Wednesday 31 July 2019

Two new convention dates added!

A surprise addition to my convention bookings as today I was invited to the High Vis Street Culture Festival that takes place at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham, on Saturday 7th September! I'm pleased about this as I hadn't done any gigs in the Midlands this year so far so I'm looking forward to seeing readers from this area! 

For more info and guest names, check out their website:

Hi Vis Facebook page here:

and Instagram page here:

The following week I'll be flying over to Northern Ireland for the Omagh Comic Fest that's on Saturday 14th September. My first (and only) con date overseas this year so it'll be great to meet readers who haven't been able to get over to the shows in England. 

For more info on that, see their Facebook page:

Tuesday 30 July 2019

A fantastic weekend at LFCC!

This year's London Film and Comic Con was another smash hit! After an expected quiet start in the Comic Zone on Friday it became much busier over the weekend, with people travelling from far and wide to visit the show. 

The huge venue at Olympia, and the show's three day status (long days too; 9am to 7pm on Saturday) meant it was the biggest UK convention of the year so it was an honour to be part of that. My thanks to Tony Lee for inviting me again and for his smooth organisational skills. An event the size of LFCC is not easy to manage but from what I saw it all went extremely well. My thanks also to Valentina Sannais and the rest of the crew for looking after us and making sure we were fed and watered. 

Thanks also to the many friends in the industry who it's always a pleasure to catch up with at these shows. Far too many to mention here but special thanks to Nigel Parkinson, David Leach, and Kit Cox for being great people to share our section of the Comic Zone with. Also thanks to Cartoon Museum heroes Jess Kemp, Alison Brown, Chris Geary and Mark Stafford for being great company in the pub on Sunday evening for a quick after-con drink.

Last but certainly not least, my thanks to the readers who stopped by my table for a chat, a sketch, and/or a comic. Meeting the readers is what the show is all about and it means a lot to talk to the people who have enjoyed my work over the years. 

Now a few photos from the weekend. I didn't have time to take many but here are the ones I snapped...
All set up and ready for action! :)
A few of the huge crowd that visited that weekend.
Crowds begin the enter the Comic Zone.
Mr.Nigel Parkinson of Beanotown.

Nigel sketching for fans.
Jess Bradley (The Phoenix) and Lee Townsend.
Some of the sketches I drew over the weekend.
My favourite commission of the weekend. Thanks Bernadette!

Thursday 25 July 2019

See you at LFCC!

Here's where to find me at the London Film and Comic Con this weekend. Three long days of sketching, chatting, and generally enjoying the company of the comics community at the Comic Zone, upstairs at Olympia from Friday to Sunday inclusive. Table 28, between David Leach and Nigel Parkinson, next to the lifts so you can't miss us! 

I'll be there with my Combat Colin comics and I'll also be doing some talks in the area marked Comics Stage. Here's what's happening...

On SATURDAY at 10.45....

...and on SUNDAY at 4pm...

See you there! For more info, visit the website here:

Tuesday 23 July 2019

It's here! COMBAT COLIN No.4

It arrived from the printers today and is now available to buy from my website:

Combat Colin No.4 collects all the Combat Colin stories from The Transformers Nos.257 to 283 that were first published in 1990. In this latest batch of fast-paced comedy-action you'll see Colin encounter danger below the waves, in outer space, the Prehistoric past, and in his home town of Wallytown! 

Introducing Combat Kate! Is she hero or villain... or both? 

There's also a short back up article on my personal recollections of TV Century 21 and how it inspired me to create comics! 

Combat Colin No.4. 32 pages comprising of full colour covers and black and white interiors on quality paper. £3.50 plus postage.

You can also buy the issue from me at the London Film and Comic Con this weekend at Olympia. Table 28, near the lifts, upstairs in the Comic Zone!

Bear in mind that with LFCC coming up and deadlines to meet before then I might not have time to post all comic orders out this week, but you should all receive them within the next week or two. 

Monday 22 July 2019

On sale this Thursday: DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE No.541

Here's a sneak preview of a panel from my Daft Dimension strip in this month's Doctor Who Magazine, No.541, which will be on sale in supermarkets, WH Smith, selected newsagents and comic shops across the UK from this Thursday, 25th July. 84 packed pages for £5.99. 

Out now! The Dandy Annual 2020

I've just received The Dandy Annual 2020 that I ordered from D.C. Thomson. 112 pages of all-new material including three Keyhole Kate pages from me. Order early for Christmas!

Cover by Ken Harrison.

Sunday 21 July 2019

Revised con list

I'm sorry to hear that the Worcester Comics Festival, that was due to take place on 17th August, has been cancelled. It doesn't seem to be a good season for Midlands-based events. Only last week ICE2019, the annual Birmingham International Comic Expo, was also cancelled. 

Above is a revised listing of the shows I'll be at for the rest of this year. Hopefully the 14th September one will have its official announcement soon and I'll post the news here. 

I've said it before but we all owe convention organisers a debt of gratitude. If it wasn't for them there wouldn't even be a comics community. Sometimes it doesn't work out, through no fault of the organisers. There's a lot to deal with when putting on a show, including venue hire, insurance, booking guests and accommodation (and flights in some cases), ticket sales, staffing, plus sometimes red tape involving local councils etc. It's a miracle that so many events do actually reach completion! I certainly wouldn't have the stamina and patience to deal with the stress. 

