Monday 30 March 2020

Comics update

As things stand at present, with the COVID-19 lockdown expected to continue for six months or more, and as I don't have a lot of work on right now, I've sadly decided to put Combat Colin No.5 on hold.

It will be published eventually, at some point, assuming I survive the next few months of course (who expected that to be a disclaimer we'd all start using?). At present the printers I use are still in business, but I don't really want to be risking my life several times a week taking comics to the post office to mail out. The instruction is to stay at home so I'll only be leaving when necessary. I hope you understand.

For those of you who have suggested I do issue 5 as a digital edition; it's not something I want to do. I'd prefer to stick with the print format for the whole series for consistency. Besides, digital comics only get pirated and put onto dodgy download sites right away. 

That said, I may release something in the digital format soon, but it won't be Combat Colin No.5. Watch this space.

All being well I'll publish Combat Colin No.5 in late summer or Autumn, but we'll see how life pans out. 

Take care all. 


In print (and digital) this week...

Hello everyone. How are you doing? I hope you and your families and friends are all bearing up in these worrying times. I thought I'd let you know what I have in print this week. Firstly, on Wednesday (1st April, no foolin') there's another one of Ellis's Great Escapes in the Beano No.4029.... then, the next day, on Thursday 2nd April we journey to The Daft Dimension again in Doctor Who Magazine No.550

Now that comic shops and many branches of WH Smith are closed you might find it difficult to get the comics but for individual print issues of the Beano you could try Newsstand at this link...

...or take out a subscription for future issues in print or digital at this link:

For Doctor Who Magazine you can buy individual issues, subscribe, or buy the digital version all at this link:

Stay at home and stay safe... and escape into comics, books, music, films, or whatever helps you through this. 


Sunday 29 March 2020

Masters of British Comic Art

Thanks to artist/writer David Roach for the brief unexpected mention in his new book Masters of British Comic Art, a huge near-400 page hardback that's available now. Nice to see Oink! included in the text.

Masters of British Comic Art is published by Rebellion and is essential for fans of UK comics (and of comic art in general). About a third of the book covers the history of British comic art, with profusely illustrated chapters on comics for humour, nursery, adventure, girls comics, newspaper strips, undergrounds, and more. The rest is an art book, showing beautifully reproduced pages mostly shot from the original artwork!

Bookshops and comic shops now closed for the duration of the pandemic, but you can still order it directly from the publisher (which is what I did). You'll find the details at this link along with other books currently available from Rebellion:


Friday 27 March 2020

NEW! Liverpool Heartbeat Magazine!

There's a brand new children's magazine available now featuring strips and features. Edited by Tim Quinn (who has long experience in comics as an editor and writer), Liverpool Heartbeat Magazine is a full colour 48 page A4 publication primarily aimed at instilling a love of reading and writing in the young people of Merseyside. 

Contributors to the mag include Nigel Parkinson, Russ Leach, Holly Bushnell, and me! Plus stories, drawings, and news reports by the schoolchildren of Liverpool... and a special previously unpublished message from the late great Stan Lee! Plus an interview with Eddie Izzard! All in all it's a very positive magazine and we all need that right now!

From a script by Tim Quinn, I've drawn a full page strip called Bird's Eye View, featuring Askey and Dodd, the famous Liver Birds that look out over Liverpool from the top of the Liver building. Who knew that while they're up there, Dodd is regailing Askey with some tall tales? The first of which takes us back to the height of Beatlemania, Daleks, and screaming teenagers! 

The plan is to do three issues this year. Liverpool Heartbeat Magazine isn't confined to Merseyside though. While the postal service is still operating you can order it by mail wherever you live for just £3 at

Finally, a note from Tim Quinn:
"Also be sure to hop on board our new LIVERPOOL HEARTBEAT COMIC MAGAZINE Facebook page where we will be uploading fun features for parents and children at home during this international crisis." All details over at:


Thursday 26 March 2020

Working methods

While we're waiting for the Cor!! Buster Easter Special to be published (on 8th April) I thought you might like to see how a bit of last year's special looked like in its early stages. 

