Monday 29 March 2021

Meet William Noddle, Doctor Who Fan!

There's a new issue of Doctor Who Magazine out this Thursday so I thought I'd show you a sneak peek at part of one of the panels from my Daft Dimension comic strip. Meet William Noddle, devoted fan of Doctor Who! What's he up to? Find out in Doctor Who Magazine No.563, available from shops on Thursday 1st April (no joke!). 

Panini UK have just released the cover image. The mag features their first interview with Christopher Eccleston in 16 years! Definitely a collectors' item!


DWM Website:


Sunday 28 March 2021

The77 No.5, - now live on Kickstarter

Here's a sneak peek at the opening panel for my next Sgt.Shouty page, snapped from the original unfinished artwork currently in progress on my drawing board, showing the series villain Doctor Plank up to no good! 

It's the latest chapter of the Sgt.Shouty saga that I'm doing for The77 No.5 and the Kickstarter for that issue has just gone live! 

You can find out how to pledge towards it and what rewards are on offer at their Kickstarter page at this link:

The77 has been a great success since its launch last year. An anthology publication featuring new creators alongside established pros, it was voted the UK's Best Independent Comic by ComicScene in 2020. 

Whether you're a regular reader or new to the comic I hope you'll give The77 your support! Here's the amazing cover for issue 5 by Neil Sims...



Thursday 25 March 2021

"Funny as all heck"

My thanks to Richard Bruton over at the website for giving Barmy Comix a glowing review! You can read what he says here:

...and my thanks if you do download Barmy Comix No.1 and send a donation via PayPal at

While you're over at, check out the other articles too. It's a great website!  


Sunday 21 March 2021

Pete and his Pimple on Geek Grotto!

The online radio show Geek Grotto featured one of my old characters the other day when the host Aron Smith talked about Pete and his Pimple, one of the regular strips I did for Oink! comic back in the late 1980s! 

You can have a listen to it at the following link. The segment about Pete and his Pimple begins at the 35.45 mark and runs to 42.24 but listen to the whole show if you have time. It's great!



History of Comics!

I'm pleased to say that I'll be writing an article for an upcoming issue of the Comicscene History of Comics

As you may recall, Comic Scene was a newsstand magazine of comics news and views that was published a few years ago and I wrote some articles for it then. In recent times it's been relaunched as a partwork, with each bookazine focusing on a particular year. The ambitious project plans to run for 100 issues, covering 100 years of comics from 1930 to 2030. The first four bookazines covered the years 1950, 1977, 1984 and 1986. The next four cover the years 1971, 1976, 1991, and 2020.

Four issues are already available, with the next four currently being funded on Kickstarter. I'll be writing a feature for the 1971 edition if the project reaches its Kickstarter target. 

You can pledge to fund the next four issues at the following link that gives you all the details:

Thursday 18 March 2021

It'll soon be Christmas!

The cover to The Dandy Annual 2022 has been revealed on Amazon. It's by Steve Bright and features Desperate Dan along with a bunch of classic Dandy characters. Although most readers have annuals for Christmas presents, the books are actually published in July/August, giving them plenty of shelf life and therefore higher potential sales.

Here's Steve Bright's cover...

I've written/drawn four full page Keyhole Kate strips for this annual, and have also illustrated a puzzle page featuring the character. There's a new preview panel at the top of this post but I won't show any more now until it's published. 

Hopefully D.C. Thomson will reveal the cover of The Dandy Summer Special soon too!

Tuesday 16 March 2021

BARMY COMIX is still available

Eleven months ago I created Barmy Comix No.1 as a 32 page digital download PDF to give readers something to read during the first lockdown. Well, we're still in lockdown and Barmy Comix is still available! 

It's free to download but if you can afford it I'd appreciate a donation of £2 via PayPal paid to me at 

What's in Barmy Comix? It's a full sized comic as a PDF, featuring a selection of my creator-owned heroes Combat Colin, Brickman, Derek the Troll, and Pedantic Stan The Comics Fan! PLUS a nine-page preview of Combat Colin No.5

You can download it to your device from this link: 

More info:

I'm considering doing Barmy Comix No.2 this Spring, when I get the chance to scan some pages. Watch this space!

A few of the pages from Barmy Comix No.1.


