Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist

Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist
This is him, at a recent Comic Con . . . in GREECE!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

French Light

I've had this cool-looking Jielde signal desk lamp for several years- and it's been pretty good until the last few months, when it's taken upon itself the inability to move! I can't angle it anywhere, anyhow, any time. Anything other than this angle (left) and it falls flat on it's face. Any ideas? it's a French 'design classic', you know the one I mean.

A Certain supermarket

A certain supermarket has had a big display of The Dandy this week - and has sold quite a few copies - there are 60 in this pic, the following day there were 10 - so, good sales thus far? Hope so!

More Wanted

Someone alerted me to this - can you believe a copy of WANTED Number 1 (see 'Celebrity' below) is up on ebay for - £74.95??? Condition 'used' (it's clearly not mint!)  Not even the infamous free gift water pistol! And 'Marvel'? No, not me. Funnily enough, no-one has bid yet, nor, do I predict, will they ever!


 Wanted Comic For Sale

While we wait to see if it sells, here's another Wanted cover. Yes, we enjoyed ourselves.

EDIT 6 Dec 2010: Bargain Price Drop!!

Celebrity


In 1989 I was part of a group working out of what we called The Shed (because it was basically A Shed) I told you all about it back here and here




This title was launched in August 1989 and was the very first time I'd ever seen a genuinely all-colour comic! We called it WANTED: Budgie Malone and Owl Capone. We nearly got a TV series out of it! We prepared all the contents and a new outfit, Celebrity, out in the western wilds beyond Morden, published it.
Anyhow, our biggest publicity came when our London editor, Etta Saunders, late of Marvel UK (who?) arranged a mock outrage press story by phoning up WH Smith at Heathrow airport and telling them a replica gun was being given away with a new comic. Well of course, they were appalled, envisioning a gun metal-colour pistol or revolver, indistinguishable from the real thing. It wasn't. It was a one-inch, fat little bright yellow water pistol.
Ah, the power of suggestion.
And was it worth it? We shifted a fair few copies of the first two issues, numbers that today would cause rejoicing, but back then were borderline. Six issues later, we gave up the ghost, although a seventh issue was prepared, given to a new publisher, lost, and never seen again. And all in the days before digital files, so there are no copies.

Friday, 29 October 2010

My 'Holiday' on the Northern Line

 In 1997 I'd had a lot of bits of work, nothing really substantial, for a couple of years. So I took a look at why, and decided I hadn't done enough homework. On December 12th, I set out for a week's intensive study at the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, just North of Hendon Police college. On the long tube journey up from Holborn every morning that week, I anticipated the many hours of reading pleasure ahead.


I had ordered back issues of Beano, Dandy, WHAM!, Buster and many other titles. They arrived at my reading table bound in thick volumes, one per year. I devoured decades of classic strips by everyone from Davy Law to Robert Nixon, from Leo Baxendale in 1954 to Leo Baxendale in 1976 and everyone else in between! .The best part was, they would, for a fee, make a photocopy of the pages you selected, and post them to you! My research progressed. My head was literally spinning on the Friday ( I later learned I'd developed quite a serious illness and would soon be hospitalized, but at the time I thought I was just delerious with joy at seeing all this work of the Masters of Comics!)


Studying the pages and re-studying the copies later on, I learned a great deal about comics, and I started to put it to good use. I had studied comics as a child, but never really looked at them again until this point- and yet I expected to be taken seriously as a cartoonist?! I needed to learn anew and see where I'd made mistakes, cut corners, taken the easy way out. I needed to learn from the best in order to get professional.
Earlier in 1997 I had been given a page or two from the late Ken Cummings at The Beano, and now, thanks to my intensive refresher course at Colindale University of Comics, I was beginning to turn in work they could really use.
After many years of so-so work from 1980 to 1998, I remember Euan Kerr, then-editor of The Beano asking me, in about 2001, "Nigel, how did you suddenly get to be good?" Colindale. That was the reason!




