan Comic Con on Saturday 26th May! This will be my first visit to Wigan (although I've passed through many times) so I'm looking forward to meeting new faces - and any friends who live in that area. Hope to see you there!

More info at their Facebook page:

Another convention announcement!

As it's just been officially announced on Twitter, I can now reveal that I'll be a guest again at Stoke-Con-Trent. The event takes place on Sunday 15th April at the LRV Staffordshire University. Looking forward to it! Come along and join us! More info at their website:

Monday 12 March 2018

Chaos in the cafe!

Here's a little preview of my next Big Eggo strip, coming to Beano No.3926, on sale Wednesday 14th March! Never Be Without A Beano! 

If you want to bring a copy of the comic along to Bath Comic Con this Saturday (17th March) I'll be happy to sign it. (Same applies to any comic I've been published in.)

Saturday 17th March 2018
Bath Pavilion
North Parade Road

Sunday 11 March 2018

First convention of the year

On Saturday I'll be heading off to Bath Comic-Con for my first convention of the year. This will be my first visit to the town so I hope to see some of you there. I'll be bringing along my comics to sell (including Combat Colin No.2) and doing sketches on request of characters of your choice. 

The date is Saturday 17th March and the venue is Bath Pavilion

Saturday 17th March 2018
Bath Pavilion
North Parade Road

More info at the convention's Facebook page:

Friday 9 March 2018

New event announced for 9th June

It's an honour to be announced as the first guest at a brand new event scheduled for the summer. Wythenshawe Comic Con in South Manchester will take place on Saturday 9th June 2018. More information will be revealed in the weeks to come. Keep an eye on the convention's Facebook page here:

Thursday 8 March 2018

MACC-POW! 3 scheduled for June 23rd

I'm pleased to say that I'll be one of the guests at Macc-Pow! again this summer in Macclesfield on Saturday 23rd June. I'll be bringing along my comics to sell, doing sketches on request, and I'm being interviewed along with fellow guest David Leach by Jessica Kemp. Come along and see us!

Here's the info by convention organiser and cartoonist Marc Jackson:

It’s time to announce this year’s MACC-POW! Macclesfield’s day of comic-art, is once again being held inside the fantastic Town Hall building. Join us as we take over the Assembly and board rooms! So many fantastic things are happening this year on the day and for the first time, on selected dates prior to the event as well. We’re back within the line-up for this year’s Barnaby Festival and it’s going to be a comics-packed day of coolness and fun for all-ages. It’s free entry for all on the day too!

You can find out our full line-up right here but look forward to meeting Lew Stringer, Paul Grist, Missed Deadline, David Leach, Emmeline Pidgen, Nick Brokenshire, Laura Howell, Dick Vincent, Jessica Lucas and Tor Freeman to name just a few, along with our first ever guests joining us from Barcelona no less Lorenzo Montatore and Genie Espinosa with support from Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2018.

We’ll also have our cartoon-a-room showing specially selected cartoon, drawing activities for young and old (with drop-in guests throughout the day) and panel discussions about careers in comics, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of comics events in the UK!

This year we have been supported with incredible generosity from local businesses whose help will go towards making this event even better!

Here's my updated convention list for 2018:

17th March 2018
Bath Pavilion,

24th/25th March 2018
Still awaiting confirmation
from organizer!

15th April 2018
More info soon.

12th May 2018.

9th June 2018
More info later.

23rd June 2018
Macclesfield Town Hall

ICE 2018
15th September 2018

More to be added in the months to come.

Monday 5 March 2018

On sale this week...

I have strips in various titles that are out this week so here's a brief preview. On Wednesday 7th March there's the start of my new Big Eggo mini-strip in Beano No.3295. As I said in my previous post, it's an honour to be commissioned to write/draw new adventures with this character who hasn't had a series in The Beano since 1949!

The same day, there's a new issue of Epic magazine out (No.143) that sees the stinky kids of Hygiene High visit the zoo and cause chaos. Script by Niall Murray, art by me.

The following day, (Thursday 8th March), Doctor Who Magazine No.523 is published, and it includes a new Daft Dimension strip by me. This time focusing on the Sontarans!

Still on the shelves from last week is Toxic No.302 featuring another two-page Team Toxic story I did. As this was a new-look issue I designed a new banner logo for the strip. In the end, it wasn't used as their in-house designers did their own, but I thought I'd show it here rather than waste it...

PLUS... copies of Combat Colin No.2 are still available. Not in the shops though, directly from me at 

I hope there's at least one title there that grabs your attention (or you wouldn't be visiting this blog presumably) so thanks for your interest! 

Saturday 3 March 2018

BIG EGGO returns to the BEANO!

I can now reveal what my new Beano strip is, and it's the return of Big Eggo, the Beano's very first character, who is coming back for the comic's 80th anniversary year!

Big Eggo was the first Beano cover star from the very first issue in July 1938, through to No.326 in January 1948. The original exploits of the ostrich were drawn by Reg Carter until the character was ousted from the front page by Biffo the Bear drawn by Dudley Watkins.

The Beano contacted me a few months ago to commission me to write and draw a new series of Big Eggo as weekly mini-strips inside the comic, starting with Beano No.3925, on sale Wednesday 7th March. I was given a brief that Big Eggo has escaped from Beanotown Zoo and is looking for his egg, but he is pursued by a hunter, Terry Tuff (who I believe was a character in the Dennis and Gnasher TV cartoon). Each week, Big Eggo will be either looking for his egg or eluding Terry's crazy traps. Some other Beano stars will cameo in upcoming episodes too.

I've written/drawn over half a dozen so far and I'm really enjoying it. Not only is it great to be back in the Beano, but to work on such a classic Golden Age character is an honour. I'd actually suggested new Big Eggo strips a few years ago, so I'm pleased to finally have a chance to do it. I think very few people expected Big Eggo to return after 70 years but I hope they'll enjoy his new adventures!

See the first new Big Eggo strip in Beano No.3925, on Wednesday 7th March 2018.

...and if you want to read Big Eggo's first strip from 1938 by Reg Carter, it's up on here:

Friday 2 March 2018

Toxic tweaked

Toxic has been given a fresh new look with the latest issue, and that includes the comics pages. The box shaped logo of Team Toxic is gone, replaced by a banner, and the white borders and gutters are now in colour, adding to the brightness of the pages. Oh, and the mag is slightly bigger now too, - the same size of comics of old such as Wham! and Oink! making it feel more substantial.

This issue, Sick Squid invades the surface world! Find out what happens next in Toxic No.304, out now from all good newsagents and supermarkets!