Tuesday, March 31, 2009


New projects always start with a rough idea, a theme, an intention, a message or all sorts of other ways of developing a story. With regard to characters it swims around in your head as a sort of unfocussed, half seen impression of what the character looks like. Eventually you put something down on paper. Anything, just to begin to have it become real. So. With that in mind here is one of those sketchbook scribbles that is just about beginning to create the character for a new Cobley/Wildman project.
More soon

Guess what I have been drawing also?

He is not so nice as you guys'. He is actually a bit scary. But he does have a JETPACK!

if you can't beat 'em....

...dinosaur comic!

(click image to enlarge)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Nice dinosaurs

I've been drawing dinosaurs too, but I've been drawing nice dinosaurs.

I think maybe I'll call the stegosaurus, "Steve".

Darn Fun...

Dave Shelton reckons drawing monsters destroying cities is "much darn fun", so I thought I should find out if he's right.

He's right!

Night of the VAMPANDA

Here is another strip I kept meaning to get around to... or more accurately, threatening Editor Ben with. VAMPANDA!

The pitch:

Dave Van Helsing, second-cousin-twice-removed of the famous vampire hunter, has no idea of his family's unusual legacy, and has set up in business as the proprietor of a small garden centre. But a dark shadow haunts its aisles and tea shop... the shadow of the VAMPANDA! It's a fairly straightforward Roadrunner / Wile E. Coyote set-up: Vampanda wants to eat the garden centre's bamboo, Dave wants to stop him. And, using the full range of his evil vampiric powers- blood-sucking, shape-shifting, flight, mind control - Vampanda always wins.
I got myself into a bit of a metaphysical conundrum though, as Vampanda exists in the fictional universe of Mo-Bot High as Asha's favourite cartoon, so I - the creator of that universe - could not logically exist within it as the creator of Vampanda. I was considering producing the strip using a pseudonym so as to circumvent this tricky ontological quandary, when I realised that I was just massively MASSIVELY overthinking things, and went and had a nice lie down instead.

(cross-posted from Neill's blog)

must stop...

Must stop just fooling around and drawing monsters destroying cities.

But it's so much darn fun...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

DFC Squad at the Thing!

How do you like Woodrow's Donny Digits shirt? (Finish reading Donny online here!)

The last issue may have arrived on Friday, but the DFC was still out in force at London's UK Web & Mini Comix Thing in Mile End. James Turner was selling his two Beaver and Steve books. If you love Super Animal Adventure Squad, don't miss Turner's earlier strips! The big question everyone wants to know: will there be more Beaver and Steve...?

Woodrow Phoenix (Horse of a Different Colour, Donny Digits) shared a table with Sarah McIntyre (Vern and Lettuce) and their friend David O'Connell. Sarah sold a small range of handmade mini comics, art prints and badges (see her blog for more news) and Woodrow signed copies of his latest book, Rumble Strip, his picture book Count Milkula and his comic book with Ian Carney, Sugar Buzz.

Gary Northfield and Dave Shelton

Laura Howell with Stuart (Sarah McIntyre's husband) and Canadian history comics phenomenon Kate Beaton. Also standing out distinctively in the crowd were John Aggs and Emma Vieceli. You'll be able to see Emma at the London MCM Expo from 23-24 May, as she's one of the main event coordinators.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The DFC is dead... long live The DFC!

Actually, no... The DFC isn't dead. David Fickling and his inspiring team brought into this world something new and exciting, something that is just too good to disappear back into the ether. So until it finds its place again, the creators who found a home under the covers of The DFC (both published and nearly published) have come together under the guise of the Super Comics Adventure Squad!

Despite the Economic Woe, it is still an exciting time for the medium of comics and this blog will act as a hub for some of the best in British graphic storytelling talent, a place where you can keep up with what they're doing, all in one place, and where they will post news, events, sketches and comics, with links back to their own websites where you can see and learn more.

There is already a small archive of posts to view, written over the past week as we got ready to go live, including, for instance, some of the concepts that nearly became DFC strips (and may yet find an outlet somewhere else).

In the meantime, thank you for visiting, and please spread the word and drop in as often as you like - who knows what other exciting stuff will emerge from this little collective?

The DFC 43

So here it is... the last issue (just for now). And it has a lovely collaborative cover that spreads over the front and back...

