Category Archives: Comic Strips

Great News Inside!

Remember how whenever a comic would end it would always have ‘Great News Inside’ splashed across the cover, only to tell you the comic was ending that week? Well, sadly today marks my last day as a full time cartoonist. I’ll still be drawing and writing in my spare time, but just not as a career.

This last ten months has been a blast and I’ve been given the opportunity to do some amazing things and work with some amazing artists. A childhood dream came true when I was allowed to draw Minnie The Minx in the mini strips How To Train Your Parents and Breaking Dad, as well as writing for Nigel Parkinson’s Minnie in The Beano Summer Special.

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BakingDad

I was apprehensive when first asked to write both Little Plum and The Nibblers, as I wasn’t that familiar with the characters, but the inimitable Hunt Emerson (who draws both strips) is an amazing artist whose ability to take my stories to another level with his fantastic artwork has been both a jaw-dropping joy and a privilege to see. The talented swine!

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When I was offered the chance to write the iconic Gnasher & Gnipper I very nearly gnashed the Editor’s hand off, I’ve been writing most of the Gnasher strips for the past seven months for Beano legend Barrie Appleby. Seeing Barrie draw my scripts is like hearing The Beatles perform a song you’ve written.

Gnashed bits

Other highlights include writing Bash Street Kids for the legendary Dave Sutherland, Bea for Nigel Parkinson, a Grinch parody for the infuriatingly talented Laura Howell, as well as drawing puzzles featuring my all time favourite characters: Calamity James, Billy Whizz, Les Pretend, and Pup Parade.

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I also got to bring back Gnasher’s kids, Dennis’ pet spider Dasher, Walter’s pet poodle Foo Foo, make more obscure references to films than you could possibly imagine, draw Alex Matthews’ Nuke Noodle clothes-lining zombies, kill Jedward and – amazingly – bring The Dandy back from the dead…

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Next year you’ll read some of my writing in both The Beano & The Dandy Annual, which is easily the career highlight of any Beano artist or writer, but If I had to pick a current highlight, this would be it: Hunt Emerson’s Little Plum in my script of ‘The Guffalo’.

Guffalo

© DC THOMSON 2014, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

So, as I return to a ‘real job’, I just want to say thank you to Craig, Mich, John & Mark at The Beano for all the work and help they’ve given me, to Steve Beckett, Wayne Thompson, Hunt Emerson and Lew Stringer for all their advice and support and to all the readers who’ve read my work over the past ten months.

And finally, to Sarah Trinder & Andy Fanton, without whom none of this would have happened.

See you in the funny pages and remember – everyone we know loves The Beano!

pRINCE

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Filed under Andy Fanton, Barrie Appleby, Bea, Billy Whizz, Calamity James, Comic Strips, Dave Sutherland, Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Gnasher & Gnipper, Gnipper, Hunt Emerson, Lew Stringer, Little Plum, Madverts, Minnie the Minx, Pup Parade, Puzzle Pages, Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids, The Beano, The BeanoMax, The Dandy, The Gruffalo, The Nibblers, Zombies

Freshly dropped Pat for Chris R Wright.

If you’re a fan of Channel 5’s Big Brother you’ll no doubt be enjoying the antics of “loveable oddball” Chris R Wright, described by Lionel Blair as this generation’s own Rodney Bewes.

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Chris R Wright – TV’s Mr Chuckles.

Once described by Sky Movies as “Marvellously punchable”, funnyman Chris is a distinctive artist/writer/performer notable for embracing off-beat character roles in films such as Faintheart, cult horror comedies Stalled, Freak Out and Small Town Folk (which he also co-wrote and produced) and stylish British noir thriller Emulsion.

Chris recently completed work on Gutpunch, a short film with Justin Edwards (The Thick Of It, Misfits, Black Books) and Rufus Jones (Toast Of London, House Of Fools, Terry Jones in Holy Flying Circus).

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The Wright stuff – Chris’ movies, click the image to buy ’em.

