Ollie & Quentin Book

Ollie & Quentin Book
125 pages in full colour!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Parallel Universe Take 2

The current Parallel Universe Story Arc is a reworking of a series I did years ago in my pre syndication days. Then, Quentin created a gateway to a parallel universe whilst making Yorkshire Pudding. This time they find it inside the sofa. I like to think I've improved the story this time but in this strip I believe the original is much better (despite the naff drawings). The top strip is the original one in the days when our Ollie (then called Eric) wore a white cap.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Lio" wins Best Newspaper Comic Strip

Congratulations to Mark Tatulli for winning Best Newspaper Comic Strip at this year's Reubens with his great strip "Lio". How they decided between the three finalists is beyond me as they are all wonderful. My guess is a three sided coin. In fact, I can see the same three (Mark Tatulli, Stephan Pastis and Richard Thompson) sharing the stage again next year -if that's permitted.


Todays Sunday strip is "nerdingly" accurate. I used this star chart to plot the stars according to their position and brightness (magnitude). I'm hoping the astronomers out there noticed.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Whoa! Whoa!

I had no idea you spelled "Whoa" like that. My original said "Woah" I'm glad someone is checking my stuff.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Perfect Ollie

I must have drawn Ollie thousands of times and every time he's a little bit different. Sometimes he looks good, sometimes awful but never quite perfect. This week I managed it. This is the perfect Ollie...

...for now.

My daughter just read this and said "Looks like he's laying an egg!" Kids eh?

Monday, May 18, 2009


Spelling mistakes (usually UK and US differences) are corrected by my syndicate before any strip is released but I am at a total loss as to why a hyphen has been added to Ollie's first speech bubble today. I can only assume this is a mistake.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Today's Sunday Strip In Its Entirety

This is the first Sunday Strip to include the revised Ollie and Quentin logo. If you remember I was having trouble with people referring to it as "Obble and Quentin".

Actually, I quite like "Obble" for a name. Too late.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Where do you get your ideas?" #581

This may seem a bit macabre but there was a happy ending so I don't feel so bad.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

To Story Arc or Not to Story Arc

I love writing story arcs. Developing a juicy topic over a number of days is great fun. The problem is I'm not sure the standard of every strip matches that of the equivalent number of single one-offs. In an arc I usually have a couple of 'good uns' but they need linking together and it's those link strips that I worry about. At the time I'm pleased I've managed to connect them but being happy about that doesn't necessarily mean they're good strips. This series about Ollie teaching Quentin to swim was fun to do but looking back on it I only really like a couple of them. The next few weeks see arcs on a Parallel Universe, Roach Rodeo and Cosmetic Surgery and I'd say the same worry applies here. The good ones are great fun but the link strips bother me a bit. Ah well.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Doodle Drawing

The difference between my 'instinctive, doodle' drawing and my other work is enormous! This is a page from my sketchpad and below is a speeded up movie of the same kind of drawing. I tend to draw like this when we're on holiday. I simply clear my mind, put pen to paper and watch what comes out. It's total free drawing straight from the heart or hand or head or somehere. One line leads on to the other, I have no idea what is going to happen. What interests me is the difference between this instinctive drawing and the kind of artwork I produce when I think about it. I really don't like most of the cartoon artwork I produce in my day job. It's too simple and well, boring, but thankfully, quite commercial so I can just about earn a living at it. I would say only one in a hundred pictures might be good enough to end up on my personal website. I do like the look of my comic strip but again, the linework is very different from the doodle work I enjoy so much.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Biggest Tintin Page in the World

I'm a huge Tintin fan so I was thrilled when Mike Lynch's excellent blog alerted me to this. It's a giant printed Tintin page from Herge's book The Adventures of Tintin: Destination Moon which is seen here in Brussels' Grand Place in Belgium. The 32m x 21m page is printed on a series of thermo welded sheets weighing 350kg and covering 672 sqm. I read that there's to be a new Tintin movie due for release in 2011 starring Jamie Bell as Tintin and James Bond actor Daniel Craig as the villain. It's co-produced by Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg. Don't know them.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Talking Photoshop

Apple N.

I've noticed I'm speaking, well, 'thinking' in a different language when coloring my cartoon strip on computer. Having scanned my hand drawn artwork I then put everything together in Photoshop. The whole time I'm thinking Photoshop Keyboard shortcuts. As a Mac user I call the command button Apple ('cos of the apple on it) so I'm thinking things like: Apple O, E, Z, L, Clear, Apple Shift S, Z, Option Drag, Apple D, Space Bar etc etc, you get the picture. I guess all computer users are doing this but it's only just dawning on me quite how much of the day I'm just thinking in these, often, single letters. And who hasn't thought Apple Z (undo) when making a mistake in the "real" world?

Apple S, Apple Q.