Tuesday, 30 September 2014

ACES WEEKLY reaches its 2nd birthday

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the launch of Aces Weekly, the all-new digital anthology comic weekly published by David Lloyd. Over the past two years it has featured numerous contributors and many new strips, including two all-new full colour Combat Colin three pagers that I did exclusively for the comic. (Volume 1, No.1 and Volume 8, No.7.) 

If you still haven't subscribed to Aces Weekly, why not give it a go? At just £6.99 per 7 issue volume it's a bargain, and you'd be supporting British comics. For those of you "waiting for the print version", - there are no plans to do this as print/distribution costs for such a professional comic would be unfeasible. Visit the Aces Weekly website here:

Or if you'd prefer to buy it on ComiXology, the first four volumes are available to buy here:

Saturday, 27 September 2014


The next issue of Toxic will feature Team Toxic in Stinkytown, a sequel to the story in the current issue's Team Toxic in The Land of Living Farts! As seen at the conclusion of the latest issue, one of the Living Farts has followed through from the Fart Dimension and is now on Earth! Can Team Toxic stop him from stinking up the town? 

Yes, it's unsophisticated toilet humour for kids, but I like to think there's an element of fun there that's not just reliant on 'gross' humour. I've been writing Team Toxic now since issue 1 in 2002, and drawing it since 2003 when the original artist/character designer John Rusby departed, (minus a year or so off in 2012 when it went reprint) and always enjoy creating the new and various villains the Team have to face.

You can get your grubby mitts on the next issue this coming Wednesday! Toxic No.244, on sale October 1st from newsagents and supermarkets. 

...and don't forget that the first Toxic Annual is also on sale now! (More details here:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-first-toxic-annual.html )

Friday, 26 September 2014

Funny Faces!

The current issue of The Beano features the third of the set of puzzle pages I did for them recently. Funny Faces features Plug, Dennis, Spotty (above), Danny, and Minnie reacting to different things. Follow the trails to see what matches up with each character. 

It made an enjoyable change to do a few puzzle pages, and there'll be a couple more from me in a few months time.

You can also see an online mini-comic of this week's Ivy the Terrible strip that I drew (script by John Anderson) at The Beano website:

Thursday, 25 September 2014

MacUser mention

Thanks to Oink! fan supremo Phil Boyce for the info that the latest issue of MacUser magazine gives me a mention. It's a feature on logo design, and in one instance how the language of comics has influenced them. They've chosen a recent image I drew for The Beano to illustrate it, and add a nice comment. I was quite pleased with that Big Eggo drawing so I'm chuffed they chose that one.

In a previous issue they spotlighted The Beano's designer Mark McIlmail so it's good to see a High Street magazine mentioning UK comics in a positive way, as opposed to some of the more pessimistic articles we've seen in the press over the years. 

Thanks to Phil for the photos. Visit his excellent Oink! Blog here:

Official MacUser magazine website:

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Fun-Size Fun!

I-Spy and Calamity James images by me.
Back around the turn of the century I was commissioned by DC Thomson to draw quite a few stories for their pocket-size comics Fun-Size Dandy and Fun-Size Beano. Scripts were supplied by Thomson staff writers and they were a pleasure to draw. Some of the stories veered away from the more grounded exploits of the characters and ventured into unusual territories, such as the Ball Boy strip I did for Fun-Size Beano No.55 which saw him kidnapped by a UFO and encounter football-themed aliens!
Fun-Size Beano 55 (1999)

The strips varied in length. Some were 25 pages, some as short as 8, but they were all enjoyable to work on. Here's a list of all the ones I did: 


No.55 (1999) BALL BOY in U.F.O.s (Unidentified Footballing Objects) 25 pages.
No.63 (2000) CALAMITY JAMES in Big Date. 25 pages.
No.78 (2000) LES PRETEND in Newshound Nonsense. 25 pages.
No.118 (2002) LES PRETEND in Mother Bother. 14 pages.
No.126 (2002) THE NUMSKULLS in Non-Sense. 14 pages.


No.63 (2000) I-SPY in Ha! Ha! said The Clown. 25 pages.
No.84 (2001) FIDDLE O'DIDDLE (No story title.) 11 pages.
No.85 (2001) KORKY THE CAT in The Lion's Tale. 25 pages.
No.87 (2001) FIDDLE O'DIDDLE in Over-Run by Mice! 11 pages.
No.110 (2002) FIDDLE O'DIDDLE in Fiddle the Moviegoer. 9 pages.

