Friday, 21 October 2016

One week to go...

Next Saturday, on 29th October, I'll be one of the guests at the Nottingham Comic Convention at the Nottingham Conference Centre (above). Other guests from the current British comics scene include Laura Howell, Dan Berry, Rachael Smith, Abby Bulmer, The Etherington Brothers, Roger Langridge, Marc Laming and more! 

This will be my first time at the Nottingham con so I'm looking forward to it. I'll be available for sketching on request, and I'll be bringing along my self-published comics Derek the Troll and Brickman Returns, and a few other things. I understand I'm on a panel at some point in the day too. I've no other conventions scheduled for this year after this one so I hope to see some of you there!

For full details of tickets etc, see the official convention website:

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Click on the pages to see them larger.

As it's been 30 years this week since this strip appeared I thought it'd be good to post an updated version of an article I wrote about it for my Blimey! blog five years ago...

One of the enjoyable things about working for Oink! comic back in the 1980s was the opportunity to do numerous one-off or short run strips as well as regular characters. Monster Mash appeared in Oink! No.13, the Halloween issue for 1986, and was a collaboration between editor Mark Rogers and myself.

Mark had originally sent me an idea for a story called The School Dinner Monster and asked if I had any ideas to add to it. I added a few bits and bobs to the plot and dialogue, and thought the title Monster Mash was catchier. I gave the name 'Pigzilla' to the giant robot pig, although Mark changed that to the much more inspired Pigswilla.

As Oink! was printed on quality paper (as opposed to the newsprint of its companion comics Buster, Whizzer & Chips etc) I knew we could be a bit more adventurous with the rendering of the artwork so I thought a grey wash would give it more depth. I was really pleased with how the strip turned out and it remains one of my favourite pieces 30 years later. The artwork is a bit rough in places but I'm still happy with it.

I felt that with Monster Mash and some of the other material that myself and other contributors did for Oink! that we were stepping outside the usual conventions of British humour comics and moving away from the standard schoolkid-with-gimmick that had dominated IPC's comics since 1969. And we were all having great fun doing it. This comedy-adventure, comic horror stuff was what comics should have been doing more of in my opinion.

As it turned out, perhaps most readers still preferred the more traditional schoolkid strips, and Oink! folded after just two and a half years. Then again, Whizzer and Chips folded a few years later, and that was the most traditional "safe" comic in IPC's stable. Perhaps it was just a sign that readers were being distracted by video games?

What's heartening is that, three decades later, the kids who grew up reading Oink! still remember it with so much affection. I meet many of those readers (now in their 30s and 40s) at conventions and online and they still speak of the comic with enthusiasm. (One such fan, Phil Boyce, even set up The Oink! Blog and did stirling work in reviewing every issue: 

The comic really made an impact with readers and I'm proud to have been associated with every issue.

Pigswilla returned for a few more complete stories during the run of Oink! and I'll show them here at some point in the future.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

In print this week...

There's a new issue of Toxic magazine out on Wednesday 19th October and it features another two page Team Toxic story from me entitled Game On! This time, the Team encounter an innocent-looking games machine in the shopping mall only to find that it mysteriously draws them into another dimension. 

The following day, on Thursday 20th October, Doctor Who Magazine No.505 is published, featuring 84 pages of features and strips including another Daft Dimension by me. As you can see from this close up of part of one panel, the Daft Daleks are the stars this month.

Here's the cover to look out for...

Also, as mentioned yesterday, the Beano Christmas Special is in the shops now; 68 full colour pages including a four page Bash Street Kids story written by Andy Fanton that I illustrated. Collect 'em all!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Bash Street!

I'm very proud to have drawn the four page Bash Street Kids story for the Beano Christmas Special that's on sale now. The script was written by Andy Fanton, and it was coloured by a D.C. Thomson colourist. All in all I think it turned out well and I'm very pleased with the result. 

Here's a couple of panels of my original art before it was lettered and coloured...

As there was some confusion last year I should explain that the Beano Christmas Special is a one-off special. There'll also be a Beano Christmas issue as part of the weekly run nearer to Christmas but this is an extra production, with 68 pages, on lavish paper, with card covers and free stickers inside. (There's also a Beano Annual of course, in the usual hardback format.)

The Beano Christmas Special makes an ideal stocking-stuffer for kids, so pick a copy up from WH Smith today. £4.99
Cover art by Nigel Parkinson.

Thursday, 13 October 2016


Here's a scan of an original piece of Robo-Capers artwork that was sold on eBay recently. I sold this art years ago, and now someone has sold it on to someone else. Not that I mind of course, as it's gone to a good home. If people appreciate my work enough that they want to collect the original art then I'm honoured.

As most of you probably know, Robo-Capers was a strip I created which appeared in over 100 issues of Marvel UK's The Transformers comic in the mid-1980s. I really enjoyed working on that strip, and I think it went down well as people always mention it to me at conventions even now. 

This particular strip appeared in The Transformers No.118, dated 20th June 1987.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Something new

I've just sent off the artwork to a kids magazine I haven't worked for before. The strips will be published later in November so I'll reveal more info then! You can try and guess what it is if you like, but, as the politicians say, I can neither confirm nor deny at this point. :)

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The rovers return

When The Beano was revamped as Beano last week there were a few changes, including the absence of Pup Parade from its pages. However, I'm very pleased to announce that the strip will be returning in the New Year! 

The new series will still be written and drawn by me, although it'll be a half pager, not a full page strip. I'm fine with that, and will be thinking up the scripts  this weekend, (along with drawing a page for another mag, - but news on that soon). 

My thanks to all of you who expressed your support on social media. I'm very much looking forward to being a part of Beano again, starting in 2017!