Wednesday 27 February 2019

Fresh underpants!

I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be back in Viz next issue, for the first time in a few years, drawing Felix and his Amazing Underpants once again!

The full pager has Felix in a Brexit-related escapade and was scripted by Graham Dury and Simon Thorp (from my plot) and is drawn by me. 22 panels on the page, so who says comics aren't value for money these days? 

I was a regular contributor to Viz for many years throughout the 1990s and the early part of this century so I'm very happy to be back. There's no guarantee I'll be in future issues of course, as contributions to Viz are on a case by case basis, but I'm hoping to do more for them this year (which is the 40th anniversary year for the comic). 

See the full page strip in Viz No.284, on sale 14th March!
The strip on my lightbox before completion.

Monday 25 February 2019

This week's art auctions...

My thanks to those of you who have bid on my auctions so far. It's good to know there's an interest out there for my original art. Someone said I was getting rid of my "family heritage"! Well, as I don't have kids the art would only be thrown away when I'm gone, or sold as a job lot to a dealer, so I'd much rather it was acquired by collectors while I'm alive! 

I've put a couple of new items on eBay this week. One is the original art for a Pete and his Pimple page I drew 30 years ago! It appeared in the Easter issue of Buster dated 25th March 1989. 

The other piece is a new Tom Thug drawing, featuring the brainless bully who started out in Oink! and later proved to be one of Buster's most popular characters.
You can follow the auctions here:

Good luck if you're bidding! It's much appreciated. 

Sunday 24 February 2019

Team Toxic Star Wars parody

My final Team Toxic strip is in the current issue of Toxic, out now, but I thought you might like to see one I drew years ago. This episode appeared in Toxic No.42, way back in 2006. As you can guess, it was a parody in part of Star Wars. 

Team Toxic gave me lots pf opportunities to put the Team into various situations, either on Earth, in space, back or forwards in time, or weird dimensions. Anything was possible! I hope I'm commissioned for more new stories one day. 

Back in 2006, when this strip was published, Lorna Miller was the colourist and she always did a fantastic job! Therefore I only have the black and white files on my discs etc but I thought you might be interested in seeing how it looked pre-colour. I'm afraid my script is long gone so you'll have to imagine the dialogue! I have all the comics though so I might dig this issue out and post the published version one day.

Thursday 21 February 2019

Return to Stoke-Con-Trent

My first convention for 2019 will be Stoke-Con-Trent 10 at Staffordshire University (above) on Sunday 14th April.

I'm pleased to be invited again, having been a guest at several previous events. I'll be bringing along my comics including Combat Colin, Pedantic Stan, and Derek the Troll and drawing sketches on request. 

Other guests will include my old comics pals David Leach and Lee Sullivan amongst others. More to be announced soon!

For more details, check out the website here: 

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Combat Colin cover vignette

Every issue of Combat Colin shows a little figure of him beside the masthead. The idea was inspired by Marvel comics of the 1960s and 1970s, which I always felt was a nice touch to enable new readers to quickly identify the hero. 

Here's my original artwork for the figure next to a recent cover. (The solid blacks and colour were added to the art in Photoshop after I'd scanned it.) The original is A4 size so you can see the considerable reduction it needed for the cover icon. It reduced well though, as I made sure the inking was strong enough to work at any size. 

The art also appeared as a postcard (see below) but they're almost gone now.

If you haven't ordered copies of Combat Colin yet you can do so from my online shop here:

I'll be starting work on Combat Colin No.4 soon, to be published sometime in April. 

Tuesday 19 February 2019


I thought you might like an advance look at the new logo I designed for the Keyhole Kate strip. This title banner will appear on all three of the Keyhole Kate pages I've written/drawn for The Dandy Annual 2020, on sale later this year (sometime between July and September).

As Kate originally appeared in the late 1930s I wanted to design something that looked like a classic comic header but also modern (or at least timeless). It took a while for me to decide on the right colour scheme but I felt blue on gold worked well.