There was also one other story, a Korky the Cat, which I think ran to 8 pages, but I never had the issue it was published in. Here's a pic of the title page I scanned from from my original art back then:

Korky © DC Thomson & Co. Ltd.
If anyone knows which issue of Fun-Size Dandy this appeared in I'd be very grateful if you could contact me. It would have been published around the same time as the others I worked on, so somewhere around 2000 to 2002. It may also have been reprinted later, as were most of my other strips, when the comics went all-reprint.

Here's a few pages from some of the copies I have. All were great fun to do, but I was particularly pleased to be asked to draw a 25 page I-Spy story for Fun-Size Dandy No.63. I-Spy was a favourite of mine when I was a young Sparky reader so this was a joy to draw. 

Fun-Size Dandy 63 (2000)

Fun-Size Dandy 63 (2000)

Fun-Size Beano 63 (2000)

Fun-Size Dandy 85 (2001)

Fun-Size Beano 118 (2002)

Fun-Size Beano 84 (2001)

Another thing I liked about the Fun-Size comics is that they were printed on newsprint, and used that basic spot colour method. This is how most comics had been produced when I was a kid so bizarre as it may seem, I enjoyed seeing my work reproduced in such a cheap format. Today's glossy full-colour comics have their advantages but the old newsprint style had a certain charm, even if the print did come off on your fingers!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

What's he gawping at?

Enlarged section.
She's out for revenge, she's on her way, and he's going to feel her wrath! Who? What? It's rated 'D' for demented and it's something new coming soon! Stay tuned!

Viz Annual 2015

Work has been very quiet on the Viz front for some reason this year but I've just noticed the new Viz Annual in the shops and there's an old Pathetic Sharks page in there that I did a few years ago. You'll find it on page 100.

There's a couple of other Sharks pages in there too, but they're not by me. Viz: The Dutch Oven 2015 is in hardback with 160 pages and contains the best of issues 212 to 221. The R.R.P. is £10.99 but as with all annuals you'll find it discounted in various places. I bought mine from The Works for £6.99. Grab it while you can. It really is as funny as it used to be.  

Cover by Simon Thorp.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Attack Eyebrows

This Thursday sees the publication of a new issue of Doctor Who Magazine which includes my second Daft Dimension comic strip. I can't really show much from it or it'll spoil the joke so here's part of a panel blown up to focus on the 12th Doctor's distinctive 'attack eyebrows'. Who or what is he struggling against? I'm hoping you'll buy the mag to find out! 

This issue also features part two of the strip serial The Eye of Torment by Scott Gray, Martin Geraghty and David Roach, plus loads of features on the TV show past and present. Here's the cover to look for...

Doctor Who Magazine No.478, 84 full colour pages for £4.99, on sale Thursday 18th September. You'll find it in WH Smith racked with SFX, Empire, and the Panini Marvel comics. (Not to be confused with the junior title Doctor Who Adventures, which apparently some of you thought of last time.)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Ivy the Terrible: preview

Ivy the Terrible, getting bored at a bus stop. What could possibly go wrong? Find out in The Beano this Wednesday, September 17th. (At least I think this is the episode scheduled for this week. We'll soon find out!) 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Beano No.3751 preview

Here's a quick preview of the strips I have in this week's Beano (out now). I think this will be the last Lord Snooty strip for a while, but there's a couple of unused ones that should appear in a month or so. 

Ivy the Terrible continues at present though, and is great fun to draw. What's Ivy done to annoy her mum this week? Find out by buying The Beano! Only £2, - the cheapest comic on the shelves, and the funniest! 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Noisy comics!

I've always enjoyed lettering the sound effects on my strips, and this week's Team Toxic adventure has no less than three instances where the sound FX dominate the panels. I know some fans don't like comic sound effects because they think they're childish, but I've always considered them a vital part of humour comics, helping the reader to 'hear' the impact in their heads.

To me, designing the sound effects has always felt like a natural extension of the drawings. Computer fonts are brilliant of course, (particularly those by Comicraft) and I've used those too a few times, but I prefer to create a specific sound effect that suits the moment. I'm sure there are professional letterers (or 'balloonists' as DC Thomson call them) who could do a slicker job, but I prefer to do it myself where possible. I don't receive an extra fee for it but, as I said, I consider it part of the drawing. (Dialogue lettering is different of course. I'm paid extra for that when I do it, although these days it's mostly done by the in-house designers.)

