Tag Archives: super animal adventure squad

The Thing and Good News/Bad News

The Webcomix Thing was brilliant – the day started with me working out a revolutionary new way to staple involving a spoon (no, really) and only went up from there, mostly thanks to all the wonderful people who came and still seemed to remember who I was. Thank you people with good memories! I even managed to sell out my hastily constructed minicomic ‘Beaver and Steve volume 2 1/2 : the Owl of Regret’ – sorry to anyone who missed out on the badly printed action! I also got to meet so many talented artists that it would be impossible to list them all here – suffice it to say that I wish the Thing could happen every week, even though it would probably kill me.

Now it’s time for Good News/Bad News:

Bad News: The Comic section is not going to appear in the Guardian any more which means that my strip is not going to reach it’s conclusion. Combine this with the death of the DFC and it’s becoming a bit of a comics apocalypse.

Good News: The DFC creators have teamed together to create a new comics blog at http://supercomicsadventuresquad.blogspot.com/ (not sure where they got that name from) and it promises to be super amazing – make sure you take a look at all the great art already on the site. And to make up for cutting my comic off half way the Guardian has posted all of the remaining episodes online! They are all at really high resolution, and they have done something very strange with the colours, but you can at least see some of what I’ve been slaving over for the last 6 months or so (I’ve also added links to the other episodes that have already been posted online so that they are all conveniently in one place):

Episode one
(Episode two : the squad goes to the musuem and works out that the thief is Greenbeard the Pirate)
Episode three
(Episodes 4-6 : having gained access the ship the squad is captured and the captain reveals the real reason that he stole the baboon: to get access to the magic spoon hidden inside! Why? Because he wants to be a celebrity chef of course)

Episode seven, part one

Episode seven, part two

Episode eight, part one

Episode eight, part two

Episode nine, part one

Episode nine, part two

Episode ten, part one

Episode ten, part two

Episode eleven, part one

Episode eleven, part two

Episode twelve, part one

Episode twelve, part two

I’m still waiting to hear from Random House what they want to do with Super Animal Advneture Squad now that the DFC is finished (they own the rights to the concept), but hopefully this will not be the end of their adventures … we will just have to wait and see!

Super Animal Adventure Squad, episode three!

Well, it looks like the Guardian has completely forgotten about episode two, and right now I’m not really sure who has the rights to everything so I don’t know if I can post it myself, but for the mean time here is episode three!

There are only two facts you need to know from episode two to catch up with the story:
1) using their superior detection skills the squad figured out that the Baboon was stolen by the Dread Pirate Green Beard, and have gone to Pirate’s Cove to track him down.2) Episode two was really funny. Seriously, you really missed out.

Sad news…

So it looks like the DFC is going to be publishing it’s last issue this month – the publishing house that’s been backing it is putting it up for sale, and it’s pretty unlikely that a buyer is going to turn up. Here’s the press release:

Children’s Comic, the DFC, Up For Sale 

The DFC, a weekly comic (launched May 2008) for boys and girls is up for sale, following a decision by The Random House Group to cease publication. 

Philippa Dickinson, MD RHCB, said: “We are very proud of the DFC and the reaction it received from families, schools and especially the children who have enjoyed reading it.  It is an innovative concept which we have been very happy to back. There can be no successes without taking risks, after all.  Unfortunately, in the current economic climate, we have decided that the DFC is not commercially viable within our organisation. 

“David Fickling, the staff at the DFC, and all the comic’s contributors have worked tirelessly to produce what is an amazing weekly publication and we would be delighted if a buyer could be found who would like to take the DFC on as a going concern” 

If no buyer is found, the title will close on March 27th.

It’s a real shame that it’s ended so soon, but it’s been an absolutely fantastic experience and I’m really proud of what everyone at the DFC has acheived. Go us! Now, does anyone have a few quid kicking about and want to buy themselves a comic…?

P.S for those of you wondering where this week’s edition of Super Animal Advneture Squad is, I’m afraid it looks like the Guardian hasn’t bothered to put the comic section in their online edition this time. The scoundrels! If it turns up I’ll let you know – and hopefully they’ll remember to do it next week!

Super Animal Adventure Squad and the Case of the Baboon Bandit – part one!

Ok folks, here’s a link to the first episode of my comic on the Guardian website- I hope you like it!

I’ll post episode two next week!

P.S and here is a picture of it taken by my co-comic inhabitant Sarah McIntyre (jabberworks ) in it’s printed state:

It’s surprising how bad the quality of the actual printed paper is – they printed my edition completely wonky! The real DFC is much better!

Super Animal Adventure Squad in the Guardian

My latest Super Animal Adventure Squad story will be running in the family section of the Guardian for the next 12 weeks, starting this saturday, so if you’d liek to see what it’s all about I suggest you head down to your newsagents and get yourself a copy. I’ll be appearing alongside the fearsomely talented Sarah McIntyre ([info]jabberworks) who has provided this handy guide to finding the comic section amongst the host of supplements that come every saturday:


See – there it is!

