Friday 29 April 2022


Oink is back... but probably not the one you were expecting!

I'm very pleased to hear the Stingray Blu-Ray boxset from Network is finally out and I can now talk about the comic strip I did for the exclusive new official STINGRAY COMIC SPECIAL that's one of the extras in the set! I was commissioned to write/draw a new page featuring Oink the Seal, a comedy character that appeared in a couple of the TV episodes back in the 1960s. It's just a one-off but it was an absolute pleasure to do as Stingray was a favourite show of mine when I was a child (and it's still an impressive show even today).

Cover art by Steve Kyte.

There were a couple of Oink the Seal strips in a TV21 Stingray Special back in 1965 drawn by the marvellous George Parlett but I doubt he was given appropriate photo reference as he drew Oink as a standard seal, not the distinctive furry puppet as seen on TV. I've attempted to make Oink look more like his television version.

My Oink the Seal page is just a part of the 32 page Stingray Comic Special and you can read more about the comic and the impressive box set over at John Freeman's Down The Tubes blog at this link:

Pup Parade preview - BEANO No.4134

Here's another advance look at what's coming up. A panel from my next Pup Parade strip. What happens next? Find out in Beano No.4134, on sale Wednesday 4th May. 

I don't know how many issues of the Beano I've contributed to now but I've done various strips for the comic since 2008 or so including Super School, Rasher, Ivy the Terrible, Joe King, Lord Snooty, and a revival of The Beano's original cover star from 1938, Big Eggo.

I've certainly not been a contributor as long as David Sutherland though, who's been drawing The Bash Street Kids since 1962! However, I enjoy writing/drawing their canine equivalents in Pup Parade! This is the fourth series with the Bash Street Dogs that I've worked on. They're always fun to do and I'm currently working on the strips for early July.

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Comic Con Memories

It's always worth posting these happy memories again. Some of my favourite photos with friends from comics conventions over the years. I'm looking forward to being a guest again this year at a few events now they've restarted. Hopefully to catch up with old friends and new ones too. I won't list every comics creator in the photos above or I'll be here all day but you might recognise familiar faces, or even yourselves! 

Here's a link to an old post I wrote about conventions... 

Tuesday 26 April 2022

A snippet of Daftness

Here's an enlargement of a very small part of my next Daft Dimension comic strip. If I show too much it could give away the joke (or worse, inspire you to anticipate a funnier joke and then you'd be disappointed. :)) 

The full version can be seen in Doctor Who Magazine No.577, in shops this Thursday, 28th April! 


Saturday 23 April 2022

Some info behind next week's PUP PARADE strip

Here's a sneak preview of a bit of next week's Pup Parade strip. You can see the full version in Beano No.4133 when it goes on sale on Wednesday 27th April. (Or if you're a subscriber you may already have it!)

Want to hear a little bit of background information on this strip? When I was drawing it, I wasn't happy with the second panel. For one thing Bones' face wasn't quite right, but mainly I felt that the composition looked too similar to panel 1. A comic strip should have variety, using different angles and close ups once the setting is established, so I stopped part way through inking it...

...and drew a different panel on another sheet of paper. I felt this one worked much better, focusing on the character who was speaking (Blotty) and the close up brought the readers more into the action. It also provided the much-needed variety for the strip's layout as a whole. 

Happy with that, I scanned the panels into Photoshop and assembled them to replace the unfinished panel. (The ball was also a separate illustration that I added afterwards.) Solid blacks and colouring were done with Photoshop too. (Speech balloons would be added by the Beano designers, based on my script.)

Changing panels isn't something I do that often but it does happen from time to time. As comics creators we're our own biggest critics, and these are the sort of changes we make before we send the job to the editors. Usually no one in the world sees these amendments but I thought I'd share this one with you. One of the key elements of comics is to keep them lively and entertaining (and funny if they're humour strips) so tweaking bits here and there is all part of the job.

Monday 18 April 2022

TOXIC "I-Spy" spreads from 2012

When I was freelancing for Toxic for 16 years my regular commission was writing and drawing the Team Toxic two page strip, but I did lots of other stuff as well. Artwork for feature pages, for free gifts, and, for a short time, double page "I-Spy" spreads. 

