Saturday 31 December 2022

Reflecting on 2022

This hasn't been a good year and I've been very low and demoralised at times but I'm grateful to the editors and various people who did commission me for work. From Pup Parade in the Beano, to Sgt.Shouty in The77, from one-offs such as the Liverpool Heartbeat comics, to the Stingray special, to The Kirknewton Story, and of course my monthly Daft Dimension strip in Doctor Who Magazine, and other jobs such as the occasional Bad Pets in Animal Planet magazine, I enjoyed drawing them all. Recently I was asked to draw three activity pages for the Beano and they'll appear in January and February of 2023. 

I'm also very grateful to those of you sent a donation, or who bought my comics and some of my original art pages. Last but certainly not least my thanks to the convention organisers who invited me to their events in 2022, and to the numerous people who I met there and did sketches for.

Looking ahead, I have bits and bobs to complete over the next month or so but beyond that I don't know what the future holds. Whatever happens next, you'll read about it here or on my other social media pages, all being well. 

In the summer of 2023 it'll be 40 years since my career in comics began, so I hope I can reach that milestone and keep busy in this precarious business. 

At the end of the day all we can do is give life our best shot. I've made some lifestyle changes this year to improve my health and I'm determined to continue in that direction for the future. For today though, thank you for following this blog and for your support over the years. Wishing you a Happy New Year for 2023!

Another BAD PETS strip this month

I'm happy to say that there's another Bad Pets strip I've drawn in the latest issue of Animal Planet Kids magazine (No.25). Written by Nigel Aucterlounie and illustrated by me, the strip only appears now and then as it alternates with other strips but it's always fun to do. 

The magazine itself is a great educational publication for children, teaching them about animals of the world and their environment in a fun way. One of the best kids' mags on the market.

Animal Planet Kids No.25 is out now from newsagents and supermarkets.


Friday 30 December 2022

Annual fun

Although both the Dandy and Beano Annuals were published in August I know a lot of you save them until Christmas, or give them to your kids at presents, so I hope you've received them by now. For The Dandy Annual 2023 I wrote and drew Keyhole Kate and Postman Prat, and for Beano Annual 2023 I wrote/drew Biffo the Bear.

I thought you might like to see part of one of the Biffo strips comparing my rough pencil sketches to my finished artwork (above). I usually draw "traditionally" (pencil and ink on paper) but I did this one digitally with Clip Studio Paint and then coloured it in Photoshop. I still prefer the traditional method though so will continue using paper and ink for the forseeable future (but coloured in Photoshop as per my usual practice). 

For next year's annuals (the ones cover dated 2024) I wasn't asked to do anything for the Beano one unfortunately but for The Dandy Annual 2024 I was commissioned to script and draw four full page strips bringing back a couple of old characters. Kid Cops are returning! Dandytown's infant police officers Nick and Bobby first appeared in The Dandy in 2010 and have popped up a few times in the annual since but it's been a few years. The pages were drawn months ago but it's a bit too early to show any previews just yet. Here's the logo for one of the pages though (yes, it'll be a snow-themed story)...

It made a nice change to revisit these two characters. The style I was using at the time I created their look in 2010 was slightly different to my usual style so I had to adjust a little but I was pleased with how they turned out. The Dandy Annual 2024 will be out in August 2023 so you'll have a long wait yet, but I thought you might appreciate this snippet of advance news. 


Thursday 29 December 2022

Christmas at SUPER SCHOOL (Beano, 2008)

Back in 2008 I was drawing a regular full page for The Beano about a classroom of junior superheroes. Super School was the title, and most scripts were written by Iain McLaughlin as I recall. 

Here's the Christmas one that appeared in The Beano No.3462, dated December 13th 2008. Apologies for not posting it here before Christmas Day but I couldn't find this issue amongst my stuff until now!  

I designed a special seasonal logo for this one in the traditional Christmas comic style. The colouring for the page was done in-house by the Beano staff. (These days almost all the strips in Beano are coloured by the artists themselves, or in Nigel Parkinson's case, by his own superb colourist Nika Nartova.) 

