Sunday 31 January 2021

Cor!! Buster promo

Rebellion have just posted a new advert on their Treasury of British Comics Facebook account for the Cor!! Buster Bumper Fun Book. I'm pleased to see they've used part of one of the strips I drew to represent the book so I thought I'd share it here.

The Cor!! Buster Bumper Fun Book collects all the stories produced for the two Cor!! Buster Specials published in 2019 and 2020 into a handy softback format. I drew Who's In Charge and Buster and Delbert (both written by John Freeman) and the second Gums strip in the book, written by Lizzie Boyle. I also wrote the intro as 'Buster' explaining who the characters are. 

Other contributors include Tom Paterson, Tiernan Trevallion, Abigail Bulmer, Edward Whatley and many more. You can order the book at this link:

...and for news of their upcoming releases such as The Steel Claw, Adam Eterno, and The Spider you can follow The Treasury of British Comics on Facebook at this link:

Thursday 28 January 2021


Most of you have heard of Fantastic comic, but did you know about Fun-tastic Comic? This was a one-off produced by Egmont for Eurostar several years ago. I've forgotten the exact date (and there's no year in the indicia) but it'd be around 2005. 

Basically, Eurostar wanted a fun package that their staff could give to kids while they were travelling on Eurostar trains. They contacted Egmont, who put together two slim comics that were bagged with a set of coloured pencils and a pencil sharpener. 

The editor was Claire Mewett, who I'd worked for on Know-How Magazine. She commissioned me to draw a new full colour cover for Fun-tastic Comic featuring several classic comics characters playing football on a beach. A nice opportuinity to draw Frankie Stein, Sweeth Tooth, Fuss Pott, and others!

The comic only had 16 pages (including the cover) and the contents were all black and white reprints such as Stage School, Milly O'Naire and Penny Less, Boy Boss, and others from comics such as Whoopee, Buster, etc. 

Also bagged with the comic was a 16 page A5 item called Fun-tastic Puzzles. I was asked to draw a new cover for this too, and the contents were again all reprint, mostly including selected cartoons and double page spreads I'd done for Know-How Magazine a couple of years previously, such as these...


These days of course Rebellion own the classic characters such as Frankie Stein, but I think Egmont still own the stuff I did for Know-How. I've never actually met anyone who's seen Fun-tastic so I don't know how long it was available for. I hope it kept passengers entertained though!

Sunday 24 January 2021

A Peek into the Future

As it's such a snowy day I thought you'd like to see an advance sneak-peek at a snowy scene from The Dandy Annual 2022. The book won't be out until July/August of this year so it's a long way off yet! 

I'll have five pages in this book. Four full page Keyhole Kate strips that I've written and drawn, plus artwork for a puzzle page. The pages were done last year because we work way in advance on the annuals.

I'll show you a few more snippets closer to the publication time. 

For now, stay safe... and stay warm! Just a few months ago temperatures reached as high as 33C here. Today... below freezing! British weather eh? 

The view from my house today.

Friday 22 January 2021

Introducing OINK! in 1986...

I'd completely forgotten about this article I wrote back in 1986 to promote the then-new Oink! comic. Thanks to David Hathaway-Price for the reminder. The article appeared in the fanzine Fantasy Advertiser No.96 in May 1986. At the time I was contributing a regular article on Brirish comics every issue, either covering news of new comics, talking about old ones, or interviewing people such as Mike Higgs and Kevin O'Neill. (Actually I think Kev's feature was a guest spot that he wrote himself explaining the work of resizing / redrawing pages for the Titan Comics Nemesis the Warlock mini-series.) 
David has archived many of those Fantasy Advertiser issues digitally (with permission) at his website here:

If you want to read my article, click on the image to make it larger.


Thursday 21 January 2021

"The Great Reprint Rip-Off"

In his 1978 autobiography A Very Funny Business, Leo Baxendale devoted a chapter to what he called "The Great Reprint Rip-Off". He told how in the early 1970s IPC had begun reprinting many of the strips he'd created only a few years earlier, and he never received a penny in recompense. Strips such as The Tiddlers from Wham! were reprinted and renamed as The Horrors. Biff became Sam in Thunder. General Nitt and his Barmy Army became Sir Hector and his Hardnuts. And so on.

This had long been common policy in British comics of course, due to publishers claiming that they owned the material outright, even if there hadn't been a formal contract. It was an eye-opener for me as a reader at the time though, but it prepared me well when I began my own career in comics a few years later. At least I couldn't complain that I didn't know what to expect going in. 

Baxendale had been so dismayed by the wholesale reprinting of his old strips that he quit mainstream comics forever in 1975. He'd go on to work in books, newspapers, and self-publish at a time when self-publishing wasn't as widespread as it is today. 

Like I said, Leo's book had prepared me to expect similar treatment eventually. If publishers would treat such an important creator as Leo Baxendale like that they'd do it to anyone. Sure enough, by the mid-1990s, Egmont (who had acquired the rights to the IPC comics years before) decided that Buster comic needed to gradually go all-reprint in order to save costs. After a popular ten year run, my Tom Thug strip became the latest to fall to that policy, becoming a reprint strip from 1996 until Buster's final issue at the end of 1999. 