The Who's In Charge? there pager I drew was written by John Freeman and asked for a busy big panel on page one featuring The Swots and the Blots, The Bumpkin Billionaires, and anyone else I wanted to add. The Swots and Blots were favourites of mine back in the 1960s when they were in Smash! so of course I jumped at the chance to draw them.

Shown here are a couple of photos I took when the pencils were partly completed. You'll notice from the left hand side of the panel that I lightly rough out shapes first to indicate where characters will be. In this case I'd chosen to start doing more detailed pencils of the kids in the playground first, before I'd pencilled Weary Willie and Tired Tim properly on the left there. 

Yep, I know my pencil roughs look very messy. It's just the way I've always worked to channel the energy of the characters from my mind onto paper. I know which lines I'll ink even if no one else does. I'm glad we don't have to work the American method by having other people ink our pencils. It'd take me twice as long to do neat enough pencils for the inker to follow! 

Some of you may be wondering why I use a blue pencil. It's a certain shade of blue that the scanner doesn't pick up after I've inked the pages. It saves me erasing the usual grey pencils. Besides, the ink from the fibre-tip pens and brush pens I use now would fade to grey if I tried to erase pencil lines. (Yes, I still ink traditionally, then scan the art into Photoshop.)

I usually draw my strips "twice up", which is twice the width and twice the height of the published piece. Obviously that would mean a huge A2 original page, but I draw each page in two A3 halves, then assemble them in Photoshop after I've scanned them in.

Speaking of Photoshop, that's the software I use to colour the pages. As I've said before, I prefer doing computer colouring than the old method of using a brush and colour inks that I used throughout the 1990s. Anyway, here's the finished result of the half page show above. (Click on images to see them larger.) The dialogue balloons and captions would be added later after the editor passed it onto the letterer. 


Wednesday 25 March 2020


I hope everyone's doing ok? I've just had my government-sanctioned once-a-day walk to Sainsbury's and back to get some fresh fruit and veg (and ok, I bought a pizza as well). Plenty of food in stock, which made me appreciate the efforts of farmers, suppliers, and the distribution chain more than I used to.

It wasn't very busy in there at mid-day. Everyone was respecting the distance and giving way to each other with a calm smile and a nod. At the moment everyone seems subdued and extra polite, like we're shy children on our first week at a new school.

Several buses passed by on my journey. This is the main route to and from Coventry and every bus was empty except for one that had a solitary passenger. I took the route through the park on my way there. Again, we all adopted a good distance between us. The quietness of everyone's shared understanding coupled with the glorious weather gave a deceptive impression that we were living in a Utopia. If only we were. It's early days of course but if people can maintain such dignity it gives me some hope for humanity. Look after yourselves and each other.
(Do I have any comics news to tell you? Well, I had a message en route telling me my regular Beano work was ending immediately, so I'm afraid that's all I can report for today. The comic itself is continuing though so readers will still have their weekly Beano and as I've worked weeks ahead I'll still be in there until late May.)


Tuesday 24 March 2020

Rebellion issue a statement about their comics in the current crisis

For those of you asking if the Cor!! Buster Easter Special will still be published on 8th April, the answer is yes. As things stand now, the all-new Action 2020 SpecialCor!! Buster Easter Special2000AD and Judge Dredd Magazine will be out on schedule. You'll also be able to order them by post, or buy digital editions. 

The planned Best of 2000AD reprint monthly has been put on hold though.

Here's your link to order the Cor!! Buster Easter Special: 

Rebellion have issued a press release with full details of how things stand as of today. Obviously things can change and if they do I'll post a follow up. Here's their press release from Mike Molcher in full....

As the UK government brings in restrictions on movement in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rebellion would like to reassure readers that 2000 AD will continue to be published.

We are working closely with our printers and distributors to ensure that the supply of Thrill-power continues through this difficult time.

