Gary’s Garden Book 1 is HERE!

In exciting news, I have A BRAND NEW BOOK OUT!!! Yes, the Phoenix Comic and David Fickling Books, in their infinite wisdom, have started producing book collections of their marvellous strips from the weekly comic and that includes…

GARY’S GARDEN!!!

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Woohoo!

It’s a collection of the first 26 or so strips from The Phoenix, all about the mad weirdos that live in my back garden. All true stories, of course.

Little birdies taking the mickey out of me. True story.

It actually came out last week, but I was neck deep in deadlines (mainly writing THIS book), but thankfully, my ever excitable and lovely studiomate, Sarah McIntyre, wrote a brillskillz blogpost about it all, saving me the blushes of no one ever knowing about my book. Sarah also has the brilliant Jampires book coming out next month, co-authored with children’s book supremo, David O’Connell. So keep an eye out for that little beauty! (The book, not David).

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We’ve had some cracking reviews for Gary’s Garden coming in already:

…a riotously funny comic that delivers page after page after page of inspired silliness…Forbidden Planet International

Gary’s Garden is without a doubt one of the best comic books I’ve ever read.” 10/10 Wondrous Reads (It was even given a place on Jenny’s ‘Keep forever’ shelf! Cor!)

Gary’s Garden is a truly laugh-out-loud comic treat: madcap, endearing and absurdly hilarious.Comicsreview.co.uk

I’ll be selling copies at this weekend’s Comica Comiket at the British Library, as part of their Comics Unmasked Event, so pop along and say hi and get a jolly sketch in your book.

I got loads! Don't make me carry them all home again :(

I got loads! Don’t make me carry them all home again :(

I’ll be having a launch party next month on the 4th of September at The Bookseller Crow On The Hill, (I’ve even promised to create a Gary’s Garden window!), so come along if you’re in the Crystal Palace area.

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And lest I forget, Gary’s Garden was published on the same day as TWO other EXTREMELY BRILLIANT Phoenix Presents books:

Neill Cameron’s How Make Awesome Comics

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AND

The Ethrington Brothers’ Long Gone Don

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ALL Phoenix Presents books are available to buy from The Phoenix Comic Shop.

Or if you live in Nottingham, the fantastic comic shop, Page 45 stock them and Londonites can buy them from the equally magnificent Gosh! Comics!

Happy reading!

 

 

 

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Phoenix 100!

Cor blimey! Children’s weekly comic, The Phoenix, has reached the mind-blowing milestone of publishing 100 issues; the first independent comic to do so for 40 years!

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Writing and drawing Gary’s Garden for the Phoenix has been an absolute blast. It’s probably my most favouritest thing I’ve ever done, spawning Chompy the Caterpillar, Larry Ladybird Lord of the Jungle, Boris and Monroe the nocturnal ninjas, Rock Club and billions more characters.

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They even let me stick my face on the front cover the other week, which I thought was hilarious (beats being Time’s Man Of The Year. Probably).

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Anyway, it’s been a real privilege to contribute my nonsense alongside such luminaries as Jamie Smart, Neill Cameron, Adam Murphy, Laura Anderson, Jamie Littler, The Ethrington Bros, Alex Matthews, Wilbur Dawbarn, John Aggs, Patrice Aggs, James Turner, Robert Deas, Matt Baxter, Kate Brown, Paul Duffield, Dave Shelton, Nick Abadzis, Karen Rubins, Garen Ewing and many, many more! Even my estimable studio-mate, Sarah McIntyre managed to squeeze out a very popular one-off strip with her writing partner, Philip Reeve, so I’ve been keeping only the bestest company.

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The fact that there’s a comic featuring creator-owned, home-grown talent out on the shelves EVERY WEEK is quite the mind blower. And it keeps inspiring kids all over the country to create their own comics and discover the all too hidden world of kids graphic novels and comics. The enthusiasm for the comic we all find when we embark on cartoon workshops throughout the land is palpable, so long may the Phoenix machine plough this important furrow. KIDS LOVE COMICS! (Fact!)

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Hats off to all the creators and to the very small, but intensely hard-working team (Will, Tom, Liz, Caro, David, Paul, Charlie and not forgetting first editor Ben!) who make sure that a tip top children’s comic is available every week for you to feast your eyes on. And a thank you to all our readers for buying and reading the flipping thing. We bow to you all!

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Image © The Phoenix

 

Congratulations, Phoenix and here’s to the next 100 issues!

