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:


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:


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!

cgcoverpreview photo 1

More Original Art for Sale!

That’s right, have a look here for your opportunity to own some of the most ‘iconic’ banal pig pages in their original form, all at extremely reasonable prices. There’s some watercolour and ink wash paintings available, but the majority of the work is pen on paper from the first four banal pig comics. The linework and hatching is a lot more nuanced and detailed in the flesh, as you lose a bit of depth during the scanning and printing, and the ivory paper makes them look real nice too. Please check them out, there’s the first Feeder and Wife page, the infamous “I wish I was dead” Ugly Mindreader page, plus Banal Pig, Jolly Bear, Fez Man and lots more…

jolly bear and fun coconut summer special 1 online!

that’s right! i’m feeling generous this weekend, so here’s some more good stuff for youse. Of course, those pig lovers who were with me from the early days will have a copy (the first 50 were signed and numbered and printed on nice ivory paper), but they have long since sold out. Maybe i (or fantagraphics/top shelf/jonathan cape) will reprint it one day as a collection, but for now i’m juggling keeping about 10 titles in print, so it’s not likely.
I’ve still got plenty of number 2’s in stock, so if you like this, why not buy that?

another banal pig 4 preview

here’s another preview from banal pig 4, the beginning of the jolly bear old testament story, and is the link page from the untitled cat strip featuring good old untitled ghost. it’s the same ink wash style i used for the jolly bear summer special 2, although i’m drawing over it in pen too to give it a tighter finish, and each of the images will be a full page. i’m doing a bit of digital grayscale on one or two of the strips too to give things a different look. nice.

Banal Pig’s Review of the Year 2007 (Part One)

In the spirit of many a lazy journalist at this time of year, I have decided to take a look back at the last 12 months of banal piggery, perhaps it will teach me some lessons; perhaps it will waste half an hour- we shall see.


January found me in chipper mood, sometimes you do get a bit enthusiastic at the promise of a new year, a new start and all that shit, even though time rolls on whatever us humans call it. I made another list of “Reasons to be cheerful” which included:

crispy bacon
unsolicited praise
rowdy blues music
art that i couldnt do
the smell of a pub as you walk past

aw… I am an optimist you know.

In comics, I was collating the BP Portrait Prize Anthology which was a good experience, I enjoyed the editing side of things and it was nice to put something out fairly quickly and have a mixed selection. Top Shelf’s Brett Warnock described it as “hit and miss”, which I suppose is fair enough, but I think it’s a better quality of Antho than many out there.

Also in the spirit of new opportunities, I was attempting to raise the profile of the Banal Pig brand, and I think I have done to some extent with the Web Funnies and that, but we’ve still not cracked how to engage with punters at comic expos. I think it’s impossible.


I did this quite decent banal pig for the web and mini comix thing anthology, but they didn’t use it for some reason. I’m not doing another one.


Here’s an exerpt from my report from the Web and Mini Comix thing:

“it was quite a good day, and as the punters there are our specific target market we did probably as well in one day as we usually do over the weekend at the big cons. the new anthology went down quite well and there were quite a few of the contributors there to pick up their issues. i didnt actually buy anything but there was some decent stuff there- The Sound of Drowning, Dan Locke’s Green comics, Monkeys Might Puke, Beaver and Steve spring to mind – there was plenty of shite there too. Plenty of fucking awful shite. Gareth managed to get Man Man 3 out too, and we were also selling good old Oli East’s Trains Are Mint which also went down well.”

We’re doing it again this year, by the way.

Also this selection of Road Jokes, which I feel are worth repeating:

What does a road say when he wishes to thank you?


Whats a Road’s favourite Grandmaster Flash song?


What does a baby road do before it can walk?


But of course, March was most famous for the “Sour Grapes” post, in which I vented my frustrations about the state of british small press comics. This caused a bit of stir, particularly with those people who I (and others) vented about, and I’m not going to repeat any of it here as it is history (although you can read the post and it’s comments if you like). Maybe it was unwise to blog in such a way, but it was only the difference between me thinking it and saying it, and I didn’t think anyone would read it anyway.


April marked the end of the financial year, and I was contemplating my accounts thusly:

“Today i am taking stock of my comics business as the financial year is all but wrapped up. i’ve made a considerable loss and am wondering where my profit margins can be increased. buying a laser printer and doing the job myself is one option, not doing the big conventions, and putting up the price of the comic are all options, none of them easy. hopefully i’ll get some tax back again, but i’ve got to start being a bit more canny, which is not the side of the business i’m interested in. any ideas?”

(Whenever I write “any ideas?” no-one ever responds. I’m the same generally. A covert blog reader but not commenter, and however I try to encourage the comments, it doesn’t make a difference.)

In relation to the above, I didn’t really make any changes, but on balance this year’s Birmingham Con was too expensive (we shouldn’t have even got out of bed on the Sunday), and I don’t think we’ll bother this year. I do feel a bit ambivalent towards money making, I am in no way a ruthless business man- I always want to give the reader value for money. This doesn’t really make my business very lucrative, but value for money is my core business plan, and it has led to repeat purchases and word of mouth and all that, and hopefully that will continue to grow.

The rest of April was Ethel Sparrowhawk previews, more of which presently.