If you don’t live in the UK, or are otherwise unable to get your hands on a copy of the Guardian don’t fret! (I mean it – I can see you fretting at the back there) They seem to usually post the comics online (in a not-very-good-quality PDF, but I’ll take what I can get) after they’ve appeared in the paper, so I shall try to provide links to each issue as they come out.

I hope you enjoy the comic! It has pirates.


Christmas is approaching and the festivity levels are off the scale, so as a special present to all of you the DFC has launched a new comic preview site where you can read episodes of all sorts of stories from the DFC, including my own strip, Super Animal Adventure Squad. The preview site is here – go take a look, and then have a thoroughly merry christmas. In that order.

Super Animal Adventure Squad in the Times

Readers in the UK can get a little taste of minty-fresh Super Animal Adventure Squad action tomorrow – I have a one-off christmas special episode appearing in the book section of the Times as part of a DFC promotion, so make sure you pick up a copy if you want a look. I’ll try to post the comic here at some point to for those of you unable to pick up the paper due to geographical problems. It is quite exciting to be getting a proper comic in the Times, but I am also secretly terrified that lots of people will read it and think it is terrible, and no one will ever want me to draw a comic again. I guess I will just have to wait until tomorrow and see if I get pelted with rotten fruit.

Also Super Animal Adventure Squad series 2 will finally be coming to the DFC in the next few weeks, so if you still haven’t picked up a copy now might be a good time to start thinking about it. You know, if you like comics and stuff. And since you are all my special special friends I have a couple of special special offers just for you:  If you follow this link you can get 4 issues for just £9.99, and if even that is too much for you you can get santa himself to personally deliver a free issue to your doorstep by clicking here. I’m not sure if I’m even supposed to be sharing these secret links with you, but I have a desperate need to share the DFC love and I WILL NOT  BE STOPPED.

Oh, since it’s almost christmas I should probably mention I still have lots of excellent books and shirts still available, but you’d better order soon if you want them for Christmas.

pirates, fairies and comic conventions, oh my!

Ok, it looks like my plan to post more updates has failed miserably, but here is an update anyway! UPDAAAAATE.

I am going to be appearing at the Birmingham International Comics Show next weekend to appear on the DFC comics panel, and I will also be sitting on the DFC table chatting to people and doing sketches (and hopefully sneakily selling a few copies of Beaver and Steve under the table when no one is looking), so if you’d like to say hello make sure you come along!

And here is another picture from the latest series of Super Animal Adventure Squad (The colours seem to have got a bit screwed up converting from CMYK back to RGB, but they are actually kind of pretty) :

I will try to post more images soon. Perhaps ones of my favourite new character: Chippy the magic oven.

Who needs sleep anyway?

Ok, I think things are close enough to fruition to reveal what’s going on – the project I’m working on (which you can see a snippet of a few entries back) is for a new children’s comic called the DFC, which is launching at the end of May. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks at home, finishing off my first 11 week storyline (I say finishing off – I have been working every night this week, and still have two more to colour) and I’ve surprised myself with how non-crappy it’s turned out.

It is an incredible amount of work though – I worked harder in the last two weeks than I have in years (but don’t tell my boss that), and while I really enjoyed doing it, now that I’m back at work I’m not sure how I’m going to keep it up. They want me to do 2 pages a week for my next storyline, and while this means more money it’s not enough to give up the day job just yet, so I’m going to somehow have to combine my day job with doing 20-30 hours of comic work a week. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage that without collapsing in a frazzled heap after a couple of days – I think my only hope is to ask my manager very nicely if there is any way that I can work part time and get a day or two off every week, but I’m really not sure how that’s going to wash. They did give me the last two weeks off with basically zero notice, so there is some hope. Fingers crossed!

The other obvious casualty is going to be Beaver and Steve – the last few weeks I’ve been mostly relying on guest strips, and the one comic I did manage to produce was just not fun at all to make. Unless I can get some serious time off on a regular basis I am afraid Beaver and Steve might have to come to an end, or at least a lengthly hiatus. I really hope I can figure out a way to keep it going as well – I still have a pile of ideas lined up for it – but right now I don’t see how that’s going to be possible, which is kind of sad after putting so much work into it. Beaver and Steve will never die though, as long as we keep them alive in our hearts. Or in some sort of suspended animation.

More updates as they come…

to colour or not to colour?

So it looks like I’m going to have to be inking and colouring my super top-secret project myself after all. Here’s what I have finished so far (with all the useful bits removed just to spoil it for you all):
black lines
But I also had a go at trying something a bit new – have a gander at this:
colour lines
Now I like this a lot more, but it did take somewhere in the region of 2 hours to colour all the lines. So the question isn’t ‘does this look better?’, it’s ‘does this look two hours better?’, or perhaps more specifically, ‘would you pay someone to draw the second one, but not pay them a penny for the first?’. Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

I did also try an all digital approach doing all the inking and everything via my teeny tiny wacom:
Which looks lovely until you learn one thing: that this took me SIX HOURS. For two unfinished panels. I have a feeling this may not be entirely practical.