Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist

Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist
This is him, at a recent Comic Con

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Guess where I am?

Sorry to seem like I'm avoiding the ice, snow, rain or gloom of Britain, but I'm in Greece today, and quite by chance, avoiding the ice, snow, rain or gloom of Britain. So here's to us, hope there's plenty more cartoons to come and a Happy New Year too!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Season's Greetings

Weather permitting, I'm on my way somewhere known for it's sunshine! So here's a slice of the Old Country just to remind me of what I've left behind today..

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Giles at Christmas

No-one does Christmas like Carl Giles! Here he is at the time of the first motorway in England, 1959. And so, as I prepare to board this plane for a sunny 8 days away, I wish you all a very happy time. My blog will continue to update automatically (like this!) until I returm at new Year!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Dennis The Menace

A Christmas quiz now for the stuck-indoors amongst you (including me today, explaining the sudden blogging glut) When and by whom were these drawings done?
a) In 1969 by Davy Law? b) In 1988 by Dave Sutherland?  c) In 1999 by Yours truly?

Yes, of course, the answer is none of the above! They were drawn about six months ago, by me. But how so, I obviously don't hear you ask; hasn't Dennis undergone at least two image revamps since he looked like that? Yes, he has, and in the world of merchandising, that doesn't bring in 30, 40, 50 and 60-somethings who are on the look out to buy something of a brand they recognise from childhood. So these little fellows were designed for cufflinks! How smart they must make one feel!

Edited to show this lovely photo of a similar item (click to view larger)

Oo! Oo!

Car 54 Where Are You was a must-see TV show for us. The equine features of lanky, lugubrious Fred Gwynne as Muldoon (later to be Herman Munster) and the excited staccato bellowing of Joe E Ross as Toody were always welcome. Throw in Beatrice Pons as Toody's hysterical and piercing wife and the wonderful Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster) as Officer Schnauser, and how could it fail? Written and conceived by Bilko creator Nat Hiken, it only ran for two years, but, thanks to Channel 4 in the 1980s and Bravo and Sky 1 in the 1990s, I was able to build up an entire set of episodes, bar one. Now, the whole shebang is being put out on DVD in February, and should I inexplicably win the lottery, which I never enter, I shall immediately buy everyone a copy so they can enjoy this mild-mannered friendly dig at New York's finest.

All together now-
"There's a hold-up in the Bronx
Brooklyn's broken out in fights
There's a traffic jam in Harlem that's backed up to Jackson Heights,
There's a Scout troupe short a child,
Kruschev's due at Idelweild...!"

Banned! part One

Ken Reid delighted in pushing his macabre and hilarious pictures to the extreme- and some thought he pushed too far with this Dare-a-Day Davy strip from 1968 which never did see the light of day in POW! that year, nor any other year- nor anywhere else.
Maybe it was a step too far in those days, and maybe it's several steps too far these days- but Ken was a true original and gave his all in his work- sometimes he would make himself ill with obsessively trying to do better all the time. For the sake of his health it wasn't worth it, but for the sake of the readers (and I was one of them in that unsurpassed 1964-70 period) it was well worth it.
Note how he reprises the catchphrase associated with his much missed Beano charcater Jonah - "Agh! It's 'im!"

Keep on Trekking

In late 1968, the British illustrator Harry Lindfield undertook a new commission for a proposed new Joe 90 comic- to boldly draw what no man had drawn before- at least in the UK- a comic strip of Star Trek, a big hit on American TV in 1966-7 but starting to inexplicably look like it may be cancelled soon.
Star Trek was still nine months away from it's debut on British TV- as a summer replacement for Dr Who on Saturday tea-time.

Which is probably why no-one at City magazines knew that the Captain's name was Kirk, not Kurt! Nice likenesses though, as always from Harry.
Within the year, of course, Star Trek had become a huge success here in Britain, and so it was promoted to the front page of  TV21 & Joe 90, and often drawn, as here, by the unstoppable, meticulous Mr Mike Noble, all hail. And everyone now knew it was Captain KIRK!

I detect a slight drop in temperature

Can't deny it any longer, it's turned a touch chilly this weekend, hasn't it?

In the bleak Midwinter or what

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Christmas Dandy

Tomorrow (or today if you're lucky!) sees the publication of the BIGGEST Dandy ever! Why not give it a go?

Saturday, 11 December 2010

My Favourite Editor Part Four

In 1996 I was rescued from 15 months of unemployment by Audrey Wong at Egmont Fleetway.
If that isn't enough for me to make her one of my favourite editors, how about: She always included copious reference material, gave as much notice as possible, and would fax or phone with ideas and compliments and suggestions.
Other people can offer more detailled stories about her, but I found her charming and thoughtful, and if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be in comics today, she gave me back my enthusiasm (and a job!)

