Ollie & Quentin Book

Ollie & Quentin Book
125 pages in full colour!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ray Harryhausen

When I was young one of my neighbors owned a film studios in Shepperton, England. His name was Benny Lee and his company was Lee Electric Lighting. My brother and I were good friends with his sons, Mark and Adam, and one day we visited some studios to see an animator at work. I remember this kindly, balding man being very patient with us kids as we charged round his studio feasting our eyes on all his amazing models. I also remember being fascinated by a foot high model of a man with a spear in his belly. At the time the animator was working on a scene where a baboon was playing chess. I recall being quite disappointed it wasn't something more gruesome like a Minotaur chewing a Dinosaur or something... (I was young). He told us the movie was going to be called 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger' which I thought was a pretty cool title. Anyway, years later I realized just who it was we met. Yup, Ray Harryhausen! How lucky was I?

Monday, April 26, 2010


Some of the picture research I do throws up some ghastly and obscene photographs. Googling 'Lederhosen' produced one of the worst yet.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday strip in full

A tricky strip to get right. I spent minutes researching fart noises to find out how you spell the noise a deflating balloon makes when it whizzes around a room. I went for "PFFTHHHHH" but it could so easily have been "PBBLLLTHHH" or "THHHLLLLTHWYP".

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy 50th Birthday Tim

Tim is my cousin and best friend. It's his 50th Birthday Party tonight. Some of the happiest times of my life have been with my cousins. As kids they lived on a fantastic farm where we'd go and stay for the summer. Here we are with the Go Kart Tim owned. That's me at the back. One of the funniest things I ever saw was Tim careering out of control into a field with only his red crash helmet visible as it cut a path through the long wheat. Happy happy pre-deadline days.

Happy 50th Tim!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

Forgot to do an Earth Day comic this year (yeah, I know) so here are a couple of last year's offerings. Happy Earth Day everyone.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What are the chances?

On October 9, 1972, the mathematician Dr Jeffrey Hamilton from Warwick University wanted to show his students the effect of chance by tossing a coin. Taking a 2p coin out of his pocket, he tossed it, then watched as it hit the floor, spun round and came to rest on its edge. Dozens of students witnessed the amazing event, and after a stunned silence they all broke into wild applause. As well they might, for you don't need to be a distinguished Cambridge mathematician to postulate that none of them will see such an event again.

(In the 1993 European Journal of Physics Sir Hermann Bondi arrived at a formula which predicts that the chances of a coin landing on its edge is less than 1 in 2000).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wish I was this brave...

No planes are flying over the UK at the moment due to the erupting volcano in Iceland. There's a fine layer of dust over all our cars and Londoners are enjoying the peace and quiet of having no planes in the skies.
Every saturday I take my daughter to her singing lesson and go for a brisk walk up on the Downs overlooking Guildford while I wait for her. This morning I watched this guy take to the skies on his paraglider thingy. Boy, does that look fun and I wish I was brave enough to do it myself. How long before we see Ollie and Quentin flying about on one of these do you think?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On my drawing board at the moment...

Working for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) at the moment on some 'Spot the Dangers' Posters. Readers to this blog know that my comic strip evolved from a strip I drew for the RNLI so I owe a huge debt of gratitude to them. Here's a pencil rough for dangers you might find on a UK beach.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages

John Reid, the publisher of the excellent "Stay Tooned" has had a great idea. He's curating a comic strip exhibit to travel through five major southern cities in the coming two years. He has over 100 comic strip cartoonists contributing their original artwork for today's Sunday comic (April 11th 2010). Alongside the framed original art of the strips will be displayed the actual comics section from the newspapers across the country, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes, before-and-after experience. The first showing will begin in late May/ early June 2010. For a list of contributing cartoonists please click here. Here's mine...

I like the above comic strip idea but think the image in the final frame is a bit weak. You can see my original pencil had a pink fairy drawing but we worried this might be seen as being a bit... well, gay? My final one is a bit... well, lame?
Anyone out there who fancies having a go at a better punchline graphic please download the last version and feel free to have a go at drawing something better. Remember Ollie should be in the same pose as panel three.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Jurassic Park

This is going to be lost on anyone who hasn't seen the first excellent Jurassic Park Movie. I'm referring to the scene where the T-Rex pushes the car off the road and down into the forest below. The young boy (the role Quentin is playing) is still in the car as it lands in a tree. He then has to clamber out of the car and down the tree as the car slowly tumbles down after him. The car catches him up and he ends up back in it at the foot of the tree.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Two reasons I don't write my comic at home...

These two great Between Friends comics from Sandra Bell Lundy perfectly demonstrate why I can't write my strip at home. The lure of email, blogs, tweets etc is too great. As for sleeping, I drop off moments after opening my sketchbook. In fact, I'd be gone before panel two above. No, it has to be a busy coffee shop with some strong coffee and maybe even a screaming kid in my ear.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Space Shuttle Discovery

Three different views of a Space Shuttle launch. The first is a ground level shot at this morning's blast off, the second taken by 'Astro Soichi' from The International Space Station five hours before today's launch, and the third Ollie and Quentin's experience of a similar event. Pardon?

Bon Voyage Discovery.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

On my lunch break...

Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He acquired the lease of the house in my photo ('The Chestnuts') which is in my home town of Guildford. After his father's death Dodgson had to find a home for his six unmarried sisters and The Chestnuts was ideal.

Although Dodgson didn't live in Guildford but in Christchurch, Oxford, he was the householder and spent much of the university vacations here. In 1871 he completed the second Alice Book "Through the Looking Glass" while staying in Guildford. While spending Christmas at The Chestnuts he caught flu and died in January 1898. He is buried nearby.

During a break in my comic writing today I strolled round Guildford reminding myself of the town's link with the creator of the very weird 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. It was quite pleasant.

April Fool?

A spiralling sculpture designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor has been chosen as the monument to mark the London 2012 Olympic Games. The 115m tall piece, named the ArcelorMittal Orbit, will be placed in the Olympic Park and will be 22m higher than New York's Statue of Liberty. The £19.1m design incorporates the five Olympic rings and will offer visitors panoramic views of London. Click here for the full story.

April Fools' Day is an odd day to announce this and the name 'ArcelorMittal Orbit' is crying out for an anagram so I'm waiting till tomorrow to hear if this weird structure really is going to be part of our Olympic Park. Polls show it's not gone down well with the British public but I kinda like it.

I'll let you know tomorrow.

April Fool's Day

This is my third April first in syndication but this is the first time I've got it together to produce an April Fool's Joke.

Where's Quentin? The Answer