So I enjoyed my time as a keen student of drawing comics, and I'm sorry to hear the plans to digitize and move the collection is still going ahead, as Colindale is expensive to run. It won't be the same without it.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jan/11/british-library-colindale-final-chapter

They don't make 'em like that any more

Back in 1959, the Star Du Jour of British TV was the late Tony Hancock, who, with Sid James (of subsequent Carry On fame) was responsible for emptying the fish and chip shops of Britain on a Friday evening as prospective purchasers stayed in to watch 'The Lad 'Imself' on BBC tv instead. Strangely (as he had only made one movie, and not even as the star) he turned up in 'Film Fun' magazine drawn by three (four if you count the annuals) very different artists. My favourite by a long chalk was Reg Parlett who served up a good six months worth of vintage work (see examples).
After many enquiries I still haven't been able to find out who wrote these scripts which are unusually close in spirit and form to the TV and radio versions. I asked Ray Galton and Alan Simpson themselves as we relaxed sipping wine, talking about fighting Robert Mitchum in an LA car park at midnight in 1960 (Ray, not me!) and the fortunes of Red Star Belgrade and other football clubs of the East in Bournemouth one May evening about five years ago (don't ask!) if perchance they had helped out, but they couldn't remember anything other than signing a waiver. I asked then-Fleetway assistant, Alan Fennell, and he thought one of the old-time Film Fun writers had done them. I asked Tessa LeBar who ran Hancock's business affairs at the time, and she thought Brad Ashton, a comedy writer of great experience had possibly had a hand in them. He said he may have but had no recollection. So I still don't know!

But Reg certainly did an excellent piece of work in capturing the mood and appearance of the TV show, and I thought others may like to see. A strip today about the hero trying to give up smoking would be spiked immediately, but here, it entertains us over two splendid pages. More typical is the holiday two pager, but done with such panache and grace. Reg Parlett, whose effortless style reached a real peak in this era, never drew a better set.
Hats off to him!
Homburg, of course!

Some People

A blog called something like 'Bleeding cool' (I know, ghastly isn't it) don't seem to be able to understand English
"... Nigel Parkinson seems to have taken exception to Bleeding Cool’s previous report ( that Harry's writers were writing the comic strip, not Harry himself) but we did talk to Harry Hill’s writers who indicated otherwise."
so I'll do what I can to explain to them:

Harry Hill's writers write for his TV Show.
The Dandy is not a TV show.

Can you, dear reader see the difference? Can you grasp, unlike this awful site I mentioned, that this means that Harry Hill's writers are not involved in the Dandy? I thought so. His TV writers are quite at liberty to tell how they write for TV Burp. As the only person involved in the creation of the Dandy comic strip version apart from Harry Hill, I guess I'm the best person to tell about that.

ONE of Harry's writers WILL be contributing a plot idea or two from time to time, at my specific request made on October 19th, and will receive due credit in the comic itself, just like a writer does at the end of a TV show. But not yet.

See Harry in person

The showbiz diary of the year is here! Harry's new novel, Livin' the Dreem is full of tears and tragedy, laughs and hysteria, he is passed over for Rear of the Year yet again, he has a  tearful collapse at the hands of Piers Morgan and an ongoing feud with Dominic the manager of Londis ...





Your chance to meet Harry Hill and get him to pose with the new Dandy and take a snap while you're at it!


Tell him I sent you!

 

 

Bristol on Monday 6th December


WHSmith, Bristol
The Mall at Cribbs Causeway
Bristol BS34 5GG
Click here for details



Guildford on Tuesday 7th December


For further information visit www.waterstones.com or telephone the store on 0843 290 8357.
Waterstone's, Guildford
71-73 High Street
Guildford GU1 3DY
Click here for details



Bluewater Shopping Centre on Wednesday 8th December


For further details telephone the store on 01322 386843.
WHSmith Bluewater
Bluewater Shopping Centre
Greenhithe DA9 9SH

Busy week

The last two or three weeks have been busy ones for me- I don't know if you know this, I should have said-  and I've also drawn six pages of Dennis and Gnasher, and I'm drawing another one today, honest, boss! I don't know where this pic will end up- if anywhere- I've lost track of everything!

Notice how it's not in colour? So there's a behind the scenes look at it, as it will be in colour once published!

Preview time

Colours- Nika

To your immediate right is a frame from next week's DANDY. No, I'm NOT posting the entire contents one frame at a time, this is just a one-off to entice more of you to buy issue 2! Or to further annoy those who hete it.

