Two years ago I drew my first parody ad for The Dandy. It was my success in Madverts which led me to try drawing Puzzle pages, and if it wasn’t for them I’d still be working in retail.
I owe my new career to a little dead horse. Here’s why…
After The Punslinger ended in The Dandy I had no work left on the ‘to do’ pile, my last round of (admittedly poor) pitches had all been rejected and so I sent off the last 3 Punslingers with a note attached asking for tips on pitching successfully. They suggested I tried pitching a spoof advert, or ‘Madvert’ as they call them. So on 20th September 2011, I sent this:
“Here are some Madvert ideas: – My Little Zombie Full page retro Hasbro style Children’s toy advert for a zombie version of My Little Pony, featuring detatchable limbs, a scratch and sniff saddle with real stinky smells, glow in the dark zombie eyes and a deranged lust to eat the living. The perfect toy for girls AND boys! *batteries not included, as she is undead!”
I sent this with two other ideas, one for a spoof generic movie poster called ‘Kids Movie: In 3D’ and another for a Pop Star finishing school.
Just over a week later I sent in my very first Madvert. The idea was inspired jointly by the fact that I’d been selling my girlfriend’s collection of My Little Pony toys on eBay (don’t worry, she knew. I’m not evil) and my life-long love of horror movies. I was spending a lot of my time immersed in Applejacks and Princess Ponies, researching their names and release year etc, so I had just about had enough of the the rubbery equine berks. The first of many Madverts was born, and it was great fun to draw.
I was quite surprised they printed this, as it’s quite gory, but compared to the ultra-violence in The Beano‘s Meebo & Zuky it’s quite tame. Plus, it’s a zombie horse.
Every single line of this is hand drawn, there was no computer trickery other than a bit of tidying up. It took a ridiculous amount of time to do, as I recall. About 18 hours I think, as my knackered PC was struggling with the detail. If I could re-do it I would probably do it very differently, but I’m still fairly happy with the end result and I got a lot of positive feedback from it.
I’m a big fan of Halloween, it’s like my Christmas. I was so happy to have some work in the Halloween issue. I did more the following year and was meant to be in last year’s Halloween Beano too, more on that in another blog…
This Madvert set the tradition of my horror themed work, which continued with a Curse Of The Cher Wolf puzzle a few months later and carries on up to this day with Zombears: Night Of The Living Ted, Fansylvania (featuring Justin Beaver), World War Zzz, Horrorscopes and this recent Jedward/Walking Dead mash-up.
This year’s Halloween Beano should be packed with my diabolical doodlings, including a brain-bashing zombie smack-down puzzle page, which sees the undead take to the wrestling ring, and two horrifyingly hilarious Madverts. Here’s a taster of one…
The Halloween issue of The Beano will be on sale either the 23rd or 30th of October in all good newsagents!