Wednesday 31 May 2023

Lawless Comic Con 2023

Big thanks to Su Haddrell and the team for their hard work in organising another brilliant Lawless Comic Con. A truly friendly and laid back event that was a pleasure to attend again last weekend. Lots of laughs and good company and great tro catch up with Laura Howell, Mike Allwood, Mike and Bernadette, Joanne Alexander, David Roach, Leonard Sultana, Joanne Alexander, Stacey Dutton-Whittle, Ben Cullis, Jo Heeley and The77 gang, Alexus Savage, Leonard Sultana, Shane Chebsey, Paul Goodenough, Anna Morozova, Phillip Vaughan, Michael Carroll, Sarah Lea, Stuart Lloyd Gould and many more I've no doubt forgotten due to tiredness. 

I'm sorry I didn't spend more time talking to Dan Cornwell and Becky, Ian Edginton, Matt Brooker, Patrick Goddard, John Charles, John Higgins, Sally Hurst, and John Wagner. Really enjoyed catching up with old friend Mick McMahon again after many, many years. Only regret was not getting to see other old friend Dave Gibbons before he left. All in all a fantastic weekend. Hope I came across OK in the interviews despite being bunged up with a cold! Last but certainly not least, thank you to everyone who stopped by my table for a sketch, comic, and chat.

Lawless is an excellent convention dedicated to British comics and has a friendly artmosphere. If you've never been please consider attending next year's show. 

I only took a few photos as I was busy so here's a handfull....

Strontium shenannigans with Joanne Alexander.


The convention programme was once again in the format of a 16 page A5 Lawless comic. Several of us contributed a page for free as part of an adventure scripted by Steve Bull. Here's my page (coloured by Darren Stephens) opposite a page by Andrw Sawyers. The pages will be sold off by The77 to raise money for charity.

Con booklet cover by Dan Cornwell.

For more photos of the event, check out the Lawless Facebook group at this link:


Tuesday 30 May 2023

Sonic the Comic Con 2023

It's 30 years since Egmont Fleetway launched Sonic the Comic way back in 1993. I came on board as a writer with issue 30 and had many happy years scripting the adventures of Tails, Amy, and sometimes Sonic himself plus my own creations Shortfise the Cybernik, Tekno, Commander Brutus and more. Last week Sonic the Comic Con celebrated the anniversary of the title with an event in York. I was a guest along with writer/artist Nigel Kitching, artists Richard Elson, Carl Flint, Ferran Rodriguez and editor Richard Burton.

The event was very well attended with an enthusuastic audience that were a pleasure to meet. The show was very busy throughout the day and I did lots of sketches plus sold out the comics and prints I'd taken along. 

It was clear that Sonic the Comic meant a lot to the readers and their ongoing passion for the stories and characters means a lot to us as creators too. I think under different editors, STC would have just been a standard licenced comic that wouldn't have lasted long, but editors Richard Burton and Deborah Tate turned it into something unique for the time. Comics that have their own identity, and a creative team that care about the product, tend to resonate more with the readers and that was true of STC. Thirty years later, the enthusuasm of those fans is still burning bright and it was a pleasure to be in their company. One of the great strengths of the comic is that didn't only appeal to one gender like most adventure comics of the time and that diversity was still represented by the attendance at the show.


My thanks to Michael Stiv Stephenson, Lola Muir, and the team for making us welcome and putting on a great event, and to all the attendees for coming along and making the day special. Such a great crowd! Thanks also for the special coin that was given to us to mark the comic's anniversary. A nice momento of a happy weekend.

You can see lots of photos from the event at this link coutesy of Oni Media... 

Thanks to Zoe Davis for giving me this excellent drawing she did of my character Shortfuse the Cybernik! A really nice gift and much appreciated. See more of Zoe's art on her Twitter page


Monday 29 May 2023

Convention lag

After two consecultive weekends of conventions plus a cold and other issues I'm totally burnt out today but they were both great and I'll be blogging about them soon! For now, I need more sleep and then crack on with work. Will blog again soon! 

Friday 26 May 2023

See you at Lawless!

Feeling rough with a bug I picked up last week so it's an early night for me because I'm having an early start to get to Bristol tomorrow for Lawless Comic Con!

I'll be doing sketches on request (£15 each), bringing along a few copies of Combat Colin and Derek the Troll, plus a couple of original art pages (£50 each). Hope to see you there!


Thursday 25 May 2023

Weekday sale

If you missed out on my recent auctions you might be interested in a couole of Buy It Now items I currently have on eBay. My original artwork of a Vampire Brats page from Buster (1989) and a Robo-Capers from Transformers (1987). 