Monday 15 March 2021

Stuff to do

I've a few things on the drawing board but nothing I can show you just yet, so here's a quick drawing I did a while back while practicing with Kurecolor pens. I've been colouring digitally for 20 years so I'm out of practice with traditional methods but I'd like to relearn those too in case anyone wants a colour commission. (No, I'm not doing private commissions at present.)

Must admit I prefer colouring digitally far, far more than traditional methods so it's going to be a while before I feel comfortable using these pens. Even then, it'll only be for private commissions because professional comics are simply not going to go back to the old methods, and nor should they. No doubt someone will now tell me of various comics that are definitely still coloured by hand. What do I know? :-)

In case you were wondering, no, the guy in the sketch isn't part of anything I'm working on. Just a random drawing.

Sunday 14 March 2021

Mothers Day

It's been nearly 8 years since my mum died and I think of her every day, so I felt it only right that I should post a tribute to her again on my blog for Mothers Day.

My Mam was always supportive of my dreams to become a cartoonist. She stitched together the comics I made as a child (we didn't have a stapler), she believed in me when I quit my job to pursue my ambition, and she was the first person I rang to tell her the news that I'd sold my first cartoon.

Without her belief in me I would have given up not only my ambitions but perhaps in life itself during some dark times as a teenager. She had hard times herself, and a lot of sadness in her life, but she kept going, always being kind and never selfish. We had a lot of laughs too, I should add. She was my best friend.

If you're fortunate to still have your mothers I hope you get time with them today, or at least the opportunity to call them. My best wishes to you all.

Saturday 13 March 2021

Comic Influences: British Marvel

1967, wearing my free Iron Man transfer on my T-shirt.
1967, wearing my free Iron Man transfer on my T-shirt.

It's highly likely I wouldn't be in this business if not for Marvel reprints in British comics. Let me explain; my favourite comic when I was a child was Smash! in its original incarnation published by Odhams. The mixture of wildly reckless funnies such as Bad Penny and The Nervs and bizarre adventures such as The Legend Testers and Moon Madness was enough to hook me, but what really kept me coming back week after week was following the saga of The Incredible Hulk which started in issue 16 in May 1966. That first story (actually reprinting Hulk No.2, not issue 1) drawn by Jack Kirby and inked by Steve Ditko was creepy, menacing, and unmissable! 

I didn't know it was an American reprint at the time. My 7 year old self wouldn't know about American comics for another year, but I knew I liked the Hulk! I also liked the Fantastic Four that another favourite comic, Wham!, started reprinting a few weeks later. I was becoming a Marvelite without even realising it. 

(Smash! also reprinted the Batman newspaper strip, which was OK, but DC didn't have that Marvel magic.) 

Pow!, Fantastic, and Terrific followed in 1967, all reprinting various Marvel strips. A school friend told me they were American reprints and gave me a stack of Marvel comics. That blew my mind! American comics? Comics actually from America? And my corner shop sold them! It all seemed so exotic in those days long before comic shops. A life changing moment as I started buying any Marvels I could afford. Inspired by these exciting superhero comics I began to create my own comics, just for the amusement of myself and my immediate family...

The Odhams comics were sadly short-lived and all gone by early 1969, but then came Marvel UK in 1972, kicking off with The Mighty World of Marvel. Another must-have comic, as were all the Marvel UK titles that followed during my teen years. 

Here's the thing; if it wasn't for Marvel UK (and American imports) keeping my interest in comics alive I think I'd have dropped comics altogether when I left school, like most kids did. By 16 I'd given up buying most British comics such as Dandy, Whoopee! and Valiant because I'd simply grown out of them. Marvel (and DC, and Atlas etc by then) seemed more mature, so I carried on buying those. 

One week, around 1975, the Marvel UK comics carried an advert for fanzines. I was already a subscriber to FOOM but I had no idea there were also fanzines produced in the UK. I sent away for them and received a few including Comic Media published by Nick Landau (now a publisher of Titan Comics). The 'zine carried adverts for comic shops in London. Actual shops that sold nothing but comics! This was something I'd actually dreamed about when I was a little kid! 

Well, a trip to London a year later and a visit to Dark They Were And Golden Eyed and I came away with a bagfull of new comics and fanzines, and here's a photo of me on that very warm summers day in 1976...

