Thursday, 27 June 2013

The one and only truly original... went part of the theme song to The Pink Panther, and it seemed appropriate for this post. As you know, I've been selling off some of my old original artwork on eBay recently. Oddly (or so I thought) a couple of people have asked me if the pages were prints or copied from the comics!?! 

Naturally, I informed them that the pages I'm selling are the actual original pen and ink drawings I did that the comics were printed from. Not prints. Not copies. Not pages cut out of the comics. The actual artwork. 

However, perhaps their questions are understandable because, having looked at the eBay listings for original comic art I see there are numerous prints for sale, and even lots of comics, listed in the section alongside real original art. It appears that many sellers either don't understand the category they're selling in, or can't be bothered to use the correct categories for their wares. Perhaps they think 'original' means first printing? Or that it means original characters they've created? Either way they're mistaken.

Anyway, if you can sift through all the wrong items in the category you will find genuine original pen and ink comic pages. My latest offerings are here. All bids welcome! 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

If it's Wednesday it must be Beanoday!

Yes, there's another issue of the almost 75 year old Beano on sale today. In this week's Rasher strip I thought I'd add Dennis and Walter because a) it suited the joke, and b) I get to draw Dennis the Menace!!!! The seven year old me, reading The Beano back in 1966, would be very excited by that. Heck, the 54 year old me in 2013 was pretty excited as well! It's not the first time I've drawn Dennis, but he's always fun to illustrate.

There's a preview of this week's strip above, and here's a photo of the original art before I scanned it into Photoshop to tidy up and add solid blacks and colour...

The Beano No.3691. Out now for just £2. 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

It's Keyhole Kate!

I recently showed you a preview of the Smasher pages I've done for The Dandy Annual 2014 and now here's the other character I've drawn for the book. Yes, it's Keyhole Kate, one of the original Dandy stars who made her debut in issue No.1 back in 1937. (Click on the pic to see it larger.) 

The three full page strips were written by David Mason and this was the first time I've drawn the character. I've followed the character designs of the excellent Laura Howell to an extent, as Laura drew Kate previously. 

The Dandy Annual 2014 should be on sale early next month! Pre-order it (and The Beano Annual) now from Amazon

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Ballad of Pete and his Pimple

One of the enjoyable things about working for Oink! comic was its flexibility and openness to ideas. Here's a Pete and his Pimple half pager I did for issue 29 (back in 1987) which, to suit the music theme of the issue, had its dialogue done as a spoof of the lyrics to 'Yesterday'. I was quite pleased with the result and also that I could get away with such a downbeat ending in a children's comic.

As the early issues of Oink! had high production values and were printed on glossy paper it allowed the artists to render the strips a bit more lavishly than the limitations of the newsprint comics. This strip was embellished with a grey wash and black crayon. Click on the image to see it larger.

This is scanned from the original artwork, and if you'd like to own it I have it up for auction this week along with a few other pieces on eBay. (Click here.) Bidding ends on Sunday 23rd June. Good luck!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Smasher returns

The Smasher is back in The Dandy Annual 2014, and here's a sneak preview of one of the three pages featuring the character that I've done for the book. The Smasher originated in The Dandy in 1957 as, I suppose, their answer to The Beano's Dennis the Menace. For many years The Smasher was illustrated by Hugh Morren, and later by Brian Walker. I wrote and drew three Smasher strips for last year's annual (and one for the final issue of The Dandy in December 2012) and was pleased to be asked to provide three more for this year's book.

If the logo looks familiar it's because I scanned it from a 1960s Dandy, cleaned up the scan, reduced it a little, and re-coloured it. D.C. Thomson have created some excellent, and timeless, logo designs over the years so it was ideal. 

The Dandy Annual 2014 will be published in just a few short weeks time, in early July. You can pre-order it now from Amazon.  

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Latest Beano...

This week's issue of The Beano sees Rasher meet Ball Boy, a character who's been in the comic for a number of years now. I'm enjoying doing the Rasher strips as it gives me the opportunity to occasionally draw other Beano stars. If the strip runs long enough perhaps I'll get around to giving Big Eggo a cameo in it one day. 

This is a special issue of The Beano, as you may have seen in the press and on the news today. Yes, it's the one that features Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall meeting Beano characters. In fact, they met them in real life too, - and what did Dennis do? More details on the blog of Nigel Parkinson, who draws Dennis the Menace these days:

On sale now!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Back to the drawing board

As regular readers of this blog will know, my mum sadly passed away three weeks ago after a stroke/fall. (Full story here.) The last several weeks have been the worst time of my life, and the grief will never completely fade of course. However, now that the funeral is over and I've finished clearing out mum's bungalow and the keys have been handed back to the council I have time to return to the drawing board again. 

Today I drew a Rasher strip (there it is in an early stage above) which should appear in The Beano in a few weeks. Tomorrow, another Rasher strip to catch up, then it'll be on with more You've Been Pranked pages (also for The Beano), an illustration job for a client, the return of a classic character for another client, and several pages for The Dandy Annual 2015. Having not earned anything for five weeks (except for that eBay sale) I need to really get moving again. 

I'd like to publicly thank the editors at D.C. Thomson, Aces Weekly, and Viz comic for being so understanding in allowing me time to grieve and sort the practical things out that one has to do when someone passes away. (I have no other family, so I had a lot to do.) Thanks folks for your professionalism and sincere compassion. 

I'd also like to thank my close friends in Nuneaton, Sue B, Nige, Mo, Mandy, Mark, Joanne, Al, Sue T, Gary G, Gary R, Linda, Andy, Josie, and all for their incredible support during these dark days, and to my many friends online and elsewhere (Lise, David L, Nigel, Mike C, Mike H, Angi, Debbie & Robbie and many more) for all their words of encouragement and sympathy. From the practical help of hospital trips or moving furniture, to simple messages of condolence, I assure you it's all helped to get me through this and has brought me great comfort. 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Fantasy Express and the early career of Alan Moore

Back in the late seventies and early eighties comic fanzines were plentiful and I self-published several of my own such as Metamorph, After Image and Fantasy Express. In February 1983 issue 5 of Fantasy Express featured a lengthy interview with Alan Moore, who was then fast becoming a rising star due to his work on Captain Britain and Marvelman. 

This was either the first or second interview that Alan had given, and considering that I only printed 150 to 200 copies of Fantasy Express this is very rare indeed. Recently I found an unread copy in excellent condition and it's currently up for auction on eBay. White pages, no rusty staples or other defects. Looks brand new. Exclusive cover by Alan Davis.

If you're interested, you'll find the listing here which also gives you more details about the contents. Bidding ends tomorrow (Sunday 9th June). Good luck!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

It's Biffo!

Believe it or not the 2014 cover-dated annuals will start appearing in bookshops from next month. For The Beano Annual 2014 I've drawn a classic character that I've never done before, - Biffo the Bear! This two page strip was fun to do and I hope I did a good job on the character. Decide for yourselves in July when the book hits the shops. You can pre-order it now from Amazon.

I've also drawn six pages for The Dandy Annual 2014. Which characters? I'll reveal more at a later date.