Super School was a fun strip to work on and I enjoyed it very much. Nothing last forever in this business unfortunately and the characters are long gone now, but I hope you like seeing this festive episode. 


Lawless Comic Con for Bristol in May

I noticed the other day that some blogger had claimed Bristol hasn't had any comics events for a few years so to help put the record straight I thought I should give Lawless Comic Con another plug. 

I was a guest at Lawless 2022 back in May and really enjoyed it. A very busy and upbeat event totally dedicated to comics which was well organised by Su Haddrell and her team. I've been invited to the next one too, which will take place on 27th and 28th May 2023 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, just a short walk from Bristol Temple Meads Station. 

If you look at the impressive guest list above you'll see that it'll be a comic con well worth attending!

Tickets for the event will go on sale soon so keep an eye on the Lawless website at this link: 


TOUGH GUY No.1 Reviewed

My thanks to Richard Bruton of the website Comicon.Com for reviewing my digital comic Tough Guy and Scruffy. Here's one quote from him:

"It’s packed with silly villains, ridiculous situations, stupid moments, and most importantly lots of laughs for you – and jelly. There’s a fair bit of jelly."

You can read the full review at this link: 

Thanks also to John Freeman for giving the comic a good plug on his excellent Down the Tubes website here:

I hope those of you who have downloaded the comic have enjoyed it, and that a few more of you will buy it. All the info is at this link: 


Wednesday 28 December 2022

The77 issue 9 is coming soon!

Sgt.Shouty of the Moon Force will return in The77 Issue 9, which will be out soon. The Kickstarter campaign for the anthology comic was launched last night and is already on the road to success thanks to early backers.

My Sgt.Shouty strip had a break in issue 8 due to me being laid low with Covid last July, but the series continues this time with another two page chapter in which Shouty finds out more regarding the mystery of the Moon! Lots of comedy-action, daft situations, and shouting will be involved of course. 

There'll be loads of strips by other creators in the issue too from creators such as Steve Bull, Andrew Sawyers, Jo Heeley, Paul Goodenough, Ian Stopforth, Bambos Georgiou and more! 

You can support this popular independent UK comic by heading over to The77 Kickstarter page and pledging today. Here's the link: 

Cover by STEVE KANE.


Tuesday 27 December 2022

The case against Art produced by Artificial "Intelligence"

Most of my colleagues in the comics industry seem to be united against the A.I. Apps that are appearing with more frequency. That's art generated by "Artificial Intelligence" if you didn't know already. I stand with my colleagues against this loathsome "development".

Recently I've read a few defences of A.I. from people who think it's the same as art created using digital software such as Photoshop or Clip Studio Paint. It is not. 

No one is arguing against digital software. Photoshop, Clip Studio, Illustrator, and suchlike are tools, and require skills to use effectively. Drawing with a stylus on a graphic pad requires the exact same amount of talent as drawing with ink on paper. In both cases, the creativity stems from the artist and their unique skills. "But what about fonts?" someone asked. True, fonts are ready made to use, (and were made by skillful humans) but they still require a sense of page design to use properly, deciding on the right font, placing it where the dialogue will flow best, and suchlike.

Sure, there are letterers using fonts badly; choosing the wrong size, or using the crossbar "I" in the middle of a word and so on, but that's a learning curve and good editors will have a word with them about it. 

Artificial Intelligence "art" is totally different and requires no skill or talent. Those apps work by a person typing in a "prompt", eg: "Rusty robot fighting angry dinosaur in ruined futuristic city" and the app then quickly scours the Internet to steal images in order to mash up a composition based on the prompt. Yes "steal images", because the A.I. apps just take images they find online without permission, notification, or payment to the original artists.

So, no skill required, and unethical to boot. 

Yes, the A.I. apps are fun to play with and no one is saying people shouldn't dabble for their own amusement, but some "AI creators" are regarding it as true art, and themselves as artists, which is ludicrous. What concerns many of us though is that it's inevitable that some publishers will decide to use AI generated images instead of commissioning artists. Now, no one is against progress, and many artists use technology which is fine (I use Photoshop for colouring for example) but as I said, there's a difference between that sort of technology and those lazy copyright-infringing AI apps.