In addition to his work as an actor, Chris is a professional illustrator and performs stand-up comedy with his gloriously downtrodden character ‘Pat Cancer‘, as well as putting his hand to writing and producing.

Earlier this year Chris asked me if I’d like to collaborate on some cartoon strips featuring Pat Cancer. I’ve known Chris for ages and I’m a huge fan of both his art and films, but it’s undoubtedly my love of the well-to-do weirdo Pat that made me say yes.

Pat Strip

Pat Strip 2

Pat Strip 3.2

Chris had never written comics before, but I have to say his scripts are hilarious. He sent me a shed-load and I don’t think there’s a bad one in the bunch! There’s more Pat strips to come (and I expect you’ll be seeing a lot more of Chris from now on too)!

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Pat 5

Pat Cancer 6

To celebrate Chris’ appearance in Big Brother, I roped in long-time Wright-collaborator/co-star, Stalled & Freak Out writer and Small Town Folk star Dan Palmer, to write a few Pat Cancer Big Brother specials. Here’s the first one!

Pat Cancer BB 1

You can see Chris‘ beautiful biro art HERE and why not take a moment to sit and muse with the ever genial Pat Cancer himself HERE or follow Pat on Twitter. You can also follow Chris himself on Twitter or contact him through his website.

If it’s Chris R Wright comedy clips & short films you’re after, just pop back to the start of the blog and click on all the multitude of links as you go, but here’s a little something special to leave you with – Chris’ first onscreen role!

Big Brother is on Channel 5 weeknights at 10pm or you can follow all the action from the house HERE  and HERE.

Stalled is available now on Netflix, iTunes, Blinkbox, Amazon in HMV stores on Bluray & DVD and on DVD in Asda for £5 now.

Stalled Ad Standard

 

Faintheart is available on DVD, (but is on the Film4 channel quite regularly).

Freak Out & Small Town Folk are both deleted, but available from various sellers on Amazon & eBay.

 

 

 

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Filed under Big Brother, Chris R Wright, Comic Strips, Dan Palmer, Pat Cancer, Stalled

Puzzles, panels and perilous tasks.

PHEW! It’s been a busy few months for me and The Beano! There’s a lot to get through here, so I’ll try and keep it brief!

Firstly, I’ve had 2 new mini strips start:

The latest is Animals Crossing, a daft strip revolving around the traditional “Knock, knock” joke.

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Clucking Hilarious: Animals Crossing runs for 6 weeks in The Beano.

Next up is How To Train Your Parents, which follows on from my Minnie The Minx strip ‘Breaking Dad’. This time the strip features Minnie showing you how to get your parents to do what you want and get your own way!

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Theme Park Larks: How To Train Your Parents runs for 6 weeks in The Beano.

There’s one more mini strip due soon, based around some pop-star punnery…

The last of my established-character based puzzles was printed a couple of weeks ago, featuring Jonah – the unluckiest sailor on the seven seas! In it, Jonah – oh no! It’s ‘im! – won a one way trip to an exotic tropical isle!

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A Whale Of A Time: Jonah sinks my puzzle pages with a tropical island tale.

Next up, the top brass at The Beano asked me to do a nice little puzzle page featuring lovely fluffy bunnies for Easter!

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Funny Bunnys: The header for my Radioactive Rabbit Rampage puzzle page.

There’s more daft puzzles on the way featuring yetis, Frankenstein, intergalactic imbeciles and a plethora of creatures from beyond the stars all coming soon!

Aside from all the doodling, I’ve also been busy writing Gnasher & Gnipper for artist Barrie Appleby, The Nibblers and Little Plum for Hunt Emerson and soon you’ll hopefully be seeing Dennis The Menace‘s fart-machine baby sister return to her own strip, Bea-ginnings! (I’m not sure who the artist is for that one).

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Gnoisless Gnasher: Gnasher lost his Gnash in Barrie Appleby’s Gnasher & Gnipper.

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Starstruck: Porky’s seeing stars in Hunt Emerson’s The Nibblers.