Toxic's I-Spy was not related in any way to the Sparky's I-Spy of course (although I did draw that too, for one issue of Fun-Size Dandy). The I-Spy spreads in Toxic were busy crowd scenes and the readers had to find various characters or items hidden in the picture. The editors of Toxic would supply me with the idea (such as "make this one a football game") and tell me what should be hidden in the image, but the rest of it was up to me. 

There was another remit though. As it was for Toxic magazine, I was required to put "gross humour" in there. Snot and farts etc, but I didn't go overboard with it unless asked to. 

All of the examples here appeared in Toxic about ten years ago in 2012. In fact the Wrestling Ring one is from exactly ten years ago this week. (It came up in my Facebook memories today, which inspired me to write this post.) These are the images as I sent them, so they don't have the logos and list of things to spot that the designers on Toxic would add on before publication. (You'll have guessed that the less busy areas in the images are where logos and typeset would go.)

These spreads required a lot of work, sometimes to a short deadline, so I used a quicker, more shorthand style on the characters at times. Hopefully it worked OK.

I miss working for Toxic. Sixteeen years on a mag is a long time, and it followed straight on from previous work I'd done for Egmont / Fleetway / IPC going back to 1986! At one stage I was the only cartoonist they were still employing, but nothing lasts forever of course. A few years back the inevitable budget cuts axed my work for Egmont completely. Toxic is still going, but its "gross humour" and traditional style of comedy is gone, replaced by U.S. reprint such as the modern style Yogi Bear of all things! 

It was good while it lasted though, and I'm focusing on artwork I'm currently doing rather than pining for the past, but I thought that followers of my blog might like to see some of these spreads from 2012. As always, click on the images to see them at full size. (Best viewed on a laptop or desktop.)

Pencil rough of the Wrestling one. Finished version below.


Sunday 17 April 2022

The77 Issue 7 is out now!

Sgt.Shouty ©Lew Stringer 2022

I received my copies of The77 No.7 in the post yesterday. Vested interest aside as a contributor I can sincerely say it's the best issue yet! The comic's been given a refresh for the start of its third year and although I was apprehensive about the change from matt paper to glossy, the end result is a nice compromise with a silk finish that isn't too reflective and lets the artwork and colours look as sharp as intended. 

For an indie anthology the quality is very high and there's not a dud strip in this issue. 68 full colour pages of high energy sci-fi, horror, and adventure. Proud to be a part of it. You can order it directly from the publisher at this link...

Cover art by BEN MACLEOD

Thursday 14 April 2022

Summer's coming! The DANDY SUMMER SPECIAL is out next month!

Summer's coming! The Dandy Summer Special 2022 will be out next month and is now available to pre-order from the D.C. Thomson webshop. As in recent years, contents will be mainly reprint but there is *some* new content. I'm just not sure how much. 

What I do know is that I did a new full page Keyhole Kate strip and a half page illustration for the special. As you can probably guess by Steve Bright's cover (shown below) and my Kate illo above, it has a football theme this year. To pre-order go over to the publisher's webshop at this link:



Advance look at NEXT week's Pup Parade!

As it's Easter weekend, subsription copies of Beano have been sent out early and mine arrived today. I thought I'd take the opportunity to show you a snippet of my Pup Parade strip for that issue. This time the spotlight falls on Tubby. 

You can see the full version and of course a stack of other brand new strips in Beano No.4132 when it arrives in shops next wednesday, 20th April! There's the cover below, with its main image by Nigel Parkinson...

Cover by Nigel Parkinson.

You can subscribe to the Beano and save money off the cover price. Full details at this link... 



Monday 11 April 2022

The story behind the final TOM THUG strip; script and art (1996)

Here's something I found the other day; my script for the final Tom Thug story from 1996! I thought you might like to see it alongside the published strip.

Even though I usually write and draw my own strips I still have to do a full script to send to the editors for approval. I even do full scripts when an editor isn't involved (such as for a self-published comic) because that's how I like to work. 