The first Harry Hill in the Dandy was drawn in May, this one was drawn in September- at this rate by the time we get to the January 2011 issues, I'll be drawing them in February- which would of course be no use at all to anyone!

Better get my skates on!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

WELCOME BACK, DANDY!


It's a Red letter day for comic fans! Today is (officially) the day you can go out and buy a WEEKLY DANDY again!! No features, no photos, ALL CARTOON STRIPS and, according to the cover, all-funny!! Everyone's worked hard on this for months (and months and months!) Comic Legend Lew Stringer has at last achieved his 45 year ambition to get a strip (in fact TWO!!) in the comic that started him off! Jamie Smart has excelled himself- his presence is all over the new Dandy- and there are NEW contributors to get excited about.
Here's a dummy version of the cover from earlier this month- adding to the excitement!

There's a bit of a TV radio press and web binge today, so enjoy it. The Dandy deliberately didn't start publicity until this week so as to achieve maximum impact.

RUN to your nearest Tesco for the full experience, but support your local newsagent and BUY it today! And buy another one tomorrow to pass around at those fancy dinner parties.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sneak preview


Left, Harry Hill's first page in The Dandy - officially on sale in a few hours, but actually out since this morning!


Right a preview of ITV's Loose Women in just 12 hours time!

Peter Gray, competition Winner!

Before anyone else, Peter Gray, uber comics fan, put two and two together and got the message I was hiding on this blog- Harry Hill was going to be joining the new Dandy! So,he will recieve the ultimate accolade- the heartfelt thanks of a grateful nation and the 'Well done!' of myself, the Dandy editor, Mr Harry Hill and everyone else involved in this big, exciting project! Have a look at his blog!
http://www.petergraycartoonsandcomics.blogspot.com/

Dandy on TV and radio and all that

'Loose Women' on Wednesday are tying in the with the Dandy relaunch by having their presenters appear in comic strip form.
'Daybreak' on Wednesday are joining in the Dandy fun
Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1 is enjoying a spot of Dandy booting on Wednesday or Thursday.
There'll be more. The Dandy editor and Harry Hill are appearing on TV and in the press in one way or another too. I told you you'd hear about it somehow or other!
Look out for it!

The New Dandy. Go get it!

Copies were lounging provocatively on some newsagents counters first thing this morning, unaware of their illicit status, so the cat is well and truly out of the bag! The new Dandy is here to brighten everybody's lives every Wednesday morning from now on.
Desperate Dan is there, by Jamie Smart (he designed the new logo and the look of the pages),  Korky the Cat is back! Bananaman is there, Wayne Thompson giving us another spin on the old nana, but the other characters are all new! there are brand new strips by brand new comics artists and brand new strips from the best of the current humour cartoonists too.

The Dandy's exciting relaunch was made possible when three people had the same idea at the same time. The Dandy editor, a Dandy cartoonist, and Harry Hill, a well-known TV comedian. These three all thought it would be a good idea to have Harry Hill somehow feature in what was then Dandy Xtreme. As I knew Harry and worked for the Dandy, I was the ideal choice to see if such a union could be made to happen.
So I asked Harry how he wanted to play it. "As long as I don't have to do anything, go ahead" he said. Usually, getting a big name endorsement takes time, effort and money, but we just got it in a five second phone call! "Will you be drawing it?" he asked. "Yes . . .unless..." "No, just asking. Someone else wanted to do a comic strip but they haven't come up with anything so it's all yours." Phew. close call!

