|Final 'Adam Eterno'. LION 16/10/1976|
Sadly, nothing lasts forever and, after six years, this will be my final blog posting for the foreseeable future. It's possible I may post again at some stage but for now I'm giving up blogging to focus more on paid work.
This is something I've been considering for a few weeks now, and with today being the end of the year it seemed an appropriate time to bring down the curtain. 2012 has not been a good year. I began the year as I usually do with some optimism but, as the months went on, work became scarcer. Being a freelancer holds no guarantee of security of course and one cannot expect it to. I'm just telling it like it is.
|Final 'Indestructible Man', JAG 29/3/1969|
In previous times there would be new comics springing up to replace work that was lost, but that happens with less regularity now to say the least. Retailers aren't as hospitable towards new titles as they used to be, sales are far lower than they were in the golden age of comics, so publishers naturally have to work within limited budgets. Subsequently, the comics industry has become a more competitive place because there's less work to go 'round. By nature I'm not a competitive person, and certainly not the sort to perceive other cartoonists as rivals to be knocked down to get what I want. There used to be room for all with no need for dirty tricks, but I'm noticing that changing and it's an unpleasant shift. On the whole, the comics industry is a very friendly and relaxed place and most comics folk will look out for each other as best they can. But there's always going to be one or two who'll undercut you and/or fabricate tales to give their own career a leg up. The comics biz is too small for such slyness. People like that always get rumbled eventually.
|Final 'Two Faces of Janus', POW! 7/9/1968|
|Final 'Rubberman', SMASH! 7/9/1968|
When I started Blimey! back in December 2006 I gave no thought to how long I'd be writing it. I've never considered myself a comics 'expert' but I am enthusiastic about the history of comics. I wanted to share some thoughts about old British comics which were mainly neglected by other websites and I was very pleased with the response. (My only regret was spending some time a while back arguing with a couple of trolls and wasters here instead of ignoring them from the outset.)
|Final 'Steel Claw', VALIANT 27/10/1973|
Mention should also be made of John Freeman's Down The Tubes website, which has been running longer than Blimey! and is an excellent place to keep up with developments in the British comics industry, as is the Forbidden Planet International blog. There's also Bear Alley by Steve Holland, a true expert of British adventure comics and pulp books. Bookmark 'em all today!
If you want to keep up with any developments of my career my website will continue to operate at http://www.lewstringer.com/ and I'll try to update my Deviantart page more often over at http://lewstringer.deviantart.com/ .
I'll also be selling off more of my old artwork on eBay next year, so please keep an eye on the following link to see what I put up for auction soon. (Ironically, earlier this year I joked that I was selling off my artwork to pay my mortgage. Guess I shouldn't have tempted fate.)
Trying to end on a positive note, I'm pleased that Rasher will be continuing in The Beano for at least the next few weeks, and the next few days will be busy as I have three Smasher pages to draw for The Dandy Annual 2014 (out next summer). I also have a couple of bits and bobs coming up in BeanoMax soon, and hopefully I'll be drawing a few more pages for Viz next year too.
I should also mention that I'm on the guest list for the Bristol Comic Expo (11th-12th May 2013) so all being well I'll see you there!
|Final 'Thor', SMASH! 8/3/1969|
Anyway, there's just over 1,000 posts on this blog (with this one being No.1,003) so some of you who have discovered Blimey! in recent years may not have seen all of it. If you enter a keyword (such as Ken Reid or Eagle for example) into the search window at the top of the right hand side of this post you'll hopefully find something you're interested in that you haven't read before.
The New Year dawns tomorrow so I hope it's a prosperous one for all of us. Thanks for following this blog over the years and may 2013 bring all of us good fortune, good health, and happiness.
|Final 'The Umbrella Men', DANDY 13/8/1966|
Sad to see the end of Blimey :( I've kept with this blog since just before I moved to New Zealand in 2009 and have checked for updates almost every day! You've covered some fantastic stuff over the past few years, your collection must be incredible!
