Friday, 4 April 2014

Tamsin and the Deep - starts today!

Out today is issue 118 of The Phoenix, which features (as well as a bunch of other awesome comics, some of them involving mega robo brothers) the first instalment of Tamsin and the Deep, my new Cornwall-based fantasy mystery adventure strip with the amazing Kate Brown! Feast your eyes on Kate's cover for the issue above! And you can read a bit of info from me about it HERE. Excitement! Spookiness! Surfing and cute dogs! True believers, this one's GOT IT ALL.

EDIT: Steve Morris of Comics Vanguard interviewed Kate and me about the strip you can read those interviews and find out lots more about Tamsin, HERE: (Kate) (me)

Do pick up the comic! It's the beginning of something really exciting, I think.

Buy the Phoenix online, on iPad, or from any of these stockists.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Tamsin and the Deep

Starting next week in The Phoenix is Tamsin and the Deep, a new story written by me and drawn by the incomparable, the extraordinary, the really-quite-good-at-drawing-you-know, Kate Brown!

(Yes, I am quite excited about this, why do you ask?)

I loved the short story Kate and I got to do together a while back, Emilie's Turn, and am beyond thrilled to be working on something longer-form with her. The experience of coming up with ideas and characters and seeing them brought to life with such style, character and vitality and - crucially - without me even having to pick up a pencil... well, to me it is so amazing that it may as well be sorcery, frankly.

Anyway, I'm not going to say too much about Tamsin herself just yet. It's a story set in Cornwall, and it contains Mystery. What kinds of mystery? I TOLD YOU, IT IS A MYSTERY.

Find out next week! 

The Phoenix issue 118, on sale April 4th. Buy the Phoenix online, on iPad, or from any of these stockists.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Imagine All The People (Drawing Ninjas)

Kids learning to draw Ninja Pancakes (and other important matters) from the incomparable Gary Northfield, ably assisted by Charlie Rashid from the Phoenix.

I had a great day last week with several of my compadres from The Phoenix, putting on a special one day children's comics event at the South Bank centre in London as part of the Imagine Festival there. Gary Northfield, Adam Murphy, Zak Simmonds-Hurn and last but by categorically no means least the mighty Etherington Brothers were there, along with Caro, Tom, Lizzie, Charlie and Joe from the Phoenix; running comics workshops and generally hanging out with kids and chatting and drawing and sharing tips on making comics! 

Here's Gary again, drawing SOME NONSENSE.

It was a really fun day, and seemed very busy, so I hope we managed to spread the Good Comics Word to a few new interested earholes!

One unscheduled bit of fun: when we arrived in the morning I noticed that the space we were in featured a GIANT BLANK WHITE WALL that was frankly crying out to have some comics drawn on it. So that is what we did; taking suggestions and ideas from kids who were hanging out and drawing, and spinning those ideas into a story*.

*Using 'story' in quite a loose sense.

Here's the wall, as we started to draw panels on it.

Here's Zak, drawing his bit! I know this photo makes it LOOK like we had trapped him in a cage and forced him to draw comics, but that is honestly only partly true.

And here's Will, a young Phoenix fan who was so full of good ideas and drawing talent that I thought he ought to take a turn on the wall himself. I was very impressed with his moxie (?) - drawing live on a big wall with graffiti pens while a bunch of people watch you can be a bit intimidating, but Will dived straight in. Good man!

And here's the comic itself, panel by panel!

And here are the Crack Graffiti Comics Art Team, with their handiwork!

(L-R: Gary Northfield, Adam Murphy, Zak Simmonds-Hurn. Collectively known as "Charlie's Bearded Angels".)

Huge thanks to Gary and Zak and Adam for pitching in and helping make something so cool, when they clearly had quite enough to be doing already without me throwing more dumb ideas at them. And also to Will, and all the other kids who helped us out with ideas and OUTRAGEOUS PLOT TWISTS. And finally, huge thanks to Anne and the team from the South Bank Centre for so kindly allowing us to make a big mess on their lovely pristine white wall, it was a lot of fun.