At the urging of the Dandy editor, I drew up a rough sample (see right) which the 'top brass' at DC Thomson could see, and took it along a week or two later to show Harry. "Great" he said "you've got the tongue nicely! Now, how are we going to do this?" "Well, they thought maybe you could be Dandy Joke Editor, in charge of the joke page and that" At this point Harry's face fell. "Oh, but I thought we could have a comic strip." "Fine!" I said. "yes, like 'Harry Hill's Real-life Adventures in TV Land, where I go behind the scenes at all the TV shows, find out how they tick, and featuring Knitted Character of course. Like those old Les Dawson strips in the Look-in, Anything's possible." For someone who didn't want to be involved, he was getting in deep! "We'll discuss it again when the series has finished" "OK, Harry, I'll work something up".
So I told the Dandy editor that Harry was very keen, and I proceeded to wait until someone - Harry, or one of his writers, or a Dandy scriptwriter, or SOMEONE, wrote a script I could then draw.
After a few weeks of waiting it dawned on me that no-one was writing anything. As I felt the high-ups at DC Thomson would need something to whet their appetites, I took it upon myself to draw a two page Harry Hill strip along the lines Harry directed, as a kind of sampler for what a finished strip may look like. Using liberal smatterings of Harry Hill-isms, I sent the finsihed pages off to Harry and The Dandy. Imagine my surprise when they both loved it and proclaimed the script finished!! I added a byline to show Harry had input and had approved the final strip.
Well, initially the idea had been to feature Harry in a strip in Xtreme, starting in June. Once April had arrived, I realized this wouldn't happen.
The DC Thomson people had decided that this new direction of comic strip I had given them by accident, could well be the way to go in future for the Dandy as a whole, given massive encouragement by the editor, who had wanted the comic to be all-strips, all-funny, all the time anyway. And not only would Harry star in the comic, but it would be The Dandy again- no more Xtreme! Out with the old, in with the All-New! At one point even Desperate Dan was herded up and destined for the great ranch in the sky, but it was decided the Dandy needed to reassert itself as a comic again, and be proud of it's past. And that's chapter one!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Celebs with Comics

Here's a rather dimly lit photo I took after the taping of last week's TV Burp at Television Centre in White City, London, of Mr Harry Hill himself. What's that he's reading? Oh, look, it's an old, old Dandy.

How nice.

Anyone in Bluewater tomorrow (Tuesday 26th) get a pic of him with your own Dandy. And look out for him signing his book around the country. And get pics.

Any photos of celebs reading comics in your collection? let's see 'em!

Those Rumours.

A website known by the unpleasant nomenclature of 'Bleeding Cool' has been publishing some wildly inaccurate posts about the new Dandy. Anyone wanting real facts, I have a feeling they'll be found elsewhere and not there. See you here tomorrow?

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Here's Health

Last summer I was invited to provide this mock Summer Special cover for Men's Health magazine. I was asked to design it just like a typical 1970s cover, which meant doing the hand-lettering, something I like to do. They not only gave me a little write-up (with at least three factual mistakes- ah well, they spelled my name right!) but sent me TWO free copies with a nice thank you note. Oh, and I got paid too! Nice when it all comes together like that.

 As most Comics and cartoon fans would not even know of the existence of such a magazine, let alone buy it, (excepting Mr Phoenix of course, he DID see it!) I thought I'd review part of it here.

Not So Marvel-ous

From the off, let me exclude the mighty talents of Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Joe Sinnott, John Romita, Marie Severin, Sal Buscema, Dick Ayers and many others and most especially, those towering talents Mr Steve Ditko and the late Mr Jack Kirby.
(And all those ""creators"" who followed in their footseps over in the US. I exclude them because I don't know anything about them and I could care less.)
But definitely included are those whose fault the following is:
  • 1. In 1973 I sent 50p for some Marvel (UK) back issues. Still not received.
  • 2. In 1984 I was offered work by Marvel (UK),  the first chapter of which I completed, got complimented on, was never paid for and never heard from that editor again.
  • 3. In 1987 I sent £15 for some Marvel (UK) back issues. Still waiting.
  • 4. In 1990 I was offered more work, Cautiously, I accepted and provided preliminary work. Unpaid.
  • 5. In 1993 a very similar thing happened.
  • 6. And again in 1995.
  • 7. In 2010 a very big erstwhile 'name' in Marvel (UK) dismissed a project I had worked long and hard over and condemned it without having even having the courtesy to look at it. What a piece of work! Decidedly Suspect. Definitely Serious.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Colourist 2

Julie (right) has often done some colouring for me over the years (see if you can spot her big bold 'J' on some of my pages. Go on, I'll wait.) Anyway, she's also a very talented cartoonist who specializes in what one might call the Hanna-Barbera school of thought. Together we've worked on projects like Tiny Toons, Grange Hill, Scouse Mouse, Budgie Malone and Owl Capone, Baywatch, etc etc, all the way back to The Shed in 1988.



