Thursday, 31 October 2013

Blimey! Revived

In case you didn't already know, I've decided to revive my Blimey! blog over at

I'll still be keeping the blog you're looking at now for all the news of my own artwork and strips but Blimey! is where you'll find items about British comics of the past, present, and future from Ally Sloper to Action, Valiant to Viz, Film Fun to Fantastic, or any number of comics and creators from the vast history of UK titles.

I started the Blimey! blog in 2006 and ran it regularly until New Year's Eve 2012 (with one epilogue in March of this year). I won't be updating it as often as I used to, but it'd be good if you could spare the time to drop by. If you've never visited before (or not very often) there are over 1,000 different posts about various UK comics that might interest you. 

Anyway, as I said, this blog will still be regularly updated, and Blimey will be updated as time allows, so I hope you'll bookmark both. Just call me Lew 'Two Blogs' Stringer from now on. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


I've just had another new series of six mini-strips commissioned by The Beano from an idea I sent them recently. I can't say what it is yet as the character is brand new, so here's a quick design I just knocked up in Photoshop that has nothing to do with it. 

So that's Rubbish Robots that'll be back in The Beano soon, plus my other new strip ****** ** * ******, and this third new series too. A busy few weeks ahead! More news soon!

Monday, 28 October 2013


This week I'm busy drawing a brand new Pathetic Sharks page for the Christmas issue of Viz! It's out next month so I'd better get my skates on. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Tom Thug and Janice Pong on eBay

I have a couple of my original art pages from Oink! up on eBay at present. First is Janice Pong's Almost Unbelievable Pop Facts From Oink! No.16 back in 1986. I think this one was co-written with Mark Rogers. A fun one-off to draw. It featured cameos from Elvis Pigsty and (ulp!) Jimmy Saveloy amongst others. 

The other item for sale is a Tom Thug strip from the Oink! Annual 1988 which co-stars Tom's cat Satan. The tatty skinhead cat co-starred in quite a few Tom Thug strips in Oink and even had his own mini-strip on occasion. However when Tom moved over to become a Buster strip the editor and I were in agreement that having a cat called Satan might provoke a backlash from parents of readers of that less robust comic. So although the cat still made an appearance in the background now and then he was un-named. (And if anyone's wondering; yes Satan the Cat is still alive and well out there in comic land somewhere.)

Both pages have been stored away in damp-free conditions out of direct sunlight for years and are in excellent condition. If you're interested in bidding on either of these pieces you can visit my eBay page here. Thanks for looking and good luck!

Friday, 18 October 2013

More comics that could have been...

The other day I showed you the Lance Boyle strip that I'd done for the Oh No!! dummy issue. Now here's a couple of other strips that most of you will never have seen. 

Kid Crusaders and Eco Kids were done back in 1995 for Spit 'n' Spat's TVC which was a comic put together by cartoonist Joe Matthews with the hope of gaining the interest of one of Britain's mainstream publishers. Several other artists were also involved and a packed 32 page dummy issue was produced. The theme of the comic basically being two aliens Spit and Spat observing the strips on their TV giving the impression of a children's TV schedule. Unfortunately none of the publishers were interested as they preferred to focus on licensed properties with a built in recognition factor. (The truth is that if original characters are strong enough they can be developed for other media anyway - as The Beano now does with its characters - but that takes time and on the whole publishers tend to prefer to buy into an existing property these days.)

So.... TVC was never published beyond the dummy issue shown to potential clients. A great shame. Anyway 18 years later here's your chance to see the strips I did for it. I'd even forgotten about these myself until Joe Matthews put them on Facebook last week. I did the artwork but I'm not sure about the scripts. Some bits 'sound' like my writing but I think I was either working from a plot Joe supplied or I was allowed to alter bits of his script. At any rate Joe definitely created the concepts character names and names of the strips. Apart from references to Pogs and the like I think they still stand up pretty well. I hope you enjoy them!

My thanks to Joe for sending me these scans (as I've mislaid my copy of the comic). You can follow Joe Matthews on Twitter.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Rubbish Robot Roughs

My new mini-strip, Rubbish Robots, starts in The Beano today for a six week run. I created the characters about a year ago, so I thought you might like to see my initial pencil sketches of the three robots. As you can see by comparing the roughs above with a finished panel (below), I tweaked the designs slightly for publication. 

I hope you enjoy the strip. I'm really enjoying writing/drawing it. I have another new mini-strip starting in The Beano soon but I'll tell you about that another time. 

