Category Archives: Roger the Dodger

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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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.

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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

Shark Infested Beano

It’s the school summer holidays, which means The Beano is packed with even more laughs than usual! This week it comes with five special gifts – a ‘Where’s Dennis?’ Poster, a pea shooter, some sweets, some stickers and some trading cards.

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The Beano – £2.99 in newsagents now!

Plus there’s the usual menacing mayhem from all the Beanotown regulars: Dennis The Menace is bowled over, it’s just not Cricket for Billy WhizzMinnie The Minx is behaving herself for once, there’s boxing clever in The Bash Street Kids, Bananaman takes the Bananamobile for a test drive, Tricky Dicky has his bubble burst and Roger The Dodger finds the piano is not his forte.

There’s also a four page sporting special featuring all the Beano gang in ‘The No Common Sense Games’, a Monster Truck Mayhem wordsearch, a colouring page, Tricky Dicky’s School Pranks, How To Make An X-Wing Fighter from stationary and a Menacecraft Spot The Difference.

My involvement this week comes through writing duties on Hunt Emerson’s  Little Plum, in a strip called Baby-Face Bravo (as it’s loosely based on the film Rio Bravo) and Barrie Appleby’s  Gnasher & Gnipper in Gnaws!

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Gnaws: We’re gonna need a bigger Beano.

There’s more fin-tastic shark-related laughs in The Beano soon, as I stood in on writing duties while Bash Street School is closed for the summer. Look out for The Bash Street Kids in Jaws 5 toward the (shark) tail end of summer!

The Beano is available in Sainsbury’s, WH Smith, Asda and all good newsagents now, priced £2.99.

The Beano and The Dandy Summer Specials, (which I also worked on, fans) are also out now, priced £4.99 each.

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Filed under Barrie Appleby, Billy Whizz, Dennis the Menace, Gnasher & Gnipper, Gnipper, Hunt Emerson, Jaws, Little Plum, Parodies, Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids, The Beano

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

This week’s Beano is streets ahead!

It’s a bumper day for Beano fans, not only is there a brand new issue out, but Dundee Council have unveiled a street named after Beano Town’s most notorious avenue!

To celebrate 60 years of The Bash Street Kids, Dundee now has it’s very own Bash Street just a catapult shot away from the school which inspired the strip all those years ago. You can read more on the story HERE and see the Beano Ed and Bash Street Kids artist Dave Sutherland unveiling the street name HERE!

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This week’s issue is a fun packed as always, with the aforementioned Bash Street Kids giving their usual brand of silly sympathy when Teacher has a headache, Dennis The Menace takes on the internet trolls, Ball Boy takes to the air with the England squad, Minnie The Minx celebrates being given an extra page, Edd is fighting off the flu in The Numskulls, Calamity James has no idea when it comes to Ikea, you can’t teach an old Tripe Hound new tricks in Gnasher’s Tale, there’s a terrifying trip to the vet in Number 13, Wallace & Gromit are making a splash, Billy Whizz goes on a crash diet, Crow makes an over-ripe comeback in Bananaman, the writing is on the wall for Tricky Dicky, Chiefy’s got the chills in Little Plum, Dad is feeling sporty in Roger The Dodger and there’s more laughs with Grandpa, The Nibblers, Smudge, Karate Sid and Les Pretend!

Grab a menacing preview of this week’s issue HERE! There’s also a chance to win a radio controlled car by taking a survey about The Beano HERE!

This week also sees the debut of my second run of Minnie The Minx strips – How To Train Your Parents. This week, it’s how to get out of housework. Here’s a sneaky peeky, minus the text.

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All artwork is © DC Thomson 2014

The Beano issue 3723 is on sale now in all good newsagents, WH Smiths, ASDA, Sainsbury’s, The Co-op and they’ve got a couple of extra copies in this week at Winter Road News, Winter Road, Portsmouth.

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Filed under Billy Whizz, Calamity James, Dave Sutherland, Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Minnie the Minx, Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids, The Beano, 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

I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghost: Part 1

As It’s Halloween it seems like the perfect time to talk about ‘ghosting’. Though it sounds like some sordid thing involving ghoulies, in the comics world it usually refers to drawing in the style of someone else. Something that can be very hard to get right now that so many artists have their own style.

Aside from a few character cameos in Justin Beaver, my first proper ghosting work was It’s A Blunderful Life in The Dandy, which featured the World’s unluckiest boy, The Beano‘s Calamity James. James is one of the hardest characters to draw as Tom Paterson‘s intricate style is, like Leo Baxendale and Ken Reid‘s before him, extremely hard to recreate naturally. I gave it a good go, but Paterson’s manic lucidity still somewhat eluded me. It’s very much a character in his style sitting in a puzzle in my style.

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It’s A Blunderful Life: Calamity James & Alexander Lemming braving a festive failure.

A month or so ago I had another attempt at drawing a Paterson style James puzzle, and got much closer this time by spending a very long time image sourcing and pouring over his work. I found a whole strip set in space, as was the puzzle, and copied and adapted images from it to suit the puzzle. I’m very proud of the final piece, but I wouldn’t do it again. In fact I ditched another Calamity James puzzle, ‘Wheel Of Misfortune’, shortly after because I couldn’t face it!

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Intergalactic Idiot: Calamity James gets lost in space.

Ghosting is extremely hard to get right, there are some fantastic artists out there who can ghost with such accuracy that you can hardly tell it’s their work, but sometimes (as in Jamie Smart’s Roger The Dodger) it is best to ignore the original art style and draw your own. Drawing in another artists style can inhibit what you can do with a character, unless you are willing to take liberties (I always draw The Bash Street Kids in Baseball boots, as I simply can’t draw shoes like Dave Sutherland). The problem with Calamity James is that the art is so recognisable and weird that if you were to draw the character in any other way it just wouldn’t be Calamity James.

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Bash Street Kid: Danny wearing baseball boots in Canteen of Carnage from The BeanoMAX.

I’ve been lucky enough to get to drawn most of The Beano‘s familiar characters in puzzles over the past year, everyone from from Dennis The Menace to Little Plum. I can’t tell you what a thrill it has been getting to draw all my favourite childhood characters and having to ghost so many of my favourite artists. Some I found easier than others though, Dave Sutherland’s Bash Street Kids are fairly easy because you have 50 years of reference material to look at. Barrie Appleby’s Roger The Dodger was the hardest for me, due to his complicated shirt and hair.

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Beano Brawl: The Bash Street Kids, Calamity James, Billy Whizz, Minnie The Minx & Roger The Dodger take part in The Great Beano Pancake Bake Off from The BeanoMAX.

Ghosting is very much a skill, something I picked up from learning to draw by copying Jim Davis’ Garfield and later less successfully Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes. That’s essentially all it is. Copying. You can see clearly see both artist’s influences in this strip, A Bear Behind, from The Dandy.

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A Bear Behind: Background by Watterson, foreground by Davis.

Sadly I didn’t get to draw any of the big characters for The Dandy, aside from a few cameo appearances and repeated sightings of Phil Corbett’s Korky The Cat, which I’ll blog about another day. So when The Dandy ended and they asked me to do two strips for the final issue: Auntie Clockwise (originally by Wayne Thompson, who draws Bananaman for The Beano) and Hamish the Haggis Basher (originally a one-off strip by Tom Paterson) I thought was the last time I’d ever have the chance to draw Dandy characters.

Little did I know I’d be bringing back Desperate Dan just 10 months later…

Always keep a Dandy handy!

Always keep a Dandy handy!

The Halloween issue of The Beano is on sale from Wednesday 23rd October in WH Smiths, Sainsbury’s, Asda and all good newsagents, priced £2.

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Filed under A Bear Behind, Billy Whizz, Calamity James, Calvin & Hobbes, Comic Strips, Dave Sutherland, Dennis the Menace, Garfield, Ghosting, Halloween, Jamie Smart, Ken Reid, Leo Baxendale, Minnie the Minx, Puzzle Pages, Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids, The Beano, The BeanoMax, The Dandy, Tom Paterson