This strip was sort-of written by me and Julie together for the Scouse Mouse comic, and drawn by her in her usual fluent, funny way. Come on, Julie, let's have some more someday!

Little Point...

Waste not want not, that was our catch phrase in the 1960s, and I certainly never wasted a pencil! This is one I sharpened until it wouldn't sharpen any more. I know that during wartime, DC Thomson issued artists with pencil holders so the graphite would go further, and many were still frugally in use in the 1980s! If I'd had one back in 1968, maybe I'd have got a little extra pencilling done...

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Halloween is Coming...

Dennis the Menace in his pumpkin days.
The things they think of!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pie and Mash in Birmingham

Yesterday at BICS we met up with Beano and Toxic cartoonist and fellow blogger Lew Stringer (my round next time, Lew, cheers!) and then had pie and mash and beer with my long-lost brother Dave, all shivering in the Midlands cold. (See photo for proof), then it was back to the tropical climes of the lovely North and an all-you-can-eat buffet. So a pretty regular Saturday. Nika and Stamos say goodbye to Britain (but not forever, I'm confident) in the early hours tomorrow before driving to Istanbul later in the week. All go, innit?!
Anyway, hasten ye back to these fair shores, you two, and thanks for the halva!!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Big Countdown

It's two weeks today untill the new Dandy. I know there's a lot of interest in it, and I would like to be able to reveal a lot more, (not that I know much!) but honestly, where would be the fun in that? Much better to keep guessing. What I can tell you is, no matter HOW excited you may be feeling about this new Dandy, my guess is that it will be NOTHING compared to how excited you will be when you actually hold it in your hands and DOUBLE NOTHING compared to how excited everyone involved is!
So, let's see what happens tomorrow!

DANDY- Very Nice news

A few months ago I telephoned The Dandy office and couldn't get through. So I called the DC Thomson switchboard and asked to be put through to the Dandy office. "This is the Dundee office. Which department would you like?" "I'd like the Dandy Comic". "There is no 'Dundee comic'" said the nice lady at the other end. "No, not Dundee, Dandy" I persisted. A pause. "I think you must have the wrong number". She never did put me through.
Anyway, someone calling and speaking to the same operator from October 27th will not be faced with the same story, for that is the day that the new, weekly DANDY appears on the shelves of newsagents and supermarkets across the country. And not only the shelves, for this issue of the Dandy marks several BIG, important changes.
Firstly, it's the premiere issue at the new price, £1.50
Secondly, it's the first edition to be printed by the new printers
Thirdly, it's almost entirely comic strips. And the strips are mostly brand-new. There are pages by people new to the Dandy and by people new to comics.
Fourthly, big promotion. I guarantee even those who have never heard of the Dandy will have heard of it by October 28th! It'll even be in the newspapers!
Fifthly, as I've already indicated in earlier blog posts, I won't be drawing Marvo the Wonder Chicken or Cuddles and Dimples or Owen Goal or The Banana Bunch in the new Dandy.
To be honest, the new Dandy has been a dream of the editor's for a couple of years. All new strips, all funny. But making it happen was nigh-on impossible with the cautious nature of the economy and publishing these last two years.
Until the editor had an idea.
What was needed was something so unusual, so daring, so big, so appealing, that all the other components would slot into place naturally. So he asked me if I could help, by circumventing the usual red tape and long negotiations that would normally surround such a big step and often prove so daunting that proposed projects never see daylight. I was sceptical, but I made The Phone Call. And it took 5 seconds to make it happen!

So it gives me great pleasure to announce that the regular whining reports of the imminent demise of The Dandy, of it's soon-to-be-incorparated status, of it's impending monthly schedule, of it's conversion entirely to reprint, can all be consigned to history and hope you'll enjoy the new, 2010 Dandy every week from now on!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

She's Here...