I hope you manage to pick up work in 2013, maybe you could try and get a full page in The Beano, or make a pitch to The Phoenix?
Anyway, Happy New Year, hopefully we'll see some more art in 2013!
Very sorry to hear this Lew. Do consider other revenue avenues, though - your own tablet apps, working for other industry such as the videogames sector, creating personal artwork, writing a book (it would undoubtedly be fascinating - look at the Viz editor's biog). Why not put up a PayPal contribution button on your blog?
Sorry to see the end of this blog, Lew. Always entertaining, informative and memory provoking. I hope the New Year brings you new fortune.
Well done doing 6 years of your excellent blog....I hope you do have a better year...
I'm signing on at the moment and looking for part time work to support my drawing peoples pet business/ craft fairs..so understand..
I hope you will get more help for your Mum to ease the pressure off you to give you some needed breaks now and again. Making you fresh to cope and to help your Mum.
The Beano...Dandy online..Toxic..others.I hope will use your talents more and more...lets hope job wise it will get better..
See you on facebook do keep in touch..
God bless you
Just as I rename my blog into Tales That Astonished to cover classic comics a lot more...
Always an interesting blog, I will welcome the occasional post. Old comics shouldnt be a chore. Work is all consuming for most of us. Take to a bit of writing from time to time for a bit of relaxation, rather than as something you have to do.
Best of luck with it all.
Good luck, mate, tough times indeed. Greatly enjoyed the blog!
All the best for you in 2013, Lew.
You've always been one of the good guys Lew! I'll miss your blog, but will continue to watch out for your work with interest. Here's hoping that 2013 will be a kinder year to you and your mum.
Blimey, good luck, Lew - Suicidal Syd and the Pathetic Sharks are always a highlight, so there'll always be Viz if the kids decide that even the Beano's not good enough for them.
Thanks a lot for the link to my blog too, didn't realize you read it! I'm sitting on a few bits you did for Zit around 20 years ago, it'll be featured at some point in 2013.
Cheers for running this one for the past few years, there's been a few things pop up on here that I'd never heard of but are now near the top of my wish list, so there's that!
See you around, and about.
Best of luck, challenging times indeed. Greatly experienced the blog!
MDF | Veneered MDF
I'm a big fan of this blog too and am sad to see it go, but I understand.Though I do wish you find time to add some stuff from time to time.
As Joey once said in Friends no no no to much is changing around here. That said I understand your reasons Lew. Your blog has always been a daily routine for me & will be sadly missed, but on the plus point we have some new Smasher to look forward to, I really hope 2013 pans out well for you Lew on a work & personal Level.
Thanks for rekindling some happy childhood memories over the past six years...
It was sad to read your last post, I hope and wish 2013 will be a year of a new start for you and things will improve soon. I’ve been a regular reader of Blimey! for some four or five years and will miss your informative posts. Good luck!
Sorry to see what I hope is a temporary end to your blogging, Lew. Blimey! has always been a great port of call and the posts will remain a useful reference source.
Sorry to hear about your troubles, Lew. Hope you and your mum are well.
The blog has always been an interesting and entertaining read for me, and as you supposed, I haven't read all of it so it isn't the end of my trawl through your brain juices just yet, though I hope you can rejoin us soon in the thankless world of blogging.
No ending panels from One Cat and His Cod? There was something in my eye when I read that...
All the best!
Sorry to hear this, Lew, but sometimes these decisions are the only ones left for us to make.
Thanks for all the work you did on this blog. It's a great resource for anyone interested in the history of British comics, and it inspired me to start my own blog. Hope you do find time for the occasional post in the future.
All the very best to you for 2013.
Sorry to hear that you are giving up on the blog for now. I want to thank you for all you have posted here. It has been a daily stop-off point for me for years now.Despite all of life's ups and downs, I am an eternal optimist so I am confident that Blimey! will return some day soon. Wishing you all the best for the future. Thanks again!