Anyway, these are three panels from the latest Team Toxic two-pager, The Land of Living Farts, in the current issue of Toxic available right now! 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Return of the original Keyhole Kate

In a story I did for The Dandy Annual 2015, now on sale, today's Keyhole Kate travels back in time to 1937 to encounter her ancestor... the original Keyhole Kate. It's one chapter in a three-part time travel story within the book, which I hope will appeal to Dandy fans old and new.

I noticed today that WH Smith currently have a special offer on annuals, - buy one, get another for £1, so this is the time to get 'em! 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Snooty roughs

Here's what I'm working on today; a Lord Snooty page for The Beano Annual 2016. That's a photograph of my pencil roughs. I'll modify a few things before I ink it. 

Also today, I'm working on a script for a page for an upcoming American comic. It's for quite a high profile publisher. I'll reveal more when the strip is in the can in a week or so. 

Lots to do this week so it's back to work now...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

New event: Malta Comic Con

As mentioned on my Blimey! blog yesterday, I've been invited as one of the guests at the Malta Comic Con, in the city of Valetta, 29th / 30th November 2014. I feel very honoured and pleased to be added to the guest list, along with fellow UK comic creators Mike Collins, Yishan Li, Dave Taylor, Andrew Wildman and more, plus comic stars from Malta and other countries.

I've visited Malta twice before, many years ago on holiday, and enjoyed it very much so I'm looking forward to returning this year. 

For more details visit the Malta Comic Con website:

Guest list:


Friday, 5 September 2014

Derek the Troll is back for his 30th anniversary

In 1984 I created the character of Derek the Troll as a comic strip for Games Workshop's Warlock magazine. The full page strip adventures of the spotty, stinky (but reasonably good natured) troll ran for several issues before being transferred over to White Dwarf magazine when Warlock was cancelled. 

Last year, I was contacted by Jonathan Green who was busily writing a book on the history of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and wanted to commission a brand new Derek the Troll strip for inclusion in it. It had been decades since I'd done my last Derek strip but I'd always hoped to bring him back and this was the perfect opportunity. 

The book has now been published. You Are the Hero is a heavy 270 page A4 volume packed with information and illustrations on the story of Fighting Fantasy and I'm very pleased that Derek the Troll is in there for his 30th anniversary. Not just that, but Jonathan has also reprinted (with my permission) one of the original Derek strips from 1986, - Derek the Troll's 'Orrible Troll-Playing Game, wherein the reader has multiple choices to decide on the direction of the strip.

You can find out more info on the book over on my Blimey! blog:

Will this be Derek's final appearance? No. Now that the character is back I want to keep him around so expect to see him back again, somewhere, some day. Probably not for a few months at least as I'm busy on other comic strips, but he will return!

You Are the Hero blog:

Order your copy from Amazon:

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

September Sizzler

The original art for last week's Ivy story.
Work has picked up considerably recently so September is going to be a very busy month indeed. Therefore I'll have less spare time to update this blog and my Blimey! blog, so I thought I'd better mention that in case you started to wonder why I was absent for days at a time.

At the moment I'm drawing Ivy the Terrible every week for The Beano (although it skips today's issue), written by John Anderson. The last of my Lord Snooty mini-strips are currently in The Beano, but Rasher will return later in the year. (Over half a dozen already written and drawn.) I'm also working on some more puzzle pages for DC Thomson, and annual pages for the 2016 books. 

New Team Toxic strips continues, at two pages an issue in Egmont's Toxic magazine every three weeks. Also, I've just sent off the second Daft Dimension strip to Doctor Who Magazine

Zoony the Lazoon is completed for the all-new TV21 No.243, to be packaged with the Supermarionation Blu-Ray box set in a month or two. 

There are two major jobs I can't talk about yet. One is a strip for an American comic. The other is non-comics illustration work. I'll reveal more info as and when.  

As always, comments have to wait for approval so if yours don't appear right away it's just that I haven't logged on yet. I'm glad to say the trolling has stopped on my blogs now, although the auto-generated spam continues of course (as I'm sure it does on all blogs), so I'm keeping the "comments published pending approval" setting just to prevent that. 

Right, back to work!