A few years later, Egmont decided to save more cash by turning Sonic the Comic into an almost all-reprint comic. Lots of my stories, along with those of others, were regurgitated, sometimes losing the original threads of continuity I'd woven into the stories because they were reprinted out of order. 

A few years ago, Egmont decided to do the same with my Team Toxic strips in Toxic magazine, re-using older strips and dropping me as the magazine's last surviving freelancer. 

"The Great Reprint Rip-Off" never ends, and has been a part of British comics for decades, even long before Leo Baxendale worked in comics. Now the point is, it's not so much the creators who are being "ripped off", especially if, like myself, we know this is likely to happen. 

It's the readers who are being ripped off.

Imagine a kid spending £4.99 for the latest bagged magazine only to find that the story within is one they'd read only a few years earlier. Perhaps they'd be too distracted by the easily-breakable "free" plastic toy to care, but I think some would feel very disappointed. I know I did at that age, unless it was a story I hadn't read before.

Interestingly, I was flicking through the latest issue of Toxic in a shop today. It wasn't sealed in a bag for a change so I could peruse the contents. I was very intrigued to see that reprints of Team Toxic were no longer in there. Instead, there were three licensed strips, possibly American or European in origin. Had there been complaints about the repeated stories? Or perhaps they've finally decided that the "gross humour" of Team Toxic is a bit old hat by 2021? Or that (more likely) stories about snot monsters are unsuitable for the Age of Covid? Perhaps this issue was an exception? I don't know. If the next issue is bagged I'm not paying £4.99 to find out.

If they have decided to drop the reprint then it's a good thing. For one, I'd be relieved that they're no longer profiting on publishing strips without paying me a reprint fee, but more importantly it'd mean they're not ripping off their readers. 

As a postscript, I should add that Rebellion, who bought the IPC back catalogue from Egmont (but not including Toxic) do pay a reprint fee. Times are improving...



Sunday 17 January 2021

Blog break

This whole pandemic and how it's affected friends and the world around us is starting to get to me now. Plus there's nothing new to report work-wise so I'm taking a break for a few days while I try to focus on the bit of work I do have left. 

If something new crops up I'll post about it as soon as I can. Or if I can find the enthusiasm to rummage through my old work I'll post some pages from years ago.

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Living in Limbo

You don't need me to tell you what strange times these are. Actually, "strange times" has become an annoying cliché hasn't it? My apologies for going down that route. These are bloody horrible times! 

So far I've managed to stay healthy and keep going, mainly because I rarely go out and haven't seen friends for months. Social media has been a blessing though, video messaging friends from far and wide, and even using old fashioned methods like the telephone. 

I've been one of the lucky ones so far, but I know friends who have suffered from the virus or who have lost loved ones. Coronavirus is no hoax, it's not just "like the flu". It's something none of us have been up against before. Nearly two million dead so far, yet some boneheads still continue to deny its seriousness, or think it's a worldwide conspiracy. (They'll believe that governments across the globe can secretly work together to cripple the economy for... whatever... but they can't believe in a plague? Insane!)

Obviously, this is having a knock on effect on comics. (I presume you expected me to talk about comics, as this is a comics blog?) Naturally, publishers are becoming far more cautious with their plans this year. With lockdown causing comic stores to pull the shutters down, comic cons being non-existent, and people prioritizing their spending on essentials it's a grim time all round. I've certainly noticed the difference and I can't see things significantly turning around this year, to be realistic. Hopefully in 2022, if we can get there intact, publishers might feel more confident to launch new titles. (I'm talking about British comics here. American publishers continue to churn out new comics all the time, although even the mighty DC Comics have made cutbacks.)

Excuse me rambling but essentially I'm saying have patience with the comics industry because at present it's suffering like any other business. Hopefully we can all weather this storm and come out the other end into brighter times. 

As for the artwork at the top of this post; it's a CGI shed I made with Bryce software back in the year 2000. It was going to be part of a CGI Combat Colin strip but I never completed the strip so it's never been published anywhere. Although I'm pleased with the shed, my inexperience with CGI shows in the background work. Anyway, I thought it was appropriate for this post. Old style garden sheds are often part of the environment in British comics, so having one floating in Limbo seemed a fair representation of how many of us are feeling right now! 

Keep the faith. In the words of the old song, "We Shall Overcome... some day".


Tuesday 12 January 2021

Are you on Facebook?

Just a reminder that if you're on Facebook you can follow me at:

That's my public account which is available for all to see where I post updates about my comics work and suchlike. 

I do have another Facebook account but that's set to private and I only accept friend requests from people who are personal friends or who I know quite well. It tends to be non-comics related a lot of the time so there wouldn't be much of interest to followers of my work. 

But if you are interested in my work (and I guess that's why you're here) the Facebook account to follow is the lewstringercartoonist one:


Monday 11 January 2021

Buster Book 1991 endpapers

My thanks to Peter Gray for reminding me of these Vampire Brats endpapers I did for the Buster Book 1991, 30 years ago! Script, art, lettering by me, colourist unknown. As always, click on the image to see it at a bigger size.

