The complete history of Untitled Cat and Untitled Ape

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Ahead of the bigg launch of Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure on 5th November (at Thought Bubble and online),  here’s the complete strips featuring (what became) Untitled Cat, Untitled Ghost and Untitled Ape…

uglycat

This monstrosity was saved under the name ‘ugly cat’ and was from a real-life story that Gareth Brookes recounted to me (it wasn’t about him). It was originally part of my banal pig funnies where i did a three-panel gag strip every day for a month way back in 2007 (see them here, although the website’s crap and old now) and it didn’t have a title. On the comments, Gary Bainbridge described it as ‘the untitled cat one’ and the name stuck. That’s why all these characters have this nonsensical name.untitledcatpage1 untitledcatpg2

Next, the above strip was a strip for MEAT magazine where the idea of Untitled Cat wandering through bizarre landscapes started to materialize (again the strip didnt have a title). We never saw John again, and Cat’s character was to become a bit more robust.

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The above strip is from Banal Pig Comic #4 and this is where Untitled Cat’s character and look (obnoxious and fat) starts to take shape. The ghost (untitled ghost, of course), features in the story of Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure too, and this strip can read as part of that narrative if you really want to.

untitledcatunfinished

Here’s the first appearance of Untitled Ape alongside Untitled Cat. This was deliberately unfinished and I was never that happy with it, but the elements are there- Cat riding on Ape’s back, the galloping and screaming, but as with Cat’s first outing, Ape looks horrendous.

 

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The story of UAEA was taking shape when I produced this Untitled Ape spinoff for Banal Pig’s Showcase back in 2010. There’s some good drawings in here that point to elements of the book, like the lightning, the boat and the munching a guy’s head, but some of it is not really consistent with the final narrative of the graphic novel.

 

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Ah, here we go! A strip for the first Comix Reader and all the elements are starting to come together- a more streamlined Ape, a pointless quest and a trek across various landscapes. This became the blueprint for Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure, which began as a webcomic in 2011, and five years later (another story, which I might tell soon) it’s now a lovely book, and I’m very much looking forward to it finally being out in the world, so please look out for it and let me know what you think…

Christmas Shoppe

Compliments of the season to youse all. Here’s a reminder of the things you can buy from me which are all GOOD PRESENT IDEAS*:

1 – I, YETI PRINTS

Luxury 2-print set of Graphic Short Story Prize nearly-winner:

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2 – COMIC & POSTER MEGABUNDLES

Super cheap comic dealz:

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3 – POSTER PRINTS

Nice drawings to look at, discounts for multiple purchases:

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4- A DRAWING COMMISSION OF YOUR CHOICE

Anything you want (decency laws apply) for £25:

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Please get your orders in by 17th Dec to ensure Christmas Delivery. Ta!

P.S. MANLY BOYS AND COMELY GIRLS

From Avery Hill:

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*sorry for yet more advertising.

 

 

 

New Poster & Megabundles!

Hello Pig Lovers!

Firstly, something BRAND NEW, my Street Fighter 2 From Memory Poster, which is available to buy as an A4 or A3 print here:

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And you can also get it as part of my Christmas Megabundles deal, where you can have a poster, 2 comics, a sketch and extras for only £12, or 3 comics with lots of extra biz for only a tenner! Here’s a pic, all the details here:

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In other major news, Manly Boys and Comely Girls were officially launched by Avery Hill Publishing at Thought Bubble last weekend, which went down really well – thanks to everyone that bought a copy. They look great, and will be IS available to buy from Avery Hill’s website very shortly  NOW!

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NEWZROUND- Comely Girls and Commissions

Good morning!

Things have been quiet round here for a while eh? Well, I’ve been hard at work on A NEW COMIC, that’s right, and it’s nearly finished. It’s the follow up to Manly Boys which came out in 2009, and if you scour the archives no doubt you will see many a mention of this, which myself and my dear old chum Gareth Van Brookes have had in mind for the last five years. It’s called Comely Girls, here’s a few random previews:

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As with Manly Boys, it’s a collaboration between me and Gareth, and it’s a pastiche of old girls’ comics, and how they were stupid and ignorant back in the old days (not like the utopian society of today). We should be having a nice reprint of Manly Boys to accompany it, expect full details very soon…

Also, here’s my latest one hour commission:

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Have a look here if you want to commission me. I’ve had to put the basic price up to £25, but this is just to cover p&p and that, I’ll do you an extra couple of minutes to make up for it….

Next on the agenda is my monsters comic, which could happen very soon or never so keep your eyes peeled….POOM!

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More One Pagers

Here’s my latest batch of cheapo sketchpad one page comics: i'm sorry

This (above) is called “I’m Sorry”, and it’s 72 tiny panels drawn directly in pen onto the page (still A4, mind). Below, a cameo from Christopher Wren in this one, which was pencil then pen, then a bit of photoshop colouring (which by the way is a pain in the arse on brownish paper).determination

And finally, a comic detailing my experiences with job interviews (the monster is an unsubtle surrogate for me, obvs):interview

Many thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Steven Tidlsurotom

Freestylin’

Recently, I have been producing one-page comics in my lovely cheapo sketchpad:

sketchpad

I just start drawing something and then try and dig myself out of the hole I quickly get into. For example, with this one, I started drawing this crying giant thing that i’ve drawn a few times, and the Giant Giant Panda which came out of my other sketchbook (which is even rougher than this one), with a basic idea that they would fight.

 

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I drew directly in Brushpen so was committed to all the lines & errors i’d be making, but so be it. In Panel 3, having written “Let us do this thing!”, i still had room in the speech bubble, so I wrote the word ‘Poom’ which made me laugh, so I decided to make the rest of the strip about that. The drawings go well off-model, but for such a stupid strip I couldn’t be bothered to pencil it out and get everything looking exact. You get the idea, and hopefully the laugh, and this is the point of these really, just get an idea down and share it, without it taking ages to produce. I drew all the panels first too, so i was going to struggle to stretch the idea out to 9 panels, so the word Poom seemed the ideal endpoint.

noescape

Next was this one (above), and i started with the idea of this little potato man suspended in liquid, but struggled a bit with a punchline, but eventually it presented itself. I coloured it with coloured pencils again, but it looked a bit crap so the sandy colour was added in photoshop.

flight

This one didnt really come together until panel 5, where i drew the big monster, but it didnt really look like it flowed with the previous panel, so i tried drawing another one and was going to split the panel up, but then it became obvious that there was more than one monster jumping, which luckily led to the last panel. The brushpen was a bit too restrictive with this one though, so i decided to change it up for the next one…

father

So changing the rules a little bit (my rules, so who cares?), I used a 5B pencil, and gave myself the luxury of a bit of rubbing out if strictly necessary. I quite liked the pencil, and again the punchline could have gone a few different ways, but I think this is a nice little wrap up without explaining too much.

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So mixing it up again, i tried a bit of coloured pencil, and again I used characters I had drawn but not done anything with before and decided to see where it goes. I started off with a bit of a downtrodden Fargo/ American Beauty character in mind, hence the bit of narration, and from there it wrote itself….

I’m enjoying knocking these out, they only take about half an hour to do and they’re nicely self-contained but get me thinking about utilising the panels on a page and being creative within the parameters i’ve set myself. Maybe one day I will draw the better ones of these out if I’m really bored, but I think they work for what they are, and spending hours on them wouldn’t necessarily enhance the small enjoyment that they might bring.

Try it yourself, and I’ll see you next time….