Gift subscriptions here!

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Tiny Pencil AND Hic and Hoc Journal!

As well as dashing around the country the last few months for comic events for The Phoenix and Teenytinysaurs, I’ve also miraculously found time to contribute to a couple of anthologies!

First up – TINY PENCIL

Earlier this year, marvellous illustrators, Katriona Chapman and Amber Hsu put together the first edition of Tiny Pencil, an anthology dedicated to the wondrous art of the pencil. I think it’s fair to say that it blew everyone away with it’s beautiful design and incredible collection of illustrations and stories from artists worldwide. So I was honoured to be asked to contribute to the second issue, named TP 2.0: Mammals, Monsters, & Mars!

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Again, it is a masterclass in design; a fantastic oversized matchbox (with awesome cover artwork from Kristyna Baczynski), with three perfectly formed magazines utilizing a different spot colour of green, red or yellow for each magazine. The emphasis this time is on interactivity and it comes with stickers and pencils and plenty of puzzles and games throughout to keep you happy.

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I did a little tour of mudlarking on the Thames, with my mud monster, Flotsam and his trusty seagull pal, Squawk. Flotsam tells you everything you need to know if you get a chance to wander on the low-tide river banks! Here’s a little interview I did for Tiny Pencil.

Amongst the many illustrious contributors, the book also stars Fleecestation chums, David O’Connell, Viv Schwarz and my fellow Fleece Officer, Sarah McIntyre herself! Check out the website for special deals with limited edition prints.

Secondly – The Hic & Hoc Journal of Illustrated Humo(u)r, vol II

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From their website: “Edited by the always jocular Joe List (The Annotated Weekender, Freak Leap) and Lizz Lunney (Depressed Cat and many other titles forthcoming from Top Shelf Digital), the second volume of an anticipated 196 volume series of the best of funny comics throughout the world…”

Captain Zzap

I have a jolly two page strip, called Captain Zzap!, a character I’ve been wanting to get down onto paper for quite a while now. He’s a hokey, loser space dude who fights evil with the Galactic Princess, Lula. (Expect more Captain Zzap! in the future in some form or another.)

The anthology focuses on funny UK cartoonists, showcasing the immeasurable talents of Lizz Lunney and Joe List, who co-edited the journal, alongside Stephen Collins, Philippa Rice, Joe Decie, Luke Pearson, Becky Barnicoat, Fred Blunt, Gareth Brookes, Liz Greenfield Jonathan Edwards and plenty more.

It’s available from the Hic and Hoc website, but if you wait till the 25th of October, there’s a big book launch at Gosh! comics in London.

Hooray!

Soon, when I’ve finally recovered, I’ll tell you all about my MAD MONTH!!!! But first, sleeeep … zzzzzzzzzzz …

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Teenytinysaurs in the Phoenix!

WORLDS COLLIDE! PLANETS CRASHING TOGETHER! UNIVERSES ENTWINED(?)!

Yes! You read it right, for one week only, there’s a BRAND NEW TEENYTINYSAURS story in THE PHOENIX!!!

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Disgustingness guaranteed!

“What’s a flippin’ Teenytinysaur?!” I hear you Phoenix readers ask. Well, my dears, it’s a lovely book I wroted about LITTLE DINOSAURS!!!!! I KNOW!!!!!

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Wot a cover!

In the book they go on mad adventures, get pooed on, get lost in big dinosaur stomach, swim amongst deep sea monsters, TRY TO FLY TO THE MOON!!! IN SNOT!!! (And if you look carefully, my Phoenix story has plenty to do with the front cover of the book. Don’t let no one tell you that I don’t know what I’m doing!)

Here’s some beautiful scenes from the book…

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Eurgh! Dino guts!

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Have some of THAT!

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Ooh, so beautiful, I could cry. Sniff.

If you haven’t bought a copy yet, then your life is bereft. Truly.

“But”, says the battle-hardened, well-read Teenytinysaurs reader, “what is this ‘PHOENIX’ you keep babbling on about?”. The Phoenix, you ask? Why, it’s only the country’s GREATEST CHILDREN’S WEEKLY COMIC to grace our planet for many decades.

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CHOMPY!!!!

It has HUMOUR, ADVENTURE, DERRINGDO, SPACE, JUNGLES, PUZZLES, BUNNIES, MONKEYS, DINOSAURS, PIRATES and BILLIONS of other wonderful comic strips. Ask anyone who has a subscription, minds are guaranteed to be blown. Fact.