At the moment, AI is still in its infancy but it will develop. I had a dabble myself, just for the purposes of this article. The result was laughable and ugly. I typed in "Snowman offering a plate of mince pies" and this was what the app generated...

A very unappetising dish of turds on a plate. You'll also notice the dodgy rendering of the snowman and a kind of red tie instead of a scarf because Artificial Intelligence doesn't really have the intelligence to know what it's doing properly. And why did the image crop the top of his head off? Some AI attempts I've seen have been even worse, showing people with multiple fingers on their hands, hats growing halfway out of their heads, dogs with distorted faces, buildings with doors in the wrong place, and so on. This snowman image has even dragged in an artists signature, presumably accidentally, from part of an image it nicked. 

At present, it's hard for AI to create sequential comic strips because the image generators produce something different from panel to panel. That hasn't stopped some people trying though, even though the results look nightmarish and nonsensical.

AI "art" is soulless and will be potentially damaging for any art community. I doubt we can halt its "progress" now (although the copyright issue will be used against it) but we can shout out loudly against it!

If you want a piece of art, find a real artist who has the style you want and commission them. Don't let an app be a poor substitute.


Wednesday 21 December 2022

Have yourselves a merry little Christmas

Personally, this has been a difficult year of various health issues and financial worries, but I'd like to thank you all for visiting this blog and for your support when you've been able to help. Whether you commissioned me for your comics/mags, bought a comic, invited me to a convention, purchased artwork in my auctions/in person, or made a donation it's all helped and I seriously could not have made it through this year without you so I'm deeply grateful. 

When posties have cleared the Christmas backlog and (hopefully) they achieve what they want through strike action, I'll be selling artwork and old comics again on eBay. I'm hoping to gain more work in 2023 too, so if you're an editor in the profession and you feel that my 40 years of experience in comics will benefit your publications please get in touch. 

The immediate future still looks bleak financially but I try not to think of what lies ahead. I wish you all a Happy Christmas and good fortune for the New Year.

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Have you purchased your copy of TOUGH GUY yet?

Just another reminder that my latest comic compilation is still available as a digital download. Only a few dozen of you have bought it so far so please spread the word. 

Tough Guy and Scruffy No.1 is a 32 page digital comic containing the complete run of my comic strip from 1992 that appeared in the short-lived Triffik! weekly. If you enjoyed the humour of Combat Colin and my other strips this is for you.

The stories are suitable for all ages so if you have children they can enjoy it too. 

You can view and download it at the following link. It's only about 40Mb so it downloads pretty quickly to your desktop or device. (Just click on the download icon in the top right corner of the screen.)

It won't cost anything to actually read online or download but I'm hoping that if you like my work then you'll support it by paying £3 via PayPal to me at:

Also, please let me know your thoughts about the comic in the comments section below.

Thanks for your time and support! Here are a couple of sample pages...



Thursday 15 December 2022


My thanks to those of you who have already bought Tough Guy and Scruffy No.1. As I'm not selling any original art at present due to the postal backlog, and not doing a lot of mainstream comics work, any little income is very much appreciated.

As outlined in my previous post, Tough Guy and Scruffy collects all 12 episodes of the strip from the short-lived Triffik! comic of 30 years ago into a 32 page digital comic. The humour is similar to Combat Colin; daft comedy-adventure and even dafter villains, and the strips are suitable for all ages. 

You can read and download the comic at the following link. After which, please donate the cover price of £3 to me by PayPal at

Thank you. 

Tuesday 13 December 2022

They're back! TOUGH GUY AND SCRUFFY, the heroes you never knew you'd forgotten!

Way back in 1992 I'd created a superhero humour strip called Tough Guy and Scruffy for a new weekly anthology comic entitled Triffik! Sadly, traditional weeklies were on their way out and the comic folded after just 12 issues. Now however, for its 30th anniversary, I've collected my stories into a new digital comic and you can download it anywhere in the world today!

