Monday, 25 July 2016

Morning Reading - Some great Blogs you might enjoy.

Every morning, with a cup of coffee in hand, I sit down in front of my computer and go through a little ritual.   I switch to Spotify, to select something interesting to listen to, then a quick check of Facebook and then onto Blogger to see what activity there has been on the Blogs I follow.   Today was a good day on the blogs so I thought I'd share a few of the Blogs on my list

Art from Nigel's Blog
Top today was Beano artist Nigel Parkinson's blog,  "Nigel Parkinson Cartoons" Here you will normally find stories of Nigel's travels round the comic cons (can we get him an invite for Enniskillen next year Paul?) and examples of art out-takes from the Beano.  But every now and then Nigel gives us something a little bit more, a bit special.  Today was one of those days.  

In a post entitled Secrets, Part 2, Nigel talks about why he draws and what drawing means to him.  He talks about the comics he enjoyed as a kid and how he got started drawing.  It was a real pleasure to read a true gentleman, talking about his lifelong and ongoing enthusiasm for drawing comics.

Steve Holland's "Bear Alley" is always interesting and updated almost every day.    Named after the "man-made gorge" that led to the storage facility for the records and file copies of of Amalgamated Press magazines in the old Fleetway House built by Alfred Harmsworth, the blog is a fascinating mixture of news of new British comics publications, historical articles on old comics or paperback books and from time to time really good quality scans of classic strips from look and Learn and other comics of my youth.

The cover to one of Steve's excellent comic index books
Steve is a true scholar of his subject, and the blog is an invaluable resource for information on writers and artists of British comics and vintage paperback books.  He is also accomplished editor and is responsible for a plethora of excellent books reprinting British comics.  he was editor for the fantastic oversize books reprinting Don Lawrence's Trigan Empire and Storm series and has also self-published a series of books under the Bear Alley Books imprint.  A mixture of detailed indexes of various British comics, reprints of strips not often discussed but well worth reviving and British pulp fiction, Steve's books are immaculately produced and will be the subject of a much longer entry here some day. 

Another Beano artist on the morning reading list is Lew Stringer.  Lew has two blogs, one containing details of his own upcoming work in the Beano or Toxic or in his own self-published comics  Lew Stringer Comics and Blimey, the Blog of British Comics where he features other peoples publications, convention reports and really interesting memories of British comics of the past 30 years.  If Bear Alley concentrates on the adventure strips then Lew's focus tends to be on the superb and unique history of British humour comics.

Finally, I want to mention Robin Barnard's Images Degrading Forever.  Robin is currently featuring "Star Jaws" on the blog, a monthly 'remix' comic, taking pages from old Scomics and telling a totally different story by rewriting the text and 'adjusting' the artwork.

At the moment the title features a Star Jaws strip, which tells the story of Robert and his wookie friend Paul meeting Serigo Aragones and his posse, a series of single page strips by Martin Hand, where super-villains talk about their suppers and Star Jaws Oiks, the tale of two rather familiar yet foul-mouthed robots. 

It's fun, great fun.  Especially for anyone who remembers the original comics and with past entries featuring Robin and his artist friends take on Marvel Team-Up and Captain Britain comics this is well worth a look.

I'll cover a few more Blogs in a future post, but for now I'd love to hear what British comics blogs other people are reading that I might be missing. 

Drop me a line to or add a comment here.

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