Tag Archives: Justin Beaver

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

Here Comes The Pitch.

Pitching is a big part of being a Freelance artist. If you can’t successfully pitch an idea you won’t get any work! Pitches vary from a script to a short synopsis, a black & white rough drawing to a fully realised piece. It really depends on what you’re pitching, and who you’re pitching it to.

Some artists like to fully visualise their pitch, others will just send a simple pencil sketch. Since I mainly work in puzzles (and have done so many before) I can usually pitch a puzzle page with a two or three line synopsis followed, upon commission, by a full script – yes, they’re scripted! Hard to believe, I know.

If you want to pitch to The Beano, (and you can – it’s open to anyone), I’d advise sending a sample of your idea alongside your pitch, with a synopsis of further strips you envision doing. Don’t be discouraged if they turn it down either, just keep pitching until they get tired of you and just say yes to shut you up! I’ve repitched some ideas 3 or 4 times before they’ve been accepted.

Here is the first strip I ever sent The Dandy, it was called Andy Social and was based around social networks. It features myself and fellow Dandy artist Andy Fanton, they say draw what you know. It was based loosely on a strip I used to do online, but crucially I forgot to make it in any way amusing.

AndySocial

The next strip I sent was an Easter strip, which I think was called Easter Enders. Again, it’s not really funny. The bird in the strip resembles Mr Peepers from my distinctly non-child friendly webcomic, Ray The Otter.

FunnyBunnySpp

After sending a bit more artwork I decided to stop drawing the pitch and just send ideas, I was working 2 jobs and didn’t have the time to fully realise every idea. I asked The Dandy to pick the ideas they liked and I’d draw the sample from that. As you would expect, it took me a while to successfully pitch my first strip and to be honest I can’t remember where the idea for it came from, I think it was one of those “That’s funny, that would make a good comic strip” things you say to a friend. I pitched as part of this list of pitches:

Street Dance Lance: Step Up/Got To Dance inspired strip chronicling the misadventures of a clumsy street dancer attempting to hit the big time.

Shane The Sheep: Shaun’s brother, and literally the black sheep of the family. Shane didn’t go to drama school and is fed up with people asking about his famous brother.

A Bear Behind: Kind of like the Phantom Pharter strip, but with a mooning bear forever ruining people’s holiday snaps etc

Dentist The Menace: Pretty self explanatory.

The Prince Of Fails: The adventures of the accident prone heir to the throne.

Justin Beaver: The hit singing sensation of the forest just wants to be left alone, but his fans won’t let him. Trampling through the woods and wrecking his peace and quiet in all manner of stupid ways.

Pineapple Dance Studios: Fruit-based reality show with terrible puns such as Fruity Spence.

Astonishingly, they weren’t interested in a fruit-based reality show, but Justin Beaver was initially chosen for a sample strip. It was (amazingly) picked up and ran for 10 weeks. I say amazingly, because looking back on it the first strip is very badly drawn. I hadn’t been drawing for a few years and had clearly forgotten how to use a pen.

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A Bear Behind was also on the list. It was repitched again with sample artwork at their request and became a mini-strip, running for 12 weeks. It is one of my favourite series of strips I’ve ever drawn.

BearBehind

Tomorrow I’ll post a list of my rejected pitches. It might be part 1 of 37, there are A LOT!

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Filed under A Bear Behind, Comic Strips, Justin Beaver, Parodies, Pitching, The Dandy

Return Of The Living Justin Beaver.

I love old horror movies, so Halloween is a great time for me – the TV schedules are full of shoddy 80s slasher movies, classic Hammer Horror and 90s sequels featuring the cast of Dawson’s Creek. The green flavour Jaffa Cakes return to Asda (I don’t know what flavour they are, but the box is green and I love them more than I love Macaroni Cheese, which is a lot). Plus, Ghoulies Go To College and Ernest Scared Stupid drop to under a fiver on Amazon.  It’s also a great springboard for inspiring comics.

This is the best one I’ve seen this year, The Devil’s Steps by Dan Berry

Halloween also inspires some really fun puzzle pages and madverts for me, as my last few blogs have mentioned. But last Halloween I finally got to sneakily bring Justin Beaver out of retirement for a puzzle in The Dandy!

Justin Beaver

Justin Beaver was my very first published strip. It had ended on it’s 10th week. I thought there were 12 strips due, The Dandy had only actually commissioned 8, but I managed to push it up to 10.

The 12th and final strip would have seen how Justin turned out years after his fame had faded, essentially becoming a cross between an angry has-been  and the desperate ‘I’ll do anything’  Kerry Catona/Peter Andre type. As the script concluded it is strongly hinted that Justin goes ‘off the rails’. The last panel was set in the future and would have seen is Manager Tiny (from The Beezer) find him dead-eyed, washed-up and tragically slumped… over a cash register working in McDonalds.

There were three versions of the Halloween Fansylvania puzzle drawn. One with Justin Bieber (which is what the editorial team had asked for), one with Justin Beaver and one where there was no solution to the maze and either version of Justin ended up perishing at the hands – or fangs – of the vampire who – for no reason at all other than it amused me – bares a striking resemblance to a 1980s Real Ghostbusters toy I used to have…

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The Dandy, always willing to go with the funniest option, went with the latter. Letting me kill off my first creation in a very satisfying conclusion.

Death is, ater all, the ultimate punchline.

That was deep. That would make a good Fred Basset cartoon. One were the humourless hound finds Mr Brown’s bland lifeless body slumped in his chair, finally out of his boring unfunny misery.

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God I hate that dog.

To end with then, here for the first time is the unused Justin Bieber version of Fansylvania!

Justin Bieber

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Filed under Comic Strips, Ghostbusters, Justin Beaver, Parodies, Puzzle Pages, The Dandy