It's fair to say that most of you have probably never seen or heard of this strip before as Triffik's existence was so brief. Or perhaps you were amongst the readers who managed to catch it over those few weeks? Either way, I hope you enjoy the strips, which are intended for an all-ages audience. 

Incidentally, this is the comic that I was going to call Barmy Comix No.2 but then thought it'd be better just focusing on the characters as the comic's title.

Tough Guy and Scruffy No.1 is a 32 page digital comic including all 12 strips from 1992 plus extra features and a new festive back cover strip bringing our heroes into the present day. I have no plans to produce a print version so this comic is exclusively digital. 

You can view and download it from the following link and although the cover price is voluntary, times are very tough (pun intended) at present so may I ask you to please be kind enough to donate £3 to me by PayPal at 

When you get to that site, click the download icon (shown on this screenshot) to download the comic to your desktop or device.

I hope you enjoy Tough Guy and Scruffy! Let me know what you think by posting a comment below.



Saturday 10 December 2022

See you at LAWLESS COMIC CON in 2023!

I'm very pleased to say that I'll be a guest again at Lawless Comic Con next year in Bristol. I really enjoyed the one I was at this year (one of the busiest shows I've ever done, and such a friendly event) so I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone again in May 2023! An event totally dedicated to comics. See you there!

Tickets will go on sale soon. Follow this link for the Lawless website... 


Thursday 8 December 2022

The77 Publications Calendar - available now!

My thanks to editor Ben Cullis for sending me a copy of The77 Publications Calendar for 2023. A very nice production that features art from the various comics published by The77, and info on the creators and other bits and bobs. My Sgt.Shouty character is on the page for December 2023. 

The calendar is available to order now from The77 at the website at this link:


Wednesday 7 December 2022

Preview of the Christmas Daft Dimension

It's that time of the year again when Christmas comes to the comics! I always enjoy the opportunity to put a festive theme in my strips, complete with holly on the borders of course. Here's a preview of my latest Daft Dimension strip that features the Daleks celebrating Christmas (which of course they wouldn't, but it's not called the DAFT Dimension for nothing). 

You can see the full mini-strip in Doctor Who Magazine No.585, out tomorrow (Thursday 8th December) in newsagents and supermarkets. It also contains loads of features of course including an interview with Millie Gibson (who'll be playing the 15th Doctor's companion Ruby Sunday), and Part Two of the exclusive 14th Doctor's comic strip, Liberation of the Daleks by Alan Barnes and Lee Sullivan, continuing directly from the recent Power of the Doctor TV special. 

If you have difficulty finding it in shops you can order it directly from the publishers at this link:


Sunday 4 December 2022

Ten Years since THE DANDY comic ended

It was on this day in 2012 when D.C. Thomson published the final issue of The Dandy as a weekly comic. What a final issue it was! A 100 page spectacular featuring a mixture of new material and reprint, including a pull out reproduction of the first issue from 1937! 

The Dandy ended on its 75th anniversary, and at the time it held the record for the UK's longest running comic! (A record only beaten now by Beano.) Sales had been falling for many years, so cancellation was inevitable. Several revamps had been attempted to slow down its final fate but nothing could delay its cancellation for long. Outside of the Beano and 2000AD, every other weekly comic from the 20th Century had long since departed by that stage so The Dandy did well to last as long as it did.

Some critics put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the artists and writers, with some criticism being needlessly nasty and aggressive. Curiously, those same critics had never blamed any creatives for the demise of other comics that had far shorter runs! For example I never saw any blame attributed to the artists and writers for Starlord only lasting for 22 weeks, or for Krazy only managing 79 issues. Of course not, because the contents were of high quality, yet somehow it was apparently the fault of those of us working on The Dandy that had sealed its fate. Doesn't add up does it?

Admittedly where anthology comics are concerned there will always be some strips that don't appeal to readers, always some work that is weaker to others, which is why the contents are often shaken up, but falling sales are often due to many other factors. Erratic distribution, competition from other media, rising prices and, in these days, kids simply not being aware that comics exist! Most of the current generation of children haven't developed the habit of going to the newsagents every week like we oldies did. These days, if kids are into comics, they're more likely to have discovered them as graphic novels (like Jamie Smart's very successful Bunny vs Monkey books) or been gifted a subscription by their parents or grandparents. 