Still with me? Good. This year sees the return of The Beano Summer Special and we’ve all been busy beavering away to bring you a fun-packed, sun-packed treat. I was unexpectedly asked to write a couple of two page Minnie The Minx strips, which are to be drawn by the legendary Nigel Parkinson. Which is a bit like being asked to write a song for George Harrison, then having it recorded by all the Beatles. More on this another time.

I’m also unbelievably pleased to say I’ve been writing a couple of characters for both The Beano Annual and The Dandy Annual 2016. Yes, 2016! (The 2015 Annual hits the shops in a couple of months).

When I got the email asking if I would do it, I genuinely wrote back asking if they were joking! Writing for the Annuals really is a privilege and something I’ll be proud of for the rest of my life. It has to be the highlight of my career so far, even topping my full page strips in The Dandy, drawing Beryl The Peril for ‘Pass the Peril’ and drawing Calamity James and Minnie The Minx for The Beano. To be honest I still can’t believe it!

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Pass Out: The final part of the second Pass the Peril in 2011 on The Dandy’s Facebook page. Apologies for the shambolic shoddy lettering, I was just starting out and had yet to learn to write. Or draw!

I’m not sure why, but it’s traditional not to let on which characters you’re writing for, so I’ll keep schtum for now. All I will say is The Dandy character is easily my favourite DC Thomson character of all time…

Finally, back to The Beano weekly. I’ve just had my first four Little Plum scripts approved, which I really enjoyed writing. I’ll write a blog on them when they appear, but for now I’ll tease a bit more by saying one of the stories features my SECOND favourite DC Thomson character of all time, who, despite being a Beezer character, was regularly shoe-horned (or should that be horse shoe-horned?) into my Dandy strips…

The Beano is available every Wednesday priced £2 from all good newsagents, WH Smiths, Sainsbury’s, The Co-Op and Winter Road News, Winter Road, Portsmouth.

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Filed under Barrie Appleby, Comic Strips, Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Gnipper, Hunt Emerson, Minnie the Minx, Puzzle Pages, The Beano, The Dandy

The Only Way is Beano,

This week’s Beano sees a brief return of a patented Stu Munro Multi-Puzzle (©SMunro 2014), with ‘The Only Way Is Bash Street, in which Joey Essex off The Only Way Is Essex is sent back to school for being daft and there’s only one school daft enough to take him.

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All artwork and characters are © DC Thomson

As usual I wrote Gnasher’s Bite, in which Dad has a fight on his hands when it’s time for Gnasher’s annual visit to the vet care of Barrie Appleby.

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All artwork and characters are © DC Thomson

Hunt Emerson’s take on The Nibblers sees Whiskers’ latest plan backfire when he accidentally floods the house – WATER disaster, eh readers?

Sorry.

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All artwork and characters are © DC Thomson

On the pages not ruined by my inclusion, Smudge is back by the hand of Alan Ryan, as is Number 13. The Dave Grohl Of Comics™ – Steve Beckett – sends Grandpa on a golfing crash course, Karate Sid‘s kung foolery leaves artist Paul Palmer reeling, Laura Howell’s Les Pretend is one card short of a full deck and her Tricky Dicky suffers a Dicky tum.

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Steve Beckett’s Grandpa tees up for fun.

Lew Stringer’s Rasher is a pig that likes to dig and his Doctor Flu has a money-making scheme that’s snot what it seems. Nigel Parkinson’s Minnie The Minx is minding her manners and Dennis The Menace is taking a page out his own book. There’s rhyme and reason in Alex Matthews’ double page Ball Boy, Wilbur Dawbarn’s Billy Whizz gives his teacher the run-around and Nigel Auchterlounie’s nutty Numbskulls solve the case of what’s going on in Sherlock Holmes’ noggin.

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Lew stringer’s Doctor Flu.

Dave Sutherland’s Bash Street Kids take a chill pill, Wayne Thompson sends help for heroes via helpless hero Bananaman, there’s featherbrained larks with Hunt Emerson’s redskin chum Little Plum and Jamie Smart has been watching too much Game Of Thrones in this week’s deranged Roger The Dodger.