Thanks all. Your messages are very much appreciated.
I'm sorry to hear this Lew, I have been enjoying your blog for perhaps about a year now and have found the content interesting and informative. I really hope you will be able to find work and can still create some funny comic strips.
Very sad to see this end, Lew. The blog was never less than informative and entertaining, and I'd like to thank you for all the support you gave Crikey! over the years. Hope 2013 treats you better.
Sorry to see the end of this blog Lew, it was great source for anyone interested in British Comics. All the best in 2013!
In the best Brit comics tradition, I suppose this should really have been titled "great news, readers!"
I can only echo what others have said. I always enjoyed reading this blog and will feel its absence keenly, but wish you all the best in all your other endeavours.
Sorry to hear this Lew, your blog was always interesting and informative.
Hopefully the new year will bring you some new avenue's work wise.
All the best and a Happy New Year to you and your mum.
Oh damn. A shame. I used to maintain a blog myself and quite easily found it to be taking over all of my free time. I give it up though when I moved jobs as it was work related. Thanks for all the effort Lew. It's been well received. In particular I'd like to thank you for the info you have provided regarding Ken Reid's work during the 60s Oldhams period - it's helped me to track a few issues to treasure. I have enjoyed reading your posts and look for them daily. it will be sad to see them go but I understand you need have a life as well. Take care, Andy.
It's always been a pleasure, Lew. Thanks for all the great memories and stories that you have shared.
I've always liked this blog. Thanks for doing it.
I will miss your blog greatly. I've learned so much about British comics from you, and pointed several other Yanks toward your postings for info about the great stuff produced in the UK.
Best of luck in your freelance work and with caring for your mother.
Actually, this gives me a sense of deja vu because 30 years ago I gave up doing my fanzine (Fantasy Express) to focus on finding a career in comics. In some ways I feel like I'm starting from scratch again. Thanks again for all your considerate thoughts folks! It means a lot.
Sad to see this Blog go as it's my very favourite. I completely understand your reasons though.
Good luck to you and your family for the New Year Lew. Hope some new work pitches up soon. Today's current crop of comics will be poorer without a Lew Stringer strip inside them.
I help out in the local Junior school and always make sure the wet play box is crammed full of comics. The children loved your strips. I even saw a 'Kid Cops' comedy sketch in the School Talent Contest where they arrested the Head Master (played by a child) for giving a boring assembly!
That's great to hear, David. I wish I'd thought of that Kid Cops plot! :)
I'm also pleased to hear your school still has 'wet day comics'. I have happy vivid memories from the 1960s of similar at my old infant and junior schools. (I remember reading Aquaman, Metal Men, and Hawkman in infant school, and TV21, Look & Learn, and Super Adventure Annual at junior school. A mate and I used to play at being Johnny Quick in the playground the next day, reciting the formula and running around as fast as we could.)
HAPPY NEW YEAR, bud!
First of all love to your Mum - I hope you are able to get some help with her care soon.
I also hope your fortunes change with work ASAP in 2013. I'll keep my eyes and ears open for you.
Like everyone else here I hope this is only a temporary thing and you manage to get back to Blogging again very soon.
Charles Yoakum did a similar thing a year or two back and is now back Blogging, so hopefully that will be the case here too.
You were the catalyst in me beginning my own Blog back when lots of folks were asking why I wasn't Blogging. Your optimistic and positive writing style has always been a joy to read and is something I try to instill in my own Blogging.
Good Luck in your future endeavours and keep in touch, mate - you know where I am.
Really sorry to read the last post - this is such a good blog! I hope everything shines in 2013. Simon
A long term (mostly) "silent" reader of your blog and so like so many I am sorry to see it go (also used to get your fanzines from time to time in the 70s as well) - I am more sorry to hear your work situation (and the situation that seem to have occurred around this) with your talent that surely wont last long - take care - Capt Haggis
All the best Lew, hope to see you here again one day, in the meantime I'll be reading Viz...
