Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas, smell fans!

As a special Christmas treat I am commencing with the great Burp Project. My aim is to scan all the episodes of Burp from Oink! comic and post them up on this here blog. I have extolled the genius of this strip before, and now it's time for you to see all of it.

Jeremy Banx' strip began in the preview issue of Oink! which was given away for free, if memory serves, with Buster comic. Flicking through the pages of the first few issues, I note a few forgotten characters, 'New Wave Dave', 'Mike and Spike', 'Master T' by Pete Dredge, 'Tiny Dumpling and Big Nan' by Ian Knox, and a two page strip called 'The Revenge Squad' by Tom Paterson who was never really a regular Oink! artist.

Number 0 also features strips that would appear in virtually every issue: Harry the Head, by radio's Marc Riley, Hadrian Vile, by the artistic genius Ian Jackson, Rubbish Man by Haldane, and Horace 'Ugly Face' Watkins by Tony Husband.  One thing that stands out as I look back, is that Oink! was a mixture of quite bad and quite blinding artwork, but that never mattered much to me back then in the 80's. The attitude was the thing. It felt bolder and more dangerous than 'Sid's Snake' or 'Pup Parade' and that's what mattered.

In the first 5 Burp strips, Burp's head is yet to take on it's fully realised shape, which came just a few issues later and basically stayed the same until the end of it's run. You can also see some pretty odd colouring choices (strangely, Burp seems to be the only page in those early issues with these weird colours). The premise of the character is established from pretty much the word go; He's hideous, he stinks, he can take out his internal organs (and they have their own personalities), but he just wants to be accepted. The strip would become far more sophisticated later on, but first it became more hideously anarchic as his internal organs started to develop bizarre personalities.

The Pet Specimen from Uranus which Burp carries slung in a jar at his waist, later develops from a sidekick into more of a way to crowbar an extra punchline in in the last frame. The first couple of strips play with a similar idea across the bottom, but that is quickly abandoned. You can also see some drawings of 'Mary Lighthouse' in the title picture. She was Oink's in-house critic who would shriek about how disgusting the strip was. Enjoy, the first five Burps of Christmas!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beano Bonzanzo

Here's my first contribution to the Beano, a Baby-Face mini-strip. He is such an odd character to draw and indeed, just a strange concept altogether, but I think he's also one of the most memorable characters Baxendale ever created. That wide apart nostril thing is downright weird and so is his motorised pram. A baby bandit in the wild west? Well, why not?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Do you like golf?

I'm more of a frolf person. That classic combination of frisbee and gold is a hard one to resist. But if you do like golf and also enjoy the somewhat incongruous use of the word 'punk', hop along to golfpunk magazine and enjoy my strip 007iron, which is written by Gavin at the magazine who understands what the white, spherical, dimpled hell is going on in the game far better than me. Here's the page:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Exciting developments of me

Preview is a good word isn't it? It's 'review' with a p on the front. They should use that with other things like sex. Foreplay will now be known as psex. And breakfast is now plunch. And lunch is now called pdinner. Here's some stuff I've been working on for, in order, GolfPunk Magazine, The Digital Dandy and The Beano. He's back, Baby-Face fans! He's only back!

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!

Monday, September 24, 2012

beat my caption up

You can try and beat my caption for the cartoon below over at Readers Digest this month in their caption comp. And if you do you win the actual real-life drawing (sans colour) that I did and £100! And a diamond as big as baby's head! And a lifetime's supply of helicopters! And a cuddle with a leper. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sneaky peaky poo

I've been and done and gone and drawn a cover for the Dandy for the return of everyone's favourite psychotic, time-travelling, mulleted, pants-donning wrestler, Nuke Noodle. Here's two tiny sections to get your mouth watering, or saliva-ing as would be more accurate.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Who are these two?

Yes, Nuke will be back soon to the pages of The Dandy (while it still exists). And who's this bloke he's about to smash into the ground with his thumpy fists?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This is what Britain will miss

Nuke Noodle, the time traveling idiot wrestler in one of his recent adventures from the pages of the soon to be defunct but wonderful Dandy.