Never Be Without A Beano! 36 full colour pages for £2, making it the cheapest comic in the shops!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Lance Boyle and the case of the unseen comics

 Do you remember Lance Boyle, Secret Agent from the pages of Oh No!! comic? Probably not, because Oh No!! was cancelled before it was launched, with only a few copies making it to selected schools for test marketing purposes. 

Oh No!! was the brainchild of cartoonists/writers Dave King and Ian Ellery, who wanted to produce a new style UK humour comic for kids. In 1991 they took the idea to Fleetway, who gave them the green light to produce a 'dummy' issue. I was one of the artists they contacted for a contribution and I created Lance Boyle, Secret Agent, - a sort of podgy James Bond but with the halfwit intelligence of Combat Colin. The full page strip ran on the back page of the 32 page dummy issue. I've mislaid my copy, but my thanks to 'Alfie Large' on the Comics UK forum for sending me a scan...

The last panel is chopped a bit here because the scan is slightly askew, but the punchline makes more sense if you know the dog has the villain's bum in his jaws.

Back in 1997, in my Combat Colin Summer Special, I wrote an article about Oh No!! and other comics that never made it beyond the dummy stage. Here it is. Click on the images to see them full size...

If you wish to see the rest of the Oh No!! issue zero, Alfie uploaded it at the Comic UK forum here:

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Look to the skies! The Rubbish Robots are coming!

My brand new mini-strip, Rubbish Robots, begins soon in The Beano! Possibly next week, for a six-week run. Can planet Earth withstand this threat from outer space? The clue is in the title. Their A.I. ain't that intelligent. More news on Captain Kog and his crew soon!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Ronald McDonald, comic star

About nine years ago I was commissioned to produce artwork for a Ronald McDonald mini-comic. If memory serves me correctly the comic was to be given away with Happy Meals at McDonald's. The job came my way via Egmont, who edited and packaged the comic for McDonald's.

As with any licensed property, the client want the characters to be as 'on model' as possible and McDonald's were no exception. They really wanted Ronald and his pals to be exactly as seen in the style guide, even down to the colours. It took a couple of attempts to get the strip exactly as they wanted it. You can see the final results here. Above is the cover to the comic, and below is one of the four pages of the strip (before speech balloons were added). 

I was also asked to provide a Funny Find It puzzle spread, based on the sort of thing I had done for Egmont's Know How magazine. There was more flexibility with this, and I was able to draw it in my own style. I believe the rest of the comic featured various puzzles supplied by Egmont.

I never saw the published comic unfortunately, so I don't really know what the actual title of it was or if there was more than one issue. (I only contributed to the one.) If any of you out there have a copy of the one shown here, I'd appreciate more info about it if possible.  

Monday, 7 October 2013

Sick Squid!

Over the ten years I was writing/drawing Team Toxic for Toxic comic I really enjoyed creating new villains for the group to fight. The five Team Toxic characters themselves had been designed by the series' original artist John Rusby, (I took over drawing it with issue 15) but I visualized the majority of the baddies the Team battled over the years. 

Here's one example of the nefarious Sick Squid in conflict with the heroes, from Toxic No.38. This is from my original art before the colours (by the brillant Lorna Miller) and lettering were added. As you may have guessed from the sequence, the plot involves Doc Shock thinking he'd invented the toaster, being derided by the other team members, then redeeming himself by being the one to defeat Sick Squid. 

I really enjoyed doing this sort of fantastic comedy-adventure strip, and having two pages an issue gave me plenty of space to develop it and draw some dynamic panels. My old Team Toxic material is currently being reprinted in Toxic so if you've never seen it, take a look. Although, this being the UK, there are no reprint payments unfortunately. That's the downside of being a freelancer I'm afraid! 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Pants for sale

There's a classic Felix and his Amazing Underpants page of mine on eBay at the moment, but if you want to buy it, be soon to bid as the auction ends tomorrow (Sunday 6th Oct). This original artwork is from Viz No.105 and you can see the details by clicking here

I also have a number of other items up for sale at present, some comic related, some not. You can see the list here

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Meet Ernie Dribble

This is Ernie Dribble. He's a collector. What does he collect? Find out in this week's Beano to see the full image in a Mad Ad spoof I wrote/drew/designed (with a few extra funny quotes added by the Beano ed). 

(This isn't one of my new strips for The Beano by the way. Just a one-off. The new strips should start soon. Watch this space for news!)

This latest Beano, out today, also features great regulars such as Nigel Parkinson on Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx, Jamie Smart on Roger the Dodger, Nigel Auchterlounie on The Numskulls, and much more! 36 full colour pages for just £2.