Discovering comics fandom was another turning point. I began to contribute to 'zines and also produced my own. It re-ignited my childhood ambition to work in comics and I quit my boring office job in 1980 to pursue it. I started buying traditional British comics again but this time I was studying them with a professional eye. Well, it took four years of rejections, and I was about to give up, but then good friend Alan Moore introduced me to Bernie Jaye, his editor on The Daredevils. Another life-changing moment when Bernie accepted my What If cartoons. Here's my first professional sale from 38 years ago that appeared in The Daredevils No.7, July 1983...

That led to lots more work for Marvel UK on titles such as The Spider-Man Comic and eventually creating Combat Colin for Action Force and The Transformers. I also started getting work from other publishers such as IPC, Fleetway, Viz, DC Thomson, Panini, and it continues to this day I'm glad to say with The Daft Dimension in Doctor Who Magazine

Now I know some collectors of British comics deplore American reprints, but I have to say that comics like Smash!, Fantastic, and The Mighty World of Marvel not only kept my interest in comics alive but also nurtured it. I owe my career to them!

Bringing things up to date, and to give a plug to my friends at Panini, you probably know that there haven't been any British Marvels for 12 months because of the pandemic and lockdowns. It felt strange to have a break in that long tradition and see no UK Marvels on the shelves of WH Smith but the good news is they're coming back! Not the titles that were published before, but a whole new line of reprints in great value-for-money formats. 

Here's the Press Release and covers... 

NEW TITLES! Amazing Spider-Man launches on 25th March priced at only £2.99 48 pages every 4 weeks Running two stories every issue, continuing with Nick Spencer's run, on the HUNTED story arc.

Marvel Universe X-Men launches on 15th April £7.99 for 112 pages every 4 weeks Ushering in Jonathan Hickman's incredible Dawn of X story arcs, and kicking off with House of X and Powers of X, we'll run through all the supercool tie-ins (Marauders, Hellions etc), presenting the stories in the intended reading order, as we arrive at X of Swords and beyond.

(DC) Batman Guardian of the Night launches on the 6th May £2.99 for 48 pages every 4 weeks Launching with James Tynion's Batman run and ably backed-up by Brian Michael Bendis' Batman Universe.

Marvel Essentials launches on the 27th May £7.99 for 112 pages every 4 weeks Featuring Dan Slott and Al Ewing's epic Avengers/Fantastic Four EMPYRE storyline, and Donny Cates’ VENOM story arcs, this is the title where the big events and crossovers will feature (unless it's X-Men). There will also be the odd surprise from the editors, given the wealth of great material coming from Marvel right now! New titles available from supermarkets, newsagents and online at: 

They've also been publishing a few specials recently, with Falcon and Winter Soldier being the latest, which came out yesterday.

My story of how important Marvel reprints were in guiding my career path isn't unique. Speak to many artists, writers, letterers in the UK and they'll tell you similar stories. Who's to say that the new comics from Panini won't also have the same impact with some young kids out there and set them on a course in the comics industry of the future? To all those future creators, I say good luck and best wishes! It'll be an exciting journey! 

Wednesday 10 March 2021

Job Done... or rather JAB Done, eh readers?

I had my first vaccine earlier today to help keep the coronavirus at bay. At my local Odeon cinema no less! (Well, it's not being used to show films obviously so the large foyer makes an ideal vaccination hub.) 

All very efficient and friendly. Didn't have to queue as there was only me and a couple of others there at the time I booked. Didn't even feel the jab. No side effects so far apart from feeling quite hyperactive and better than I've felt in ages, although I hear it's the next day when it kicks in but hopefully any drowsiness or fever will be short lived. 

Get your vaccines when they're available for you, folks. It's the only way out of this nightmare. It's not a cure and we still need to follow social distancing but it should help!

Thank you NHS! 

UPDATE: Well after the initial "high" I had the shivers on Wednesday night, followed by a day of exhaustion and nausea. After 18 hours in bed I feel a lot better today. I'm still glad I had the jab as it's better than getting Covid, but what I will say is be prepared in case it knocks you about for 36 hours. 


