Wednesday, 5 October 2022

This Comic Is HAUNTED - Now available to pre-order!

There's a brand new British horror comic coming this month. This Comic Is Haunted No.1 is published by The77 Publications and features 36 pages of all-new material from today's creators. I did a page for it too. Watch out for Short Sharp Shocks as I bring you Aagh! Zombie! in the first issue! Here's an exclusive preview of panel one, above!

Other contributors include Alan Hebden, Catherine Wild, Bambos Georgiou, Jo Heeley, Dave Heeley, Mark Marren, Gary Burley, Andrew Richmond, and Lee Milmore.

You can pre-order the comic from the following link. Simply choose which cover you want from the 'Select Option' list and add it to cart. You can choose from a cover by Alex Ronald (the zombie rock cover) or Ian Stopforth (the hooded hprror cover), or buy both collectable issues.

https://the77comic.bigcartel.com/product/this-comic-is-haunted

See you in the spooky pages of This Comic Is Haunted - if you dare! 

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Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Just a Thank You...

...to those of you who placed bids on my recent art auctions. The pages from last Sunday's auction are all on their way now and should arrive soon hopefully! 

Not sure when I'll put more art up for auction. There are a lot of strike days coming up and I don't want the art to get stuck in a backlog for weeks. Let's see how it goes.

At the top of this post is a close up of a panel from the Tom Thug original art I recently sold. This was drawn way back in 1989 for Buster.  

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Sunday, 2 October 2022

Auction ends tonight!

Just a last reminder that my latest auction of original artwork ends tonight (Sunday)! 

You can bid on pages from Viz and Buster and a strip from Doctor Who Magazine. The art will be posted out as soon as payment is cleared, and packaged securely for protection. 

Good luck! Here's the link with the listings...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/graphite47/m.html?item=203554298786

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Saturday, 1 October 2022

Upcoming conventions

Comic conventions where you'll find me over the next few weeks...

October 29th:
Nottingham Comic Con,
Nottingham Conference Centre
https://nottinghamcomiccon.co.uk/

November 5th:
Preston Comic Con,
Preston North End Football Club
http://wonkyrocketevents.uk/preston/

 

I'll be bringing along some of the remaining stock of Combat Colin comics plus doing sketches on request. Hope to see some of you at these shows! Look out for the banner shown above.

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Friday, 30 September 2022

Fifty Years Ago... the birth of Marvel UK!

As you know, I use this blog to promote my business but I hope you'll excuse me going off at a tangent today as this is a significant date for something else, although it does relate to my work as you'll see...

It was FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY when Marvel UK launched their first comic, The Mighty World of Marvel, reprinting classic Marvel strips for a new British audience. This would prove highly significant for many of us as a few years later it would be Marvel UK who gave us our first break in the industry. I sold my very first professional cartoons to Marvel UK in 1983 and they kept me busy for the rest of that decade creating Robo-Capers, Combat Colin, Macho Man and other strips. A very active period for other (then) young creators too. Who knows where we’d be now if the company hadn’t been formed 50 years ago?

I’ve written an article about the first issue of Mighty World of Marvel over on John Freeman’s Down The Tubes blog, which you can read here…
https://downthetubes.net/fifty-year-flashback-the-mighty-world-of-marvel-no-1 


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Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Auction Update

Just a reminder that my art auction ends this coming Sunday. Up for bids are a Suicidal Syd page from Viz, a Tom Thug page from Buster, and a Daft Dimension strip ftom Doctor Who Magazine. All my original art, not prints or facsimiles. 

I don't have a lot of my art left from Viz so don't miss your chance to bid on this page. 

The artwork will of course be packaged securely between strong card and parcel paper with a "Please Do Not Bend" message clearly on the top, and sent First Class Signed For. 

Here's the link to see more photos from each item...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/graphite47/m.html?item=203554298786

Good luck with your bids! 

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Tuesday, 27 September 2022

See you at NOTTINGHAM COMIC CON

Design composed by Nottingham Comic Con.
 

New convention announcement. I'm very pleased to say that I'll be one of the guests at Nottingham Comic Con on Saturday October 29th at the Nottingham Conference Centre.

The event is 100% dedicated to comics and so far other guests include Staz Johnson, Emily McGorman Bruce, Steve Austin, Roger Langridge, and Sally Jane Thomson plus numerous exhibitors. 

For more info and ticket details see their website at this link:

https://nottinghamcomiccon.co.uk/ 

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Sunday, 25 September 2022

Original artwork from VIZ, BUSTER, and DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE up for auction now!

I've put a few pieces of my artwork on eBay for auction this week. This time there's a Tom Thug page from a January 1989 issue of Buster, a Daft Dimension featuring Daleks from Doctor Who Magazine (2019) and for adult readers a Suicidal Syd page from Viz from 2008. 