The logo and the strips were all drawn last summer (we work way in advance on the annuals!) and I'll post some preview panels from my Keyhole Kate strips later in the year.  

Sunday 17 February 2019

Robo-Capers for sale. Original artwork!

I don't have many of my original pieces of Robo-Capers artwork left but I've put a couple on eBay for auction this week. The strips appeared in Marvel UK's The Transformers comic in the late 1980s. These are my original pieces; black ink on Bristol Board, still in great condition after more than 30 years.

If you're interested, hop over to my eBay page here. Bidding ends next Sunday (24th Feb.):

Saturday 16 February 2019

Fred's Bed (2007)

Back in 2007 I hadn't had a lot published by D.C. Thomson, despite trying to get regular work.  An editor told me they considered me "a Fleetway artist", and it was true that most of my published work since the mid-1980s had been for IPC / Fleetway / Egmont but that's the nature of freelancing; you work for whoever pays you.

I'd drawn some strips for the "Fun Size" versions of Dandy and Beano for Thomsons around the year 2000 (see here), but could never crack the weeklies. Then in 2007, new editor Alan Digby gave me a chance to do a couple of fill-ins on The Beano. One was an Ivy the Terrible strip and the other was Fred's Bed

Fred's Bed was usually drawn by Tom Paterson, so I had to "ghost" his style to an extent. Not a problem, as Tom and I both had the same influences to our style (that of Leo Baxendale). 

The script was supplied to me by the editor, but I can't remember if Alan wrote it, or possibly it was by Iain McLaughlin. As this was a try-out for me on the Beano I had to submit pencilled pages first for approval. Alan Digby suggested a couple of changes; panel two needed to be redrawn and the camel needed to look more like a camel, and then I inked the strip. 

I thought you might like to see my pencilled pages compared to my inked pages.

The strip was accepted, and coloured and lettered by the in-house Beano colourists before publication. It was published in The Beano No.3411, which was the Christmas 2007 issue. (Even though my strip had no Christmas relevance I was still very happy to be in the festive edition.) 

It would be another few years before the Beano commissioned me to do regular work though, on Super School, and later on Pup Parade, Ivy the Terrible, and several other strips. Wheels turn slowly at publishers sometimes! 

I'm not currently drawing anything for the Beano. They have a lot of talented young artists these days, but hopefully I'll be back one day! 

Thursday 14 February 2019

Coming to Comic Scene...

I wrote my first article for Comic Scene this week and sent it off to the editor. As I mentioned previously, I've been commissioned to write a regular column on British humour comics, and the first one will appear in Comic Scene Vol.2 No.2 in March. (In case you somehow haven't heard of the mag, Comic Scene is a monthly full colour magazine dedicated to British comics, and it's available from comic shops and WH Smith.)

I've also had my suggestions approved for the following two articles, so I'm looking forward to writing those.

Basically it'll be a print version of the sort of articles I did for my Blimey! blog (which I'm winding down this year). Sometimes I'll be talking about comics creators, sometimes the comics or the characters. I'll mainly be focusing on the past, because Comic Scene already covers current UK comics pretty well. 

As I own thousands of old British comics they'll certainly come in handy for research! 

I'm very pleased that editor Tony Foster invited me to join the Comic Scene team. Writing articles makes a nice change from drawing or scripting comics (although I'll be continuing with that too of course). It's good to have variety in one's job! 

There's a new issue of Comic Scene in the shops next week (I'm not in that one) and you can find out more about it here:

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Back to MACC-POW! this June!

Ad design by Marc Jackson.
I'll be one of the guests again at Macc-Pow! on June 22nd as Macclesfield plays host to the 4th annual comics event. Other guests will include Rachael Smith, David Leach, Hannah Berry, Tor Freeman and more!