Monday 8 March 2021

Pathetic Sharks at UKCAC '91

How times fly. Thirty years ago I was the regular artist (and often writer) on The Pathetic Sharks strip for Viz. I took over after editor Chris Donald decided to scale back his work on the comic and I wrote/drew various strips for Viz for many years.

I was a regular guest at the United Kingdom Comic Art Conventions (UKCAC) in London back then too, and every year guests would be asked to draw a page for the convention booklet. The original art was then auctioned off for charity on the last day of the con. 

Here's the page I did in 1991 featuring the Pathetic Sharks for the UKCAC '91 Convention Book. I had to run the page past Viz for approval of course, as they own the characters. Chris Donald added the joke about Denis Gifford. 


Sunday 7 March 2021

What a Carry On! (2008)

Back in June 2008 I was commissioned to illustrate a First Day Cover for the Carry On and Hammer Horror theme of British stamps. The stamp issue was available for collectors from Phil Stamp Covers, - a company run by Steve Oliver. Steve's cousin was fellow Buster artist/writer the marvellous Jack Oliver (J Edward Oliver), who contributed First Day Covers himself until his untimely death. 

As I was one of several guest artists, the commission was a one-off but it was a fascinating and enjoyable job to draw. I supplied the black and white art and Steve Oliver coloured it. 

I'm not sure if the company is still running as its website seems to be deleted but you can see some of the other artwork at this site, which shows some pieces that Jack Oliver drew: 


Wednesday 3 March 2021

It's Specky Hector!

I recently drew this A4 illustration of Specky Hector, Comics Collector as part of an online auction for the War Child charity to raise money for children affected by war. I'm pleased to say it raised £105. Thanks to Paul Trimble for organising the auction on the Battle Fans Facebook page.

In case the character isn't familiar, I created Specky Hector as an ocassional character for Oink! comic back in the late 1980s. He also appeared sometimes in Buster in the 1990s. More recently, I did a colourised version of one of his strips for the Battle Special last year.

Specky Hector is ©Rebellion Publishing IP Ltd.

The Battle Fans Facebook page is dedicated to Battle Picture Weekly comic and can be found at this link:

Tuesday 2 March 2021

Daft Preview!


There's another issue of Doctor Who Magazine out this Thursday. Loads of features by the top writers on the subject, exclusive interviews, reviews, news, the regular Doctor Who strip (and isn't Scott Gray doing a great job there?) plus another Daft Dimension strip by me (small section of it shown above). 

All in the official Doctor Who Magazine No.562, 84 pages. On sale Thursday 4th March and available from WH Smiths, supermarkets, and some newsagents. Here's the incredible cover to look out for...

It really is a privilege to contribute to DWM every month. Fifty years ago I was reading the Doctor Who strip in Countdown comic, which re-ignited my interest in the TV series. (I'd stopped watching it for a while.) It's a pleasure to draw strips for the current home of the Doctor!  

Website for Doctor Who Magazine: 



Random sketches

A few random sketches drawn ten years ago with no planning. I should do more things like this really. What do you think?


Monday 1 March 2021

On my desk in 2007

Not much I can report today as I'm working on stuff that won't be released yet but here's an old photo I found on a memory stick whilst looking for something else. It's a photo of my drawing board from 1st May 2007 when I was part way through drawing a Team Toxic strip for Toxic No.95. 

Back then, as you can see, I was inking with a dip-nib. I've tried various tools for inking over the years. Throughout the 1980s/90s I was mainly using Rotring pens. I used dip-nibs for a few years, then UniPin fineliners, and in more recent years a mixture of Japanese brush pens and UniPin pens. 

Why change? Well, sometimes it depends on how the pens cope with the drawing surface. The type of Bristol Board I used in the 80s/90s became obsolete and the type I had to switch to wasn't so suitable for Rotrings. With dip-pens, I got a bit tired of them splattering, and was also aware my lines were not delicate enough where I needed them to be. 

At the moment, the brush pens and UniPin pens seem to suit me OK, but who knows? I might find a pen that I like better soon and switch to that. You never know. 

A lot of colleagues draw digitally now, and the results look pretty good, if a bit too clinical from some artists. I've dabbled with drawing on an iPad but wasn't keen on it. I've never used a Cintiq and they're way out of my price range anyway. I'll stick to what I feel comfortable with for now and just use technology (Photoshop) for colouring.