Just to emphasize that this is my original art, black ink on Bristol Board, not prints or facsimiles.  The auctions end next Sunday, 2nd October. Best of luck if you're bidding!

You can see more photos of each item and more info at my eBay listings by clicking this link:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/graphite47/m.html?item=203554298786 


Saturday, 24 September 2022

The 2023 Annuals are arriving in shops


They've been available to buy from online sellers since August but now the Annuals for 2023 are finally turning up in bookshops. My local Smiths and supermarkets still haven't put them out but other people are reporting seeing them in their branches.

I found a few in WH Smiths in Birmingham last Thursday and took the photo shown above. As you can see, the space they've allocated to them is very small considering the size of the city, with the books all bunched up at the end of a shelving display. A big difference from the 1960s/70s when huge stacks of every annual would take up a big display in the shops. 

As mentioned before, I have work in both The Dandy Annual and Beano Annual this time. As most readers will have them as Christmas presents I couldn't resist doing a festive episode for each of my strips. Expect to see Keyhole Kate, Postman Prat, and Biffo the Bear in snowy surroundings!

If you have any difficulty finding those annuals in shops, you can buy them directly from D.C. Thomson at this link...

https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/books/annuals/double-trouble-pack 

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Sunday, 18 September 2022

Coming soon from the nutty 1990s...

One of the comics I'll be self-publishing soon will be a collection of the strips I did for fanzines in the 1990s. Some of you may have never seen these as they were done for the Camera Obscura fanzine which was dedicated to The Prisoner TV series, and were only circulated to a small group of readers. (I did a collection a few years afterwards but the print run was very low.) 

Here's a sneak preview of one of the pages. I'm hoping to publish the comic next month so stay tuned for more news soon! Hopefully the income raised by this will help to fund Combat Colin No.5

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Thursday, 15 September 2022

My earliest IPC work

In 1984 I was still very new to the comics business, but I was starting to get regular work from Marvel UK enabling me to do cartooning as a full time job. IPC were a tougher nut to crack, but humour comics editor Bob Paynter had commissioned me to create a character for the dummy issue of Oink! (which as you know was Tom Thug). However, Oink! was taking a while to come together and it'd be a couple of years before IPC management would give the comic the green light. "In the meantime," said Bob to me, "I'll send you a script for the Jackpot Annual to draw". 

I wasn't very familiar with Jackpot comic, which had ended in 1982. I think the typset word balloons had put me off. Anyway, the Jackpot Annual was still running and Bob had asked me to draw a four page Scooper strip. My first published IPC work. (I was pleased to see that the annual used hand lettered dialogue not typeset.) Jackpot Annual 1986 was of course published in late summer 1985.

I forget who wrote the script. It may even have been uncredited. I was asked to "ghost" Tom Paterson's style as he had been the original artist on the character. I didn't find that too difficult as Tom and I had similar influences from Leo Baxendale's work. Tom's work was far more polished than mine though but it was beneficial to absorb some of his techniques into my own style. Bob Paynter allowed me to sign the strip because by 1984 the old rules about anonymity were a thing of the past. 

The strip was a bit of a challenge as it featured a helicopter, a boat, and a ship; none of which I'd drawn before, but it was an enjoyable task and I think it turned out OK for a newbie. It was a very lively story with lots of action.

A year later, Oink! was still waiting for final approval so Bob Paynter gave me another assignment. This time I was asked to write and draw a six page Bookworm story for Whoopee! Annual 1987. (As annuals are done far in advance it was 1985 when I drew this.) I knew the Bookworm character but always found him a bit limiting, so I asked Bob if I could set him in a sci-fi environment. Despite this being unusual for the character, Bob approved it and the six-page story Bookworm Visits Planet Squelch was created. Bookworm is abducted by aliens, taken to their planet and paraded in a zoo, but reads the guards a bedtime story so they fall asleep and he can steal the key to escape and return to Earth. 

 
 
Bookworm's original artist was Sid Burgon, so I had to "ghost" his style for the face of the character but everything else was left to me to draw it in my own style.
 
 
 
 

Both stories were great experiences for me as a young cartoonist and I was thrilled to see my work in hardback annuals. Oink! had the go-ahead in 1986 so that kept me busy for a good while, as did my increasing workload at Marvel UK. Good times!

 

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Daft preview of DWM582

There's a new issue of the official Doctor Who Magazine out this Thursday and it'll contain an exclusive preview of the forthcoming Doctor Who TV special! 

It'll also contain another Daft Dimension comic strip from me, and you can see a little preview of that above.