This drawing of her by Mark Bennington in Ace Ventura Adventures gives you an idea of what she looked like in 1996. Here she is now:


Every day I passed this library on the way to school, with it's quote from Francis Bacon (c.1600). Every day for seven years I had a good chuckle at this bit of graffiti. Not that I agree with graffiti in general, it's usually ugly, dumb, or dumb and ugly. But this example I thought was an exception. In 1978 they cleaned it off and it hasn't been back. In case you can't see it clearly it says:

Reading Maketh a Full man
Conference a Ready man
Writing an Exact man
Bacon a Fat man.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Dandy

There's been a slight hiccup with the Dandy this week (barcode mayhem at the printers!) so it may not hit the shops till Friday. Which is a pity because I got a little topical bit in (but sad) which only really works today. Anyway, here it is.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Did You Save the Man From BUNGLE?

Not sure this would work, but...

More More! By Request!

SMASH again. These full page Baxendale covers are a real treat. Back in February 1966 they were a newsagent's dream, making the comic fly off the shelf!
Ron Spencer and Brian Lewis drew later Man From BUNGLE covers (before Batman's sudden arrival in June 1966) which were great, but never quite had The Master's edge!

If you're wondering, the mid sixties were the height of the 'cool spy craze' which had originated with the first Bond movie in 1962, reached fever pitch when Cathy Gale joined Steed, boiled over when Kirby brought us Agent of SHIELD in 1965 and went ballistic with the part-spoof spy series The Man from UNCLE leter that year. Of course Leo Baxendale's own 'Eagle Eye, Junior Spy' was an earlier part of the trend. Within a year the spying part of the genre had given way to the parody part, and we got Mrs Peel, the Girl from UNCLE and Maxwell Smart taking it more and more to ludicrous extremes before the proverbail tin-hat was put on it by Sparky's own I Spy and the gadgetry and satire could go no further!

All Over by Christmas

I started this blog in September with the sole intention of having an online presence from which to promote and inform the Dandy relaunch. Clearly I had to first establish who and what I was and at that time I couldn't mention the new plans (partly because right up till two weeks before October 27th, no-one knew exactly what would be happening!) so I filled the blog with chatty stuff about me and my work. It was my plan, by about today, to close my blog as it had served it's purpose. However, I've quite enjoyed it, and I know some others have enjoyed reading it, so if I may, I'd like to continue, every so often, to post here. It won't be nearly so frequent, but I hope it will sometimes be of interest to you. Or if not you, then someone.

More from the same sad source

Looking at the National Geographic reject reminded me of yet another rough, a collaboration between Julie and myself- it was her original idea (based on her younger brother!) and we thought we had a winner! We were wrong. Again, never referred to, never mentioned, I doubt it was even looked at. Now here it is, sitting quietly in comics limbo, ah well. More about Julie Here 
and here

Yet More fom the Reject pile (9 of 9,000)

Another 'rough' that I tried out on National Geographic Kids' magazine, after they asked me to come up with something, in 2008. I suppose I was thinking of the Look and Learn or World of Wonder approach, hence the fancy colouring (by me). Anyway, it was not to be- in fact I never heard back about this, so I guess it wasn't good enough. Nor my proposed follow ups, Mission Apollo, the Polynesians, Francis Drake, Magellan, etc etc.  And don't try reading the text, it's just there to look 'finished'!
Thinking about it, I shouldn't have been surprised I got nowhere with this, the editor in charge had been at Marvel UK previously! I should have known!!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Even More Bax

A sensational centre spread from WHAM No 17, 1964, written, drawn and hand-coloured by Leo Baxendale (with a little help from Frank Langford drawing 'Kinky Boots' and R. Pierson doing the hand-lettering). The left hand page is partly obscured by a label in this former publisher's file copy, which details the contributors and their fees. Bax's £80 for this two page spread may seem meagre, but back in 1964 that was a lot more than the average weekly wage, and these were not his only pages that week!

Friday, 3 December 2010

More Bax

It's been a while since we enjoyed a page from Leo Baxendale, and I have been asked to include more, so here's his Grimly Feendish from SMASH no.2, with a topical theme!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Win a DANDY Subscription!

Harry Hill Fansite | Thursday 2 December 2010 

*EXCLUSIVE* Harry Hill Fansite has joined up with the team behind brand new The Dandy to offer all of our readers the opportunity to win a year's subscription to The Dandy!
Wina Dandy subscription!The brand new The Dandy is now home to Harry Hill, with his own unique strip every week that he co-writes and is illustrated by Nigel Parkinson. Each week, Harry and friends, including the Knitted Character, are off on their adventures, getting into catastrophe and capers in an action packed and giggle inducing strip. As well as this, all of your favourites, including Bananaman, Desperate Dan and Korky, are back in the new look The Dandy.
The comic is available every week on Wednesdays for just £1.50. However, here is your chance to win a subscription!
All you have to do is tweet the following text on Twitter to all of your followers:
Harry Hill has joined @dandycomic, out Wednesdays. Thanks to @harryhillfans, RT for a chance to win year's subscription!