Tuesday 31 January 2023

What's Happening to the TARDIS?

Here's a tiny clip of part of my next Daft Dimension strip. What's going on? How did the TARDIS console get damaged? Whyyyy? etc.

Find out in Doctor Who Magazine No.587 when it goes on sale this Thursday, 2nd February! 

Available from all good newsagents, WH Smith, some supermarkets and comic shops... or directly from the publisher at this link:




Sunday 29 January 2023

More artwork for sale!

This week I'm selling more of my original artwork. There's a full page Tom Thug strip, Tom Thug in Majorca, that was published in the Oink! Summer Special 1988, plus two early Daft Dimension strips from Doctor Who Magazine.


The auctions run until Sunday 5th February. See the following link for close up photos of each item:


Good luck with your bids!


Saturday 28 January 2023

Lawless Comic Con Update!

Lawless Comic Con have expanded their guest list, adding Laura Howell, Michael Carroll, Ian Edginton, and D'Israeli and tickets are on sale NOW from their convention website at:


Hope to see some of you there! 


Monday 23 January 2023

Pete and his Pimple, guest scripted by Charlie Brooker

I usually wrote my own material for Oink! comic but back in 1987 Charlie Brooker supplied a very funny script for an episode of Pete and his Pimple that was a pleasure to draw.

Charlie was the youngest contributor to Oink! and only 15 or 16 at the time but he was delivering the laughs even then. He also drew strips himself for the comic and had a nice cartooning style.

Charlie later moved on to work in television of course, being responsible for shows such as Screen Wipe and Black Mirror. I wish he'd done more comic strips, but the comic industry's loss was television's gain. 

Thanks to Oink! Blogger Phil Boyce for reminding me of the time that Charlie Brooker and I collaborated on a page. You can read more about this issue of Oink! over on Phil's blog at this link:




Tom Thug - never a hero

One of the Oink! covers I drew/designed featuring Tom Thug. I was always sure to make Tom look foolish in his attempts to be threatening. That was the whole point of the character of course; he's 100% the bad guy, never a hero. A character for kids to laugh AT, not with. 

In real life bullies often get away with it unfortunately, but I wanted to create a strip where the villain got his just deserts every week. My hope was that it'd provide some catharsis for readers who were victims of bullying; a chance to laugh at the morons who commit such cowardly deeds. Tom Thug proved to be very popular in Oink! and in Buster so maybe it worked. The strip ran for ten years and another four years as a reprint. 

Would the strip work today? I dunno. Schools clamp down on bullying quicker now so there'd be less potential to tell such stories. Publishers also get a bit nervous now of showing characters being too aggressive, or the consequences of the violence backfiring on kids. Strips would often end with Tom looking bruised and battered, purple lumps protruding from his head (a visual exaggeration I'd taken from Ken Reid's work) but it might not be acceptable in a kids' comic today. 

Who knows? As far as I know there's no sign of Tom Thug ever returning. If Rebellion did bring him back I hope I'd be given first refusal to write and draw new stories considering I created him. Perhaps we could do it for older readers, with Tom aged up, as was the scenario in the last few issues of Oink! before it merged into Buster and Tom reverted to a schoolboy again. Time will tell, but at the moment it's all speculation.


Sunday 22 January 2023

Coming soon...

Last month I drew a puzzle page for the Beano featuring the Bash Street Kids. It's set to appear in the issue that goes on sale 15th February, so a few weeks away yet but I thought you might like to see how part of it looked during the inking stage. 

The Bash Street Kids are such great creations. Originally visualised by Leo Baxendale in 1954 and then followed by the late David Sutherland OBE who drew the strip for an amazing 60 years from 1962 until recently.

David's final Bash Street strip will be published this week. I don't know who will be taking it over and it's inappropriate to speculate at the moment but I'm sure they'll do an excellent job in maintaining the iconic look and humour of these brilliant characters.


Thursday 19 January 2023

David Sutherland OBE

A memorable crossover drawn by David Sutherland.

Another comics great has left us. I'm very saddened to hear that Beano artist David Sutherland OBE passed away last night at the age of 89. (He'd have been 90 in March.)

The versatility of David Sutherland’s talent was remarkable. He smoothly adopted the Bash Street style when he took over the strip from Leo Baxendale and made it his own, producing genuinely funny pages filled with hilarious endearing characters and little sight gags. He was able to master any style and bring it to life in his own way, as he did when he replaced Dudley Watkins on Biffo the Bear, and when he followed Davey Law on Dennis the Menace, defining the characters for a new generation of readers.

Not many comic artists can switch between cartoony and straight adventure styles convincingly but Mr. Sutherland made it look effortless, drawing gripping adventure strips such as The Great Flood of London, Danny on a Dolphin, and of course the very popular Billy the Cat

Advert for the new Billy the Cat strip in 1967, drawn by David.