For BONUS kids-making-comics-at-Imagine fun, check out this great report from Louie Stowell, who ran a workshop a couple of days after us in association with Inclusive Minds, and it sounds like it was a great event. Read all about it here:

Monday, 24 February 2014


Hey! My NEW COMIC, Mega Robo Bros, begins in this week's issue of The Phoenix, and you do not want to miss out! It's a great issue all round anyway, but also: ROBOTS!

I'm really excited about this strip, I've got so many plans for it and am having huge amounts of fun. It concerns the adventures of Alex and Freddy, two kids who - well, they are robots? And they are brothers? It is all right there in the title?

You can buy The Phoenix from these fine vendors, by subscription, or digitally on iPad. Please do so!

To celebrate this new venture, and because I said it on twitter before thinking better of it, I am having a small MEGA ROBO COMPETITION! Simply tweet (or facebook, or blog) a photo of your cat* reading this week's Phoenix, and win an original sketch of Alex and Freddy, the Mega Robo Bros themselves! And indeed, possibly your cat.*

*If you don't have a cat, dogs are allowed too.  And indeed goldfish. And indeed stick insects, zoo animals, or any variety of robot.

Here's a couple to start you off!

From @PollyLWH:

And an AWESOME CYBER DOG from @AlixCoughlin:

  • Just tweet your photo with the hashtag #phoenixcats so I can find it!
  • Competition runs until this Friday (28/02/2014), so you have plenty of time to FIND A CAT.
  • Judges decision is final! Points will be awarded based on creativity, composition and ADORABLENESS.
  • Or I might just pick one at random, so I feel less horribly guilty? I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DO THIS.
Anyway, have a go! I will draw something cool, I promise. And check out Mega Robo Bros in the Phoenix, this week and indeed EVERY week until... you are all thoroughly sick of it?**


Monday, 16 December 2013

Fun Festive Festivities

Hello! I just wanted to draw your attention to a strip I have in this week's issue of The Phoenix. It is called The Dragon in the Snow, and it is a bit different for me, and I really hope you'll pick up a issue and that you enjoy it if so. It is kind of my Christmas present to the readers of the comic, my attempt to do something a bit special for the season. So... Happy Christmas! Here, I got you dragons.
My OTHER Christmas present to the readers is, I think, coming in next week's issue. If you have been alarmed by the unprecedented lack of weird random characters wearing Santa hats on this blog this year, fear not. Next week's Phoenix is for YOU. In the meantime, why not learn to draw snowmen?

Lots more festive drawing fun, every week with Art Monkey in the Phoenix! Some of which are EVEN MORE CHALLENGING than snowmen.

Still time to get a Phoenix subscription for any young persons you may know who would enjoy the gift of reading! Of reading AWESOME COMICS, at that. Lots of present ideas over at the Phoenix shop!

I am going to try and write a proper 'end of year wrap-up' type post for next week, because it dawned on me that 2013 has been a crazy, brilliant, wonderful year for me; personally and from a 'making comics' point of view, and I feel the occasion should be marked. See you back here for that!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Boba Fett Riding a Triceratops

I blogged yesterday about some of the new things available in my online shop, including the fact I am now taking commissions to draw PEOPLE RIDING DINOSAURS. Any person, any dinosaur. In describing this idea on twitter, I used the random example "Boba Fett Riding a Triceratops".

...and then I had to draw that.


Friday, 6 December 2013

Neill's Dinosaur Shop is OPEN!

I've just updated my online shop in time for Christmas, offering Christmas Cards and Comics and some EXCITING NEW THINGS like original artwork from Pirates of Pangaea, and... commissions!

Yes, for the first time in ages I'm opening up a few slots for commissions: A3 original artwork of ANY PERSON RIDING ANY DINOSAUR. Please note that for the purposes of this, 'Person' may of course include aliens, ninjas, robots, sentient octopi, adorable toddlers...

An example! Would you like a drawing of YOUR children riding a dinosaur? 
Or your granny, for that matter. Or I dunno, Benedict Cumberbatch, I don't care.

...WHATEVER YOU WANT. And riding the dinosaur of your choice, too! COME ON THAT IS PRETTY GREAT.

Get your orders in NOW in time for Christmas! North American people, you'll need to order by Monday; UK People you've got all of next week. Australians, I fear it is too late for you already and for this I apologise. I only just had the idea, you see?

Happy Dinosaury Christmas!


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