Sunday 31 December 2023

Reflecting on 2023

Click to enlarge image to see it more clearly.

I had hoped that this review would have been more uplifting than recent years and that my traditional end of year post could be more optimistic. Sadly not, so those of you who can't bear "negativity" will no doubt stop reading now, but I hope most of you will stick with it. I'll try to be as optimistic as I can.

I'll get the bad news out of the way first. After a routine blood test to check on my diabetes (which I have under control now) some anomolies in my white blood cell count led to more thorough tests. In June it was confirmed that I have CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia). It's a type of blood cancer that one can live with for years without symptoms or needing any treatment. Unfortuntely my white blood cell count is continuing to climb, so my consultant tells me I may need chemo in 2024. At present I feel perfectly fine and apart from the high cell count and slight swellings in the lymph nodes in my neck, I have no other symptoms. However I have another hospital appointment in February where they'll decide what to do next. CLL is incurable but it is treatable, although the survival rate depends on each person of course. At the moment it's like being in limbo; they won't start chemo until absolutely necessary because the treatment can be so delibitating and dangerous, but they don't want to leave it too late when it'll be ineffective.

Many of you already knew this as I'd discussed it on my private Facebook page but I thought I'd go public about it because cancer is still spoken of in hushed whispers and I believe we should demystify it and talk about it so people can understand it better. If you want to read more about CLL the best info is at the NHS website at this link:

As for other matters, I haven't had a lot of work on this year. At a time when I really needed it, most mainstream comics work dried up. Not where I expected to be in the 40th year of my career. This year has broken me financially and broken my spirit, (as the saying goes, the comics industry will break your heart, folks) but I am very grateful to my editors on Doctor Who Magazine, The Dandy Annual, The77, Haunted, and the other bits and bobs that helped me pay my bills. Big thanks also to all of you who placed bids on my eBay auctions to buy my old pages, and to those who commissioned sketches at conventions. It's no exaggeration to say that I simply would not be here now without your support.

Anyway... trying to be more upbeat... the things I did enjoy about this year were catching up with friends locally and all over the country at various comic cons. I feel privileged to know the best people I could ever imagine to hang out with and your friendship and thoughtfulness means the world to me. The photo collage at the top of this post shows some of those fine folks (plus an inclusion of CLL as it's a significant part of my year, but it's outnumbered by the happy moments). Have fun spotting the comics creators in the pics. (Click/tap on the picture to enlarge it.)

Moving forward... January is busy because I'm currently working on ideas for my Daft Dimension strip in Doctor Who Magazine No.600, then drawing a page for a one off comic, and drawing a ten page story for an American publisher. Hopefully there'll be work on The Dandy Annual 2026 in a few months, but it's a regular strip I really need. I will be selling more of my old artwork on eBay soon, so keep following this blog and my social media posts for updates.

Thanks also to everyone who follows my blog and for getting through this long post (at least I hope most of you are still reading!) and may I wish you all good health, happiness, and prosperity for 2024.

Saturday 30 December 2023


Imagine if you will, an alternate Earth where instead of the public being mad keen on sport and reality shows, comics are the biggest form of entertainment in the world. In this wonky parallel history, kids grow out of an interest in football but they all love the arts, and are voracious readers of comics! The works of Tom Browne, Roy Wilson, Jack Kirby, Alan Moore, Leo Baxendale and all the greats are taught in schools alongside that of Shakespeare and Dickens. 

Every newsagent has half the shop devoted to comics, as they sell out within days of stocking them. Kids queue around the block for the latest collections of their favourite creators. Ice Cream Vans are converted into Comic Vans to tour suburban areas selling comics. Instead of vaping, teenagers gather on park benches to read the latest issues of Wham! or Comic Cuts (yes, they're still going, with sales in their millions). Hollywood is about to release the 140th movie in the popular Ally Sloper franchise. 

Amidst this time of plenty, Lew Stringer Comics has offices in London, Paris, and New York where I employ hundreds of comics artists and writers working on creator-owned projects. Combat Colin has just celebrated its 1,000th issue, published in numerous languages across the globe. There are plans for a Sgt.Shouty theme park on the Moon, and I live with my wife the enigmatic European comics artist Caramba Inkpot in a fully automated environmentally friendly sky mansion floating above Birmingham.

Ha! This is all a complete fantasy I've just made up of course, and a far cry from the grim reality, but it's simply a bit of fun. Hope it entertained you, because when it comes down to it, this business is all about entertainment. 


Friday 29 December 2023

New Year, Who Year

I still contribute to the official Doctor Who Magazine every month so thank you to editors Marcus Hearn, Peter Ware, and Jason Quinn for the work they've put my way this year. The latest issue is actually out early in Forbidden Planet (and will be in newsagents next week) so here's a preview of the cover plus a snippet of my Daft Dimension comic strip...

Doctor Who Magzine No.599, officially on sale Thursday 4th January (but on sale in Forbidden Planet now).


Sunday 17 December 2023

The new 77 Annual is out for Christmas!

Wise men (and women) who supported the Kickstarter for The77 Annual 2 should be receiving their books from the publisher now, well in time for Christmas. I suspect some of you will do the traditional thing of saving them to read on Christmas Day, so with that in mind I made sure that my contribution was suitably festive!

Christmas With Sgt.Shouty is a brand new full pager set in 2626, a year after the events in the ongoing Sgt.Shouty strip in The77 regular comic. The Christmas episode sees Shouty teamed with a new character, policewoman Copper Scarlet, as they investigate a cruel robot on the dark side of the Moon. 