I've rarely commented here, but I've always enjoyed reading this blog and I shall miss it. I hope your fortunes improve during this coming year, and you're able to find both a decent amount of work for your able talents and also the help you need in caring for your mother. (In terms of output, I guess Combat Colin remains in Marvel's vaults rights-wise, but if not I'd happily pay for a digital compilation of the strip, and I'm sure many others would too.)
Will miss looking at your blog Lew - I hope to follow your other ventures in the future. All the best.
As a long-term reader I just wanted to say thanks and to wish you well for the future.
So sorry to hear you're calling time on the blog. As I've said to you before, you've been an influence and inspiration to me in my own career, and i always look to you as something of an authority on British comics. There's nothing I can say here that hasn't already been said in all the comments and well-wishes, but i too really hope 2013 is a good one for you. You're absolutely one of the best comic writers and artists we have, and you deserve to be in every comic there is (as well as all those we desperately need to begin in the near future).
Thanks again folks.
Craig, Marvel returned the rights of Combat Colin back to me years ago. He's since appeared in a small press comic or three, as a guest star in Brickman (in Elephantmen) and in a new strip in Aces Weekly. One of these days I'll compile the old strips into a book (or most likely two volumes).
Lew - why not work them into an iPad iBook: quick and easy to do and you get to keep 70 per cent of the profits you make from it. As Craig says, people will buy it and its far cheaper than producing a book.
I know a lot of people who, like myself, don't have an iPad so I'm not keen on doing a digital version. Also, it'd still take up the same amount of time to scan the pages and produce the book, do new covers, etc.
I definitely want to do it in paper form, along with some other comics reprinting some of my older material. Printing isn't that expensive these days for short print runs. I'll get it sorted out one of these days, but paid work for the big guys has to take priority first.
Sad to see the end (for now) of this outstanding blog. All the best for 2013!
Hi Lew ,
Sorry to hear you're leaving us. But look at the legacy you've left us! Six years of quite fantastic posts. I've enjoyed them all and learned a lot. Take care of yourself and your Mum. That's number one priority. Am sure there is something around the corner workwise , so chin up. Best of luck and once again , many thanks ,
Truly sorry to see this excellent blog go, it rekindled my interest in british comics. I hope things improve for you in 2013 Lew and we all see you here again in the not so distant future - rich
Your blog has been informative, interesting and always a very good read. I hope 2013 pulls around for you especially as regards your mother.
Regards, Ken Garrett.
Blimey, 46 replies, I think that speaks volumes about how much this blog will be missed.
A great shame to not only hear that 'Blimey...' is ending, but also that such a talented and long-serving UK comics creator is struggling. It is hard being freelance - times are tough (here too). Here's hoping there are good things to come for you in 2013, Lew. Don't disappear! And thanks for a truly fantastic, well-researched, informative, and level-headed blog. You deserve good things.
A big shame.
Your blog has always been a great reference source. I remember finding a post about football comics when I was doing some Bogies football strips. It proved invaluable in getting the language right. Thanks. It made me look like i had a clue what I was doing.
Good luck for 2013 to you Lew and all us other freelancers(!) - I've enjoyed reading this blog over the years - it's nice to catch up with some of the characters from our comic reading youth...
Best of luck in 2013, Lew. I've enjoyed the heck out of Blimey!
all the best for the future Lew, have loved reading your blog for many years.
So sorry to read that the blog is finishing but wish you all the best Lew with everything.Thank you for all that you have done.
I will be following your web-site.
I'm sorry that your blog is to close, and hope that things are better for your and yours in 2013.
Thanks again, everyone. These comments are very touching. I'm happy to see that people enjoyed the blog.
Long-time lurker, first-time commenter: the blog will be sorely missed, Lew. Best of luck.
Just revisited the blog, hoping you'd changed your mind. You know maybe you can post just once a month.
