Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This week's series (where Ollie and Quentin have to go next door into Evil Mrs Cadaver's house to feed her pet canary, Boris) was meant to end differently (and more crudely, hence the change). Quentin gets so worried about what kind of animal 'Boris The Beast' is that he farts and kills the canary. The final strip has Ollie telling Nobby that Quentin is burying the canary not searching for him. Of course this was never going to get through but I decided to go with the rest of the series anyway but it doesn't really work. I like the first couple in the sequence but wish I'd rethought their adventure after that. Oh well, they'll go next door again I'm sure.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I took a long time researching this. There are a lot more phrases to describe that urge some of us get to throw ourselves off a high building so I had to edit some out just to squeeze the joke into a Sunday strip. I don't get the urge to leap myself but I do sometimes get the irresistible urge to stand up during things like a wedding service and swear at the top of my voice.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I do very detailed pencil roughs to make the inking stage easier but if my editor at Kings doesn't approve the joke then I've wasted a good couple of hours, probably more in this case. I'm pleased with this drawing and I like this joke but my editor feels it isn't right yet. I'm always happy to work on something I have my own doubts about but I find rewriting jokes I'm happy with very difficult. However, too much effort has gone into this for it to be forgotten so I may just use the first few frames for a completely different joke.
Just as a matter of interest I'd like to know if you get it.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Today sees the introduction of Ollie's sister's mischievous kids. They are two unhatched eggs and don't have name's yet because we don't know what they are. They're hoping to hatch out into something cool with sharp fangs and claws like a dinosaur or a...a chicken, anything but a dumb gull. They visit when Ollie's sister needs a break and are loosely based on my own nephew and niece, Spook and Rosanna.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I'm going to be doing some cartoon workshops in my home town of Guildford next May. Cartoontastic! is a day long workshop for adults and will be great fun. There should be a bit of publicity in the local press beforehand and I think I may be doing a (gulp) radio interview too but if you want to get in early the date for the adult workshop is Saturday May 9th from 10.30 am - 3.30pm at the beautiful Guildford House Gallery (built in 1660!). Click here for more details.
I'll also be doing a couple of kids' workshops. The date is Thursday 28th May at 10.30am-12.30pm for kids aged 8-12 and 1.30pm -3.30pm for 13-18 year olds. Click here for the kids workshop details.
See you there.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This is the sort of thing that makes me so pleased to be a King Features Syndicated cartoonist. Comics Kingdom is an innovative comics platform that helps online newspapers create new revenue streams and increase site traffic. It features King Features’ complete portfolio of more than 60 strips (including a 30 day archive) presented in a visually stimulating, user-friendly and community-based entertainment portal. Okay I pinched that blurb from the King Features website but I've been using Comics Kingdom for a while now and it is really good. Now 'Ollie and Quentin' gets a chance to be seen by a wider audience and my strip looks so much better in colour...sorry color.
Visit www.comicskingdom.com to check it out.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
This week saw the reason Quentin left his sand hole on the beach to come and live in the town. It was his irritatingly competitive neighbor Carl that drove him away.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Although only 2 days apart in newspapers these two strips were drawn about a year apart. The "Beast of Biggly Bay" was drawn last year and you'll notice the characters are smaller in each panel. The text is also smaller. I received some negative comments on the size of these aspects when I first launched so have upped the font size and increased the size of Ollie and Quentin when I can. I think the black line is a little more confident too.
Happy Halloween everyone.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In the new year Ollie and Quentin go looking for monsters in their basement. I've really enjoyed coloring these strips because of all the shadows and highlights I can play around with. Here are a few panels to show you what I mean. The three panels here are taken from 3 different strips but, by chance, seem to tell a story in themselves.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Oh dear, seems that this strip didn't please everyone. The cruel punchline is a bit out of character for Ollie and Quentin so I can understand why someone might complain. Thing is, I do agree. I wish I'd worked harder at finding a funny last couple of frames. Oh well.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Looks like The Eagle newspaper in Kansas is conducting a Comics Survey. 'Ollie and Quentin' is one of 7 very good strips being surveyed so if this is your local newspaper and you like my feature please let them know. These surveys tend to drag out the readers who just want to be rude and nasty about the comics that they don't like so any positive comments would be welcomed by all of us.
Click here to visit their site.
Click here to visit their site.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Today is my old school headmaster's funeral. I shall be attending the service afterwards followed by a reception back at the school along with my brothers and no doubt, hundreds of other pupils, ex pupils, parents and friends. Norman Hale was owner of Milbourne Lodge School until 2007 and was Headmaster from 1948 to 1999, Britain’s longest-serving Head. I was there from 1971-76.