This is a rapidly-changing situation so please bear with us - our top priority is the safety of all our staff, as well as those at our printers and distributors, and delivery staff. We are constantly monitoring developments and reappraise our operations on a daily basis, taking both government advice and common sense into account when making decisions.

It is important to us that comics, which can provide distraction and entertainment at a time when people are unable to leave their homes, continue to reach those who need them.

As things stand at 12noon on Tuesday 24 March, 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine will continue to be printed and sent to subscribers. Non-subscribers can order physical copies of both titles from the 2000 AD webshop. Newsagents and retailers will receive comics as well, with some exceptions outlined below.

Physical copies of our specials, such as this week’s Action 2020 Special and the forthcoming Cor!! Buster Easter Special, will still go out to customers and stockists, and will be available to buy from the 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics webshops.

While newsagent chains such as WH Smiths are closing selected stores, we will continue to support independent newsagents, comic book stores, and supermarkets that remain open and which stock our titles. 

Comic book stores especially face a huge challenge as Diamond Distribution is ceasing all deliveries of new titles, please support them through this difficult time where you can with mail order custom or the purchase of gift certificates etc.

Due to the closure of Diamond’s distribution network, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the publication of Best of 2000 AD #1, which was due to go on sale on 29 April. This title is postponed until further notice.

All titles will be available digitally on their existing publication dates from 2000 AD and the Treasury of British Comic’s webshop. All pre-orders of physical paperback and hardback editions will also be supplied.

Our huge backlist of titles will continue to be available to order from the 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics webshop. There will be unfortunate but understandable delays to overseas deliveries. Please consult your government’s advice on postal services for information about local deliveries and border closures.

The 2000 AD webshop and apps will continue to be updated with our latest titles. Go to to download our apps for Apple, Android, and Windows 10 devices.

Please stay safe, Earthlets: follow the advice to stay home where possible, wash your hands regularly, and maintain social distancing, but ensure you help vulnerable members of your community as much as you safely can.

We may often deal in dystopias, but if our 43 years of stories have taught us anything it’s to work together and look out for one another.

All the best,


DWM 550 preview... and special offer (if you're quick)

The next issue of Doctor Who Magazine (which includes a Daft Dimension from me) is scheduled for 2nd April but if you want to avoid the shops you can subscribe at this special offer before 5pm tonight and it'll be the first issue in your subscription package:

Monday 23 March 2020

Shout, shout, let it all out

I spent the weekend drawing Sgt.SHOUTY, a new character I've created for The 77, a new comic coming soon. That's a tiny preview above. I'll have more news about it in the weeks to come, all being well.

How are you all? We're living in ever changing times day by day and it's difficult to adjust to at present isn't it? It's understandable that we may feel isolated and alone but worth remembering that we're all sharing the same anxieties. I hope, in time, our shared experience will bring more kindness and unity to the world for the new society that may emerge from this. 

Be kind to each other, and to yourselves. 


Saturday 21 March 2020

Ellis will return!

There's no Ellis's Great Escape strip in the Beano next week, but he will be back the following week. He'll skip a few other upcoming issues too. These days the Beano tends to shuffle the mini-strips, or leave them out altogether if the main stories are longer, so I won't be in every week unfortunately. 

I will have three strips in an upcoming issue though and I'll tell you about those in a few weeks. 


Friday 20 March 2020

Enniskillen Comic Fest... cancelled

Yet another comic show has very sadly been cancelled due to this blasted virus sweeping the world. The always-enjoyable Enniskillen Comic Fest will not be taking place in May. 

My thoughts to Paul Trimble and his hard working team who always make these shows great fun and who always look after their guests. We will meet again one day my friends! 

