Saturday, August 30, 2014

Original art for sale

A quick note that one of my original Viz pages is on eBay at the moment and the bids ends on Sunday evening (UK time). It's a complete Suicidal Syd page, black ink on Bristol Board. (Adult humor.) All bids appreciated, and if you are going for it, good luck! 

Click here to visit my eBay site. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sheffield Film and Comic Con

A quick reminder that it's the Sheffield Film and Comic Con this weekend at the Motorpoint Arena. Now I'm hoping to attend tomorrow but I'm pretty busy at the moment with deadlines for Monday morning so it all depends on how much I get done tonight. 

Not that I'm complaining about being busy of course, but it's typical that I've a lot on just as I was scheduled to be at the con. 

Anyway, hopefully I'll be there tomorrow. Here's a few other comics folk who will be attending: Nick Percival, Yishan Li, Al Ewing, Paul Grist, Lee Sullivan and Staz Johnson. (Dave Taylor and Ian Edgington were also due to attend but they've both had to cancel.)

From the world of TV and film: Eve Myles, Anthony Head, Paul McGann, Sophie Aldred, and many more.

For full details, check out the event's website:

Alan Moore, Channel 4

Screen grab from the interview. © Channel 4 News
Last week the ever-brilliant Alan Moore was interviewed on Channel 4 News about his new film. Now the five minute interview has been uploaded to the news channel's official You Tube page, so if you missed it you can watch it here: 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jim Petrie 1932 - 2014

Sad news in the comics industry this week with the passing of humour artist Jim Petrie on Sunday 24th August. If you read The Beano in the last four decades of the 20th Century you'd certainly know his work, for he was the main artist on Minnie the Minx from 1962 until his retirement in the year 2001.

Jim Petrie was assigned the task of taking over Minnie the Minx from the great Leo Baxendale, but rather than simply ghost Leo's style Jim added his own flourishes to the strip. Minnie the Minx under Jim Petrie was distinctly his own strip, and his lively, energetic pages conveyed a sense of pure fun and enjoyment. 

Jim Petrie's pages were always a pleasure to behold. The body language of his characters kept the strips alive and entertaining. Whether drawing slapstick scenes or quieter moments, Jim handled it like a true master. 

You can read a proper obituary of Mr.Petrie over at Steve Holland's blog here:

A memoriam on John Freeman's Down the Tubes site:

...and The Beano itself have a nice tribute to him on their website:

I've selected a few pages of Jim Petrie work from my comics collection to show here. (Click on each image to read it full size.) Firstly a lively slapstick Minnie the Minx from The Beano No.1246 (June 4th 1966)...

Next, Minnie wants to be Billy the Cat in this story from The Beano No.1396 (April 19th 1969)...

Some great reaction shots in this Minnie strip from The Beano No.1495 (March 13th 1971)...

One of my favourite 1960s strips was The Sparky People that Jim drew every week. Excellent expressions in this one from Sparky No.223 (April 26th 1969)...

...and smashing cartoon work in this one from Sparky No.226 (May 17th 1969)...

Finally, a Minnie the Minx full colour page from The Beano Summer Special 1994...

My condolences to Mr.Petrie's family and friends at this sad time. I hope they can find comfort in the fact that his work brought happiness and good cheer to millions of children for nearly 40 years. Rest In Peace Jim Petrie. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

This week in 1965: TV Century 21 No.31

This is the issue of TV21 that was published exactly 49 years ago today, on Wednesday 25th August 1965. I can tell you with certainty that the weather was absolutely throwing it down with rain that day. How? I remember that this issue got soaked on the way back from the shops and we had to dry it out in the bathroom for a few hours. (This isn't the copy I had back then by the way. That's long gone. This is one I bought in the 1980s.)

Perhaps due to that soggy escapade I can remember a lot of scenes from this issue even after all those years. Anyway, let's have a look inside...

As was the case with that first year of TV21, the comic kicked off with two pages of Burke's Law, drawn by Paul Trevillion, based on the US TV series...

Turn the page and the impact of Mike Noble's superb artwork on Fireball XL5 was a joy to behold. TV21 really knew their audience. When we as young children were watching Gerry Anderson's puppet shows we weren't really noticing that they were wooden marionettes moving awkwardly on strings. In our imaginations this is the sort of impression those shows presented to us, and the strips in TV21 captured that dynamic excitement perfectly. 

Special Agent 21 on page 7 was an excellent originated strip that not only tapped into the spy fad of the sixties but also tied into the Anderson universe. Art by Rab Hamilton...

Also reflecting the spy fad was this competition. I had that James Bond cap gun but I don't recall a holster with it. My version came with a plastic 'silencer' to fit onto the end of the metal gun barrel. (As seen in the case set shown.) 

My Favorite Martian was a full page humour strip on page 9, based on the American TV comedy show. I never saw this show at all when I was a kid, so perhaps it was only shown in selected regions or it clashed with something on the other channel. Art by Bill Titcombe.

TV21's big selling point in that first year was Stingray, superbly illustrated by Ron Embleton across the centre-spread of the comic. 

Page 13 and a couple of ads. At the top is one of the many anti-smoking strips that appeared in comics at the time. (You can see more of them at this link.) 

Pages 14 and 15; Supercar, drawn by Bruno Marraffa I believe...

Pages 16 and 17 gave us more superb full colour (a rarity in British comics of the time) with Eric Eden's excellent Lady Penelope serial.

Page 18 featured a variety of snippets including Zoony the Lazoon...

...and this cartoon playing on the Police Box aspect of Doctor Who. I presume 'Ronald' is a reference to Ronald and Reginald, the notorious Kray Twins. (Update: No, of course it's a reference to Ronnie Biggs, of the Great Train Robbery, who was on the run. Thanks for the reminder, Marko!)

On the back page in its usual position, The Daleks, illustrated by Richard Jennings. Fantastic stuff! 

Was it any wonder that TV21 became such a big hit with kids in 1965? This was the must-have comic for children across the UK. Even today, it remains my favourite adventure comic. I hope you enjoy these strips on this soggy Bank Holiday Monday, just as I enjoyed them 49 years ago on an even wetter day!
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