The contents... DFC by Nick Sharratt, Sausage and Carrots by Simone Lia, John Blake by Philip Pullman and John Aggs, Little Cutie by Gary Northfield, The Spider Moon by Kate Brown, Monkey Nuts (two episodes) by The Etherington Brothers, Donny Digits by Woodrow Pheonix (obviously), more Sausage and Carrots by Simone Lia, Spectrum Black by Robert Deas, Bodkin & the Bear by Wilbur Dawbarn, Crab Lane Crew by Jim Medway, That's a Horse of a Different Colour by Woodrow Pheonix, Mirabilis by Dave Morris, Leo Hartas and Nikos Koutsis... and ending off with a double-page goodbye spread from the DFC's creators and characters... sniff!

Typing all those titles and names out really brings it home just how packed each issue of The DFC was, and a wonderful variety too. Don't forget you can see further episodes of some of these strips at The DFC website.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Comics in The DFC

With The DFC ending at issue 43, some of the strips have been cut off in their prime. Luckily the remaining episodes of Monkey Nuts, Bodkin & the Bear, Donny Digits and Spider Moon have been put online for all to read and enjoy - see them at The DFC website.

(from Bodkin and the Bear by Wilbur Dawbarn)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Thing!

Do come along, it'll be great! I'm sharing a table with Woodrow Phoenix (Donny Digits, That's a Horse of a Different Colour) and our friend David O'Connell. I'll be selling mini comics, art prints and buttons, don't miss out!

Find all the details here:
UK Web & Mini Comix Thing

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Captain Rad

Following on from some of the alternate DFC pitches that have been posted, this was a strip I started working on but never got the opportunity to complete.
It was a newspaper-strip in format that dealt in campy Sci-Fi, over-the-top set pieces and silly humour (the only type I'm capable of!)
Hopefully I'll get the chance to pursue it again further down the line but for now here's a taste!





drinkie pics

A bunch of us got together this weekend and had a good natter; we still can't believe this Friday is the last issue!

Laura Howell (The Mighty M), Laura's partner Tim, James Turner (Super Animal Adventure Squad)

Faz Choudhury (Dead Pets Society, colouring for Good Dog, Bad Dog), John Aggs (John Blake, Robot Girl), Gary Northfield (Little Cutie)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mirabilis blog

Just to say that Leo and Nikos and Martin and I have started up a Mirabilis blog so please everybody come on over and say hi!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I was invited to take part in Huzzah!! at the beginning of the year, it's a comic book equivalent of an exquisite corpse, it goes on for a year, there are a few rules which are listed on the site, none of the artists know what's going to happen until the latest contribution is posted. I've never taken part in anything like Huzzah!! before, I was daunted (terrified, even) by the whole idea, and that's why I figured I really ought to accept the invitation.

I've just finished my latest contribution, my third so far. I drew three tiers, the maximum allowed per turn, and this is the first panel.

Prior to Huzzah!! there was Who Killed Round Robin? in which that Woodrow Phoenix fellow took part. Lovely stuff, go see!

"We manufacture miracles"

This was one of the ideas Leo and I pitched as a DFC strip. Fangleworths was a factory run by robots. They built the kind of way-out gadgets that used to feature in articles about the way we'd live in the future. Except that future never arrived - instead of anti-gravity galoshes and teleport tubes, we got iPods and... er, more iPods. So Fangleworths was constantly on the verge of bankruptcy. They do say write about what you know :)

The team line-up there is (left to right) Chug, Fidel the inventor, Boomer, Rummage the "dog", Nettie, and the big guy is Stacks.

We had some idea the strip would be created in Lightwave. Leo actually had made all the 3D models, not just the characters but the factory itself.

Fangleworths would have been for younger kids than Mirabilis - so probably a better fit with the readership the comic ended up with, I think now. But, much as I like our robots, I'm glad we went with Mirabilis instead.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The DFC 42

What a beautiful cover featuring Donny Digits by Woodrow Pheonix...

... and you need to see the back cover too! This issue features a fantastic mix: Sausage and Carrots by Simone Lia; The Adventures of John Blake by Philip Pullman and John Aggs; Little Cutie by Gary Northfield; The Spider Moon by Kate Brown; Monkey Nuts by the Etherington Brothers; Donny Digits by 'The Mighty Woodzor'; Chicken Caesar Jnr. by Julian Hanshaw; Spectrum Black by Robert Deas; Bodkin & The Bear by Wilbur Dawbarn; Crab Lane Crew by Jim Medaway; That's A Horse of a Different Colour by Woodrow Pheonix; and Mirabilis by Dave Morris, Leo Hartis and Nikos Koutsis.