Back in the '90s before I had a computer I'd do the scripts on a typewriter and post them to Allen Cummings, the editor of Buster. He'd check it over, make any changes if necessary, and post it back to me. What a long process, but that's how things were done in those days. However, by 1996 I'd invested in some new technology, - a fax machine! Woo! (I was never quick off the mark to buy new tech. I didn't own my first Mac until 1999.) 

Anyway; back to this particular script. To put things into context, "traditional" anthology comics were on the way out in the 1990s and Buster had remained the last man standing by cutting its budget to accommodate reprint. As my Tom Thug strip had become one of the most popular pages in Buster I was fortunate that I was one of the few still doing new pages for it. However, nothing lasts forever and more cuts were suddenly introduced to make Buster virtually an all-reprint comic. This meant that Tom Thug had to go reprint too. (As you may know, creators are not paid for reprints which is why Fleetway were so casual about using them.)

At the time I wrote this script I had no idea it would be the last one, as no doubt you'll see from my end notes to the editor where I'm asking about future holiday theme weeks. Allen Cummings and I spoke on the phone every week and he called me up after receiving this script to deliver the bad news that this would be the last one I'd do. Orders had come from management that Buster must go all-reprint. It was a very sad time and I must admit an emotional one. It was the sudden end of a character I'd created and a strip I'd been doing for ten years. It was also the end of working for Allen Cummings. I told him then that he was one of the best editors it had been my privilege to work for... and that remains the case to this day.


By the way, the "Jack" I mention in the end note is Jack Potter the letterer.

As this was going to be my last Tom Thug strip I decided to add a few personal touches to it that were not mentioned in the script. The juggler became Pete Throb of Pete and His Pimple fame, now finally cured of his acne and massive zit. The lady with the green mac and orange headscarf was based on my Mum, and that's me in profile (as I looked then) in the foreground of panel 3. The black dog in panel 7 is my much missed dog immortalised in print forever. The number 440 next to my signature is the number of Tom Thug strips I'd done over the years (including annuals and specials). Most alarmingly, Tom's dad is clutching his heart in the final panel, with Tom's idiocy finally killing him off! (I made it vague enough so that younger readers would just think he was in shock.) Tom's Dad was deliberately an unpleasant character, always pressurising Tom into being a bully, so I had no reservations about killing him off. Perhaps Tom would have a better chance at life with his overly-protective Mum bringing him up. That's my imagined ending for the character anyway.

This page appeared in Buster dated 9th July 1996 (see cover below). The following week, Tom Thug went reprint, re-using Buster strips that were only a few years old, so I'm sure some readers must have noticed. The comic itself was a shadow of its former self now with so much reprint material and it limped on for another three years before ending in the final week of 1999.

Will Tom Thug ever return? Well, I put him into the crowd scenes in the two recent Cor!! Buster specials but as I don't know if I'll ever be asked to freelance for Rebellion again I've no idea if he'll come back. Bully characters in comics aren't so popular these days, but then that was always the point of Tom Thug. You were never supposed to laugh with him. You laughed at him, and his regular downfalls were intended to be cathartic for the readers, because in real life bullies get away with it far too often. 


It was the end of a chapter of my career when Tom Thug finished but there were still other comics around of course. New style comics for the modern age. I was a regular contributor to Viz and also to their rivals such as Spit! and Sweet FA. I also found more work at Fleetway/Egmont as a scriptwriter on Sonic the Comic, Lego Adventures, and CiTV Tellytots as well as a writer/artist on Toxic. There's one certainty in comics and that is that nothing is certain! 

Saturday 9 April 2022

Preview of Pup Parade from BEANO issue No.4131

Look who drops into my Pup Parade strip next week! It's Calamity James making a cameo appearance in one panel. I drew a Calamity James story 20 years ago for one of the Fun-Size Beano comics and enjoyed that so I thought I'd put him into my Pup Parade strip for a brief guest appearance.

This will appear in Beano No.4131, on sale on Wednesday 13th April. as you can see from the cover below it's the Easter issue and there's a four page Roger the Dodger strory inside that has an Easter Egg theme, written by Nigel Auchterlounie and drawn by Barrie Appleby. 