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What a handsome devil! Good job he’s hiding behind that comic.

Normally, of course, I have a jolly little strip in there called (modestly), Gary’s Garden. It’s a right old laugh with all sorts of loonies lolloping around in my garden each week. I had a tiny break from it all, due to mental exhaustion, but soon my friends GARY’S GARDEN will RETURN!!

Here’s a sneaky peek:

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A frog song! Paul McCartney not included.

And if you want to come see me chat and draw about both TEENYTINYSAURS and GARY’S GARDEN, then get yourself down to the Cartoon Museum tomorrow, July 27th from 1 – 2pm! It’s free with admission, but booking is recommended here.

See you soon!

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Teenytinysaurs Book 2 … and introducing, Julius Zebra!

Apologies for keeping you in suspenders, I know I said, “tomorrow”, two days ago for my big announcement, but deadlines got in the way a bit!

ANYWAY! As my title suggests, I have some very exciting new projects to keep me busy for the next 12 to 18 months.

First up: TEENYTINYSAURS Book 2!!! Woohoo!

I must confess, that after the billion of hours of blood, sweat and tears that went into the first Teenytinysaurs, I promised myself that I would never create another 80 page graphic novel-thingy ever again. But, when my publisher asked, “How do you fancy making another Teenytinysaurs?”, I said “YES!” as if my life depended on it. Who knows how my stupid brain works. Maybe it’s because all that hard work seems like a distant dream now and the prospect of writing and drawing more jolly dino nonsense seems like a brilliant laugh! Hooray!

I certainly have plenty of mad stories to squeeze into a new book, including stories I didn’t have room to fit in the first book:

Expect to see more of THIS lot…

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More about THIS little conversation…

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And find out whether this weird, white dinosaur is real or legend…

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Also, expect new characters, including this mad old dude…

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AND, most of all, a fab new regular addition to the gang, bringing her own brand of weirdness to the mix. Keep your eyes peeled on this blog for more updates!

So, yeah. You may have spotted another name in that title. Ladies and gentleworms, I present to you… (drumroll please…)

JULIUS ZEBRA!

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Here’s a snippet of blurb to whet your appetite:

Welcome to the Colosseum, Rome’s Crowning Glory! The home of Champions and the brutal graveyard to thousands. Where boys become men, reputations are built and lost and only the meanest and toughest survive.

Definitely no place for a zebra…

Thrust into a fearful arena he never knew existed, Julius Zebra doesn’t like what he sees and decides to fight back. Nearly killed as soon as he picks up a sword, the baying crowd take pity on the brave zebra and demand that he is allowed to live to fight another day.

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Thousands of miles from home, with no chance of escape, Julius realises that there is only one way out of his predicament: to win his freedom as a champion gladiator!

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Enlisting the help of his fellow motley menagerie, including; Milus the nomadic lion,

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Lucia the crocodile

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and Rufus the giraffe.

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Walker have been kind enough to let me loose on TWO volumes of Julius Zebra and they’ll be chapter books, much like Captain Underpants and Horrible Histories. My first non-comics project!

I think that’s probably enough to keep you going for now. I have a billion drawings already of Julius and his pals and will tease you with plenty more of them as the months progress. So keep an eye on my sketch tumblr for mini-updates.

So, there you have it! What with all that, Gary’s Garden and National Geographic Kids, it’s unlikely I’ll see the outside world for a very long time!

See you in the funny papers!

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Teenytinysaurs and beyond…

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It must be said, that the last two or three months have been pretty hectic, what with the launch of my jolly new book Terrible Tales Of The Teenytinysaurs, and all the events that I’ve been organising, or invited to, around it.

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I was greedy enough to have TWO book launches for Teenytinysaurs, the first on the day of the launch, 2nd May at the brilliant Bookseller Crow in Crystal Palace (complete with Teenytinysaurs cardboard cutouts!).

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AAIIEE! Big dinosaurs roaming Crystal Palace! (Nothing new there, then…)

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Alex Milway and his daughter Cecily tuck into their homemade dino biscuits!

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Some loverly flowers from my editor Lizzie Spratt at Walker.

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Fleecestation in the house. And what a beautiful Stegosaurus hat! (Photo © Sarah McIntyre)

Then I had ANOTHER one nice ‘n’ central on the 31st May at Gosh Comics, the most awesomest comic shop in London! (FACT!)