As you can see, the next show I'll be at will be the huge LFCC next weekend. I'll be posting details about that in a day or two! 

Saturday 20 July 2019

My first mainstream cover

I understand the school holidays are upon us again? I couldn't wait for the summer break when I was a kid. Six weeks off! Days by the seaside! More time to play with your mates! More time at home (I had a happy home life). And summer specials to read too! Fantastic. I'm afraid I wasn't a great fan of school, but I have some happy memories of it, and made several lifelong friends through it so it wasn't all bad. :)

The very first cover I drew for a mainstream comic had a 'Schools Out!' theme. Mark Rogers, editor of Oink! commissioned me to do a Tom Thug cover for issue 33, back in 1987. I'd been a contributor to Oink! for every issue but this was my first cover. It was Mark's idea to show Tom and other kids bursting through the school gates but the rest of it was pretty much up to me.

On the left you can see my initial pencil rough, and Mark's comments and suggestions in blue biro. On the right is my finished, published version. I was still learning to use colour (Dr.Martins water colour inks, and Caran D'ache pencils) so it's a bit crude but it did the job.

Oink! was a great comic to work on and the contributors had a blast. It seems the readers did too, going by the reactions of those I meet now. Happy days!

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Cover preview: COMBAT COLIN No.4

It's 2a.m. and I've just finished uploading the pages to the printers for Combat Colin No.4. Hopefully it'll be out in time for the London Film and Comic Con on July 26th to 28th... and from my website store on July 29th.

Time for bed I think! I'll leave you with this advance preview of the cover...

Monday 15 July 2019


I'm just roughing out the cover for Combat Colin No.4. Here's a small section of it. 

Friday 12 July 2019

ROBO CAPERS! The Early Strips

As it's unlikely Marvel will ever reprint my Robo-Capers strips I thought I'd show a few here. 

Back in 1985, after a few successes with selling strips to Marvel UK I pitched a new one to Sheila Cranna, the editor of The Transformers fortnightly comic. I'd previously worked for Sheila when she was editor of the Spider-Man Comic, where I'd created Captain Wally and Snail-Man strips.  I had no interest in drawing the Autobots of The Transformers franchise but I thought a comedy strip about robots might be a good fit. Thankfully, Sheila thought so too, and Robo Capers began in Transformers No.15, cover dated 6th to 19th April 1985. It would run until issue 152. 

Here are the first 10 strips from Transformers No.15 to issue 24 (10th/23rd August 1985). Click on each strip to see it larger.

Where ROBO CAPERS began. TRANSFORMERS No.15. Cover by Mike Collins.

Tuesday 9 July 2019

Pup Parade will return to the BEANO!

First script for the new series. Parts redacted to avoid spoilers!
I'm pleased to say I've been commissioned to write and draw a new series of Pup Parade for the Beano, beginning in September.

The new series will be a mini-strip of 3 or 4 panels per episode. Not a lot of space in which to feature nine characters, so the spotlight will be on different pups each week. 

I've already written the first three scripts. The first one has been approved, so I'll be drawing that next week. 

I've enjoyed drawing the strip in the past when it was a full pager and a half pager in its previous two series, so I'm looking forward to taking those Bash Street Dogs for walkies again! 

The strip was a favourite of mine when it began in The Beano in 1967, drawn by Gordon Bell, so it's an honour to be the current artist on the strip. 

Monday 8 July 2019

Maurice the Cat!

Something new! I recently did a page for the independent comic TechnoFreak published by Sunday Lunch Comics. As it featured their character Maurice the Cat I thought I'd design the page like a spoof of an old Dandy cover and called it The Catnip. It appears on the back cover of TecnoFreak No.2.

The comic is out now and John Freeman has a review of it over on his blog:
Cover art by Tom Newell and John Charles.

Friday 5 July 2019

Postman Prat will return!

Dandy Annual 2018
One of the characters I really enjoyed working on for the late lamented Dandy comic was Postman Prat. Originally I was only the artist on the strip, working from scripts by others, but later I wrote my own material. (I've written by own strips for about 90% of my career so I was happy to take on Prat too.) I also do the colouring and lettering because I see the whole thing as part of the job, rather than the "conveyer belt" system of having various people do each stage of the strip.

He hasn't been around for a few years but I'm pleased to say that I'm currently writing/drawing brand new Postman Prat strips for The Dandy Annual 2021, to be published in about 12 month's time. I always enjoy doing gormless characters and there's still plenty of mileage in Prat! 

In the meantime, here's one of the Postman Prat strips I did that appeared in The Dandy Annual 2018. Hope you like it! 

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Sometimes it doesn't work out

One thing that's important to remember in this business is that sometimes projects are cancelled before they see print. You may remember I mentioned in a previous post that I was drawing something new that'd appear this week? Sadly it didn't work out and the client changed their mind, so it will never see the light of day now.

So it goes. There's no hard feelings and I'll be paid for what I did so that's a relief at least. Out of professional courtesy I won't go into detail about what it would have been but it was an interesting thing to work on, and for a publication I'd never worked for before, and with a writer I'd never worked with before... but I hope I'll work with them again one day. 

So if you're new to the business, don't lose heart if something you've worked on is axed before publication. It can happen to anyone. Just make sure you get paid, and press on with the next job! A glass half full attitude is the only way to keep sane in this industry!