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.

untitledcat1

untitledcat2preview

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.

untitledape1untitledape2

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.

 

ucua1

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

epic3

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.
newepic3preview
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

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.

Covered, etc


in the spirit of the previous posts, here’s another black and white drawing for you, posted here as i like it in black and white, but perhaps lacks a bit of pizazz next to the full colour original. The good news is you can view it in glorious colour over on the magnificent covered blog, where i used a 64-colour cmyk comic colouring grid that i got from somewhere, and it seems that it matches the original pretty well, so i’m gonna use it again to colour my upcoming poster for the 4th Leeds Alternative comics fair, details to follow very soon. I’m also working on an ingenious folding minicomic for LACF4, so i’ll keep you posted on that too.
Elsewhere, i’m back on with Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure and as i’ve got more time in my recently acquired freelance status (gizza job/ some money/ buy a comic or a drawing) and i’m aiming to finish it and hopefully get it published this year, which may be a pipedream as its probably a third of the way through, and it took me a year to get this far, but we’ll see. What’s this blog for if not for me to be hopelessly inaccurate in predicting what i’m doing next?

New for Thought Bubble!

here’s another new poster which, all being well, will be available for thought bubble this weekend. it’s the father of science fiction, HG Wells, riding on a pig. I just thought of it the other day, and i fancied drawing it. Along with this and these I’ll have 5 posters for sale in total, which is a new thing for me really but i’m enjoying doing the big images. Also available will be these fine badges below, representing some of my best loved characters (and chris sandwich). i recommend buying the chris sandwich badge, as it will be the collector’s item of the future due to it’s unpopularity at the time of release.

Of course i will be selling a selection of my comics, plus gareth brookes’ masterwork The Black Project and i will be sharing a table with Hugh Shug Raine, which means you may as well not go to any other stand, but you probably still can if you want…

best of the work doodles- oct 2011

 

apologies for the relative lack of any proper content on here recently, i have been moving house and allsorts. as if to provide a weedy consolation, here’s some of the best doodles from the last few weeks at work. i like to mix it up with 2 or 3 biros to keep things interesting. i did the top one today, and he was just a funny nude man until the addition of the straw hat which turned him into a sympathetic castaway character. maybe there’s a little narrative there? the middle one i call “tense elephant”- i draw a lot of octopi (yes i went there) and elephants, i find them satisfying. lastly, there’s this nice log man. he is possibly reminiscent of something that exists, let me know if you can identify what…

i solemnly swear that i will restart untitled ape’s epic adventure again this week and will at least pop a couple out before thought bubble. i’m ready to get back drawing, might even start tonight.