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Getting stuck in to some obviously hilarious drawings at my Gosh launch! (Photo © Nicky Evans)

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Scrummy Teenytinysaurs cakes made by my very own sister! (Photo © Lauren O’Farrell)

Both Bookseller Crow and Gosh have been fantastic support for me over the years, with Derek The Sheep and The Phoenix, so I was really chuffed to have launches at two of my favourite shops. The two events were brilliant and we sold plenty of copies at both, so thank you to everyone who came along and to John, Justine and Karen at Bookseller Crow; Tom, Julia, Hayley, Josh, Andrew, Steve and Mike at Gosh and to Hannah and Paul at Walker for making it all possible.

(John at Bookseller Crow even told me that if it wasn’t for the fact that someone’s proud dad had bought 40 copies of their son’s book, Teenytinysaurs would be their no.1 bestselling book for the last two months! Woohoo! Get in!).

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A small selection of the (probable) billion copies sold so far.

If you missed my brillskillz book launches, then keep an eye on my events page for exciting appearances at Festivals and Comic Cons around the country! Bring Tangfastics!

And if you’re STILL not convinced that you need a copy of Teenytinysaurs in your life (how very dare you), then check out these cracking reviews from Philip Reeve, Forbidden Planet, Page 45 and Playing By The Book (including mindblowing home-made video!).  I also did a little interview about the book with fellow Fleece Station studio mate, Sarah McIntyre!

So, I hear you all asking, “You’ve done THAT flippin’ book: WHAT’S NEXT???”.

Well, my friends, 1) no need to shout and 2) I DO have some exciting news for you…

I’ve just signed a book deal for, not one … not two … BUT THREE BOOKS with the brilliant people at Walker. WOOHOO!!! Crazy times!!!

… And I’ll tell you all about them tomorrow!

Arrivederci!

Posted in Teenytinysaurs | 6 Comments

Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke

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“The Unkindness of Ravens” by Glen Mehn

Last year I was very excited (and honoured) to be asked to contribute illustrations to Jurassic London‘s Pandemonium: Stories Of The Smoke, a short story anthology, inspired by Charles Dickens and his legacy and published to celebrate Charles Dickens bicentennial. Edited by those awesome dudes over at Pornokitsch, Jared Shurin and Anne Perry, it is a fascinating and brilliant collection of stories, whereby the authors took on the subject of London and gave it their own mind-boggling, fantastical twists, from the “Past, present and (very far) future” (to quote from the website).

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“Uncle Smoke” by Archie Black

Stories of the Smoke features some of the best up and coming young writers in speculative fiction, including Jonathan Green, Lavie Tidhar, Adam Roberts, Esther Saxey and many more (check the list here).

I must confess, having had my head stuck in comics for many years now, I was completely unfamiliar with modern literary short story-telling, so I grabbed at the chance to work on something wholly different from my usual fare and loved every second of it! I got the chance to draw the Walrus from the Horniman Museum, (how could I pass up that opportunity?!) AND I drew the rotting head of Oliver Cromwell. Good times!

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“The Collection” by Esther Saxey

I was well into my stride with using a good old-fashioned dip pen at that point and the editors and I felt it was the natural medium for scribbling the Dickens-esque illustrations that were needed. Scattered throughout this blogpost are all six of my drawings for the book (plus the one for a companion e-book Pandemonium: Fire).

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“The Pickwick Syndrome” by Kaaron Warren

Stories Of The Smoke sold out of it’s hard back run very early on, but has been available for Kindle and Kobo for nearly a year now. By the end of this month, April 2013,  you won’t even be able to download it from those places, having come to the end of it’s one year shelf life.

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“Martin Citywit” by Adam Roberts

So, if you have an e-reader, then I’d recommend you go download yourself a copy sharpish!

Kindle (US / Int’l): $4.99 (Amazon)
Kindle (UK): £3.99 (Amazon)
Kobo: £3.99 (Kobo)

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“A Brief History of the Great Pubs of London” by Lavie Tidhar

A small portion of the proceeds from Stories of The Smoke is donated to English PEN, who “work to defend and promote free expression, and to remove barriers to literature”, so a cause very worthy of your support.

And don’t forget the companion e-book Pandemonium: Fire, with my jolly picture of a cow on the front cover! Kindle (US / UK) | Kobo

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Sketches by Zob by Osgood Vance

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