This offer only runs until Friday evening (26th May) so I hope some of you snap them up. 

Here's the link: 


Wednesday 24 May 2023

New Doctor Who Magazine - sneak peek!

There's a new issue of the official Doctor Who Magazine out tomorrow so here's an advance glimpse at part of a panel from my latest Daft Dimension strip. This time the focus is on the 6th Doctor.

The mag will be packed as usual with all new features and interviews, plus the latest chapter of the 14th Doctor's exclusive adventure by Alan Barnes and Lee Sullivan.

Plus... a brand new feature with the Memory Worm! Here's my pencil rough of the creature. 

See the finished version in Doctor Who Magazine No.591, on sale from Thursday 25th May. Here's the cover to look out for, featuring new character Rose who will appear in the 14th Doctor specials this Autumn...


Tuesday 23 May 2023


During my 16 years as a writer/artist on Toxic magazine I created a lot of villains and monsters for Team Toxic to deal with. One such was Frankendrac! Part reanimated corpse, part vampire, Frankendrac encountered Team Toxic numerous times. 

When I have time I'll dig out some Team Toxic strips and post them on this blog. 

Tuesday 16 May 2023

The Dandy Summer Special is here!

The Summer Specials from DC Thomson are in the shops now and I've just picked up The Dandy Summer Special from WH Smith. Amongst its 68 pages are four Kid Cops reprints of pages I wrote/drew for The Dandy weekly between 2010 and 2012.

Although it would have been nice to have done new pages for the Special as I did in previous years, it's an honour to have my work reprinted alongside classics such as Desperate Dan by Charlie Grigg and Corporal Clott by Davey Law. 

Here's the cover to look out for, drawn by Wayne Thompson...  

Cover art by Wayne Thompson.

Brand new Kid Cops pages will appear in The Dandy Annual 2024, out this Autumn.



Monday 15 May 2023

Coming soon....

Horror comics fans! The second issue of This Comic Is Haunted is coming soon from The77 Publications. I did another Short Sharp Shocks page for it. More info in a few weeks, by which time you should be able to order it from their website here:


Lawless Comic Con is fast approaching!

Less than two weeks to go until Lawless Comic Con which takes place in Bristol over the weekend of Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th May. Here's the amazing guest list and you can buy tickets from their website at this link... 


Sunday 14 May 2023

Sonic the Comic Con - next Saturday!

All being well next Saturday I'll be in York for Sonic the Comic Con, celebrating 30 years since Sonic the Comic was launched and became one of the most popular comics in the UK. 

Back then I was one of the regular writers on the comic, with artists such as Richard Elson, Carl Flint, and the late Nigel Dobbyn doing fantastic illustrations of my scripts. 

I'm looking forward to meeting up with my fellow guests and the readers next week! Don't ask me anything too complex about those stories though. After three decades my memory is a bit rusty on those scripts! 

See you there?


Sunday 7 May 2023

Future plans

Just a quick update. I was hoping to publish Combat Colin No.5 (plus reprints of the sold out issues 1 and 4) this summer but that's looking very unlikely now due to reduced cash flow and health concerns. 

I won't be doing any more digital comics. Although many of you did pay the nominal fee of £3 for Tough Guy No.1 some just decided they'd read it online for free. My own fault for allowing a free download on trust. 

Trying to remain optimistic, I'm going to be busy over the next few weeks on strips including the latest Daft Dimension and pages for The Dandy Annual 2025 plus something I can't talk about yet.

My thanks to those of you who have supported my work over the past 40 years. 



Friday 5 May 2023

Weekend Sale: Two pages of original art (UPDATE: SOLD!)

Weekend sale! Two pages of my original art from the 1980s on eBay as Buy It Now items. Combat Colin and Robo-Capers. If you missed out on the auctions, now's your chance if you hurry!

Here are the links...

Robo Capers strip from 1987. (I don't have many Robo-Capers pages left so grab this one quick! It will only be available as Buy It Now for this weekend.) 


Combat Colin strip from 1988... 



Thursday 4 May 2023

Tough Guy was TRIFFIK!

For new readers to this blog, I thought I'd mention that I have a digital comic ready for download. I published it back in December but you may not have seen it.

Tough Guy and Scruffy collects all my strips from the long-forgotten and short lived Triffik! comic of 1992 into a 32 page full colour digital comic that you can either read online or download and read at your leisure.

You can read more about the comiv at this old post of mine:

...and download the comic as a PDF from this link:

May I ask that in return you pay £3 (or whatever you can afford) to my PayPal account at

Thanks for your support. 