Of course, May was the highlight of the comics year, the Bristol Comics Expo, the reason I busted my balls to get Ethel Sparrowhawk finished (I actually took a week off work- dedication eh?). The reason it’s my highlight is because its ten minutes down the road from my house, so there’s no extra costs and there’s plenty of people I know. Ethel went down (sold) well, and we got some nice big ups from (small press stalwart) Paul Rainey and (V for Vendetta artist) David Lloyd, and I think it was a good choice to do a change of direction at this stage, and it was a different way of working, collaborating with the lovely Jemima Von Schindelberg, to make something I certainly couldn’t have come up with on my own.

I was also contemplating a small press community website thing, where it would be easy to sell and give recommendations and that sort of thing, but to be honest I haven’t given it a second thought since then.

One thing I have learned this year is that you really have to plough your own field, do your best, work hard, etc and this brings its own rewards. No-one else is going to do it for you (me). Although I haven’t seen any tangible rewards yet, I am confident they will appear.


Very exciting things happened in June, yes that’s right, I won £54 on a scratchcard! Happy times.
Gareth’s website, Appalling Nonsense was created too, and I laid out my hopes and dreams for BP4:

“anyway, i was also thinking about making longer comics, and i really want to step it up a notch with banal pig 4. my current vision (sounds a bit pretentious doesnt it?) involves 2 levels of comics- i.e. a main strip and a sub-strip running alongside/under/against it, and i want to continue to develop the banal pig “universe” (again this sounds a bit poncy, but it is fairly common comic speak i think) and feature more of the peripheral characters and make the general look a bit more dense, or at least vary the layouts a bit more. this means that it wont be ready for birmingham, but i’ll have JBFCSS2 and maybe another minicomic, and i’ve got my fingers in a few other pies.”

One thing that I always do is underestimate the time it takes to do anything. Jolly Bear 2 was just about ready for Birmingham, and I have decided to really take my time with BP4 and have it out for Bristol in May ’08, but it will be worth it- having started drawing it, it is actually still quite similar to this, but there wont be as many sub strips. I cant remember what other pies they were.

I was moaning because of my shit job, as is my wont from time to time, and I started doing the ROK comics thing, in the hope of winning $10,000 (ha!). I think all competitions are flawed, in as much as I never win them.

So that’s it for part one, the first six months, but I’ll be back soon with part two probably….


Hello pals.

Hopefully it goes without saying that i will be presenting my wares at the Birmingham International Comics show this weekend. I know my loyal commentators will be there, but if there are any casual pig lovers out there who fancy a trip to the picturesque west midlands this weekend, then do it! The repeatedly aforementioned JBFCSS2 is now back from the printers and looking fancy, and we’ll have all the good stuff, including Gareth Brookes’ new book “The Smell of the Wild”.
Good old Oliver East will also be joining us, and i understand he’ll be bringing not only his excellent Trains are Mint series, but some of Jim Medway’s books as well.

Cor Blimey! Why would you want to go to any other stall?


yes yes oh yay, Jolly Bear & Fun Coconut Summer Special Number Two is finished, and i will be whisking it to the printers first thing tomorrow. here’s the cover- yes colour, and there’s a nice colour painting on the back too. it will premiere at the Birmingham International Comics show this weekend, so please come and buy as many as you can afford.

p.s. this image is not a true representation of the cover, and i have no idea why it’s so crazy, but i like it.

JBFCSS2 Preview

yes here he is! a picture from the hotly anticipated Jolly Bear and Fun Coconut Summer Special Number 2, which will be on sale in less than 2 weeks(!) how exciting. I’d better get my arse in gear. same old same old eh? another comic convention, another mad rush to finish. i’m not gonna spoil it, but terrible things happen, as you can see, i’ve done it a bit painty, like.

another piccy

Here’s another one from the vaults. i didnt like it when i did it but i think its pretty good.
Meanwhile in comics, JBFCSS2 is gathering pace like a large round cheese rolling down a steep hill, and the preparations for the all new web funnies during October continue. ‘citing.

ting and ting

no real news on the comics front- working and that- finishing off the nice banal pig for that gosh darned obsever/jonathan cape thing, and also i’m now looking forward to the birmingham expo in a couple of months, new jolly bear for that.
i’ve been reading a lot about the state of the comics industry recently, how marvel and dc and that dont make any money apart from from films and toys, and the independents are lucky to break even. it amazes me how anyone makes a living in this industry. with this in mind, i dont know where my ambitions lie- should i look towards publishing my own (and other’s) work on a decent scale. what about web comics? any money in that? or should i branch out- what about animation/films/toys- yeah, nice ones with lots of lead paint made by chinese people*

you need money to make money isnt it? i’d really like to make a book with two colours with really nice covers and all the rest.

i got a few comics the other day- “Hey, Wait” by Jason which is quite an old one of his but has some really nice stylistic touches, although my heart wasnt quite as broken as the quotes on the cover promised. i also got Uptight No.2 by Jordan Crane which is decent enough, and i agree with Tom Spurgeon that the format of the comic works really well and there should be more indies that look like this- 24 b&w pages with a nice colour screenprinty cover, and its pretty cheap- £1.40.

anyway, i’ll repeat my request for some paid work- i’m cheap and try really hard, and if anyone wants to make cartoons of my work (for free) get in touch….

*funnily enough, someone from hong kong or somewhere sent me an email asking if i want to make a banal pig action (or should that be inaction?) figure- i’m going to see how much it is.