Here's the full statement from Paul Trimble:

We've put off this announcement as long as we can but in the end, as the situation continues to worsen, there just is no alternative but to announce that this years Enniskillen ComicFest has been postponed until later in the year. The safety of all involved in the event, and all who attend, is the priority. Our hope is to bring you the award winning Enniskillen ComicFest in the autumn so something to really look forward to. Thanks for all your messages of support and to all our Guests who had agreed to come to Enniskillen in May- we hope to reschedule with you and look forward to having you with us at some point in the future.
Until then remember that Volume 5 of the Judge Dredd Files is available as a free download to enjoy while self isolating…
And that there is a free Kids Activity Pack available as a download as well to entertain the next generation of Squaxx dek Thargo…
Until then- Stay Safe and remember Its All About The Comics!

Comics still available... for now!

All outstanding orders for comics have now been fulfilled and are either in transit or have been delivered. Thanks for your patience and your custom.

Although I can't say when Combat Colin No.5 will be published, my other comics are still available to buy exclusively from my website at this link:

Bear in mind that supplies of issue 4 are running low though and I won't be reprinting it for a while.

Obviously during this Covid-19 crisis there's a likelihood that postal services could be shut down in the event of a total lockdown. If that happened before I'd fulfilled your order I'd contact you via your PayPal address and ask you if you wanted me to either wait it out or refund you. 

I'm healthy at present but if I contracted the virus I would refund you and close my online shop to prevent any further orders being placed. 

I know that sounds very bleak but we are in bleak times and I'm trying to be pragmatic. Yeah, I know. Not the best way to promote fun comics is it? The dark humour of that situation hasn't been lost on me. Take care, all, and remember if you want to order comics you still can at the moment! 


Macc-Pow! cancelled for 2020

Always an enjoyable, positive event, the Macclesfield comics convention known as Macc-Pow! has sadly been cancelled for June 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This was the announcement that organiser Marc Jackson made on the official Macc-Pow! Facebook page this morning:

"It is with a heavy heart and great sadness, that I announce this years MACC-POW! will not take place in June due to the current situation. To all those involved you have my thanks, we’ll do this next year bigger and even better with bells on. Stay well, stay safe and keep making comics."

Marc intends the event to return next year, on Saturday June 26th 2021. 

I've enjoyed the previous four years of Macc-Pow! with its upbeat spirit and companionship of great guests but I completely understand and agree with Marc's decision to cancel this year's show and I hope we can all meet again next year. 


Wednesday 18 March 2020


I thought I'd better post an update for those of you wondering when the next issue of Combat Colin will be ready to order. 

At the moment I've had to put issue 5 on the back burner while I get on with mainstream comics work that pays the bills. I'm still hoping to publish it in late April or early May but it really depends on how much the current coronavirus pandemic affects things. If postal services are postponed or restricted to essential items only there's little point in me publishing a comic that depends on mail order. More importantly, if I lose income from my mainstream work (e.g.: comics being put on hold if printers/distributors/shops close) then I'll have to save my money for essentials just to survive. (Last year was a bad one financially and I'm still dealing with that.)

As we're all well aware, the situation is changing daily and it'll get worse before it gets better. The whole of human society is dealing with massive unexpected lifestyle changes worldwide and I fully appreciate that people will have to prioritise things that are far more important than funnybooks. (I've already stopped buying most comics I was following, and have ceased buying books for the time being.)

At the moment I'm still booked for the list of conventions shown on the right hand column of this blog and if that changes I'll notify you here right away. Likewise, if Combat Colin No.5 does go into production soon I'll post an update here. At worst, it'll be postponed until later in the year hopefully. When it is available you'll be able to order it from my online shop.

I don't know about you folks but I keep thinking this is a nightmare we'll suddenly wake up from. Sadly it's all too real. Wishing you all good health and let's hope we survive this crisis for brighter and happier times ahead. 


Sad news. LAWLESS is cancelled

Convention organiser Su Haddrell has just announced that unfortunately this year's Lawless comic con has been cancelled. The event was due to take place in Bristol on 16th May but because of ongoing concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic it's wiser to postpone the show until 2021.

I was scheduled to be a guest at this event so I thought I'd let you know. I feel very sorry for convention organisers this year. They put a lot of time, effort, and their own money into such events and this is the last thing they needed. I hope everyone understands this and gives the organisers your moral support and good wishes.