Well, Nika touched down at Gatwick on Sunday afternoon with likely future Mr "H H" seen left- leaving the rain and 18 degrees of Greece for the glorious sunshine and 24 degrees of quaint old London, and will be there on Saturday at the Birmingham comics thingy in her capacity as colourist, Say hello, in Russian, Greek or English, it's all the same to her!
If you don't know who Nika is, a) shame and b) find out by clicking here!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

It's Johnny's Birthday!



                 If I may digress from cartooning for a moment, the late, great Johnny Rhythm would have been 70 today. Wait, I can link this in to my blog- in 1964 and 1965 he published books of poems, prose and cartoons-  and also in 1964, driving past us, waiting to wave, in a big Midnight Blue Austin Princess with the other three, he pointed at me and laughed. There, all tied together.


(If you haven't got a clue who I'm referring to- you're probably under 30. Which in itself is fine, but, man, the things you missed!)

Friday, 8 October 2010

Les Facts

Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer wrote about 60 of these, I drew about 40 and 20 appeared in the book 'Vic reeves Big Night In' in 1991.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

My Back Pages

Writer, David Whittaker, Artist Ron Turner, Letterer Peter Corrie. TV21 1967. Need I say more?

Happy Anniversary!

16 years ago this week, October 1994, I spent 5 days in Birmingham at the BBC's 'Big Bash' drawing quick caricatures of Fast Forward readers . . . not my favourite job, but at the time it was all I could get!
That's me on the left.. the cast of Grange Hill were there, Ant and Dec, Toby Anstis and Zoe Ball. Takes you back doesn't it!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

TV Stars Every Monday for 7d

From TV Comic's first issue in 1951 starring Muffin the Mule, through 1965's TV 21 with it's Gerry Anderson strips and Look-in during the 70s and 80s and it's many strips based on popular TV shows, British comics have often featured television characters. Even COR!! got in on the act in 1973 with The Goodies. In the days before even videotapes and certainly before DVDs and cable TV and watch again websites, the comic-reading kids had to get their fix of their fave shows via the printed page.






Paul Trevillion's take on The Munsters in TV21 was good on liknesses- not all TV characters were rendered as faithfully!






















Harry North's full-colour 'On The Buses' was a real highlight of Look-in, witty, carefully drawn and beautifully coloured.
Les Dawson, Superflop, was drawn by the multi-talented Brian Lewis. Brian tackled almost every type of comic strip and illustration in his too-short life, From broad comedy (Space Jinx) high drama (UFO)
horror (House of Hammer) to total lunacy (Moon Madness). This strip from Look-in represents a late return to comedy for Brian, to me it's one of his finest pieces.

Nowadays, of course, TV shows generally have their own dedicated comic and it runs for six months or a year until the TV show is cancelled, and that's it. A shame.

The Old Dennis



When the new Dennis started in the Beano in 2008 it automatically made the old version obsolete- including these two never-published covers I drew in 2007. Back then, I would draw a cover and the editor and the writer would come up with a story to go with it. (The 'mirror', 'bullseye', 'Rasher v Gnasher' covers amongst others were done this way)
These two, they never did come up with anything, (as far as I remember. maybe they did and I just forgot- it happens!) which was a shame, I thought the 'Dennis opens the door and it's fifteen years on' scenario had a lot of possibilities - They're in fancy dress; it's all gone a bit 'Dr Who'; it's the wrong house; the editor's on holiday and the artist is having a joke- any good?

Unseen!

As well as weeklies and monthlies there are those 'special' jobs like annuals to be drawn. On the left is what was intended to be the cover of The Bash Street Kids annual- but the book was cancelled, and so this picture languished on the archive shelf until I happened to see it just now. I don't remember doing it, but I did do it! And a nice picture of a monster that I do recall drawing. Nice monster, that.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Beano and Dandy!

I've been on here three weeks and haven't yet earned my keep! So come on, buy me! I'm in the Beano and Dandy every week, along with a bunch of other great cartoonists and writers and they'd like you to check out what they're up to as well! Most weeks I do Lord Snooty III and 60 Second Dennis in the Beano, and sometimes other stuff, In the Dandy I do- er - now what is it I do in the Dandy? Oh well, buy it and see.

