Category Archives: Lew Stringer

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!

Nibblersed

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!

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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

The Beano is bursting with Goodies!

Sometimes drawing puzzles can be a little repetitive, so I like to throw in something that will be fun for me to draw. For this week’s Beano I drew a puzzle about a group of hunters tracking down a Yeti in the woods.

I didn’t fancy drawing them in a car, so I thought I’d put them on bikes. It wasn’t much of a leap to deciding to draw them on a trandem and making these three chaps resemble my favourite comedy troupe…

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Funky Gibbon: The Goodies make a break for it in this week’s Beano.

For those not in the know, The Goodies were a trio of British comedians: Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie. They wrote and performed in their top-rated eponymous comedy TV show on the BBC during the 1970s and for ITV in the early 1980s. The show combined surreal sketches and situation comedy.

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On Their Bike: Bill, Graeme & Tim.

The Goodies also had a string of hit albums and singles, most notably The Funky Gibbon. The most famous episode, Kitten Kong, features The Goodies chasing a giant white kitten on the rampage through the landmarks of London!

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Cat-astrophe: Kitten Kong destroys Telecom Tower.

In 1981, during the last series, Bill, Tim & Graeme go in search of Big Foot. It was that episode that inspired their inclusion in the puzzle. But this wouldn’t be the first time The Goodies have appeared in a comic, so I thought I’d pay tribute to that too…

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Blimey: The Goodies make their debut appearance in COR!!

You can read more on The Goodies cartoon capers in COR!! on legendary Lew Stringer’s comics blog HERE

Despite being COR!!‘s cover stars, The Goodies also turned up in cartoon form on the cover of this 1975 issue of Sparky.

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Covered In It: The Goodies make the cover of Sparky.

Despite all these comic cover capers it’s The Beano that can claim the most impressive link to The Goodies, as the trio provided all the voices for the 1980s Bananaman cartoon show!

The Goodies, in all their various formats, were a huge inspiration to me and remain so to this day. Together or in their separate careers, on TV, radio – or anywhere else – The Goodies are the funniest and most consistently inventive comedy team ever to grace the airwaves, screens and pages of a comic. With that in mind, as my tribute to Bill, Tim & Graeme, I hope they don’t mind me recycling that famous cycle one more comic outing!

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Elsewhere in this week’s somewhat water-logged Beano, after the trouble Gnasher caused on their last museum visit you’d think Dennis would steer clear of them, but no! This week Dennis & Gnasher are Norsing about with Vikings.

Billy Whizz is giving his pals a sporting chance, control freak Minnie The Minx is switched on for mischief, there’s machinated managerial mayhem in Ball Boy, Wallace & Gromit are wet behind the stairs, something’s scrummy when Fatty and the gang tackle Rugby in The Bash Street Kids and Little Plum is namin’ and shamin’ when he visits Damon the Shaman!

Bananaman has a few squid flying about the place, control freak Tricky Dicky is switched on for… oh, I’ve already done that one. Roger The Dodger strikes it unlucky, Blinky is heading straight for the bottom in The Numskulls and you can teach an old Tripe Hound new tricks in Gnasher & Gnipper!

There’s also funsize fun with Les Pretend, Rasher, Karate Sid, Grandpa, Pansy Potter, Biffo The Bear and Animals Crossing.

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Sadly there’s no Number 13 or Calamity James this week, but we do get a brand new strip by new-to-the-Beano artist Stephen Waller, who Dandy fans will remember from Star T-Rex, St Evils and the fantastic Growlph.

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Teen Wolf Too: The Dandy’s Growlph by Stephen Waller.

Stephen’s debut Beano strip Gwyneth’s Book Of Records gets off to a hair-raising start this week and runs for six weeks.

The Beano is available in all good Newsagents, WH Smiths, Sainsbury’s, the Co-Op and Winter Road News, Winter Road, Portsmouth.

 

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Filed under Billy Whizz, Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Gnipper, Growlph, Gwyneth's Book Of Records, Lew Stringer, Puzzle Pages, Roger the Dodger, Stephen Waller, The Bash Street Kids, The Beano, The Goodies, The Nibblers

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

Puzzle Page Of Horrors.

Last Halloween I pitched a mini-strip called ‘Horrornation Street’, not an original idea – I think a similar strip was in Shiver & Shake – but I thought it was a funny idea nonetheless.  The Beano asked me to turn it into a puzzle instead, which I did.

It was never printed, and since it contains Ken Barlow I doubt it ever will be – so here it is in it’s entirety for the first time!

HorrornationSt

Unfortunately I was going to miss the deadline for completion. A communications cock-up meant finished it anyway, the day after it went to print. My own fault, but that’s a lesson I won’t need to learn twice!

Anyway, the page was handed over to the legendary Lew Stringer (of Combat Colin, Brickman, Pathetic Sharks and Robocapers fame). He mentions it on his blog here.

It was amazing to see my (sort of) idea drawn by another artist, especially Lew Stringer, who I had been a fan of since first reading Combat Colin in Action Force comic back in the late 80s then moving on to Viz‘s  Felix And His Amazing Underpants and the aforementioned Pathetic Sharks in the early 90s.

I finally wrote a bit of a fan letter to Lew recently.  He told me he was working on a new Pathetic Sharks for Viz and that even though he’d been in the business for over 30 years, he still considers himself a newbie compared to the ‘proper’ artists he grew up with.

Something tells me I’ll be feeling the same way if I’m still drawing in 30 years.

 

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Filed under Halloween, Lew Stringer, Puzzle Pages, The Beano