Ironically, that final issue of The Dandy received loads of publicity in the media and subsequently sold so well that it had to go to a second printing! Some buyers remarked on comic forums that if they'd known how good it was they'd have been buying it before. Well, we did tell ya but it was too late by then! 

I really enjoyed contributing to The Dandy for its final two years. The strips I drew were Kid Cops and Postman Prat (both created by the Dandy staff) and The Dark Newt (a short run Batman parody I created). For the final issue I was asked to do Kid Cops, Postman Prat, plus a revival of three old characters; Julius Sneezer, The Smasher, and The Umbrella Men

You can see my version of The Smasher at the top of this post. I was asked to do more Smasher stories for a few Dandy Annuals that followed. (Thankfully The Dandy Annual still continues to this day, and, yes, there will be The Dandy Annual 2024 out next August.) 

The Umbrella Men had been a childhood favourite. A 1966 crime serial drawn by Charlie Grigg that had captivated my interest every week. The original series had been an adventure strip but I was asked to do a comedy revival. I felt the crooks must have served their time by 2012 so I showed what happened next. Here's the result...

For years it seemed that The Dandy was unbeatable, so I can understand people's outrage at it ending but sadly nothing lasts forever. No point moping about it now. 75 years was a heck of a run though! As noted earlier, The Dandy Annual still continues with all-new material, and The Dandy Summer Special is still around too, albeit mostly reprint. Long may they continue!


Saturday 3 December 2022

Last chance to bid on this festive artwork

The auction for these two festive pieces of my original art ends tomorrow (Sunday 4th December). To avoid long delays in the Christmas post, this will be my final auction of this year. 

The items are:

A festive Robo-Capers strip from 1985.

Art for a Christmas Card I did in 1997.

No bids on either items so far. I rarely put my Christmas themed art up for sale and these won't be relisted if they don't sell so here's your chance to grab 'em while you can. Good luck!




Friday 2 December 2022

Upcoming plans

I was intending to self-publish a new comic this month but the postal strikes have made it pointless as orders would be held up in a backlog. Much as I appreciate why the strikes need to take place it's really damaging for small businesses.

However, I still intend to publish a digital comic before Christmas! At least digital publications don't get stuck in a warehouse somewhere for days on end. You'll remember that a couple of years ago I published Barmy Comix No.1 as a digital-only comic? Well, soon I'll be unleashing Barmy Comix No.2!  

As with issue one, Barmy Comix No.2 will never appear in print, only as a digital download. Unlike issue one, which featured Combat Colin, Brickman, Derek the Troll and Pedantic Stan, Barmy Comix No.2 will feature a different character from my archives. More info soon! 

In the meantime, if you still haven't read the first issue of Barmy Comix it's still available to download wherever you are. More info here: 

If you enjoy it (as I hope you will) please send me £2 via PayPal to



Tuesday 29 November 2022

Currently in print...!

It's been a while since I listed all the comics, mags, and books that my work currently appears in. These aren't all freshly published... Most of these have been out for quite some time but at the moment they're still currently available so if you wanted to check out my work, here's where to find it...


The77 Annual No.1:

Published in 2021, this brand new hardback book includes a variety of stories from creators such as Steve Pugh, Glenn Fabry, Andrew Sawyers and many more, plus The Origin of Doctor Plank, the villain from my Sgt.Shouty strip. You can buy it directly from the publisher at the following link, along with back issues of The77 comic in which Sgt.Shouty also appears...


This Comic Is Haunted No.1:

A new horror comic from The77 Publications which includes my newest strip, Short Sharp Shocks, complete comedy-horror one pagers. This great new comic is also available directly from the publisher at this link:

Doctor Who Magazine No.584

A great jumping-on point for new or lapsed readers with the start of Alan Barnes' and Lee Sullivan's exclusive 13-part 14th Doctor comic strip, continuing directly from the TV show! Plus my Daft Dimension mini-strip every month with a comedy spin on the Doctor Who universe. Available from Smiths, supermarkets, and comic shops.

