Sunday, 26 April 2020

Adding a bit extra

The Vampire Brats was a strip created by Mark Rogers that I drew from his scripts, as a replacement for my Pete and his Pimple series in Buster. It began in 1989 but by the time of this example from 1990 it was written by Roy Davis, who was a veteran cartoonist/writer responsible for many strips in the old comics.  

Roy always supplied his "scripts" as roughed out comic strips, rather than typewritten manuscripts. In this instance he wanted the characters drawn in silhouette in most panels too indicate it was pitch black night. A nice visual idea that didn't take long to draw, but I felt a bit guilty that I wasn't earning my fee, and that the readers might feel short changed too.... so, I decided to create a little spontaneous extra at the foot of the page with Monsters on Parade! 

This page originally appeared in Buster dated 14th July 1990. By this period it was sub-titled "The All-Colour Comic" and although some pages did feature fully coloured strips, a lot of them (like this one) were limited to basic mechanical flat colours. Personally I thought it looked too garish and would have worked better just using red or blue, but perhaps the readers liked it, I dunno. 

Another page from the archives soon! If you have any requests, post a comment below.



Peter Gray said...

I didn't like this type of colour either..

Like the know your monsters...did you do more of these..
nice drawing the outline nice and clear..

Lew Stringer said...

I can't recall. I think I did. I pulled this issue from a pile of unsorted issues so I'm not sure.

Ian M said...

Never seen The Vampire Brats before, so this was quite a treat! On the subject of the colours used, it reminded me of when IPC launched Knockout around 1971. It was advertised as an 'all colour comic', which was the main reason I tried it for a short while.

I was a little disappointed when I realised that many of the pages were actually one colour (but various tints/shades/tones of said colour), but of course full colour throughout would have made the comic prohibitively expensive for most children, not to say the publisher!!

I can remember after the initial disappointment how effective the one colour approach actually was - for some reason I found the strips printed in yellow looked the most pleasing!

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, it was a bit of a cheat for Knockout to boast about it being all colour. :) Those comics haven't fared well over the years either, due to cheap paper and heavy inks soaking through. At least Buster was on better paper in the 1990s but those colours...

I'll show some more Vampire Brats strips soon!