See the entire mini-strip plus tons of articles, reviews, and interviews in Doctor Who Magazine No.582 - in shops from 15th September, or you can order it directly from the publishers at this link:

https://www.panini.co.uk/shp_gbr_en/doctor-who-magazine-582-gbdrw582-uk02.html 

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Monday, 12 September 2022

Two new collections coming soon!

I'll be publishing two new comics soon. One in print, and one in digital. Each will reprint a bunch of old material of mine not seen in years (perhaps not seen by many of you at all). 

No, not Robo-Capers or any Marvel, DC Thomson or Fleetway stuff. It'll be material I own the rights to. Hopefully sales will help to fund Combat Colin No.5 and I'll be able to get that out by Christmas too! 

Apologies for being so cryptic. I'll reveal what the comics are when I've finished putting the collections together but at the moment I need to focus on deadlines for my mainstream comics work. More at a later date! 

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Saturday, 10 September 2022

Coming soon!

This Comic Is Haunted is a brand new British horror comic that will be out soon! It's published by The77 Publications (who have brought us The77, Blazer!, and Pandora) and will feature all new content including a page from me entitled Short Sharp Shocks

This Comic Is Haunted was funded by a Kickstarter campaign that I mentioned a while back and will soon be available in comic shops and from The77 online shop at this link: 

https://the77comic.bigcartel.com/

Small detail from SHORT SHARP SHOCKS

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Bad Pets are back this month

Every now and then, writer Nigel Aucterlounie and me produce a Bad Pets strip for D.C. Thomson's Animal Planet magazine. It's used in rotation with other strips so it doesn't appear very often but there's one in the current issue, out today.

The magazine was recently retitled, and Animal Planet is now Animal Planet Kids, with a brighter, more eye-catching logo. It's a fantastic magazine dedicated to featuring articles about animals and the environment, educating readers in a fun and entertaining way. I'm always pleased to be a contributor to such a worthwhile venture. 

If you have children, or you just want to read a fun mag about the topic for yourselves, Animal Planet Kids No.21 is in newsagents and supermarkets now. Respecting the environment, the magazine is never bagged in plastic and never has plastic gifts. This issue comes in a paper packet and as well as the usual 52 page magazine, includes a poster/board game, stickers, and "2 surprise" gifts. (I got a packet of Viola Seeds and a pack of cards).

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Tuesday, 6 September 2022

New convention announcement: PRESTON COMIC CON

I wasn't expecting to do any more conventions this year but yesterday I was invited by Preston Comic Con to be a guest at their show on November 5th so I happily accepted. I did that event back in 2017 and enjoyed it so I hope to see some of you there this year!

For tickets and more info, see their website at this link...

http://wonkyrocketevents.uk/preston/

If all goes well I might have a new comic to sell there too, along with existing stock.

 

Monday, 5 September 2022

Ellis is back for one week

I've just received this week's Beano and was pleasantly surprised to see a half page by me in there. It's an Ellis' Great Escapes strip that I did last year but was left out because of an advert or something. I'd forgotten all about this one!

See it in Beano No.4152, in shops on Wednesday! 

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Sunday, 4 September 2022

Daft PrevieWHO

Here's a little glimpse of a bit of my next Daft Dimension strip before it was finished, featuring the Daleks, the Master, and The Silence. You'll be able to see the completed full colour version in Doctor Who Magazine No.582 when it goes on sale on September 15th!

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Latest auction ends tonight (Sunday)

Today is your last chance to bid on the items I have up for auction on eBay this week. There's a Daft Dimension strip (original artwork) from Doctor Who Magazine and, something different; FOOM magazine No.10 from 1975 which features the very first appearance of the new X-Men. (Yes, it's a high starting price but someone sold one last week for nearly £1000 and mine is in really good condition.)

All bids very much appreciated. Auction ends tonight. Here's the link where you can see more photos of the items...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/graphite47/m.html?item=203554298786

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Saturday, 3 September 2022

Drawing

Nothing new to report as yet. Catching up with deadlines after various setbacks but can't show any the work until it's published. Trying to survive like most of us are these days

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Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Barmy News


If you missed your chance to download Barmy Comix No.1 it's still available! Exclusively digital only, Barmy Comix is a 32 page high definition compilation I put together during lockdown two years ago. It features some "best bits" of Combat Colin, Brickman, Derek the Troll and Pedantic Stan, plus a 9 page preview of Combat Colin No.5

It should download to any device anywhere in the world. It's best read on a desktop or laptop but you can also access it on a smartphone where you can zoom in on the artwork. 