Find out more info at the Macc-Pow! website here:

Sunday 10 February 2019

Derek the Troll in the massive Comic Scene Annual

Have you seen the Comic Scene Annual yet? Editor Tony Foster has compiled a massive 320 page softback volume featuring a wide range of strips from numerous contributors... and there's a new Derek the Troll half-pager in there from me too.

The Derek the Troll strip is actually the first episode of the series that's currently running in the digital monthly Goof! comic, but this is its first time in print, along with several other pages from Goof! presented as a sampler for the comic. (Unfortunately the Comic Scene Annual doesn't actually tell the readers anything about Goof! but you can subscribe at the following link):

Admittedly the Comic Scene Annual isn't cheap at £25 and I wouldn't expect anyone to buy it just for my half pager, but the book does carry a huge amount of other material too, including strips by Marc Jackson, John Gordon Miller, Mike Higgs, Steve Tanner and many more... plus 40 pages of To the Death, the new comic by Simon Furman and Geoff Senior.

Speaking of Goof!, I didn't have time to contribute a Derek the Troll chapter for this month's issue but he'll be back in March! I'm currently drawing a page for a comic I haven't contributed to for a while... More news soon!

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Conventions update

Updated convention list for 2019. Hope to see some of you at these events if you can make it! Ones marked "to be announced" have invited me but haven't announced guests yet so I'll reveal those after they've done so. Thanks to all the con organisers for inviting me... To be announced: Sunday 14th April 2019. *************** MANCHESTER COMIC FEST Saturday 27th April 2019 Wythenshawe Forum **************** To Be Announced: Saturday 11th May 2019 ***************** To Be Announced: Saturday 18th May 2019 ***************** COMICS SALOPIA 1st and 2nd June 2019 Shrewsbury **************** To Be Announced: 22nd June 2019 *************** To be announced: 26th to 28th July 2019. ***************

To be announced:
17th August 2019

*************** ICE 2019 Saturday 31st August 2019 Edgbaston Cricket Ground Birmingham B5 7QU **************** To be announced. 14th September 2019. **************** NOR-CON 28th and 29th September 2019 Norfolk Showgound Arena

Monday 4 February 2019

Go Daft this Thursday!

There's a new issue of Doctor Who Magazine in the shops this Thursday, and amongst its 84 pages of features and strips is another Daft Dimension strip from me. 

I can't show much of it or it'll spoil the joke, so here's an enlarged fragment of one panel. 

See the full story in Doctor Who Magazine No.535, on sale Thursday 7th February from newsagents, supermarkets, and comic shops! 

Sunday 3 February 2019

Team Toxic's final destination

The adventures of Team Toxic draw to a close this week but hopefully they'll be back one day! My final two-page story appears in Toxic No.317, on sale Wednesday 6th February.

In their final story, the Team are sent on a mission through a dimensional gateway and find themselves in a world that seems soft and comfortable... but appearances can be deceptive! Find out what happens in Comfort Zone in Toxic No.317, available from newsagents and supermarkets across the UK.

I've been a contributor to Toxic since issue No.1, way back in 2002, so I'm definitely missing the strip, but in this age of economic uncertainty, companies are making cutbacks and, as ever, the workforce are the ones to take the hit. Toxic will continue, but apparently without the strips.

The decision to end it came after I'd submitted the pages for this story, so although the story is self-contained, it's not the grand send-off I'd have done if I'd had some advance notice. Still, perhaps the strip will be revived at some point.

I've been writing/drawing Team Toxic for so long that I've met some people at conventions who read it when they were kids, and now their youngsters are reading it! If you have any memories of the strip, please post your thoughts below...

Friday 1 February 2019

Last chance to bid on these Tom Thug pages!

The eBay auction for the original artwork for two of my old Tom Thug strips from Oink! will end on Sunday. I drew these pages back in 1987 and they're still in excellent condition. There have already been several bids (and thank you if you're one of those bidders) but it's not over yet! 

If you want to bid on either of the pieces, or one of them, hop over to eBay at the following link. Good luck!