Here's Su's announcement in full:

It is with great regret that we have decided to cancel this years Lawless Comic Convention.  We were hoping to continue or wait out the situation to see if we can still go ahead, but in light of the amount of shows that are not going ahead, the financial difficulties that folk are facing day to day, as well as the ongoing 'Unknown' of how this Plague is going to pan out, it seems sensible to put a stop on it now.
The next stage is as follows:
I'm waiting on confirmation from the Doubletree that we can move the date of the show to Saturday 15th May 2021. I'm also waiting on confirmation that they will refund hotel bookings regardless as to whether or not they're 'non-refundable'. There may also be the option of moving the date for those as well. So hold your horses on hotel stuff until I come back on that one.
Secondly - in the interest of simplicity, the event will be cancelled on Ticketlight and you will all receive refunds. The tickets will go live again in Jan 2021 as per the usual process. This just makes it easier than cancelling or not cancelling individual tickets for 250 odd attendees and traders who may or may not be able to make it next year.
Thirdly - I will be messaging all Guests and traders individually via messenger and email to advise them of the above situation. We will re invite them again for next year, but obviously this may chop and change with peoples plans, so a new guest list will be announced in the New Year (with a bit if luck, it'll be pretty much the same!)
Lastly - You are all still welcome to gather if you wish. We're not making any plans that far ahead, but maybe up for a trip down to Bristol for and afternoon/evening drink or something - feel free to organise yourselves or someone set up an FB event to that effect. :)
I will post again once the hotel have confirmed the rooms are sorted and once I've canceled the Ticketlight site. Feel free to ask any questions and spread this message far and wide.
Again - SO SORRY to have to cancel this, it sucks balls. 
Be excellent to each other and look out for one another. And don't stock pile! 
Love & Hugs


Monday 16 March 2020


Last night I completed the art on a three page GUMS story for the Cor!! Buster Easter Special from a script by Lizzie Boyle. (As you know I've also drawn a three page Buster and Delbert story for the same special, written by John Freeman.) 

Gums was last-minute job needed quickly as it goes to press this week! I was filling in for another artist who was off sick so I tried to "ghost" her style to a certain extent. The comic will be in shops on 8th April (if the shops are still open in April during this pandemic crisis) but you can pre-order it to make sure of your copy from the publisher's website here:

These are very worrying times but if we do have to go into lockdown, comics are an ideal way to take our minds off it and escape into other worlds! I hope that doesn't sound like I'm trivialising the situation. Far from it. Seriously, any reading matter or other escapism (music, films, hobbies) are a good way to keep the mind healthy. 

Wishing you all good health and brighter times ahead. 


Preview of the next ELLIS strip

Here's a quick look at one panel from the next Ellis's Great Escapes strip. You can see the full version in the Beano this coming Wednesday.

The Beano is still the cheapest comic in the shops but remember you can subscribe and each issue will be even cheaper! Full details at this link:


Saturday 14 March 2020

Postman Prat returns this year!

D.C. Thomson have unveiled the cover to The Dandy Annual 2021 and it's a cracker! (A homage to Incredible Hulk Annual No.1 perhaps?) The cover art is by David Parkins.

The Dandy Annual 2021 will feature all new stories of Dandy favourites from over the years. Amongst the line-up are Desperate Dan drawn by someone new to the strip (I'll leave it up to him to reveal the news :)), Bully Beef and Chips (drawn by Laura Howell), George and the Dragon (drawn by Andy Fanton), Pre-School Prime Minister (by Jamie Smart) and Postman Prat and Keyhole Kate by me. 

For this book I was commissioned to write/draw four double page Postman Prat stories, eight Keyhole Kate mini-strips, and a Postman Prat board game, so I was pleased with that lot! 

There's a preview of one panel from Postman Prat at the top of this post. No more sneak peeks of Prat until later this year... at least not from the annual (he says cryptically). 

