Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Incredible bonus collaboration comic

A REMINDER: I am now on Twitter, doing my best to elevate that platform to a new level.

Today I present a three-way "comic jam" between myself, Joe List and Lynn Allingham, we got together and told the most compelling story in British comics since V For Vendetta.

I have no idea why I drew Cilla Black's eyes on her hair instead of her face but I think it works.

Here is the DVD extra:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back on Twitter

After the debacle of the Dr Ladysounds Twitter earlier in the year, which I closed pretty quickly because it was creating a sort of unpleasant aphasia, I have waited for everyone to forget then opened a new Twitter. It is a concession to the good people who keep me in business. This time I will do it right. Here it is.

Even if you don't like Twitter I have decorated the page with a lovely self portrait that you might like.


I have a frog in my garden, I have named him "Froggy", of course. He has been there for a couple of months, hiding under the heather whenever I turn the lawn mower on. I thought frogs needed water, that is the amphibian way. Should I leave an upturned frisbee out to catch rainwater in order that he might have a bath? This is very vexing.


I have been watching HBO's John Adams all week and it has damaged my speech patterns, which is to say, weighed down every sentence it crosses my mind to enunciate with the most unimaginable filigree detail. How did fellows get along in those times with so many damnable words to service?

Friday, July 24, 2009

A3 inkjet party

Dear readers

I am looking for an inkjet printer upon which I can offer A3-size prints. This is mostly for commissioned work, where I would like to be able to do one-off digital pieces in a larger format.

I know that one doesn't have to spend an arm and a leg to get great results from an inkjet these days, but I would like one that is relatively economical, so nothing with a combined CMY cartridge. If you can get archival inks for it, so much the better.

At this point I turn to my readers who work at larger formats to make recommendations. I don't need a beast, just a reliable machine that gets good results.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mangling the English language for fun and profit.

Read on a wall-mounted hand sanitiser in the toilets at the Cornerhouse in Manchester:

"Kills 99.9999% of many common germs".

Do you see the inherent problem with this statement?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Posters they couldn't hang

Another classic from my incredible reserve of uncommercial products.

Shelley has the Union Jack colours for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and there is a Space Owl for Wales. Yes I know, I will take it out in the garden, bury it, and shoot the earth with grandpa's service revolver.

Friday, July 17, 2009


As a lad I used to like to draw all the characters in the comic I was making, in a row. This legitimised the fact that I would only manage to draw about ten pages about them before getting bored. I think I liked drawing the group pictures and imagining the comic better than producing the finished item. I hadn't done this since 1999 - for fairly obvious reasons - but for some reason I did it just how. Can you guess what their super-powers are?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Re: reprints, print on demand, etc etc

The issue of the out-of-print Scary Go Round books has risen from the grave. Some people say "do print on demand", some say "do a pre-order, I'll buy one!" But this is a vexed issue, some might say the most vexed of my recent career.

A few nice folks have been in touch with me about different ways to do this. I was quite keen to do really cheap, junky looking black and white reprints of the early books with new, mystifying titles like "Methyl Beaks" and "A Bad Inveigler's Honky Snort" , but the early, borderless Illustrator art doesn't work in black and white. Necks join heads as one, faces vanish into walls, it's Hieronymous Bosch all over again.

I opened up one of the really early comics to see if I could fix up the old books quickly. It was like going back to homework you wrote when you were 14 years old to try and make it better. You'd just start again. You wouldn't do it once then find hundreds of other essays about aquifers to titivate.

Friday, July 10, 2009

History Schmistory

On the train to Harrogate, vibrating furiously, I decided that if Kate Beaton can make history comics, with my ten years experience I can make FIVE TIMES BETTER HISTORY COMICS. You decide! I can hear her quaking in her boots.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The end, the beginning

This is a brief announcement to say that Scary Go Round will be ending in September. The eighth collection will be the last. "Goodbye" is the final story. I'm sure a lot of you had worked this out already.

If your claw-like fingers are rending your clothes to rags as we speak, I would ask you to be calm. I have a new project in mind and, like the transition from Bobbins to Scary Go Round back in 2002, it won't all be new, all different. I could probably have got away with making the change with no fanfare at all and kept the name the same. But there were a few reasons that I decided not to.

Firstly, the huge archive and long history put off new readers, and I can't afford to put all the out of print books back into print. You'll always lose readers as the novelty wears off for them, but if you can't replace them, your audience will slowly diminish to a hard core. And it's hard to have people email you saying they'd buy the new books if they could still buy all the books, but they can't, so they won't.

Secondly, while the game remains the same, it appears to have become "more fierce". Four years ago, a webcomic with a readership in the tens of thousands, a couple of book collections and a few chippy tshirts would keep you in the hay most months of the year. But now the market is oversaturated with "product" in, arguably, all three of those categories and I have to take a risk and raise my game. I've said it before but I don't want to be knocking on 40 with only a long-in-the-tooth internet strip to keep my (as yet unborn) babies in school coats and shoes.

I don't want to talk about my new project yet as it would spoil the current story, but you can rest assured that there will be plenty that you recognise about it. I'm not sure about the exact end date of Scary Go Round, and there may be something transitional in between, but expect no interruption in service.

I take great pleasure from entertaining and surprising people, writing and drawing are a continual source of joy to me and I will endeavour to do both for as long as I am able.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I Dream Of A World Without You

I should mention, for it would be remiss of me to not do so, that I occasionally post on Joe List's "I Dream Of A World Without You" faux-obituary blog along with other talented people. It gets certain things, self-evident things, out of my system.

It's entirely possible that only the men posting on there find it funny.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Post 500 is the most mean spirited of all time

I had two extremely mean-spirited ideas for shirts in town this afternoon. The first came when I heard a loud middle-aged lady poking a friend on her phone on Facebook.

And in other news, that's so random, that's soooo random! Yeh man. EXCEPT THAT IT IS NOT RANDOM AT ALL.

They are probably too mean to make.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Drawn from memory

I became wild eyed the other day and announced that I was going to draw all the X-men from memory despite not having read an X-men comic since about 1997. The result was incredible. Can you name them all? No one can.

Sadly this drawing is in private hands so if you work for a major museum and wish to purchase it for the nation, I cannot help you.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Submitted in apoplexy

Well, I had a crack at Simon The Sentient Chimney. Do you know what the saddest thing in the world is? A t-shirt with a crudely drawn chimney right in the middle. I had to get fancy and I might have become too fancy. More soon!


18 Swashbuckling
13 Sensitive Intellectual
13 Taft Dessert Club
13 Past My Prime
12 Badger Attack
11 Anatomy of a wasp
11 Simon the sentient chimney
10 Insect police
9 Abe Lincoln fart club
9 Not what I asked for
8 Identical car
7 Too many spades
7 Sloth
5 Gorilla hang glider
5 OCD Vacuum
4 Robot scrap
3 Mandrill fever
3 Moon quest
3 What me, pompous?
1 Frog
1 Sport

I will have a go at drawing Swashbuckling, Sensitive Intellectual and Taft's dessert club, and I will attempt Simon the sentient chimney as it looks like a five minute job. I will also try to muster up an anatomy of a wasp tote bag as this might be the place for such things.