It’s hard to believe that an artist who has been a significant part of the industry all our lives has passed away but David leaves us with such a legacy of joyful, entertaining strips that have brought happiness to millions over the past 60 plus years. David’s style defined the Beano. His recent OBE was well deserved and his work will always be remembered and respected. My condolences to David’s family and to all those who knew him.

More tributes:






Wednesday 18 January 2023

Tom Thug smoking in a comic

Oink blogger Phil Boyce has reminded me of this anti-smoking strip I did in 1987 for the OINK! SMOKEBUSTERS SPECIAL. I didn't hold back in my contempt for the damage that smoking does. You can read the story behind the comic on Phil's blog at this link:

I should add that I have nothing against people who smoke. It's their choice. Some of my closest friends smoke. It's the damage that smoking does that I hate, so this strip was an extreme attempt to discourage young kids from taking up the habit. I don't know it it had any effect. Hope so.


Comics for Sale!

I'm selling some old UK comics on eBay at the moment including a run of 9 scarce Scottish editions of Vulcan. Auctions run until next Tuesday. All bids appreciated. Thanks in advance.
More photos and details at the link:

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Thanks for your support!

My thanks to those of you who are bidding on my latest art auction, and to those of you who have bought pages from me previously. It really helps in these difficult times, especially in January when bills are coming in thick and fast!

If you don't wish to bid on my artwork, but you'd like to give a small donation to this blog, you can via PayPal or card payment at this link:


Thanks for your kindness. 

Monday 16 January 2023

COMBAT COLIN and TOM THUG original art pages up for auction

I've put a couple of my original art pages on eBay for auction this week. They are...

The second ever Combat Colin strip I ever drew, back in 1987. This was actually published third in the run but it was intended as the second. (Not that it mattered that Marvel didn't run them in order as they were complete episodes at this early stage anyway.) I'm not selling the first Combat Colin strip so if you want the earliest one available that I created, this is it! 

The Tom Thug page from Buster dated 31st December 1988. A New Year's Eve theme story featuring the brainless bully. A page that's now 34 years old but still in clean, flat condition. This was just after Tom Thug had moved over to Buster from Oink! so it's Tom's first Hogmanay in Buster comic. 

Both auctions run until this coming Sunday evening (22nd January). All bids appreciated. Good luck! Here's the link where you can see more close up images of each item:



Sunday 15 January 2023

Comic Scene Awards

I'm pleasantly surprised to see that this blog has been nominated in the Comic Scene Awards, so if you think it's worthy your vote would be very much appreciated. 

Please vote in the other categories too of course for your best comic, event, etc. Here's the link...



Beware of scammers!

Just a heads up to fellow artists. I almost fell for a scam recently when someone commissioned me to produce eight simple cartoons for a staggering $8000. You'd never get that fee in comics but I know that commercial art pays far more. (Twenty years ago I drew an advertising strip for £1000 so it wasn't too far fetched to think that in 2023 some company would pay more.) 

However, red flags went up when the client insisted that they'd only pay by cheque (or "check" as it was American). "My sponsor doesn't use online payment platforms. He's an old-fashioned businessman." 

I Googled the email address and discovered that other artists had reported it as a scam:


As I understand it, the con is that they send you a cheque but it's "mistakenly" for a higher amount than agreed. Then they tell you to bank it and refund them the difference. Their cheque then bounces and you're out of pocket.

I'm angry that some creep tried to con me but relieved I nipped it in the bud before they got me.


Saturday 14 January 2023

Comic Conventions for 2023

Shewsbury International Comic Art Festival in 2016


If you run a comics event and you'd like to invite me as a guest in 2023 please message me for availability. I don't do workshops or solo presentations but I'm happy to appear on panel discussions and do signings and sketches. I'll always help promote the shows I'm attending too by spreading the word on social media as often as I can.

2023 marks my 40th year working in the comics industry so it'd be nice to get out there and meet more readers.

So far I'm booked for Comic Book Day in Liverpool on March 25th, and Lawless Comic Con (Bristol) for May 27th/28th plus one or two others that haven't been announced yet.


Wednesday 11 January 2023

Feast or Famine!

Remember I'd said how the past year or two had seen a serious reduction in work and how worrying that was? Things were looking very grim indeed and frankly it felt like the end of the road. 

Well, I'm very pleased to say that things have suddenly turned around and I now have a lot of work to do over the next several weeks. Nothing ongoing, except for my regular Daft Dimension strip, but rather lots of one-offs and private commissions to keep me busy through February at least. (I can't specify what the jobs feature yet for copyright reasons but I'll show some extracts eventually.)

I'm not out of the woods yet of course as it could all dry up again by March but as I'd told you how bad things were I thought I'd relate how things have picked up somewhat. 

This is my 40th year in the comics industry and it's always been up and down, just as it is for everyone, but recent times have been worse than before. You soon learn never to take things for granted in this business, (or indeed any self-employed profession). 