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The Beano issue 3720 – OUT NOW!

The Beano is available in all good newsagents, WH Smiths, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Co-Op and there’s only one copy left in the little newsagent up the road from me, so hurry up.

Also out today, the new issue of Dennis The Menace & Gnasher Megazine, which features an ace 32 page pull-out comic of me old chum Andy Fanton’s George Vs Dragon strips! Cor!

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My next puzzle won’t appear for a while – as I haven’t drawn it yet, but it will feature a beloved Beano sea-faring sailor from yesteryear…

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Filed under Alexander Matthews, Andy Fanton, Barrie Appleby, Billy Whizz, Comic Strips, Dave Sutherland, Dennis the Menace, George Vs Dragon, Gnasher, Gnipper, Hunt Emerson, Jamie Smart, Lew Stringer, Minnie the Minx, Puzzle Pages, Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids, The Beano, The Nibblers

Stop. Hammer time.

Working for The Beano (and previously The Dandy) has and always will be such a privilege. There’s nothing like the feeling you get from telling people that’s what you do for a living (after you explain the fact that people CAN draw comics for a living). It’s a childhood dream realised and something that I’ll always be proud of.

This week, however, I am especially proud – because my artwork made the cover! Connect Thor, a daft puzzle page in which the almighty God of Thunder turns into the almighty God of blunder, is featured in the lower left of the cover.

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There’s nothing as amazing as seeing your own art in printed form glaring out at you from the newsagent’s shelf. I managed it a couple of times with The Dandy (and bought multiple copies to prove it!) but hitting the front cover of The Beano is like getting a number one hit single. I just hope it’s not a one hit wonder!

Funnily enough, Connect Thor is actually a redo of my first ever puzzle for The Dandy, which I pitched on the off-chance when it was proving harder to get strips accepted. It was my first ever puzzle page – and it shows. Printed in late 2011, the art is broad and clunky, there is no shadowing, no layers, it’s made up of one solid drawing and the puzzle is remarkably easy! The ‘new’ version is made up of about 15 layers of art. Here’s the original.

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I pitched a second go at it to tie-in with the new film. in the newer version the puzzle is quite tough, the art is far better and I’ve fleshed out the premise a bit. If you want to see how far my ‘art’ has come since the early days this is a fine example. Here’s a snippet:

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I’m also pleased to say there is a second puzzle in there by me: Boy Band In Space. I’m uncharacteristically pleased with the final result on this one (though I think the contrast on my monitor might need adjusting, as it came out much darker than I thought). It’s a dumb puzzle with a silly premise, which always makes for the best puzzle pages.

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Finally, The Beano have let me loose with one of their oldest characters (and my personal favourite) Minnie the Minx. She’s the star of my new mini-strip (a Minnie mini!) Breaking Dad! Each week there’s a different pun on the title (last week was Shaking Dad, this week it’s Raking Dad) and the strip sees Minnie inflicting all manner of injuries on her long suffering Dad. Don’t worry, It bears no resemblance to the TV show which gave it it’s pun title.

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The strip runs for another 4 weeks and eagle-eyed Mum & Dad Breaking Bad fans (don’t watch it kids, there’s no cartoons or songs or anything!) will hopefully get a kick out of the forthcoming ‘Mistaking Dad’ episode…

If you’re not a fan of me, it also feature’s Andy Fanton‘s Ninja Nuns, Jamie Smart’s Roger The Dodger and a brilliantly weird Billy Whizz by Wilbur Dawbarn. The Beano is available in all good newsagents, WH Smith’s, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Co-Op and the little corner shop up the road from me priced £2.

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Filed under Comic Strips, Puzzle Pages, The Beano, The Dandy, Uncategorized

The Pitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy.

Yesterday I showed you a few of my unsuccessful pitches to The Dandy, as well as Chesney’s Hawk and The Tragic Roundabout which I made up for a laugh (though I did sneak Ches into a Justin Beaver strip once).

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Justin Beaver & Chesney Hawk, from the final Justin Beaver strip, ‘Beaver’s Got Talent’.