Saturday 9 January 2021

It's not just comics...

I haven't promoted it for a while but my Redbubble shop has various items of merch you might be interested in, from T-shirts, laptop sleeves, coasters to Combat Colin socks and mugs, there's a wide variety of product.

Redbubble deal with all the orders, manufacture, and shipping, and I receive a small percentage of the selling price. Some might say it's an unfair deal but as Redbubble are doing all the work (after I upload the designs) it seems fair to me.


Anyway, take a mooch around their website and let me know what you think. If there's any items or characters you'd like to see added, let me know. (Obviously I can only do merchandise for characters that I own the rights to, so there won't be a Big Eggo bathmat I'm afraid.) If you've already bought items, let me know what you thought of them. 

Click HERE to go to the site. 




BLIMEY! My old blog IS still out there


As most of you know, I did a blog called Blimey! for 13 years (2006 - 2019) focusing on British comics past and present. I ended it on New Years Eve 2019 but didn't remove it.

It's been brought to my attention that some interference from some out there has somehow meant that it's hard to find that blog in a Google search now. Rest assured though that Blimey! still exists. I simply stopped updating it 13 months ago but it's still online. 

Also, my logo design for Blimey! has been stolen and modified by some git running a Facebook group for illegal downloads. Rest assured that group has nothing to do with me and its time is numbered.

If you want to visit my old blog, bookmark this link. There are thousands of posts I wrote covering UK comics from the Victorian age to the present day. Enjoy having a rummage at this link: 

Tuesday 5 January 2021

This week's reference materials

I know I said I wasn't going to announce anything in advance or it might jinx it but I thought I'd just give you a clue as to what I'm drawing this week. I'm glad I kept these comics from the 1960s as they're essential for reference right now!

I'm working from a script by 2000AD writer Kek-W to appear as one of the stories in a one-off special coming later this year. Nope, it's not The Swots and the Blots, and it's not for 2000AD, nor is it for Smash! or Pow! but it is a revival of an old Odhams strip. I'm very pleased to be on board to bring this strip back that I used to enjoy reading over 50 years ago!

No more clues. All will be revealed sooner or later, but for now it's time to crack on as the deadline is looming!


How to cope with Lockdown

I thought I'd share my tips for coping with the lockdown. Not that it's affected me or anything.

1: Stand at your bedroom window with the lights out and count the number of cars that drive past your house. Then subdivide the list into colours. If you see the same car more than once that driver is your new best friend forever, even though they'll never know it.

2: Scream incoherently at the Moon at least once a night.

3: Keep a well stocked cupboard. Those tins of soup and beans are your investment for the future and will soon be used as currency to buy new shoes.

4: Make a tinfoil hat, any style, to keep THEM from reading your thoughts.

5: Make several small holes in a big cardboard box and fill it with straw. This will be your bed for the next six months.

6: There is no level 6. YET.

7: Don't trust tomatoes. You never know what they're up to.

8: You must zjjcbdhfyf...... blibber.... bloik....
©2021 Lew Stringer


Monday 4 January 2021

Daft preview for Doctor Who Magazine No.460

Here's a tiny glimpse of my next Daft Dimension strip that will be in Doctor Who Magazine No.460. To reveal more might give away the joke but you can see the full version when that issue goes on sale this Thursday, 7th January! 

Here's the cover to look out for...



Sunday 3 January 2021

Cor!! Buster, have you grabbed the Fun Book yet?

A reminder that the Cor!! Buster Bumper Fun Book is still available. 96 pages of strips reviving old favourites in new stories, collecting the two specials published in 2019 and 2020. More info in this post from a couple of months ago:


Friday 1 January 2021

What's Next?

It's the dawn of a New Year, and with the pandemic and the insanity of Brexit it's a year that brings more unpredicablity and instability than ever. There's hope on the horizon in the form of vaccines but it's going to take many months before most of us receive it. 

On a personal level I'm entering 2021 with some apprehension like we all are, and, like many of us, I'm hoping I can keep afloat financially.

I have a few strips to draw this month, but there's a lot of uncertainty after then, and of course January is an expensive month for the self employed, with tax payments and paying the accountant. I'll feel more upbeat if I can survive to March but as we all know 2020 was a bad year, and its demoralising effects aren't easy to shrug off. 

Another matter is whether or not the comics industry itself can survive the effects of lockdowns and Brexit. My thoughts go out to comic shop owners who have been forced to close due to not being "essential" businesses. Sure, there'll always be lots of indie comics being produced by mail order, and that's great for small press creatives who don't rely on comics as their sole source of income, but it's the survival of mainstream comics that many of us depend on. 

I have a few ideas which I won't go into now because I don't want to jinx anything. Too many times in the past I've revealed my plans in advance and it hasn't worked out, so from now on I'll post about them when they're definite. I hope you'll keep following this blog for news on any future projects of mine. I wish I could post something more upbeat right now but thanks for your interest and support so far, and let's hope 2021 yields some good results for all of us.