It's definitely a "feast or famine" profession... and speaking of which, as I've managed to lose four stone over the past year or two I've certainly no desire to over-indulge in any "feasts" again but as long as I can keep solvent I'll be happy. (Reading that back I think my virus made me screw up the metaphor I was trying for but ah well, you get the jist I think. :))

(Presently still very much under the weather due to a persistent bug - NOT Covid this time - but will get back to the drawing board today!) 


Tuesday 10 January 2023

Don't Slip Up!

I've just received tomorrow's Beano in the post and I'm pleased with how my Bash Street Kids puzzle page turned out. I was commissioned to draw this several weeks ago. Those characters are always fun to work on! 

See the full version in Beano No.4168, in shops on Wednesday 11th January. 

I've drawn another BSK puzzle page that'll be in the comic next month. More about that when it's published. 


Saturday 7 January 2023

Three titles out now

It's not often these days that I'm in three publications at once but last week I had work in three titles in newsagents: The Daft Dimension in Doctor Who Magazine, a Billy Whizz puzzle page in the Beano, and the Bad Pets strip in Animal Planet Kids magazine. I hope it's a pattern of more work for the future.


Friday 6 January 2023

A sketch from 2008

Feeling a bit run down this week due to a bug so there's nothing new to post at the moment. However, here's an old pencil sketch I did for someone in 2008 of Combat Colin that I thought I'd share. 

A reminder that Combat Colin Nos.2 and 3 are still available, reprinting stories from Marvel UK's The Transformers. Most pages scanned from my original art...


Thursday 5 January 2023

Comic Event in Liverpool This March!

Mark Saturday 25th March on your calendars because there'll be a Comic Book Day at the Plaza Community Cinema, Liverpool on that day. It's organised by writer/editor Tim Quinn and I'm very pleased to say I've been invited as one of the guests.

Other guests from the world of comics will include Charlie Adlard, Nigel Parkinson, Alan Cowsill, Leigh Gallagher, Jason Quinn, and Dicky Howett! 

Here's how Tim Quinn announced it...

Come and meet artists, writers, and editors from Marvel Comics, DC Comics, 2000AD, The Walking Dead, and The Beano! Yes, a whole day of comic book fun at the Plaza Cinema in Waterloo, Liverpool on Saturday 25th March 2023 from 10am to 5pm with fab comic book movies showing in the evening! Make a whole day of it!
Former Marvel editors and writers Tim Quinn and Alan Cowsill will kick off the event by telling the Stan Lee story on the big screen. Following this there will be interviews and audience Q & A’s with our guests. Tim Quinn will also present a history of comic books. All our guests will Meet & Greet and there will be opportunities for signings and on-the-spot sketches. Audience members are invited to attend in costume. There will be a special prize awarded to the audience member in the best cosplay as judged by our guests.

Ticket information will be coming soon so keep an eye on the Plaza Community Cinema Facebook page for more information!



Wednesday 4 January 2023

Billy Whizz!

Billy Whizz is ©D.C. Thomson Ltd.

A while back I drew an actvity page for the Beano and it's published in this week's issue (No.4167). It made a change to draw the great Billy Whizz! (Wayne Thompson draws the regular strip.) I remember when Billy's strip began back in 1964! Such a distinctive looking character. Here's a snippet of the puzzle page.

I drew another puzzle page for next week's issue too, featuring the Bash Street Kids. Will show that next week.


Tuesday 3 January 2023

First DAFT DIMENSION of 2023

There's a new issue of the official Doctor Who Magazine out this Thursday, with another Daft Dimension comic strip from me inside (along with tons of other great stuff by others of course including Part 3 of the exclusive 14th Doctor strip by Alan Barnes and Lee Sullivan). Here's a sneak preview of my strip above, along with the cover to look out for.

Doctor Who Magazine No.586, in all good newsagents, comic shops, and supermarkets from Thursday 5th January, or you can order it directly from the publishers at this link:


Sunday 1 January 2023

ROBO-CAPERS for New Year 1987!

My thanks to Phil Boyce for reminding me of this episode of Robo-Capers that I did way back in 1986 to celebrate the then-New Year of 1987! It appeared in Marvel UK's Transformers No.94.

Making an unofficial guest appearance in the strip is Tom Thug's cat Satan from IPC's Oink! comic (sitting on the postbox) and in the corner, it's Loose Brayne, Brickman himself holding the sign. All part of the Lewniverse!

The shop sign refers to Marvel editors Richard Starkings and John Tomlinson who sometimes did the colour separations for the strip. (All of my Marvel strips were coloured by the staff.) Jane Hindmarsh was also on staff but I can't recall what else she did apart from colouring. (That's not to say she wasn't an editor or something. I just can't remember.)

You can read Phil's thoughts on the strip over at his piggin' fantastic Oink! Blog at this link:


...and once again, a HAPPY NEW YEAR for 2023!