 Today, I’m continuing to celebrate my failures – with part 2 of my unsuccessful pitches. This time only one of them is fake, can you spot it? Enjoy:

 The Rockstarrs: Strip about a family of musicians, Dad is a Heavy Metal guitarist, Mum is a Disco Diva, the son is an Emo and the daughter is into dance music. The strip would revolve around frequent family feuds resulting from their musical differences.

Discount Dracula: Revolving around the terrifying tales of the evil Count, who due to the high cost of living, has had to take a job in his local 99p shop.

I maintain that this is the best idea I’ve ever had and will be pitching it for the 4th time later today.

Polar Bear Jones: Jones is an ordinary Polar Bear looking for food, the only problem is he’s doing it in Emily’s house and he’s not welcome. The strip would revolve around Emily, a young girl, trying to get rid of her unwanted houseguest. (Based on an old online strip I did).

Action Neighbours: Strip about 2 aging 1980s male action movie stars who have moved in next door to each other, sort of like a cross between the films Grumpy Old Men and The Expendables. The two neighbours do not get along, and use their stunts and skills to try and out-do one another at every turn.

This idea was based on the following strip, from my 2007 MySpace blog ‘I Done A Comic’:

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Dead Ted & Eddy: Light- hearted buddy strip about two best friends, the only difference here is that they’re both zombies. Think Dumb & Dumber, but Dead & Deader!

 Olympic James: A sporting strip along the lines of Owen Goal/Ball Boy, but with a young lad who is trying every Olympic Sport he can. The strips would revolve around James’ attempts to master a new sport, and the resulting chaos is would cause. An old fashioned strip with an Olympic twist.

I’m pretty sure they did this strip or something like it. Not that I’m bothered, as it was essentially Sport Billy.

Sniffer Dog In Training: Strip about a misguided Sniffer Dog who is meant to use his advanced, highly trained nose to sniff out crime, but uses it instead to sniff lamp posts, other dog’s bottoms and his next meal. Much to the annoyance of his hapless handler who gets a telling off from the Chief at the end of each strip.

Will.I.Am Shakespeare: Adventures of the Black Eyed Peas rapper turned classic play-write. Each strip would revolve around Will.I.Am rapping the plot of a Shakespeare play in modern vernacular. Word.

Laura Howell’s Will.I.Am The Conqueror currently uses a similar joke to much funnier means in The Beano.

Madvert: The Amazing Spider-Gran: Spider-Gran, Spider-Gran, does whatever a Grandma can. Knits a web, any size, bakes a cake, bakes some pies – lookout! Here comes the Spider-Gran! If you think this idea has got legs (ho ho!) I could develop it into a strip, but I think it would be a brilliant Madvert.

In fact I did try to pitch it as a strip, with Beano superfan Harry Rickard on writing duties. I produced some sample art for our pitch, sadly it was rejected again, but the art was later used in a jokes page along with more of my sample art. The design of Gran herself was reused in the board game ‘Gran Theft Auto’!

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Peter Tayto Chips: Mini strip about a magical talking bag of Cheese & Onion crisps who mysteriously comes to life and has all kids of crazy crisp adventures. I can change it to Salt & Vinegar if the readers would prefer. But not ready salted.

Stand Up Chameleon: Strip about a laughter loving lizard, telling bad jokes about reptiles “What happened to the frog who parked on double yellow lines? He got TOAD!” “What reptile lives in the Sydney Opera House? The Lizard Of Oz” etc.

 Moronic The Hedgehog: Maze based on the Sonic The Hedgehog games, where the aim is to guide a very stupid hedgehog through a trap filled maze away from the evil Professor Robottomburp.

Scarecrows: Strip involving 2 scarecrows telling bad jokes about birds, hay and being a scarecrow. One tells the jokes, the other looks on with contempt. “Why did the scarecrow win an award? For being out standing in his field” “How do you get a Scarecrow’s attention? Shout “Hay!””