Harry Hill, he's everywhere!

http://www.harry-hill.tv/comingUp1.html
Always busy, my pal Harry Hill is going to be busier than ever this autumn! He's got another series of the laugh-a-minute TV Burp starting next week, a DVD out soon, a new book he wrote and probably drew the pictures for knowing him out the following week, and a CD of funny songs with my other pal the wonderful Steve Brown (you'll remember him as Glenn Ponder in Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge!)  that he's had to delay a few weeks because he couldn't get clearance to use the cover he wanted from Paul McCartney (he's not my pal. But I saw him getting out of his car a few months ago, Right outside my window he was.) And there's Harry's Nuts for all to enjoy too!! So busy! He couldn't be any busier! He just couldn't be any busier. Surely!

Birmingham Beckons

Photo by Lew Stringer
Well it will soon be time for the Comics Do in Birmingham - sorry, don't know what it's called- I rarely go to these events (there's me at the Bristol one in May 2006- that's Wayne Thompson, Jak and Todd artist, in white.) But I will be there this year, with my colouring assistant Nika (H.H.) and the last one I went to was in Birmingham in December 2006 with my colouring assistant Ruth. So who knows when the next one might be. (The smart money may be on Birmingham in 2013 with my colouring assistant Caroline, but we're getting ahead of ourselves and becoming dizzy with information so I'll stop.)

My favourite Editors part Two

Bob Paynter, then of IPC magazines comics division, gave me my first break. So he's the guilty man. I first met him in 1978. In 1980 he offered me a job. See? Two years begging for work and they eventually give in. For some reason in those days people were trying to get me to do 'adventure' strips, or 'half and half', semi-straight stuff. I did a couple of things for Bob but they weren't very good.
In 1982, over lunch in the IPC canteen (it was Italian Week- they treated their staff very well at IPC in those days!) he eventually suggested I approach DC Thomson again, who I had drawn a six week run of a girls' comic strip for by that point. This time, he said, why not  try Ian Gray, who was putting together a new line, 'Comic Libraries', and needed 'ghost artists'. I knew what a ghost writer was - someone who did all the work and got minimal recompense and zero notice, and thought "I'm not sure I want to be that sort of artist!" But needs must, as ever, and I gave it a try. Turned out that wasn't quite how a ghost artist worked. But it was Bob who put me on to it.
I was able to thank him for giving me a start when worked with him again in 1989 on Scouse Mouse comic for Fleetway, and he was as enthusiastic as ever. He has often been maligned for 'playing safe' and indeed was always aware of his responsibility towards young readers, but he managed to produce some excellent comics anyway, originating Whizzer and Chips , Cor!!, Monster Fun, Shiver and Shake and more. The above strip is from Knockout circa 1972. Not sure who drew it, but it's a good likeness!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Right or Wrong

Speculation:


"Don't tell me that the Dandy is going even more Xtreme:(???)

Seems to be a lot of  fuss built on nothing, if you ask me.
a bit of cold hard analysis shows that a: fortnightlies don't go weekly when sales are falling, b: prices go up to please retailers when sales are falling and c: original material costs money, which is in short supply when sales are falling.

Another possibility crossed my mind... Keeping Xtreme as a monthly (a la BeanoMax) 

As for the Dandy, I wonder if DCT are thinking maybe it's strayed too far from its classic format, and this will be... focusing on - 'classic' Thomson comic characters.

I've worked it out..its DFC coming back as a weekly in newsagents..
hence Jamie saying he wanted to say something..he drew for DFC..

perhaps the news is beano max and dandy extreme merging so both title will be under the beano motif 

Marvo the Wonder Chicken will certainly be in the re-launched comic

Of course he will, his new cartoon series hasn't turned up on TV yet (despite being announced at the same time as last year's Dennis and Gnasher series). They won't drop Marvo until that cartoon has aired.

A new Marvo the Wonder Chicken title to tie in with the forthcoming TV shows. Something a bit looser and wackier than Beano and Dandy with long Marvo strips, American comic style. Maybe a monthly. Free DVD in the first issue? Failing that, free rubber chicken?

Maybe they will "merge" it with "Classics" and add a few reprints to it and make it a half new and half reprint comic.

Classics from the comics ends..maybe its merged with The Dandy..?

Classic pages mixed inside The Dandy."

All of these suggestions have one thing in common...