Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Baby-Face and Burp

Along with a particular Burp strip in Oink! comic by Jeremy Banx (the sand planet, where an entirely unpopulated desert planet where Burp enjoys picnics is spoilt by a wasp hiding in his hamper), this comic library is the single biggest influence on the way I write comics. It has the three elements I think that you need in a good english kids comic strip to make it funny.

1. An odd central character. They are so much easier to write than than the everyman type, or the one note 'ability' character like Sammy Shrink, Ball Boy etc.

2. Weird dialogue. If you write characters to say things oddly, use old-fashioned words or just not make much sense, you've got jokes in nearly every panel.

3. A plot that swerves and always does the unexpected. Keep the reader surprised, that's my tip.

Burp had an additional ingredient, which Banx was able to work in by the end of it's run; a kind of poetry and an insight into the human condition. It only became like that when it went to two pages and gave him enough space, but apart from utilising the extra page I don't know how he did it. He somehow ended up with the single greatest strip in the entire history of british children's comics. Don't agree with me? Tough. You're wrong.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Baby-Face

Thanks to Andy Boal, who pointed out that this comic library is drawn by Henry Davies, an artist I've met a few times through cartoonist meetings and such. He currently draws 'The Adventures of Mr Milibean' in Private Eye. The cover is by Steve Bright of course, who drew loads of the covers for these things, as well as a number of the strips themselves. Anyway, here's the next 10 spreads, featuring  Frankenstein Finlayson in a weird interlude! Tomorrow, a cameo from a certain famous sheep dog.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Nuke Noodle-Face Finlayson

I recently discovered a box of Beano and Dandy comic libraries in a cupboard in my parents palatial shack in the woods on the moon. If you don't remember them because you are too young or you have had a brain hemorrhage, they were little booklets of 60 pages or so with longer, crazier adventures of regular Beano and Dandy characters. One of the biggest influences on my work was a particular library featuring Baby-Face Finlayson. It's an odd read to say the least, with a swerving plot and lots of weird jokes. It features a few cameos, too, from Dennis and Gnasher and Black Bob. I have scanned in the whole silly thing, and will be posting them on here over the next few days! That's probably illegal, but I am immune from prosecution as I am a top Governmental Assassin who thinks the cold war is not over.

But first, as a tribute to that character, created by the legendary Leo Baxendale, here's a sketch from a forthcoming episode of my own Nuke Noodle, featuring Baby-Face himself!