When I Was Your Age: 3 panel strip about a mad Dad and a bemused son. Dad is always claiming things were all much harder when he was a lad, “When I was your age we didn’t have all these TV channels, we only had one channel. And it only broadcast a blank screen. AND that was a repeat!” “When I was your age I didn’t have a school bus, we had to walk 17 miles to school. Barefoot! In the snow! Even when it wasn’t snowing!” Etc

Olympic Maims: Puzzle Page revolving around the possible comic injuries (not too graphic, obviously) each of the Olympic events could see. 3 puzzles to the page, surrounded by images of athletes injuring themselves. The puzzles would be a ‘Who threw the javelin’ string puzzle, ‘Avoid the injured hurdlers’ maze and a ‘find two the same’ shark-infested swimming pool.

 Walt Dismal Presents: 3 Panel mini strip featuring parodies of Walt Disney’s most beloved characters, with a different parody each week, featuring: 

  • Bumbi – The little deer with chronic wind, who out-stinks his skunk friend.
  • Dumpo – The elephant with the enormous backside.
  • Cinderfella – At the stroke of midnight, Cinders turns back into Darren, a heating engineer from Birmingham.
  • Peter Pants – Peter thwarts the evil Captain Hook, with a wedgie.
  • Lady & The Trump – A date between the classy Lady and downtrodden Tramp goes awry, when Lady let’s one rip!
  • Hairy Poppins – The Banks children don’t much care for their new babysitter, a 6 foot ape in a dress.
  • Winnie The Poop – Christopher Robin should watch where he steps in the hundred Acre Wood…
  • Lunchbox Of Notre Dame – The bells the bells! He’s got a hunch that must mean it’s lunch.

I pitched that one about a week before The Dandy‘s Twisted Fairytales strip started. Great minds think alike. Though they included Cinderfella and Winnie The Poop, sadly they didn’t adapt Dumpo.

That’s the end of part 2. Don’t forget all these ideas (except one) are genuine pitches I sent to The Dandy between June and August 2012. All characters, concepts and stories, no matter how dreadful, are copyright me 2013. If you steal them and make a million pounds off them I want at least a fiver and a copy of the 3rd volume of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series on DVD as compensation. I’ve already got parts 1 and 2.

I’ll reveal the fake pitch in the next post, along with a few more ditched pitches…

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Filed under Comic Strips, Justin Beaver, Madverts, Parodies, Pitching, Puzzle Pages, Spider-Man, The Beano, The Dandy

Life’s A Pitch.

Here’s a few of my rejected pitches from The Dandy. Obviously, they’re all fantastically brilliant ideas – they probably just didn’t have enough room to fit them all in. *Ahem*.

I think if you include a couple of crappy ideas it will make the good ones seem even better, hence why some of them are dreadful. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! Some of the pitches have accompanying art, some don’t. Hidden in the list somewhere are a couple of ridiculous fake pitches I’ve made up for a lark. See if you can spot them…

Bill The Budgie: 3 panel mini strip inspired by Garfield/Snoopy etc in which increasingly frustrated pet owner, Howard, insists his pet bird is hilarious in order to try and get a TV show/movie and fame. Bill has other ideas, refusing to be funny, and by behaving exactly as a bird does – just chirping. (This was based on an old comic strip Andy Fanton & I did when we were 16!)

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Come Dine With Dandy: 3 Panel Mini-strip featuring Dandy characters old and new serving up a (not always delicious) meal for a cartoon version of the Editor, with funny results – Desperate Dan promises an exotic sounding ‘Ringlets of tender Boeuf incased in an exquisite golden baked savory case’, only to find it’s Cow Pie. Brassneck will promise Nut Cutlets, only to reveal it’s Nuts and Bolts cutlets etc.
 
Lucky Happy Cat: 3 panel mini-strip about a Japanese Maneki Neko cat (the happy waving cats seen in takeaways etc), only this cat brings nothing but bad luck and no-one is pleased to see him. The cat himself remains unharmed, but those he comes into contact with suffer all manner of misfortune, much to their confusion and annoyance.
 
