BP Bigg Review of 2013

So, here’s another BP tradition that i feel compelled to do for some reason, the annual stock take of everything comic related i’ve been up to (perhaps i should actually do a stock take? nah.). 2013 was quite a year, I got married, twerked with Robin Thicke at the VMAs, killed Margaret Thatcher, won Wimbledon etc etc but you know about all that dear reader, and i sense that you are far more interested in the intricacies of my comic-making biz. Well here goes…

As I started off the year back working for the man, my extra-curricular time was going to be restricted so I had to manage my time and try pick stuff that was actually going to be worthwhile. I also had a wedding to plan (my own) which took up bear time, so for the first few months of the year I concentrated on getting the story for Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure sorted. At this point in time it’s all written and planned and ready to go, I just need a year to draw and colour it, and while i’m happy that it is going to be pretty, pretty good when it’s finished, it’s not exactly the most commercial thing i could be doing with my time at the moment. To those couple of people who like UAEA, don’t worry, it’s not dead and buried, just on the back burner for now and I’ll still be plugging away behind the scenes when i get the chance (ha ha!). Anyway, here’s a sketch from near the end that i’ve not published before…


Around this time where i wasn’t really creating much to show off, i put a few things on Issuu; my super limited edition Banal Pig’s Royal Assortment, the part complete Space Wars Colouring Book, and some old jokes and stories, so why not have a look at them?

I’ve had a steady flow of one-hour commissions throughout the year too, like these: draculacommissionsm
disclaimer- this one (above) took a couple of hours.
I always enjoy doing these, so please feel free to get in touch if you have a particular drawing you’d like to commish.

So my next thing, after getting married in May was a big strip/ poster which i utilised twice, firstly as a strip in OFFLife #5 and then expanded and colour-tweaked for a poster for ELCAF (still available to buy -Ed).
ELCAF was one of only two conventions I did this year, as I vowed to do less small press stuff and thus haven’t had that much to flog, but I enjoyed it and did pretty well- it’s definitely the right size and type of con that i like, and i think it definitely benefits from choosing the exhibitors to make sure the quality is high. It’s also good to have an excuse to go down south and visit my bro Gareth Van Brookes, who had a pretty good year himself with the publication of his first full-length book, The Black Project. I would say it was great even if it wasn’t, but it definitely is, and is a unique and compelling masterwork. Read it today!

Back to the narrative, the next thing on the horizon was a comic for my sister’s wedding, which I was pretty pleased with despite the pretty tight timescale, and it went down a treat (so I say so myself). scollcomicfull

When I got back from that wedding I had a couple of exciting emails waiting for me. The first was from the editor of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, asking if i want to have a go at writing a script for them, so I said yes, and the second one was from Jamie Smart, asking if i wanted to do something for his upcoming Moose Kid Comics project, and i said yes to that too.

So that was the next couple of months sorted, it was interesting to just write a script for someone else to draw, and i’ve enjoyed watching the Turtles cartoon for “research”, it’s got some good gags in there. My first story is going to be in issue 10 apparently, but there’s not much info online that i can find- i think it should be out in February. The Moose Kid Comics thing should be coming out soon, so I won’t say too much about that, but here’s a couple of panels i previewed before:


This is getting a bit long, so I’ll wrap it up. I also did Thought Bubble, my second and last con of the year, taking over from Andy Waugh on the Sunday only, and did better than i did over the whole weekend a couple of years ago. I still don’t really like doing cons over 2 days, and i think there are far too many exhibitors which could be cut down with a bit of curatorial input to make it a bit tighter and less sprawling. Otherwise, all good though, nice to have this as a big event on the calendar.

Into 2014, Ethel Sparrowhawk 3 is on the cards, more of which soon…

Thanks again to all my patrons and to everyone who has visited here, liked me on twitter or tumblr or said something nice. Have a good one yourself.

NEWSROUNDDDD- Black Project, Vampires & Custard

Sorry! It’s been a long time since my last post hasn’t it? I’ve been putting (mostly old) stuff on my tumblr, so you should be looking there if you’re desperate for a BP fix, but here’s a few new and current affairs for you.

Firstly, I have to mention banal-pig-vice-president-done-good Gareth Brookes’ first book has been published by Myriad Editions, and a cracker it is too. It’s called The Black Project, and is like no other graphic novel you’ve seen before, painstakingly crafted as it is from an assemblage of linocuts, embroidery and written text.
Needless to say, I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s the amazon page, but you should buy it from a proper book or comic shop if you can…

Nextly, here’s my latest one-hour drawing (actually a 2 and a half hour drawing because of all the elements in it). It was commissioned as a gift so included a load of the things the giftee enjoyed, like Poirot, Labyrinth, vampires, piano lessons and so on and so on.
I’m pretty pleased with it, and as usual always open for similar things, more details here, or email me (banalpig@gmail.com) for specifics…

Lastly, here’s another preview of a thing I’m working on, tales of a place called Baked Alaska, and the trials and tribulations of its inhabitants…

Thanks for looking, let’s not leave it so long next time, eh?

Wedding Comic


My sister got married on Saturday, and she asked me to design her invitations for her, which I was happy to do, but I also suggested that perhaps I could use my skills to create a little comic about her and her husband-to-be to give away as a favour at the wedding. They seemed to think it was a good idea, so I did, and this is what I came up with.
I didn’t have masses of time to create it so I didn’t want to be messing around with stapling and collating and all that, so I decided to use my patented Christopher Wren folding technology for its format, (basically it gradually unfolds from A6 to A3) and that helped to decide the content.

For the first long thin page after the cover, I had a little introduction explaining how the comic worked for those unfamiliar with the graphic arts, and wrote a little personal message to the Bride and Groom (by the way, ‘Scollotson’ is a compound of their surnames, like Brangelina or something, you know):


The comic then unfolds again (we’re at A4 size now), and as the pair are quite well travelled, I thought it’d be nice to have a couple of maps showing where they had been, and important places in their lives (this also helped to set up the main comic in the centre pages).


This unfolds again to reveal the main portion of the comic, an A3- sized strip featuring a light-hearted biography of my sis Helen and her husband Dave, plus how they met their friends who made up the wedding party.


here’s a detail of a portion of the strip (look, there’s me in the second panel!):


It seemed to go down really well (it helped that the wedding was amazing), and I was glad to contribute something that was unique and different to the standard wedding fare. It was also nice to have a bit of a different audience for my comics work, and it made it a lot easier to explain to people what I do…

Anyway, I really enjoyed the process of making this, and I’m always open for commissions, so if you’d like a similar bespoke comic making for a special occasion, please feel free to get in touch, my email is banalpig@gmail.com.