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 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.

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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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I did this for the Observer Jonathan Cape competition around 2009. As you can see we’re getting into the fantastical territory that we’d see more of in UAEA. At the time, my pal Gareth Brookes was obsessed with cryptozoology and duendes so that was what this was all about.

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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…

‘Lucasing’ Untitled Ape

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So i’ve been thinking about Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure as a whole, (as you may have noticed from recent posts), and i’ve decided to mess about with it a bit. It was originally created in chronological order, as i was writing and drawing it as i went along but the trouble with this is twofold- 1) the drawings end up being a bit shit as i’ve developed as i’ve gone along, and 2) it doesn’t allow for retrospective changes in the story as a whole, and connections between points in the story that make it satisfying to read.
Ergo, i’ve decided to ‘Lucas’ (i.e. go back in and tinker with a previously released version) some of the bits that stick out as weak and plot and dialogue that makes more sense given that i now know the end of the story. So here’s the first results below, i’ve changed Untitled Ape’s previously rather squat body to a more streamlined version as i’ve come to draw it, and i’ve changed some of the dialogue to make his motivation a bit stronger.
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Lucasing- use it in a sentence today!

Untitled Ape In Progress

Good chevening pig lovers!

I’ve been beavering away on finishing writing Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure, and i’ve got a pretty solid idea now of how it’s gonna pan out. Here’s a few sketches of what’s in store for our boys…

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I’m more or less ready to start on the rest of the story now, I’ll still be posting it for the time being, but the intention is for it to be a book which will have extra stuff that isn’t in the webcomic.

Kind Regards

Stevo x

NEWZROUND: Laydeez and LACF5!

Hi Pals
Firstly, I want to say thanks for the great response I’ve had to the ‘I Yeti’ strip, I put a lot of work into it so it’s nice to be recognised, even if my moment in the spotlight is now over. I’ll be selling prints of the I, Yeti strip on here very shortly (UPDATE- now available here), and it will also feature in a new comic, more of which to follow…

So, on with the NEWZ:
This coming Monday the 26th November, I will be one of the speakers at the inaugural meeting of the Leeds branch of Laydeez Do Comics (details here), doing a short talk about my comics and co-organising the Leeds Alternative Comics Fair. So if you’re a comics laydee, please come along.

Speaking of LACF it appears I have been remiss in not posting my poster here, so here it is:

All being well, I will be selling a special, very limited edition comic called ‘Banal Pig’s Royal Assortment’ a full-colour collection of new and recent comics including ‘I, Yeti’, a few one-pagers and the all-new strip ‘Vampire Weekend’:

Well, you get the idea of that, I’ll have to get my cheeks in gear to get it finished though, still got to do a cover and that.
Also, if i’ve got time, I’m gonna attempt some linocut christmas cards for your pleasure.

The last thing in my newsfest is that i’m working on the possibilities of a print version of Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure. I’ve pretty much worked out the main story now, which will be six chapters, but there will be a difference between the webcomic and the book as I’m gonna expand the character’s stories and have a few more sub plots weaving their way into the main plot. Here’s a sketch of some of the characters you can expect to see in coming chapters:

This is as much as you’re getting for now, but I’ll keep you posted as things develop, and keep an eye on the webcomic as I’ll still be posting new pages…

Very lastly, please have a look at Banal Pig vice president Gareth Brookes’ blog which he has updated with much gusto in the last few months, and is packed with tasty nuggets of art, comics and books.

Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure is back!


I’ve decided to catch up with our old pals Untitled Ape and Untitled Cat (yes, I know they’re stupid names that don’t make sense, but it’s happened now) and finally get back on with their story, Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure.
I’m probably going back to working for the man for a bit pretty soon (unless anybody wants to donate a load of cash to me), so I’m gonna bash out as many pages as I can before then. Please check it out if you haven’t already, tell your friends, and let me know what you think.

Newzround- Banal Pig 5 Previews

‘Sup pig lovers? As usual, i’ve got a few things on the boil at the moment- Space Wars, a top secret 4 page full colour strip and Banal Pig 5 (as well as Untitled Ape’s Untitled Adventure, which I get round to when I can), none of which I can afford to print at the moment, but maybe one day. On that subject, I might well have to go back to working for The Man fairly soon as buying a house and earning virtually no money are not very compatible, and we’re buying a house. Anyway, here’s some panels from Banal Pig 5:

They are previews from Fez Man, Irate Robot and Jolly Bear in various states of completeness, i’ve currently got about 12 pages on the go from BP5, but i’ve got a good idea of the shape of the whole thing, which will be a bit different from previous banal pigs as it has an central story arc running through all the strips.

More newz soon, please feel free to commission something or buy stuff from me in the meantime (apologies for these pathetic requests for money, hopefully things will pick up soon and i will regain my dignity).

p.s. not many Star Wars prints left, get yours now if you want one.

p.p.s. sorry again