Monday, 19 November 2018


It's been 40 years this month since my first self-published comic was launched. Back in 1978 I had started to contribute a few articles and spot illustrations to fanzines and decided to publish my own. The result was After Image, which I have to admit was very crudely drawn as you can see. 
Back then I still hadn't decided which direction to pursue with my artwork; whether to try and aim towards adventure comics or humour titles. Clearly, I wasn't much cop at drawing the human figure or possessing the skills required to draw realistically, and I felt more comfortable drawing humour strips, so that's the path I soon embarked on. 
I'd been creating my own little comics since I was seven years old, but they had just been mini comics drawn in biro and never actually printed or distributed, so the only people who ever saw them were my immediate family. After Image was the first time I'd had multiple copies printed for a public audience.

Reactions were fairly kind, as I recall, but obviously my work wasn't anywhere near professional standard back then. It'd be another five years before I sold my first work to Marvel UK in 1983. 

After Image only ran for three issues, over 12 months. I went on to create other fanzines and stripzines afterwards. These days, although I'm busy with mainstream comics work, I still enjoy putting together my own comics, with Combat Colin No.3 being the latest issue. 

Anyway, without further ado, here's a few sample bits from that first issue of After Image of 40 years ago. Read it while I cringe with embarrassment....

All artwork Copyright © 1978, 2018, Lew Stringer

There are some "jokes" in the Arthur Average strip I definitely wouldn't use now. (The '70s were another time, and I was only 19, - but should have known better.) If you want to read the entire issue, it's available as a free PDF as part of David Hathaway-Price's online archive of old fanzines here:


John Freeman said...

Everyone has to start somewhere!

Kal said...

Pencils may be a bit rough and ready, but the layouts are pretty damn good.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks, Kal!