Friday 8 April 2022

Pedantic Stan - SOLD OUT!

The remaining 20 copies of Pedantic Stan that I put on eBay yesterday have sold out within 24 hours. My thanks to those of you who bought them. They'll be posted out Saturday and Monday first class.

I will do a reprint one day but not yet as I need to reserve funds for other things such as a reprint of Combat Colin No.1. 

At the moment though I need to focus on other comics work and some private commissions. It's going to be a busy month! 


Thursday 7 April 2022


I've found a few remaining copies of Pedantic Stan the Comics Fan that were published in 2018. Created by John Freeman (writer) and me (artist) the strip ran in the comics newszine Speakeasy in 1990. This 16 page comic collects all of those strips plus an additional one that was done for the UKCAC 90 convention booklet. 

If you want one, head over to my eBay page here:


 ...and it's worth mentioning again that Pedantic Stan returned last year in a new story for The Most Important Comic Book on Earth. You can read about that here: 


Monday 4 April 2022

The77 issue 7 is coming!

Readers who backed the Kickstarter campaign for The77 issue 7 are now receiving their copies in the post. It's another 68 pages of all new material including two pages of Sgt.Shouty by me. There's a preview of panel one above...

...and here's how it looked when I started pencilling it weeks ago...

If you missed out on the Kickstarter, don't worry. You can order the comic from The77 website at this link:

The77 is one of the most successful indie comics of recent times so I hope you'll continue to support it! I'll be posting more about it soon but at the moment I'm on a deadline!

Sunday 3 April 2022

Another comics event for the summer

Here's my updated list of comics festivals and events where I'll be this year and, as you can seem I've just added a new one for Saturday 20th August. On that day I'll be heading to the Merseyway Shopping Centre in Stockport where John Webster of the shop Wow! Comix will be hosting a Beano Fan Fest

Dennis the Menace artist Nigel Parkinson will also be there, as will other guests yet to be announced. We'll be sketching and signing from 10AM to 4.30PM and there may be a panel talk too. More details will be announced closer to the time.

Visit their Facebook page for more info:

I hope to see you there and / or at the other events on the list above! Let me know below if you're thinking of attending!


Still available! 32 page comic featuring the complete runs of two of my strips from the 1980s: Derek the Troll and Rock Solid, Space Hero (the prequel to The77's Sgt.Shouty!) Only available exclusively from me at the link below, and I'll sign it too.


Saturday 2 April 2022

Monster Fun Memories

I was too young to have worked on the short-lived Monster Fun Comic that ran from 1975 to 1976 but I was a contributor to the Buster and Monster Fun Holiday Specials of the 1990s. Although the weekly comic was long gone, Monster Fun continued as a joint special with Buster for several years (and there was a solo Buster special too of course). 

One of my contributions to the Buster and Monster Fun Holiday Special 1990 is shown above. I was pleased with how the Tom Thug in Monsterland story turned out and it's still one of my personal all-time favourites. (I have the original art framed on my wall.) Putting Tom into a fantasy scenario went against the usual theme of the strip but I got around it by having him enter the 'Monster Fun Zone' which was free of the more grounded aspects of Bustertown. Script, art, colours by me, lettering by Mike Peters. And yes, that's Grimly Feendish on the second page. I couldn't resist the chance to include one of my favourite characters from Wham! and Smash!

The other story I had in that special was The Vampire Brats meet Doctor Prankenstein. I enjoyed doing this one too. Script and art by me, lettering by Jack Potter. As always, click on the images to see them full size. I hope you enjoy reading these strips of mine from 32 years ago! And yes, for newcomers, I'm still working in comics and this blog will bring you news on everything I'm drawing!



Friday 1 April 2022

In next week's BEANO...

Here's a little preview of my Pup Parade strip from next week's Beano. This time the spotlight will be on Bones, the leader of the Bash Street Dogs. See the full mini-strip in Beano No.4130, on sale Wednesday 6th April! 

Still Britain's longest-running comic! Never Be Without A Beano! Only £2.99 a week, or even cheaper if you subscribe like I do! Here's the link to click on for more info...