Lew, I hope this break is only temporary and that 2013 brings some new opportunities your way. You will be sorely missed as is testified by the sheer volume of good wishes. Good luck and best wishes.
Thanks Wesley, Peter.
@Gary/Jack, I tried something like that a while ago but I soon got sucked back into posting regularly. Better to make a clean break I think.
Hopefully people will still visit the blog to read any posts they may have missed and use it for reference. And I'll still reply to comments on the various topics of course.
Thanks you for the six years and hope things work out work wise. I completely understand your reason hope your mother gets better.
Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2013, Lew. Thanks for all the posts over the years - hope you feel like returning to it someday.
If the commenters on here put up £20 each, we could raise about £1,000 as a thank you to Lew for the pleasure the blog has given us over the years.
That's extremely thoughtful of you David but I'd feel too embarrassed to accept such generosity. Work has picked up a little this week, as I have six pages for The Dandy Annual 2014 to draw.
I'm also thinking up my next script for Viz which hopefully they'll go for. If it all pans out this should be a very busy month.
Maybe your blog could have a donate button like some artist do like John K (ren and stimpy) then it could be another income and we get to see your blog posts again..
just an idea!
Anyway I'm glad you have many people missing your blog..
Just bought Bear alley books on Lion index and history..an item i'm sure you would of covered on here...its not easy to let you go..
I hope your year will be a fruitful one..
I dunno, Peter. A donate button feels too much like begging to me, and I've never been one to ask for favours. Thanks for the thoughtful suggestion though.
Even on a practical level, I doubt a donate button would bring in anything significant and I'd then be obliged to continue blogging even if it only brought in a couple of quid a week. It'd be counter-productive as I'd be neglecting my artwork just to blog.
As I said, nothing lasts forever, but there's over 1,000 posts here so hopefully people can still use it as reference.
Long time reader - only commented a few times, but can I take this oppertunity to say I will genuinely miss this blog. Loved saving up a few posts and reading them in particularly quiet moments at work.
I hope you do return to blogging one day when you have more time to spare. You have too much knowledge and wit to let us eagar readers go without.
All the best for the future. I hope things pick up for you soon, and a better 2013.
Thanks Chris. I can't see me return to blogging anytime soon though.
Sounds like a plan. I hope the new year turns out to be better for you and yours than the last one was. One way or another, I'm sure you'll be putting smiles on faces.
This blog has been a regular pleasure for some time now, and I imagine its archive is something I'll be dipping into for a fair while yet.
For one example among many, that post on Tom Browne is a really inspiring read and a great thing to have on the internet.
All the best, Lew, and more power to your elbow.
Such a sad piece of news to hear - I really enjoyed reading this blog and found your blog posts fascinating to read as unlike most comic blogs, they covered a wide range of comic years. You were the person who inspired me to make a comic blog in the first place and to know the blog I love to read in my spare time won't have any more updates is a really sad thing to hear.
Thank you for being such an inspiration and for making my evenings of reading so entertaining - I wish you all the best of luck in the future and I hope 2013 will be a brilliant year for you. :)
All the best,
- Harry Rickard
Thank you Harry.
This blog will be missed by all of us.
I cam to your blog only recently, but have hugely enjoyed it, and will continue to do so. My wife is a part time blogger, so I quite agree that when effort > enjoyment, it is time to stop. Two quick comments though. (1) The internet model is different from the traditional one. Readers expext that any blog which is making more than 15-20k views a month will try to monetise its content, usually via adverts. People are willing to pay to have theses removed. Some quick examples would be Penny-arcade which recently raised over $500,000 on kickstarter to remove adverst from its site. Another example might be slashdot which has a subscription feature to remove adverts. These of course are not viablae choces for smaller blogs, and so it is common to have a dontae feature isntead. Its not begging, it is the standard internet model. It doesn't require you to keep producing blog posts. YOu have already provided over 1000. A dontae button simply allows some readers to acknowledge that if they had found a 1,000 page book by you in a shop they would have been willing to pay for it. The internet has a funny honour system that way. It allows users to pay what they think the content is worth. This is not unusual, it is the norm. (2) You might also consider self publishing ebooks via the internet. This is easy to do, through amazon for example. I know that Colin recently went digital via acesweekly. Maybe you could consider self publishing brickman through amazon. Removing the physical print allows you to drop the price into the "impulse purchase" range. eg sell ebook brickman for £3.99. Or perhaps split it into 2 vols at £1.99 each to really cathc the impulse buyers. Whatever you do, I'll keep enjoying your work, and I wish you an enjoyable and productive year.
