Ollie & Quentin Book

Ollie & Quentin Book
125 pages in full colour!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Daily Sunday

I first drew this joke way back in December 2006 but never inked it up until recently when I was short of a Sunday Comic. I adapted the 3 frame Daily to the above Sunday version. Looking at them both I think I prefer the daily version. Darn!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apple iPad and today's conspiracy theory.

Wow! This could be a really good thing for comics. Look how wonderful King Features' Comics Kingdom looks on it!

Is Steve Jobs really 2 foot tall and he's just holding an ordinary iphone?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Where do you get your ideas?" #703

This happened to me once, (not the seagull and a worm dressed up as superheroes laughing at me part, the collapsed ladder bit). I was standing at the top of a step ladder looking into our attic when it collapsed (as in the picture). Survival instincts kicked in and I grabbed the sides of the attic opening as I fell and was left dangling there with very sore fingers... all of 2 inches above the floor.

Bizarro was 25!

Dan Piraro's "Bizarro" was 25 years old last week. 25!?! As someone who's been doing this a mere two years I've got to take my hat off to Dan. 25 years is an amazing achievement. Three years ago my editor introduced me to Dan's work, not only as an example of high quality writing but also for the incredible drawings and beautiful color work. I had no idea he'd been doing this for over 20 years at that stage because he never seems to cut corners and throw out the odd 'lazy' strip. Each panel is beautifully crafted, expertly shaded and he even has time to drop in those funny little icons readers can hunt for every day. The Sunday comics are works of art.

After my launch in 2008 Dan very kindly dropped me an email with some encouraging words for which I am very grateful. A nice touch from someone who must have very little spare time on his hands.

Here's to the next 25, Dan.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How do you see yourself?

I sometimes wonder if I'd recognize myself if I saw myself walking down the road? I think I'd probably think "there goes an older version of me". If I saw myself running I'd think "there's goes a slower version of me" and if I saw myself drawing I think I'd think "there draws a worse artist than me." Little Quentin is so upbeat and positive that he sees himself as a giant whilst Ollie has a more realistic idea of what he looks like. This comic (though a bit lame) speaks volumes about their respective characteristics.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Where do you get your ideas?" #697

Here's the real Quentin doing a tandem parachute jump last summer. This gave me the idea for the above strip. Recognize Nobby's hat and overalls?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back from Alpbach

Back from beautiful Alpbach in Austria to be greeted by 3 changes needed to comics I'd already completed and sent off. One needed the word 'Chinaman' changing. I had no idea that might be considered a racist term. I'm an Englishman but...oh well. The second strip needed the graphics moving from left to right rather than from right to left (Comic Strip rule #1 or #2, I think) and the third, well I'm being called to the principal's office on that one.
That'll teach me to send strips off before they've been approved.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh the irony...

I'm stuck in Austria because flights back to the UK are cancelled due to snow in the UK!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Alpbach, Austria

It's my mum's 70th Birthday on Monday and we're all going to Alpbach in Austria for a few days (so long as the snow that's due in the UK tomorrow doesn't arrive). We're in the middle of a big freeze and a lot of flights have been cancelled so I could be spending the next day or so in an airport departure lounge. Either way I'm not doing any comics till next Thursday! Happy Birthday Mum!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Two years ago today...

This was it, the first Ollie and Quentin that ran on Jan 8th 2008. Oh, how young and fresh faced it all looks. Look at those HUGE speech bubbles and that tiny text. Ollie is so thin and his nose has certainly filled out over these two years. Happy Birthday to us.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2nd Anniversary

Ollie and Quentin is two years old this week. Two years since I handed my life over to the Syndication Monster and its Deadline Hounds who snap at my heels every day. At my launch I was about 6 months ahead, now I am about a week behind. This is typical of me as I work best under pressure so only have myself to blame.

I still love writing my feature (my day touring the Guildford coffee shops is my favorite day of the week) and do enjoy producing the artwork. That said I always prefer my pencil roughs to the black and white artwork that gets reproduced in newspapers. I'm happy with the color final though. Ollie and Quentin looks much better on screen which is where I see its future.

Two years on I can see that Ollie and Quentin hasn't exactly set the comic world alight. I like what I've been doing, my editor at King Features is still a fan and what mail I get is always very positive but my feature isn't competing with the best at all, in fact, it's still back in the changing room tying its shoelaces. The biggest insult of the year was O&Q appearing on the website that asks readers for proof that a syndicated comic actually appears in newsprint somewhere. Take it from me, it does! I don't really know why US readers haven't taken to Ollie and Quentin, I know they are slightly odd characters drawn in an unusual way and with very British humor but I hope, in time, readers will notice my feature as it is a far better comic than its sales figures suggest... but I would say that.

So, what of year three?

King Features do have some great ideas in the pipeline which I'm very excited about. Can't say anything now but watch this space.

I'm hoping to free up some time to do normal stuff. At the moment I spend a disproportionate amount of time on my comic and see life passing by with me chained to my desk. My kids are growing up fast (18 and 21) and I don't want to miss these last few years they'll be with us. I'm considering investing (gulp) in a Cintiq Tablet which may save me some time at artwork stage. I produce very tight pencil roughs so a Cintiq would be perfect to produce the linework from.

I need to concentrate on my other illustration work more. I have completely lost interest in anything other than my comic this year which would be fine if O&Q were in 500 newspapers but not when its in just a handful. Need to advertise more and develop my style further.

All said, I still LOVE being syndicated and am very happy to be paid to do what I've always wanted to do. I love my characters and am very happy with how the strip is developing. I just hope others may one day enjoy reading it as much as I do creating it.

Here's to year three! Cheers.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

No words

I think this is my first comic with no text whatsoever. I've always thought three panels with about 20 words is perfect but four panels and no words will do.

Friday, January 01, 2010