Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist

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

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Final Curtain

In a few hours, subscribers get to know all about the milestone that is the final print Dandy bumper birthday edition. I've drawn quite a few pages,here's a tiny part of one of them. (A special toffee to anyone who knows why I am presenting a page from this strip, not one of the others I've drawn.)
If you want to see more, go buy a DANDY on Wednesday- it's your last opportunity!

Blast from the Past

The week of their first Number One single, Please Please Me, in February, 1963, The Beatles, a little-known Pop/R&B combo from a backwater town in the North West of England filled in their 'Life Lines' for the NME (New Musical Express). In a few months, they would have taken over the entire world, but at this point they were still largely unknown, and their answers seem fresh and light-hearted rather than weary and cynical, as they would in 12 months time once they'd hit America and been asked the same questions a million times on four continents.

(Please Please Me WAS The Beatles' first Number One- in recent years charts have been taken from Record Retailer which had a small sample and a very low print run and placed Please Please Me at Number Two. In 1963, the charts that mattered were the NME, Melody Maker and BBC charts (for Pick of the Pops), which all placed Please Please Me at Number One). NME is still being published, MM and RR folded a while ago. the BBC is still going. At time of writing.

Thursday, 29 November 2012


Hey, you CAN see Mount Olympus from Nika's house! Look! In all the times I've been there, I've only ever seen it at the corner of my eye- you know that thing when you try to look directly at something and can't see it, except as you glance away? Just me, eh? Oh well I was beginning to think it wasn't there, even though everyone told me you could often see it, just that today wasn't a good moment and even though I 've been there in the months of April, May, June, July, September, October, November, December and January, I never saw it. But now, here is Mount Olympus, on what looks like a nice evening last week! Nice one, Nika!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Menaces on canvas

If you fancy bidding for a fab ORIGINAL mini painted canvas of Dennis or Gnasher, by official D C Thomson artists Gordon Tait and me, in support of a very worthwhile cause, then I have some good news for you! You can do so here!
But, as you'll see, there are dozens of great little canvases you could bid for, so take a look! And if you'd like to know more about the Willow Foundation, here they are.

But don't hang about, bidding opens 22nd November and ends 2nd December! Good luck!!

Monday, 19 November 2012


Sometimes I get asked for advice on drawing comics. There are only two things to know:
1.Draw and 2.Draw.
Let me elaborate.
1. If you want to do anything well, to make a living out of it, to be noticed for doing it, anything like that, you have to actually do it. It seems obvious, but a lot of people seem to think they should 'save' themselves till they're 'spotted' by the great comic talent scout, and THEN they'll start drawing something great. Wrong. Get drawing right now. I mean it, go on, get some paper and get started. And when you've finished, start again. You should draw every day. Every single day, at all times, in all places. Draw, draw, draw. Cartooning looks fun and easy. It is fun, and it is easy, but only after you've put the hard work in by drawing, drawing, drawing. THEN it's fun and easy.
2. You'll need to find the tool that suits you. I struggled for 15 years with pen and brush and ink  and bristol board because that's what 'professionals' use. Wrong- it's what SOME professionals use. I found each day a bit of a struggle. In 1988 I was introduced to layout paper and marker pens. Dramatic improvement 1.  Sometime in 1995 I discovered  Pentel Sign pens, and I was immediately able to draw EXACTLY what I 'saw'. Dramatic Improvement 2. That particular pen was MY tool of the trade. Every cartoonist needs to find their own. It's my own fault I hadn't found it earlier, they've been making them since 1957.
But above all, DRAW!

History of the Dandy

32 years ago today I got my first pay cheque from D C Thomson for a two-page story I drew for a long defunct comic. It would be another eighteen months before I got my first break on The Dandy- and even then it was on a new project, 'Dandy Comic Libraries'. I drew Bully Beef and Chips, Colonel Blink, Corporal Clott, the Jocks and the Geordies, L Cars and even 'Send for Kelly' over the next few years, all for these little 64 page booklets. Here's a typical one by me- relax, the cover is by Steve Bright (in a very restrained mood!) but the insides were all by me. It would be 1985 before I got into The Dandy proper, ghosting some Bully beef and Chips. There's a great story behind the creation of one of those, let me tell ya! Then I did Spotted Dick, Dinah Mo and a couple of other things. And then there was a gap between 1990 and 1997 when I inexplicably did nothing at all for The Dandy, before I was finally invited to take on Owen Goal as an ongoing series. Since then, I've been in 670 issues of The Dandy and I'll be in the very last printed edition on December 4th as well. See you there.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Today. Just like any other day?

Today, I finished drawing my last piece of work for The Dandy. It was a rather strange feeling, having the weight of history on my shoulders, as you'll see when the comic is published in a couple of weeks. Since the news of the closure was broken to me in July, I've had a lot of comments from friends, colleagues and The Famous, and I aim to share some of them with you here soon.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Wednesday is Beano Day!

And Dandy day for a couple more weeks!
As I'm now apparently no longer allowed to show any artwork that is the copyright of DC Thomson, even drawings that I've done for them at any time over the previous 32 years, I can't promote them here except in words! So, here goes: BUY 'EM!

Monday, 12 November 2012

End of a long, long era

Soon, the final printed edition of The Dandy will be with us-and it'll be a good one! Expect to see favourites from the distant past, the recent past and all points in between- and I do mean favourites. I've drawn many Dandy strips over the years, and in this final print issue, I get to draw a few of them again, plus an old character I'd never drawn before, AND something completely unexpected- unless you've got a long memory.

I'm led to believe that D C Thomson no longer allow us to publish our own drawings which we've done for them on blogs so there will be no illustrated clues, besides, I'm still drawing some stuff, but maybe I'll write something else about the final 'hold it in your hands and turn the pages' Dandy again prior to publication.