Category Archives: Madverts

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’.

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© 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

Sarah & Duck.

Forget Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game Of Thrones, the best show on TV at the moment is on CBeebies – the BBC‘s digital preschool channel – and it’s about a girl and her waterfowl friend: Sarah & Duck.

Created by Sarah Gomes Harris and Tim O’Sullivan and loosely based on Gomes Harris’ childhood, this traditional animated series follows the idiosyncratic adventures of Sarah, a happy-go-lucky trombone-playing seven year old girl (voiced by Tasha Lawrence) and her best friend Duck, a deadpan Mallard with a serious bread addiction (voiced by an unnamed duck).

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Sarah & Duck, cooking up a treat on cBeebies.

Sublimely narrated by The Thick Of It‘s Roger Allam, the series centers around the relationship between the two main characters and the charmingly surreal adventures they have together. Along the way we meet a quirky cast of supporting characters, such as Scarf Lady (a dotty, knitting-mad matriarch voiced by Downton Abbey‘s Lesley Nicol) and her companions the cockney jack-the-lad Bag (her knitting bag) and her grumpy pet Donkey, as well as an excitable Umbrella, bizarro World Sarah & Duck: John & Flamingo, the Ribbon Sisters, Plate Girl (Jet Girl to Sarah’s Tank Girl), Scooter boy, a talking cake, a rainbow with a mustache and a button-collecting bug.

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Scarf Lady & Bag rock out with Sarah & Duck.

The show is visually stunning. Beautifully designed, with an iconic style of it’s own, yet with a soft hand-drawn quality reminiscent of classic shows like Mr Benn and Ivor The Engine. The plots strongly revolve around the theme of learning through play, but their frequent abstract tangents, surreal situations and emphasis on humour make Sarah & Duck as enjoyable for adults as it is for children.

In the episode ‘Sarah, Duck & The Penguins’ Sarah & Duck visit the zoo, as Duck decides he wants to be a penguin for the day. Duck’s failed attempts to ‘speak’ penguin are hilariously met with cold indifference from the blank-faced penguins and the narrator concludes that being a penguin wasn’t all it was “quacked up to be”. Sarah & Duck’s fourth wall breaking reaction to this pun is one of the funniest pieces of animation I’ve seen in a long time.

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“Your meal, Sir” “Just put it on the bill”.

I’ve been a big fan of the show since I saw the very first episode, so you can imagine how excited I was when The Beano accepted my pitch for a parody ‘Madvert’ entitled Sarah & Velociraptor.

Sarah & Duck

The page was an absolute pleasure to draw, I loved every minute of it. I recently tweeted it and the official Sarah & Duck Twitter account gave it their seal of approval, which was a real thrill.

I’m very pleased with the finished work, but if I could draw it again I’d definitely cram in more of the shows characters and maybe have Duck fighting off the ‘raptor, as I wanted to draw him too, but as Sarah Gome Harris herself said on Twitter “This is quite eventful!”

Sarah & Duck is produced by London-based Karrot Entertainment, using computer-assisted animation techniques and the CelAction2D package. The first series consists of 40 episodes, with each episode lasting 7 minutes. A second series of 40 episodes starts this summer. Lots Of Shallots, a DVD featuring the first 10 episodes, is available HERE and HERE, or you can buy the whole first series for just shy of £30 on iTunes, Amazon Prime and Google Play.

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You can tune in to Sarah & Duck every day on CBeebies at 5.10pm, or catch up with the week’s episodes on iPlayer.

The Beano is available every Wednesday in WH Smiths, Sainsbury’s and your local newsagent.

 

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Filed under Madverts, Parodies, Sarah & Duck, The Beano

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

Night Of The Living Ted: Part 2

Previously on Neighbours: Two pre-teen film nerds (Dan Palmer and myself) ripped off a comic strip and made a movie about zombie teddy bears. 23 years later, one of the nerds is drawing comics for a living and brings the film to life once again in one of his comic strips: Tiny’s Temper

A few months after Tiny’s Temper ended, The Dandy were looking for Halloween ‘madverts’, I pitched a few (including a Transylvanian Families toy ad like the previous year’s My Little Zombie) and I included a Zombears film ad as filler in with the pitches, doubting they’d let me recycle the idea (more on my approach to pitching another time).

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Dawn Of the Ted: The Zombears return in a full page ad.

To my surprise The Dandy ordered a full page Zombear ad, and the art even ended up on the cover! This is my absolute favourite issue of The Dandy, as it features the ad and the debut of my Astronut strip (you can see him in the top right of the cover too).

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The 2012 Halloween Dandy, featuring Desperate Dan, Nuke Noodle, My Dad’s A Doofus, Astronut and a Zombear invasion!

Astronut was partially inspired by a series of puppet films fellow Dandy artist Andy Fanton and I made when we were both 16 and at school together. Fanton & I made 5 Space Man Jim films, part 3 of which (Space Man Jim 3: The Time Toilet) was bizarrely also mentioned in the same Tiny’s Temper strip as the Zombears!

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Tiny stomps off in a strop, past the poster for Space Man Jim 3, Pastamouse (a spoof of Ratatouille) and Paul McCartney riding a dinosaur.

So the cover of the Halloween Dandy featured two drawings inspired by my childhood and my closest friends, as well as a little zombie by the aforementioned Mr Fanton, some awesome cover art by Jamie Smart, (whose Bear comics inspired me to put ink to paper and fill it with swear-laden speech bubbles for the first time) and my favourite Dandy character, Nuke Noodle – who himself returns this very Halloween, drawn by myself….

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Andy Fanton & I remained friends and worked on loads more projects, most recently The Punslinger – a strip written and drawn together for The Dandy.

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Dan Palmer remains my cousin, and still makes horror comedies on the cheap. His latest, the blood-splattered Stalled, (Warning: not for kids!) is in US cinemas now and is still touring the international film festival circuit where it has won several awards. Fanton & I both provided artwork for it.

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Stalled: He’s in the perfect place to have the crap scared out of him!

So kids, there you have it, all you really need to succeed in your career aspirations, as Fanton, Dan & I proved, is a really dumb idea you sort of stole, a bunch of slacker friends and nothing better to do for 20 years. Oh, and don’t ever throw away an idea – you never know when you’ll be using it again.

The Zombears will return…

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Filed under Comic Strips, Halloween, Madverts, Parodies, The Beano, The Dandy

My Little Madvert.

Good evening.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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The Halloween issue of The Beano will be on sale either the 23rd or 30th of October in all good newsagents!

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Filed under Madverts, Parodies, The Dandy