You can download it from this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1y5IH2SDBlpxbws_nqsndaLkZAgh1inzQ/view

It's free to download but I really would appreciate a donation of £2 when you've read it, or maybe just because you enjoy this blog and my work? You can donate to me via PayPal at this link:

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=RYE8SASHSWG56

Thanks in advance!

Now, I can tell you there will be a Barmy Comix No.2 at some point. The contents will be different to the first issue and the focus will be on a different character. More news when it's ready! 

 

Sunday, 28 August 2022

More Daftness up for auction

I've just put another one of my Daft Dimension strips up on eBay. My original art from Doctor Who Magazine No.497. 

This time, after requests, I've made the auction available for international bidders as well as the UK. Using eBay's shipping program, they handle international orders and determine the postage costs to the country it's to be sent to, and notify the buyer how much to pay. 

All bids appreciated. Good luck!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/204079406836

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I'm also selling Marvel's FOOM No.10 from 1975. Someone sold one on eBay yestersay for nearly £1000. A few weeks back one sold for over £2000! Why? Because it features the first appearance of the new X-Men, pre-dating Giant-Size X-Men No.1. I've had mine carefully stored away for nearly 40 years so I thought I'd put it up for auction to see how it goes. Here's the link:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/204079383371


Saturday, 27 August 2022

Biffo: sketch and finished art comparison

I thought you might like to see a comparision of the pencil rough to the finished art on one of my Biffo the Bear strips. Actually this was one of only two that I drew digitally, trying out Clip Studio Paint. (Colours were done in Photoshop though as usual.) 

It turned out OK but I still prefer drawing traditionally, pencil and ink on paper, rather than using a pad and stylus so I'll be sticking to the old methods for now at least. It actually took me far longer to do it digitally, mainly because I was learning on the job, but even so it felt too detatched and unnatural for me personally. I'm pleased with the result but I prefer paper.

You can see the full mini-strip in Beano Annual 2023, out now, along with seven other Biffo strips I did (six of which were done the "old fashioned way").  

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I might not be online much over the next couple of weeks. After Covid and other ailments and setbacks I'm now trying to catch up with work I should have done ages ago, plus a few new bits and bobs to do. Not a lot of ongoing work, but several one-offs for various people. I'm still not feeling 100% and get tired during the day so it's taking more effort than it used to. But... deadlines are looming so if I don't draw I don't get paid and I can't survive. Things haven't been great the past few years so I'm now trying to rebuild my health and my career. 

I will be putting another piece or two of my original art on eBay, (no, not Beano stuff), probably tomorrow (Sunday), so I'll be posting about that soon.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Blimey! It's SLIMER!

Back in what feels like a lifetime ago now (the 1980s) Marvel UK kept me busy doing comic strips for their range of titles mainly thanks to group editor Richard Starkings. I did Captain Wally and Snail-Man in Spider-Man, Robo-Capers in Transformers, Combat Colin in Action Force (and later Transformers), Macho Man in Secret Wars... and in 1988, Blimey! It's Slimer! in The Real Ghostbusters

I didn't draw many episodes of Slimer. I only did 11 in total before bailing out as I was so busy with other material (including my work for Fleetway on Buster). Bambos Georgiou took over the strip and did wonderful work on it. 

In 1989, Marvel UK published a collection of the Slimer strips in a nice A5 landscape format paperback with 68 pages. It was entitled, of course, Blimey! It's Slimer! (Richard Starkings had been inspired by my 1983 comic Blimey! It's Brickman when he came up with the title. It had a ring to it and helped cement the fact that these were British strips not American reprint.)

Over the years I've met some readers who assumed I'd drawn all the book. Far from it. I think the assumption has occurred because the only people credited in the book are writer John Carnell and me, on the first strip. (As you know, I usually write my own material but in the case of the Slimer strip I was only commissioned as an artist.) I always sign my work but in the case of Slimer the signatures were usually removed for some reason. Bambos isn't credited at all!

Anyway, having found the book amongst my stuff the other day (when looking for something else) I thought I'd put the record straight on which pages I did draw: pages 5, 20, 26, 32, 33, 38, 39, 45, 60, 61, and 66. The strips were not reprinted in the order they were originally published which is why it switches between mine and Bambos' strips throughout the book. (They're all self contained stories so it doesn't matter.) The cover was drawn by Brian Williamson.

I don't think John Carnell wrote all the strips. I'm pretty certain John Freeman wrote some too. Perhaps Bambos wrote his own pages but I'm not sure. Colouring was always done in-house by Marvel staff.

Here's a selection of some of the Slimer strips I did. Hope you like them. As always, click / tap on the images to see them full size...

 
  
 
 
Pretty sure I wrote this one. The Ghostbuster's face was redrawn by another artist.
 

COVER ART BY BRIAN WILLIAMSON.