Such a great line-up, it just makes it even more unbearable to think that these comics will not have a home in The DFC by this time next week. Personally, I think The DFC is too good to die - even if its return is five years hence - so it's disappointing to read at the back "Next week in the last ever DFC..." which doesn't leave much room for optimism. But forget that - this issue presents the best argument there is as to why The DFC should exist in British comics.

Vern's diary

click on the pic to enbiggen

(More DFC news about the Oxford Literary Festival and the Thing
here on Sarah's blog)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

cobra conundrum

Here's a strip I've drawn for a mini comic I hope to have ready to sell at the UK Webcomics Thing on the 28th:

Zhanna - Adventures in Time and Alternative Realities

I never did come up with a title for this, but it was one of my proposals for The DFC, and the one I remain most excited about. Because it was a story that featured time travel, and because that theme clashed with John Blake, it was put on the back-burner. But I definitely want to get going on it one day!

The tale features the adventures of Zhanna Maria Anapel Lydoni-Bute, who lives a rather secluded life in 'the big house' with her parents, and new boy in the village, Martin Kreikenbeek, who stumbles into the grounds of Zhanna's home after being chased by school bullies. It's high adventure from then on... naturally.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Morris the Mankiest Monster!

Here's a peek at the book I just finished illustrating for David Fickling Books. It's going to the Bologna Book Fair to see if people in other countries want to publish it, then it will hit the shelves in October!

You can read more news about it on my blog and see another spread from the book here. It is only for people who have strong stomachs because Morris is a little bit disgusting. Okay, more like totally foul.

Monster Maker

This is one that myself and Simon Furman had had in the portfolio. I LOVE this project but Simon didnt like the contract enough when it was presented so it didnt get any further.
An 11 year old boy called Jonas and a whole bunch of monsters :-)

Kid Ninja!

Back when I first went into the DFC offices to pitch I took in four ideas, from which Ben and Will had what in retrospect I see was the very good sense to pick the thing that would, once properly kicked into shape, become Mo-Bot High. I thought it would be fun to post some stuff here from one of the ones they didn't pick....

Kid Ninja!

He is a kid, who is a ninja!

Can you believe they didn't go for a high concept like that?

Here is the 'movie poster':

And here are some of my sketchbook development pages:

Admittedly, it perhaps was not the world's most original concept on paper, but there was some character and story stuff in the pitch that I really liked and will no doubt end up using somewhere, one day!

(Cross-posted from Neill's blog)

Saturday, March 14, 2009


So what else is going on. Well, after using a particular style for FRONTIER I thought I would try it out somewhere else. I was asked yonks ago to do a page for '45' What is it?? well, its a graphic novel being published by ComX. Contributors reads like a who's who so it's great to be in amongs such awesome company. Good article here about it if you want to know more. A great idea, check it out.
I remember taking the reference photos for St Pancras station then meeting up with Sarah McIntyre at Leicester Square.

Friday, March 13, 2009

crazy monday

Here's a comic I made about the day I found out the DFC wasn't going to be continued. It was a day of real ups and downs.

(Click here to read the whole thing on Sarah's blog)

The DFC 41

The DFC issue 41 is published today, featuring a super Little Cutie cover by Gary Northfield.

The rest of the line up includes: Donny Digits by Woodrow Pheonix (obviously!); Super Animal Adventure Squad by James Turner - seeing the end of The Case of the Baboon Bandit; the concluding episode of Frontier by Jason Cobley and Andrew Wildman; Monkey Nuts by the Etherington Brothers; That's a Horse of a Different Colour by Woodrow Pheonix; The Spider Moon by Kate Brown; Bodkin & the Bear by Wilbur Dawbarn; Doodlit by Ted Dewan; Crab Lane Crew by Jim Medway; Chicken Caesar Jnr. by Julian Hanshaw; Riddelicious illustrated by Jamie Smart; Spectrum Black by Robert Deas; and Sausage and Carrots by Simone Lia.

Phew, what a list of contents... as it says on the cover - it's crammed with great strips! The only downside is the official in-comic announcement that just two issues remain of the DFC as it exists in its current incarnation. See the creator links to the right to find out more about the artists and writers involved.