The annual also features many more contributions from creators of the UK independent comic scene such as Dave Heeley, Ade Hughes, Jo Heeley, Rupert Lewis-Jones, Marc Jackson, Paul Goodenough, Ian Stopforth, Anna Everts, Darren Stephens, Steve MacManus and more! Alongside all that new material, the book also includes the comic strips that were produced for the Lawless Comic Con booklets of 2022 and 2023 including an illustration by Mick McMahon.

If you didn't back the Kickstarter you can buy The77 Annual 2 directly from the publisher (not available in supermarkets or newsagents) at this link...

A reminder that I also have work in The Dandy Annual 2024 (four pages of Kid Cops) plus the Beano/Dandy giftbook reprints my Keyhole Kate time travel three pager from a few years ago.



Thursday 14 December 2023

Skinhead Fairy time again

It's that time of year again when you can ridicule that brainless bully Tom Thug by putting him at the top of your tree, with him wearing a pretty dress and fairy wings. Here's my activity page from the 1987 Christmas issue of Oink!  

Click on the image to see it full size, print it out and get the glue and scissors ready! 


Wednesday 13 December 2023

Tough times call for Tough Guy (and Scruffy). Digital download.

This hasn't been a good year, but I'll go into that at a later date. One thing I created 12 months ago to bring in a few extra pennies was the Tough Guy and Scruffy digital comic. A 32 page collection of one of my long forgotten strips from the pages of the short lived Triffik! weekly of 1992. And there's an all new Christmas episode on the last page!

You can download it at the following link anywhere in the world to read on your device / PC...

All I'd ask it that if you enjoy it, please send a donation of £3 via PayPal to me at

Thank you.



Last chance to grab original Christmas comic art!

The auction ends today for the Christmas with Tom Thug page I did for Buster way back in 1993! If you'd like to own this original comic artwork please visit my eBay listings and place a bid. I'll post it to the winning bidder Special Delivery as soon as I receive payment so you'll have it for Christmas!


Sunday 10 December 2023

One final auction before Christmas - a page from 30 years ago!

A big thank you to all of you who have bid on my auctions this year. It really has saved me from the workhouse, or whatever the modern equivalent is. I've put one more page up, the last auction before Christmas, and it's the Christmas with Tom Thug page that appeared in Buster 30 years ago! 


This 1993 page of original art features Tom Thug and all his family celebrating Christmas. It's one of the very few Tom Thug stories where he doesn't end up with too much of a punishment. My editor told me that "even baddies in Buster deserve a happy Christmas". 

Even so, Tom's behaviour backfires on him, albeit mildly this time. The whole point of the Tom Thug stories is that his bullying and bad attitude should always have repercussions. I created Tom to always be the villain of the story, never the hero, never a character to respect or admire. The reader should always be laughing at Tom, never with him. I hope that, if someone else ever revives the strip for new stories after I'm gone, that they'll honour and remember that important point about the character. If they dont, feel free to heckle and chastise them!

Anyway, if you want the original art for this strip, head over to eBay and please bid or use the Buy It Now option. To avoid the Christmas postal delays, this auction only runs for three days and will end on Wednesday 13th December! Good luck!


Thursday 7 December 2023

Artwork for sale! Auction ends on Sunday!

Here are the latest pages of my original artwork that I'm selling. All bids much appreciated!

There's a seasonal Tom Thug on New Year's Eve page from Buster from 30 years ago, celebrating the arrival of 1994...


One of the last Robo-Capers strips that I'll be selling. I know quite a few of you asked me to sell more of these so grab it while you can! This original comic art is from Marvel UK's Transformers comic of 1986...

A Vampire Brats full pager from Buster (1990)!

Good luck with your bids!

For my other items, see this link:


Tuesday 5 December 2023

Daft Preview of DWM 598

Issue 598 of Doctor Who Magazine goes on sale this Thursday, 7th December, and here's a mini preview of a tiny part of The Daft Dimension comic strp that I contribute every month. To show any more would ruin the joke! 

Here's the cover to look out for, and I believe it'll be bagged with a poster for Christmas! 

Don't forget that David Tennant's final performance as the 14th Doctor is on TV this Saturday in the third Doctor Who special and then Ncuti Gatwa takes over in the next special on Chrisrtmas Day!


Monday 4 December 2023

Christmas is coming

Another reminder that although The Dandy comic ended back in 2012, The Dandy Annual contunues every year with all new material. Kid Cops are back this year, with four new single page strips by me. One of them has a Christmas theme, as I know a lot of readers have the book as a Christmas present.  

There'll be a Dandy Annual for 2025 too, but for now The Dandy Annual 2024 is selling fast in the shops so don't miss it!

Saturday 2 December 2023

Christmas comic art - auction ending soon!

The auctions on these pages of my original art end tomorrow (Sunday 3rd). Original artwork from the 1980s/90s from Buster, Viz, Oink!, and Transformers including some Christmas pages! Good luck with your bids!


Friday 1 December 2023

Last chance to back The77 Annual for Christmas

The Kickstarter for The77 Annual No.2 ends this Sunday, 3rd December. That means that those who pledge should receive their books in time for Christmas!

Speaking of which, I've written/drawn a special Christmas with Sgt.Shouty page for the annual. Snow on the logo and a festive theme. A complete story separate from the continuity in the regular 77 comic. 

There's also loads of material by other creators of course and you can see samples at the Kickstarter link here:

Here's a preview of the choice of two covers by Duane Red and Andrw Sawyers...