Crossovers in British comics aren't that common so, back in 1989, I thought I'd have a go at one. Buster editor Allen Cummings was always open to new ideas (as well as being a good bloke and one of the best editors that Fleetway/IPC/Egmont ever had) so I pitched to him the possibility of my Tom Thug strip crossing over with Mike Higgs' Thundercap within the pages of the same issue.
I'd known Mike Higgs for several years, having worked for a short time as his assistant on numerous children's books in 1983/84. Mike was also a hero of mine when I was a kid reading his fantastic Cloak strip in Pow! in the 1960s so I always considered it a privilege to work with him. Although we'd "jammed" on various Moonbird books I thought it'd be really good to combine our styles in a comic, and as we were both freelancing for Buster in 1989 this seemed the perfect time to do it.
Allen Cummings liked the idea and I set to work on the script. I always wrote my own Tom Thug scripts, but Thundercap was usually written by another Buster contributor (Roy Davis I think). Allen graciously allowed me to write both strips for the crossover. The scripts were approved (with a change to the punchline), and Mike and I set to work. I roughed out the pages in pencil, lightly indicating where Mike's characters might be, and inked in my characters (Tom Thug, teacher, classmates). If memory serves me correctly I then delivered the pages to Mike's studio in Birmingham where he added and inked his contributions. After posting off the pages to Fleetway, lettering was added by Mike Peters.
We were quite pleased with the results. Having been Mike Higgs' assistant in the past, "ghosting" his work, our styles had a certain similarity in places so the jam session turned out very smoothly. If you're interested in who did what, basically Mike drew all the Thundercap page but I drew the figures of Tom Thug and the bike, and I drew all of the Tom Thug's Skooldayz page with Mike adding Thundercap, the mouse, and the TV crew.
If you ever want to seek out a copy of the comic it appears in, it's the issue of Buster dated 15th July 1989.
|Cover by Tom Paterson|