Popstar Wars: Full page strip similar to that of the Little Celebs, where the main characters change, featuring a town/street full of popstars who are all out to get to number one and get one over on their famous neighbours. Stories might include Katy Perry bragging about charity work only for Lady GaGa to donate all her mad clothes to a charity shop. Beyonce being all over the celeb magazines annoying Cheryl Cole, so she goes out trying to get ‘papped’ – only to be snapped in embarressing situations. Katie Price’s quest for another celebrity boyfriend ending up with her marrying Jedward etc etc
 
Dr. Beaky: Animal Doctor: 3 panel mini-strip about a duck who is a doctor. The strip revolves around ‘Doctor Doctor…’ type jokes, only with animals at the centre. A pun-centric strip about a ‘Ducktor’ diagnosing ‘mallardies’. Such as the dog with measles that turns out to be a dalmatian, he tortoise who wont shell out for treatment, a cat that barks who turns out to be a fish, a mouse who claims he’s got an unusually long tail – but takes 3 hours to explain the story it turns out he had a long tale instead and so on.

Windy Pops: 3 panel mini-strip about a flatulent father embarrassing his two kids by purposefully breaking wind at inappropriate moments, such as weddings, school plays, Christmas dinner, at funerals etc. Dad is a fun loving character, and would be the focus for the laughter. The two kids frustration would be the driving force behind Dad’s bum-gas bomb, and it would all be in good fun. Though possibly not good taste! 

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Tom Bowler: 3 panel mini-strip about a useless magician whose tricks always blow up in his face, much to the amusement of his crowd.

Scampers Through The Universe: Full page strip about an ordinary house-cat, named Scampers, whose cat flap transports him through time and space, where he fights crime, aliens and foes throughout history, all before dinner time. At home Scampers is an ordinary house cat, in space he is a humanised Captain of the Galacticat – a solo spacecraft he flies to adventure… and BEYOND!

Note: This strip was pitched before Star Cat in The Phoenix (which has a faintly similar premise), and was repitched again a few months later as…

Scampers Through Time:  Full Page Strip, whenever Doug strokes his cat Scampers the wrong way, they travel through time. The only issue with this is that Scampers doesn’t care and Doug is an idiot. This strip would be in wacky and fun in tone, being based more on the fun that can be had rather than the educational nature of it. In the first strip, Doug ends up in Victorian London. He can’t get his mobile to work, so goes into a phone shop. The phone shop turns out to be Sweeny Todd’s barber shop and Doug is in for a close shave. Meanwhile, Scampers is chasing what he thinks is a mouse, only for it to turn out to be a disease ridden rat.

 Scampers Through Time is quite similar to Nuke Noodle, which started in The Dandy a few weeks after I pitched this. Nuke Noodle was different, however, by cleverly being funny – something I omitted from this pitch.

House Bunny: 3 panel strip about a cute rabbit looking for a place to live. The bunny looks around celebrity homes and famous buildings, before getting booted out by their owners or falling foul of their reputation – Yvette Fielding’s house is haunted, the bunny gets lost in Posh Spice’s shoe cupboard labyrinth, is made to walk the plank at Johnny Depp’s house, is literally booted out of Wayne Rooney’s house etc.

Jack Sparrow: 3 panel mini-strip about a brave sea-faring sparrow, who has to fight off the evil seagulls, battle ferocious waves and travel the world in search of his beloved ‘treasure’. As the strip progresses to a conclusion, we would find his treasure is actually a bird table in some-one’s garden. Jack Sparrow is inspired by the character from the Pirates Of the Caribbean movies.

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Chesney’s Hawk: 3 Panel mini-strip about a little lad and his wise-cracking pet hawk. Chesney uses his well-trained hawk pal to get out of trouble, such as when the school bully strikes, hawk flies up behind him and gives him a wedgie! The lad and his bird will be best friends, and everyone loves hawk who is a sort of local hero character. Like ‘Kes’, but he doesn’t die at the end.

