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Comic Cuts: Brit Creators Reminisce! - Part 3

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Comic Cuts was the name of the long-running British comic that debuted way back around 1890 and, as such, seemed a fitting banner title for Broken Frontier’s celebratory series of articles during our Brits On Top! event. Join us each day this week as noted British creators share some nostalgic comics-related snippets of their childhood; providing anecdotes that are sometimes funny, sometimes poignant and sometimes wonderfully bizarre… Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Peter Rogers: Tiger

Tiger was my 2000AD. Tharg’s thrillpower wasn’t unleashed on me until I was older but Tiger hit me at my formative sweetspot. After a diet of Whizzer & Chips it was a revelation, an anthology book written just for me. Like my favourite TV shows only better and British.

Tiger was the point in my Venn diagram where sport and adventure meet. There was wrestler Johnny Cougar, much cooler than anyone on World of Sport, Hot Shot Hamish the Scottish striker with the superhuman shot and the rally escapades of Martin’s Marvellous Mini.

          

Click and enlarge the panel on the left, from Pete's recent OGN The Interactives from Markosia, to spot a cameo appearance of the Tiger Annual 1982, right.

But the story I used to read first was Billy’s Boots, about a boy and his performance enhancing football boots. Perfect fodder at the age where you’re convinced socks or a sweatband can make you play better (I used to eat dextrosol sweets on sports day, blame Daley Thompson).  

Tiger was a big influence on my desire to work in comics too. Armed with How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way and a Rolf Harris cartooning book 11 year old me was going to break in as an artist. And I spent my school art lessons redrawing images and pages from Tiger unaware that writing was even an option.

Over time I could get my sport fix in Football Monthly and Marvel UK satisfied my adventure cravings, but for a little while Tiger was a big deal to me, without it I wouldn’t be reading or writing comics today.

Peter Rogers is co-founder of Orang Utan Comics. His graphic novel The Interactives was released last week from Markosia. For more on Pete's work check out his website here and follow him on Twitter.

Cy Dethan: 2000AD and Hewligan’s Haircut

I remember getting my reality severely and irreparably shifted by the first appearance of Hewligan's Haircut in 2000AD. This would've been around 1990, I guess, and in that story they were breaking rules that I didn't even know existed!

Hewlett and Milligan joyously battered the fourth wall to rubble and challenged almost everything I thought I knew about comic storytelling. Reading it was like learning a whole new language. Pure inspiration at an almost toxic level.

Cy Dethan's comics work includes Cancertown from Markosia and the soon-to-be-collected The Indifference Engine available now for pre-order. You can discover more about Cy's work on his website here and also follow him on Twitter.

Steve Beckett: 2000AD and Deadline

I must have read almost every boys comic on the newsagents shelves at some point during my childhood. I remember waiting on the stairs for my Beano to be delivered. My brother got The Dandy, so we would swop after reading our comics.On a Sunday, Dad would bring us either Whizzer and Chips, Whoopee or The Beezer, which I loved because it was printed on massive paper like a broadsheet so I had to read it lying on the floor.

I remember discovering 2000AD in a dentist's waiting room. I read Judge Dredd and was hooked. I went to the shop on the way home and bought Best of 2000AD monthly issue 3 and the weekly and read it faithfully for the next 15 years, along with Battle and any Marvel UK stuff I could find. It was Deadline magazine, Philip Bond's work in particular, that really prompted me to get into self publishing and kick started me on the road to a career in comics.

Steve Beckett's current projects include Sea Dogs for The Dandy and Tough Guy published by Mohawk Media. You can also follow Steve on Twitter To find out more about Steve's work check out his blog here and his website here 

The Etherington Brothers: The Great Crossing

When Lorenzo and I were boys - way back in the Eighties - the shelves of our local newsagent were constantly lined with two-colour, three-colour and four-colour comic delights. There were successful titles like The Dandy, Buster, Whizzer and Chips, Battle, and lesser-known alternative series like Oink, as well as a deluge of cartoon/toy spin-off products such as Mask, Zoids, Ring Raiders, The Real Ghostbusters (193 issues and yet none of my friends collected it?) and Action Force (the UK version of G.I. Joe). Sure, Marvel UK was also producing plenty of comics but it would be years before Spider-Man and Wolverine took a residency in the Etherington household.

         

While Lorenzo was a relative purist at this time - his bed surrounded by piles of Beanos in a maze-like construction - I was simply an addict. I bought everything I could get my hands on, the stranger and rarer the better. We both shared a mutual love of the material, but Lorenzo had already begun to draw and was spending more and more time with his own creations while I just sponged up inspiration from every sequential page I could gather. Then, in 1984/5 (not quite sure which year), we were introduced to a series that changed both our personal and professional lives forever.

Our Granddad, who sadly passed away many years before we joined the comic industry, used to buy us books from his local library. The library service in the UK often held sales of older editions, damaged copies, or simply less popular books, and Stanley "Buster" Brown (he even had a comic title as a nickname!) never missed an opportunity to grab a bargain. And so, one fateful Saturday, on one of his visits to the family home, Buster presented us with an aged copy of Asterix and The Great Crossing. In French. Now, we had never heard of Asterix, knew nothing of the 21 books that preceded this volume, nor could we speak a word of French, but by the end of that day we had worked out that 'Fin' meant 'End' and that those plucky Gauls where the greatest heroes EVER invented! The influence of Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo can be seen throughout our entire body of work.

In writing terms I've always leaned towards temperamental character partnerships. I love 'journey' tales and seek to employ abundant comedy violence (without the need for bloodshed) whenever and wherever possible. Lorenzo's colour palette, his Euro-inspired designs, sense of kinetic action and page layouts all pay tribute to his undying love of THOSE magical books. And now the circle of art is complete. Our creator-owned graphic novels are all produced in the beautiful Bande Dessinee format - a bold move that would not be possible without the support of David Fickling and Random House. From Monkey Nuts (book 1 out now - book 2 due Christmas 2012, tbc) to Baggage (out October 6th) to our brand new, in-production series that will be published first in weekly instalments in The Phoenix comic (launching January 7th, 2012), we owe an immense debt of gratitude to our Granddad and his local library.

Bis repetita placent, Buster. You taught us well.

The Etherington brothers have been producing original comic material since 2003 and are the creative team behind the Eagle-award nominated series Malcolm Magic, as well as Monkey Nuts, YORE!, Baggage, Tusk, and MOON! They have worked/continue to work on, new comic material for Transformers, Star Wars, Wallace and Gromit, The Dandy, Terminator Salvation and Dreamworks' Monsters Vs Aliens and Madagascar franchises.You can find out more about their work on their website here and visit their online store here for a selection of books, art prints and other merchandise.  

Join us tomorrow for another selection of British comics memories...

If you're a British creator and you'd like to share a similar anecdote with us then e-mail andyoliver@brokenfrontier.com and we'll publish it on the site by the end of the week.

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Comments

  • Tony Ingram

    Tony Ingram Aug 19, 2011 at 8:06am

    Nice to see Hewligan's Haircut get a mention! Great strip, and I always found Scarlet O'Gasmeter strangely attractive...

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