The Dandy Annual 2021 goes on sale in July / August and will be available to pre-order soon from online sellers.
Cover by David Parkins

Thursday 12 March 2020


Rebellion have released a few preview pages from the upcoming Cor!! Buster Easter Special, including one I drew (written by John Freeman). This is the start of a three-pager featuring Buster and Delbert and cameos by a multitude of UK comics characters from the past. See how many you recognise! (Some date back to the 19th Century so don't be too hard on yourselves if you don't know them.) 

I really enjoyed drawing these pages and bringing back characters from long ago. The special goes on sale next month but you can pre-order it now direct from the publisher at this link:
Cover art by Neil Googe and Jim Boswell.


Tuesday 10 March 2020

BUSTER's 30th Anniversary.... 30 years ago! (1990)

While I'm busy finishing off my contributions for the Cor!! Buster Easter Special I thought you might like to see a strip I did for Buster weekly way back in 1990, for the comic's 30th anniversary!

I'd forgotten all about this until Peter Gray reminded me by posting it on his UK Comics Facebook page. These are Peter's scans as I don't have time to dig my issue out at present. 

As you know, Tom Thug was usually a single page strip, but as the character had become popular the editor Allen Cummings allowed me two and a half pages that week to do justice to the anniversary story I'd come up with. I really enjoyed drawing the old characters such as Faceache and Pongo. I embellished them with a grey wash to reflect the days when Buster was a black and white comic, and also to give them a ghostly appearance. 

I miss working for Buster, but it's great to be drawing pages for the new Cor!! Buster specials! Especially as this year is the 60th anniversary of Buster! 

Were you a reader of Buster years ago? Post your thoughts and comments about the comic below!


Friday 6 March 2020

SGT.SHOUTY is coming!

Here's a new character I've created for a brand new comic! SGT.SHOUTY of The Moon Force will appear in The 77, a new UK comic launching in May. Find out more details of the comics at this link...


Preview: Next week's ELLIS strip

The second episode of Ellis's Great Escapes is in the Beano next week so I thought I'd give you an advance preview today! Here's the first panel, before the dialogue was added. (The dialogue was already written of course, in my script, but it's not applied to the page until I send the art to the Beano office.)

See the full story in the Beano No.4026, on sale Wednesday 11th March!  


Tuesday 3 March 2020

DWM 549 preview

The other day I posted a preview of my next Daft Dimension, but here it is again alongside the newly released cover of the issue. As is tradition every time there's a new actor playing The Doctor, the cover has the "...IS the Doctor" blurb, and this time it's Jo Martin in the spotlight! 

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine goes on sale in newsagents, comic shops, and supermarkets this Thursday, with features on the recent series, interviews, and the start of a new Doctor Who comic strip.

The Doctor Who TV series has just ended but it'll be back around Christmas. Meanwhile, Doctor Who Magazine continues every four weeks! Don't miss it!

Here's a larger version of the cover to look out for...

...and here's the cover that's exclusive for the issue that subscribers and contributors receive....


Sunday 1 March 2020

Cor!! Buster is back next month!

Only a month to go before the all-new Cor!! Buster Easter Special goes on sale! 52 pages of fun reviving classic characters from the past in brand new stories. Here's a glimpse of a fraction of one panel when it was still in the rough pencil stage. A three-page story starring Buster and Dilbert (with cameos from loads of others) written by John Freeman and drawn by me.

...and this week I'm drawing another three-pager for the same special. Who will it feature? I'll reveal a bit of it after I've drawn it! 


Last chance to back The 77, a new anthology comic

The Kickstarter campaign for The 77 ends today so this is your last chance to get behind this new comic. As I previously noted a few weeks agoThe 77 is an all-new retro-style UK anthology comic planned to be published quarterly, with 64 pages and loads of strips by established and new creators. 

I'm creating a brand new character for it, called SGT. SHOUTY of the Moon Force! 

This is great news for fans who miss the old-style comics, and should also appeal to a new generation of readers too! 

More details at The 77's Kickstarter page HERE: