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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.