Tag Archives: Comics

Intergalactic Idiocy In The Beano.

This week’s Beano is the most Munro-packed issue yet! Joe Jupiter crash-lands on planet trampoline on the puzzle page, plus there’s Gnasher & Gnipper, Little Plum and Bea (which I wrote) and more boyband bad jokes in Pun Direction – but it all starts with Joe Jupiter on the cover!

10457919_10152503509298554_5543326348822031066_n

 

Joe Jupiter started life as a reincarnation of Spaceman Jim from The Dandy when I noticed The Beano was short of a science fiction character. The idea is to have a recurring character in the puzzles and the cosmic clot is due to run for ten non-consecutive weeks.

Joe

Jawsome: Joe Jupiter flees from a Shark-Infested Fireball From Another Dimension!

Elsewhere Dad is reading Bea a bedtime story and she’s kicking up a stink, Harry faces the chop in Pun Direction, the Butcher has hired a crack security team from The Beano vaults in Gnasher & Gnipper and Little Plum is having a rotten time, as this week’s strip is all in rhyme.

Plum Guffed

This Little Plum strip – a parody of The Gruffalo – started life in 2010 as a pitch for a 2 page story in The Dandy and I’m glad I finally got to see it in print. Hunt Emerson has done an amazing job bringing it to life and this is definitely my favourite Little Plum strip so far.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Bea, Gnasher & Gnipper, Hunt Emerson, Joe Jupiter, Little Plum, One Direction, Puzzle Pages, The Beano, The Gruffalo

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.

Image

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!

Image

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!

Image

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!

Image

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).

Image

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

Image

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!

Image

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.

Leave a comment

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

The Beano gets Nuked!

This week’s Beano features a surprise guest star smashing through the pages – Nuke Noodle, Alex Matthews’ time travelling wrestler from The Dandy!

NukeSmashBeano

Nuke appears in my puzzle page Wrestlers Vs Zombies, alongside my versions of classic Beano oddity Pansy Potter: The Strongman’s Daughter and Jamie Smart’s ace (but criminally short-lived) Mexican Wrestling star El Poco Loco! A real mixed bag of characters new and old!

nukereturns

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Nuke Noodle, he was always the highlight of The Dandy each week and I regularly re-read the gloriously mad strips. When I pitched the puzzle I had planned to sneak him in the background, but had so much fun drawing him that he became the star!

Here’s the first ever Nuke Strip, from Alex’s ace Blog.

nukenoodle01colour_webThe Beano is on sale now in all good newsagents, WH Smiths, Asda, Sainsbury’s, The Co-Op and, as always, Winter Road News, Portsmouth!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Alexander Matthews, Jamie Smart, Nuke Noodle, 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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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!

GvD

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…

1 Comment

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

Nibbling and Gnashing

I’ve been pestering The Beano to let me have a go at scripting comics for a while. I usually write my own stuff, but I really enjoy the freedom that comes with writing for another artist. Any cartoonist who writes their own comics will tell you that they’re always thinking “do I really want to have to draw that?”. Knowing another artist will be tackling it really lets the creativity flow!

Late last year The Beano Ed finally relented and offered me the chance of scripting ‘Man Vs Wood’, a mini-strip by Nick Brennan (of Crazy For Daisy and Blinky) and I really enjoyed seeing Nick’s interpretation of my daft pun-laden script.

Image

All artwork is copyright © DC Thomson 2014

I did more script work for the Christmas issue and was then offered the chance to bring back a classic character as part of a revamp in the new year: The Nibblers.

Image

All artwork is copyright © DC Thomson 2014

The Nibblers originally ran from 1970 to 1974. In 1977 it was revived, and continued in the comic until 1984. The initial run was drawn by Ron Spencer, and the second by John Sherwood. It’s John Sherwood’s run that I remember as a kid, so when The Nibblers have a Pizza delivered in the first strip I paid tribute to him by having them live at 77 Sherwood Crescent.

Image

All artwork is copyright © DC Thomson 2014

The strip is drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist (no pun intended. Mice? Underground? Oh please yourselves) Hunt Emerson, meaning that I am – *ahem* – probably as good a writer as Alan Moore (who wrote Emerson’s take on Leviticus). I couldn’t believe it when I saw who was drawing the strip, it really is an honour to write it. Hunt is also back drawing Little Plum after a 7 year hiatus, in which he drew Ratz.

I’m really enjoying writing The Nibblers, the characters are so much fun to write and so far I’ve managed to Caerphilly avoid cheese puns.

Amazingly, I’ve also been given the job of scripting a true Beano icon… Dennis’ faithful Abyssinian wire-haired tripe hound: Gnasher! Here’s a panel from this week’s chaotic tail… I mean TALE!

Image

All artwork is copyright © DC Thomson 2014

Originally drawn by Bash Street Kids legend Dave Sutherland from the 70 – 90s, then Numbskulls artist Barry Glennard, Gnasher is now drawn by Beano Hall-Of-Famer and firm fan favourite Barrie Appleby. Barrie’s other work includes (among many many other things) ten years on Roger The Dodger as well as drawing Bananaman and Cuddles & Dimples for The Dandy.

His artwork on Gnasher is far superior to anything I could imagine and writing for it has easily been the highlight of my career so far. As the weeks go on readers will see more of Gnasher‘s son Gnipper and *spoiler alert* this week’s strip features a cameo from The Beano‘s other cartoon canines, Pup Parade.

This week’s Beano also see’s the return of old favourites Les Pretend and Rasher by laura Howell and Lew stringer respectively, as well as Number 13, Karate Sid, Tricky Dicky, Calamity James, Bananaman and the usual Dennis The Menace, Minnie The Minx, Bash Street Kids, Billy Whizz and Roger The Dodger. It is on sale now in all good newsagents, priced £2 – more power to your pocket money!

Leave a comment

Filed under Barrie Appleby, Dave Sutherland, Gnasher, Gnipper, Hunt Emerson, Nick Brennan, Pup Parade, 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.

Image

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.

Image

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:

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Leave a comment

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).

Image

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’:

 Image

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’!

Image

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…

Leave a comment

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