Interesting. I hadn't looked at it that way. Thanks Tiniebras, I'll consider it.
Damn, apologies for seeing this so late Lew, been following your posts for about three years or so now and enjoyed every minute of it, thanks ever so much.
Good luck with your mum and I hope 2013 won't be as grim as expected. I'll still be searching through the Beano to read your stuff first and I'm keeping Blimey on my rss, just in case. Thanks for some interesting posts and for taking the time to reply to some of my comments over the years.
Thanks Barry. I've got quite a bit of work on at present so I hope it continues.
I've been a silent lurker on here for a long time, and only recently have I posted any comments.
I just wanted to say thanks for all your hard work. It wasn't just appreciated by everyone...it was loved too. And I think the huge amount of gratitude coming your way reflects that.
I have a huge amount of respect for you and everyone else in your profession, as you're doing a job I always wanted to do as a kid (but sadly lacked the skills to go any further than a hobby).
Good luck in the future and thanks for sharing :-)
Thank you, Jon. That's very kind of you. Everyone's comments are very much appreciated and have been very encouraging.
Work has picked up recently and I'm very busy now for the next few weeks at least, I'm happy to say. Don't know how the rest of the year will pan out but 2013 is off to a good start anyway.
I came here to find some interesting new article, and got quite a shock. However, I think you'll be back one day, and look forward to it. I like Tiniebras' ideas, and hope that you find more avenues to exploit your talents. Best wishes, Graham.
Lew, I've LOVED your blogs over the past few years and sad they've now come to an end , but I would just like to add a great big THANK-YOU from me for all the enjoyment you've given me! Cheers, John.
I'm touched by all the warm comments here. I really appreciate everyone's good wishes.
Hopefully I will post on occasion, even if it's only a handful of times a year. I'm also thinking of starting a new blog just focusing on my own work, past and present, which will be updated once a month or whenever.
Hello Mr Stringer! This summer (2013) I am publishing my line of Independant comic books and I would like you to review and promote them on this blog please, be so kind. Therel be one maybe two comics in July followed by three in Septemver, non superhereo but hard SF with a twist. What I'm looking for is for you to review them with critics of around 8,000 words that I will then use as bonus feature in second issues. (Second issues out for Christmas maybe January 2014.) I will send you PDF of the cmics in July for review here. In return I will give your blog a mention in every issue of my comics to bring you more hits. This is the way the comics community can help each other and a name like yours will be useful to help a struggling newcomer on his path to glory and fame, maybe! I know you will not dissapoint. In thery I'm looking to publish monthly through 2014 so a regular review slot by you here will be just what we need. I will send you PDF and links.
Sorry, HSFcomicsUK, but if you read the post above you'll see that I won't have time. I will be posting one final update shortly but I won't be reviving this blog for the sort of regular reviews you're asking / demanding.
Sorry that I haven't seen this blog till now (March 1st) and sorry to hear the circumstances. Hoping things pick up. Speaking as someone who's only had random comics work since he left The Beano, I know what it's like and if I could help I would.
I like the picture you paint of comic creators not being a cut-throat competitive bunch and I think you're right. Let's hope we inherit the earth or at least see some sort of pick up in the business soon.
Solidarity, and all the best
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