It's very difficult to write about Norman because he was such a one off. I have never met anyone more charismatic or loud! I remember him charging around the school in his shorts and deck shoes with his faithful old dog 'Wagger' trailing in his wake. We liked him as much as we were afraid of him with his booming voice echoing through the building. Those fortunate enough to have known him will never forget him. A great man and a great headmaster.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
In this week's strips Quentin tries to impress Rosie with a new bad boy image. He thinks dressing like a pirate will do the job. These comics were meant to coincide with "Talk like a Pirate Day" on September 19th but I forgot and sent some other strips up on that date. What an idiot, or should I say "scurvy dog".
Monday, October 13, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I really believe in my strip. I am very pleased with my work, as is my editor at Kings, but in trials 'Ollie and Quentin' is failing to connect with readers in the USA. Feedback from areas where my strip is running full time is overwhelmingly positive so I know that once it's in place 'Ollie and Quentin' goes down well, it's just getting there that's proving difficult. Ollie and Quentin isn't a 'cool' strip so it's going to take time to get a foothold. One day, I believe, it will.
I'm happy with today's joke but looking at it a couple of months after I drew it I wonder if I should have had Quentin way off in the distance. We'd still be able to read his sign but he'd be hidden in the long grass and off to the right somewhere rather than in the middle. Boy, am I fussy?!
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
RC Harvey has written a short piece on 'Ollie and Quentin'. He's been fairly kind although there are aspects of my feature that he doesn't like.
He describes my strip as "Pastis-ische" which I'd never considered before. In my defence I hadn't even heard of the fantastic Pearls Before Swine till 2006 which is a good 5 or more years after I started my strip. He finds the simplicity of my drawing boring which is a shame but purely a matter of taste. I'd like to draw like Richard Thompson of Cul De Sac fame but I'm stuck with my own style which I'm very happy with. I hope that the simplicity makes for easy reading. In the words of the great Mort Walker I like readers to have "read the strip before they realize it". I do try to avoid lazy headshot strips and add more backgrounds than most. Where possible I do try to change the 'camera position' too.
However I do thank him for taking the time to study and write about my feature. Any publicity is very welcome.
Click here to have a read of his piece.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I thought you might be interested to see an original artwork. This shows how much I add on computer. The frames, speech bubbles, text and obviously the color are all done in Photoshop. Even my signature is added later. I draw backgrounds separately and add them later too. So my originals all look a bit strange and empty.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Teresa has been away motorcycling in the Himalayas so I've been in charge of the house. By the time I've got my daughter off to school, done the washing, done the cleaning, done the ironing, done the cooking, painted the house and produced my cartoon strips for the day there's been no time to post. Pathetic, I know, but I'm a guy, I'm not used to doing so many things at once.
Friday, September 05, 2008
I drew this strip a while ago when the switch-on date for the Hadron Collider hadn't been decided. I took a guess at September 15th which was close but now I see it's 5 days AFTER the event. Damn. Not much good if we're all dead and pretty lame if we aren't. Unfortunately it's too late to swap strips around.
BTW, if you really think we're all gonna get sucked into a black hole on September 10th let me just quote Prof Brian Cox of Manchester University who says "Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world is a twat."
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
When it's 1.30am, you're slogging your guts out and you're beginning to wonder if any cartoon strip has ever made less impact in the comic world than your own I can't tell you what a pick-me-up it was to receive an email (through my editor at King Features) from one of my favorite cartoonists, the great Dan Piraro of Bizarro fame. I really hope he won't mind my adding his note here but it was just the tonic I needed.
Would you pass on to Piers for me that I really love his strip. I read it almost every day on Daily Ink and he has a terrific percentage of clever jokes that amuse even a battle-worn veteran like me.
If you want to read a really great blog have a look at Dan's at http://bizarrocomic.blogspot.com It's beautifully written and very funny.
Monday, September 01, 2008
This is one of those strips that when completed I wish I'd done a different punch line. The idea here is that you think Quentin is going to use the tube to beat Ollie down the stairs but it is, in fact, for Ollie. I wish the final frame still had Ollie in the tube but instead he's poking out of the bottom of it saying "I win again!". The tube would look a bit 'travelled through' and Quentin would be 3 steps up and saying "Aw!"
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Please allow a very proud father a moment to boast about his brilliant 16 year old daughter who received her GCSE examination results yesterday. 9 A Stars and 4 A's! Not only is she tall and beautiful with an extraordinary singing voice she's also incredibly clever.
Thanks for letting me get that off my very proud chest.