Wednesday 3 May 2023

This day in 1986...

My TOM THUG page from OINK! No.1

On this day, 3rd May, in 1986, IPC launched the first issue of Oink! into newsagents. There had been a preview issue the week before given away in varioys comics (see info about that at this link) but that was comprised of the strips we'd done for the dummy issue in 1984. By 1986 we'd all improved our skills a bit and Oink! No.1 was by far a better product for it. 

Oink! had three editors, which in theory sounds like a "comics by committee" thing that would dilute a comic, but far from it in this case. Mark Rogers, Tony Husband, and Patrick Gallagher were all creative people and natural humourists. They packaged the comic from their studio in Manchester and sent it to IPC to Humour Group Editor Bob Paynter. Bob was often cautious about material but he was on staff at IPC so he had to protect the company image to an extent. Nevertheless, he wanted Oink! to have its own voice and style and I don't recall a great deal of interference from IPC. What they definitely didn't want was another Krazy comic, which Bob had told me hadn't worked out to be as radical and wild as they'd hoped.

Most of us on Oink! were fairly new to comics and full of energy and fresh ideas. It's often misjudged as a "junior Viz" but most of us had never heard of Viz when we did our work for the Oink! dummy in 1984. (Viz didn't have national distribution at that time.) My inspirations were comics like Wham! and Smash! and Mark Rogers was inspirec by Mad magazine.

We had a great time on Oink! comic. I remember having phone calls with editor Mark Rogers every week where we'd discuss story ideas and comics in general. At one point Mark was talking about doing some companion comics in the same anarchic tone. One would have been a pre-school comic called Potty (which Mark asked me if I'd come on board as an editor) and a romance comic called Snog! for teenage girls. Sadly, neither went beyond the early ideas stage.

Nevertheless, pouring all my energy into strips for Oink! (as well as doing Combat Colin and Robo-Capers for Marvel UK) proved to be a busy and creative time. Oink! ran for two and a half years, longer than many IPC comics, and Bob Paynter told me they didn't consider it a failure. Perhaps it didn't appeal to readers with more conservative tastes, and WH Smiths moving it away from the children's section didn't help, but every issue was a pleasure to work on and Oink! still stands up as a very funny comic with its own identity. 

In the end, after 68 issues, Oink! merged into Buster in 1988 and my Tom Thug strip moved over there, toned down somewhat for Buster's younger audience, but still became a popular strip. New Tom Thug strips appeared in Buster until 1996, and then nearly four years of reprints thereafter.

At the top of this post is my Tom Thug strip for Oink! No.1, which readers would have seen 37 years ago on this day in 1986.


OINK! issue one, published 3rd May 1986.

You can read more about Oink! at the regularly updated OiNK! BLOG, run by Phil Boyce:



Wednesday Art Auction ends tonight

My latest auction of my original art ends tonight. Your chance to bid on a Combat Colin strip from Marvel UK's Transformers No.217 from 1989... 


...and a Daft Dimension original from Doctor Who Magazine No.505 (2016) featuring Daleks... 

All bids appreciated, especially in these tough times. (And a big thank you to all of you who have purchased art from me in the past.) 


Monday 1 May 2023

A lifetime of comics

Most people give up comics when they reach their teens, thinking that they're too old for them or because they're distracted by other interests. Perhaps they never really had a deep interest in the medium and were only aware of children's comics, so it's quite understandable that they'd move on. 

Some of us were different. Like most of you who'll be reading this, comics struck a chord with me in the same way that music or sport evokes a passion in musicians or athletes at an early age. I started reading comics regularly in January 1964 when my mum bought me a copy of The Dandy. (See here for that story.) It soon followed with The Beano, TV Century 21, Sparky, Wham!, Smash! and countless others. I've read comics of some sort for practically every day since. I was an only child and when not playing with my toys or my pets I was happy to sit quietly and read comics. I also created my own comics but I'd only show them to my immediate family. (See here for that story.)

One of my childhood attempts at comics. 1969.

I soon found out that comics had existed long before I was born when my Grandad told me that he'd read Illustrated Chips around 1900. Also, a schoolfriend gave me a load of Marvel comics that included Fantasy Masterpieces that reprinted Captain America strips from the 1940s. I became as fascinated with the history of comics as much as I became intrigued by all the different art styles and formats. Comics had me hooked at a very early age.

My family didn't have a lot of money but comics were a cheap form of entertainment and one that certainly fascinated me. I couldn't afford all the comics every week that were plentiful in the 1960s obviously so I'd often drop some to replace them with new ones, or go back to previous favourites. By doing this I think I must have tried every title that was available at the time. 