Fan Girl: Full Page Strip. Fan Girl is like everyone’s sister growing up – she is psychotically besotted with every boyband, teen heart throb and movie star around. The difference here is that she thinks she has super powers, and it is her duty to protect her beloved stars from the nefarious evil doers of the World. The stars themselves are scared of Fan Girl and will do anything to get away from her, usually putting them in more danger.

Doctor Whoops: 3 Panel Mini Strip. This strip would revolve around an extremely accident prone version of Doctor Who, with him ruining alien plots and thwarting bad guys entirely by accident. I see this as a kind of mash-up of Doctor Who and Calamity James. Extremely silly and full of violent slapstick.

Mouse Matt: 3 Panel Mini Strip. The adventures of Matt, the amazing boy who can turn into a mouse. Except he can’t, he only thinks he can, and everyone around him knows it. Matt will try to needlessly help out in any situation by turning into a mouse, and failing miserably. In the first strip, there is a bank robbery. Matt claims he will turn into a mouse and scare the robbers down an alleyway. Instead, the police trip over him as he’s crouching down. The last panel is him in jail saying “I’ll turn into a mouse and escape through these bars!” He is an idiot.

Hostbusters: Madvert, play on the Ghostbusters brand, but capitalising on the irritating omnipresence of today’s TV hosts. The Madvert would feature normal people trying to go about their life but being interpreted by various TV hosts, much to their dismay. The dialogue would read “Are you plagued by Ant & Dec in the night? Do experience feelings of Noel Edmonds in your basement or attic? Are you troubled by Brucie while you’re trying to do the washing up? If the answer is yes then don’t delay, call the professionals: who ya gonna call: Hostbusters! They ain’t afraid of no host”.

Transyvanian Families: Madvert parody of the inexplicably popular range of girls toys, featuring small woodland creatures going about their business in a small town. The Madvert would feature a typical Hammer Horror castle, which opens up to reveal all the fun things you can do inside (like the larger houses in the actual toy range). The castle will include a mad scientists lab, a dungeon, a graveyard, trap doors, torture chamber, kitchen complete with witch’s cauldron, haunted paintings and and artifacts room full of mummies etc.

Curse Of The Cher Wolf: 3 Panel Mini Strip. Mini strip revolving around chart topping headache on legs, Cher Lloyd. The premise is simple, she’s a werewolf (ala MTV’s Teen Wolf revamp, Twilight etc) which makes appearing on TV shows and doing gigs rather problematic for her. The werewolf side comes out whenever Cher is angry or in trouble, or just at inopportune moments. The first strip would see Cher appearing a chat show, the host, Johnathan Ross, asks Cher about her single, the other guest (Ricky Gervais) says he doesn’t like it and it’s rubbish. Cher ‘wolfs out’ and eats Ricky whole. The last panel is the wolf with Ricky’s legs sticking out of its mouth scowling at Jonathan, who says “Errm.. I thought it was gweat!”

This was the second time I’d pitched Curse Of The Cher Wolf, demoting it from full page strip to a mini strip. It was rejected again, then 2 months later it was accepted as a puzzle page instead!

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Stopshop: Madvert mickey take of Topshop, but aimed entirely at lollypop ladies.

Downton Alley: Mini strip series about some posh tramps living an unlikely aristocratic lifestyle in an alleyway. 

Blue Ray: Mini strip about a miserable sod whose quest for everyday happiness only brings more woe.

The Tragic Roundabout : The roundabout at the annual magicians fair has gone haywire and mangled all the magicians in it’s magical mechanism in this Where’s Wally type puzzle. Help find all the body parts in the wreckage. Kids will have to find Harry Potter, Gandalf, Paul Daniels, Derren Brown etc in a full page drawing.

All these ideas, except two, are genuine pitches I sent to The Dandy between May and July 2011. All characters, concepts, artwork and stories (no matter how poorly thought out) are copyright me 2013. If you steal them and make a million pounds off them I want at least 10 quid and a bag of fun size Mars bars as compensation.

Did you spot the fake ones? I’ll reveal the answer tomorrow…

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Filed under Comic Strips, Madverts, Parodies, Pitching, Puzzle Pages, The Beano, The Dandy