Animal Planet Kids No.23

Every now and then, I'm asked to contribute a Bad Pets mini strip to this magazine with Nigel Auchterlounie on scripts. The strip doesn't appear every issue as it alternates with mini strips by other creators but it's in the one that's currently on sale (until tomorrow) so it made the list. Available from newsagents and supermarkets.

Liverpool Heartbeat comics:

An occassional publication that has a different focus every issue. Fun, educational comic strips for children. So far I've contributed four pages each to Statues of Liverpool, The Queen, and Everest 2022, with scripts by the editor Tim Quinn. Available directly from the publisher at this link:




The Most Important Comic Book on Earth:

That's quite a grand title but it's justified as the whole intention of the book is to raise awareness and provide information about our changing climate. We all contibuted our work for free on this one and my page was a revival of Pedantic Stan the Comics Fan with writer and co-creator John Freeman. This mighty 350 page book is published by DK/Random House and is available from bookshops or from the places at this link...

The Dandy Annual 2023:

It's always a pleasure to contribute to this long-running annual and in this year's edition I've written and drawn several Postman Prat pages and eight Keyhole Kate mini-strips. Available from bookshops everywhere.


Beano Annual 2023:

I'm not a frequent contributor to this annual but I am in this current one, with eight Biffo the Bear mini-strips I've scripted and drawn. A privilege to work on such a classic character! Available from bookshops everywhere.


Cor!! Buster Bumper Fun Book:

Published by Rebellion in 2020, this 100 page softback book is still available. Collecting stories from the two Cor!! Buster Specials of recent times, I had great fun drawing brand new Buster strips (reviving the character for the first time in decades) and filling the pages with guest appearances by characters from the history of UK comics, - plus I also drew one of the Gums strips. Buster was written by John Freeman, whlst Gums was witten by Lizzie Boyle. Currently available at a discounted price from the publisher at this link:


Derek the Troll and Combat Colin comics:

My own self-published comics that I did a few years ago. Issues still available are the Derek the Troll special (which also includes the complete Rock Solid saga), and issues 2 and 3 of Combat Colin, reprinting my strips from over 30 years ago. You can buy them as brand new signed editions exclusively from me at my eBay store here:


...and, yes, Combat Colin No.5 will finally be out next year, as will issue 6 hopefully! 


Monster Fun Halloween Spooktacular 2021:

The first special from Rebellion that revived the old Monster Fun Comic. For this I drew a two page strip written by Kek-W that brought back the 1960s Pow! strip, Wiz War for a new one-off story. Enjoyed that. Sadly I'm not involved with the ongoing Monster Fun comic for unknown reasons. You can buy this special from Rebellion's online shop:


The Kirknewton Story:

The history of the Scottish town of Kirknewton, edited by Tony Foster and written by Colin Maxwell with chapters illustrated by various artists. I had the pleasure of drawing the two pager entitled Close Encounters! The comic was distributed free to every home in Kirknewton but you can buy a copy from the Shift Store at this link:


EXTRA: I should include digital comics too, and you'll find brand new Combat Colin three-pagers in the following issues of the digital anthology Aces Weekly published by David Lloyd. All issues of which are still available to read online...

You'll find the first one in Aces Weekly Volume 1 No.1. Colin and Semi-Automatic Steve encounter a new menace in the form of the Zombie-Yeds!

The second new complete story appeared in Aces Weekly Vol.8 No.7, with a guest appearance by The Giggly Sisters leading to Colin and Steve encountering their old enemy Madprof!

The third new Combat Colin strip appeared in Aces Weekly Vol.16 No.6, with our heroes flying into space to avert the Ass-teroid!

The fourth new strip appeared in Aces Weekly Vol.21 No.7, and saw Colin and Semi-Automatic Steve battle each other!

...and the fifth one in Vol.50, No.7. 

If you're a professional publisher / editor and you're interested in commissioning me to contribute to your comics, books, or magazines please contact me at