When I was asked at school what career I wanted I felt that working in comics was unrealistic. Here I was, a kid from a council estate, with no art qualifications, living in an industrial town, so I put aside my comics ambitions as a childish fantasy and stopped drawing. Besides, the careers advisor only ever encouraged the class to join the army or work in a factory. My head teacher told me he thought I'd be suited to working in a departmental store. None of those options appealed to me in the slightest. I felt pretty lost and aimless really. My dad had suddenly passed away then too, so I was still numbed by that.

By the age of 16 (in 1975 to put it into context) I felt it was time to move on from children's comics such as Beano, Whoopee!, and Buster, but I carried on buying comics for slightly older readers such as Action and all the Marvel UK output, as well as a mixture of various American comics. 2000AD became an immediate favourite too. I was also buying loads of comics fanzines at the time as well. Having left school and taken an office job I had my own money to spend wisely... even though most of it went on comics as well as the more expected pursuits of pubs, records, and cinema.

I didn't even know that comics fandom existed until I discovered fanzines (via an advert in the Marvel UK comics). For a few years I'd kept quiet about "still reading comics at my age" for fear of ridicule. If anyone at work asked me what I read I just said "science fiction", (although I'd only read a few SF books). Discovering fanzines and comic fandom opened up a whole new world! I got talking to some comic fans at a Birmingham Comic Mart in 1979 which led to them inviting me to their weekly Saturday pub-meets. Then my first comics convention in 1979. 

I was also contributing to fanzines by then, having rekindled my ambitions to work in comics. (Yes, my abstinence from drawing only lasted about 18 months thankfully.) I started buying kids' comics again, but this time looking at the art and writing from a creative perspective, using them as reference to develop my own style.

After various clashes with my work colleagues I actually hated my office job by this point, and the whole 9 to 5 routine, so in February 1980 I quit. I was nearly 21 and suddenly jobless, but determined to break into comics. My former work colleagues told me I'd end up as a "useless drop out". 

I was still living with my mum at the time and she'd always been very supportive and encouraged me to stick to my ambition. The rejections were piling up and publishers such as IPC, DC Thomson didn't want me, but I carried on trying to improve my skills. By the early 1980s I'd become friends with a few people in the industry thanks to the monthly Westminster Comic Marts. It was there in April 1983 where Alan Moore encouraged me to try Marvel UK. One company I hadn't thought of submitting anything to, but Alan introduced me to his editor, Bernie Jaye, and she asked me to send some ideas in. 

My first published cartoon. (Daredevils No.7, 1983).

I waited... and nothing happened. Expecting another rejection I asked Bernie at the next Mart what she'd thought of the What If cartoons I'd sent her. "Oh I loved them" she replied. "We're starting to use them from the next issue". The comic was The Daredevils, which ran reprints of Frank Miller's Daredevil strips alongside brand new Captain Britain stories by Alan Moore and Alan Davis. Good company indeed! I was on cloud nine and the first thing I did after that Westminster Mart was run to the nearest phone box to call my mum with the news.

Those Westminster Comic Marts of the 1980s are special memories, as were the lunchtime visits to the nearby Westminster Arms. Practically everyone back then who worked for 2000AD, Marvel UK, Warrior, Knockabout, Escape and other comics would attend along with fanzine creators and comic collectors. As Dave Gibbons mentions in his anecdotal autobiography Confabulation, there was no heirarchy. Pros and fans side by side, being mates, having a laugh, establishing good friendships.

The Westminster Arms, where comics people met in the 1980s.

That was 40 years ago and from then on work in comics came along regularly and hopefully my skills improved accordingly. My career began on that day in 1983, thanks to Alan Moore and Bernie Jaye, two of life's good people to whom I've always been grateful. In fact I'm grateful to everyone who's helped me along the way; every editor, colleague, friend, and reader, for their support, and that includes friends outside of comics as well as within. I've also tried to encourage others along the way and I hope that's been of help.

Combat Colin, my favourite creation.

I've never been competitive, never seen the need to put the other person down to achieve my aims. What will be will be, due to my own efforts and creativity and being in the right place at the right time. I have no tolerance for envy or resentment. Not everything works out of course and, yes, you can allow yourself some time for disappointment, but then you have to get back up and carry on. For as long as you're able to. Then at least you can say you gave it your best shot.

When I started writing this post I'd intended it to be a short piece but it seems to have snowballed into a mini-memoir. I hope you've managed to get through it! Thanks for following this blog and for your interest in my work. It's always appreciated.

A cover for The77 from a couple of years ago.