Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Monky Nuts advance copies! Sneak peek!

Right, these are awesome. Our publisher sent us through the first super-shiny-still-warm-from-the-presses advance copies of Monkey Nuts and the Diamond Egg of Wonders, here's a few shots of us gurning away with 'em!
Let me tell you, these babies are sooooo nice. The quality of production on the the printing and binding of these books is off the scale. Beautiful big hardback bad boys with gorgeous super-rich interior paper stock...mmmm! Good enough to eat!

As everyone knows, September 2nd will be national Monkey Nuts day, and we'll be back in here to show you lots more on the build up to the launch. Of course you can pre-order your copies NOW on Amazon right HERE.

Oh, and it's 1 Day and 17 hours until the launch of The Lore of the Things!


Monday, 28 June 2010

Jamie Smart's Fish Head Steve being developed for TV!

Just a very little sketch here to draw your attention THIS ANNOUNCEMENT about the fact that Jamie Smart's Fish Head Steve is being developed for TV! Believe me when I say that nothing could be better for you kids than to get a dose of this madness in animated form on a regular basis, so we at Etherington Towers are keeping all our fingers and toes crossed that this baby gets through all the 'orrible red tape of the broadcasting industry and makes it to our screens super-fast!

Congrats, Jamie, you deserve nothing less!


Friday, 25 June 2010

Next Exhibition: Weapon of Choice/Howies opens Friday 23rd July

Phew! The Ink-dot Escape exhibition has only just opened (runs until 11th July, photos from the opening night and details on our blog HERE) and already it's time to tell you about the NEXT exhibition I'm involved in!
On Friday 23rd July Weapon of Choice will be opening a new group exhibition in the Howies gallery, and I'll have a brand new painting in the show. I'll also be drawing something big live at the opening night, alongside a load of other very talented artists, so make sure you're there!

More details very soon, but in the meantime, here's a little peek at one of the pieces from my One Man Army show earlier this year...

HUGE news coming in the next few weeks, including the launch of The Lore of the Things, a sneak peek at the advance copies of Monkey Nuts and the Diamond Egg of Wonders, and, once the ink has dried on the contracts, news of something VERY new and VERY cool! Whoop!


Ink-dot/Howies ESCAPE show opening night

Sooo, here a few snaps from the excellent opening night of the Howies/ink-dot ESCAPE exhibition. You can learn more about the exhibition, which runs until the 11th of July HERE.

And if you can't make it to the show, you can buy a copy of our print through our store HERE!


Monday, 21 June 2010

Today I have been inspired to revisit the title of this infrequent little column as I've been reminded of the core tenement to which I adhere: FUN.

That's the word I don't hear mentioned enough but have always associated with the comic medium. Unbridled FUN. And this is not just because comics have always been a physical, unashamed pleasure in the Etherington household but because they have the power to infect the storytelling process with genuine entertainment through the simple addition of pictures.

This is an opinion that was highlighted today on the Guardian Books Podcast (which you can listen to HERE) in which Sarah Crown discussed the allure of Graphic Novels with Ned Beauman and Rachel Cooke. Ned put up a resilient argument for the importance of caped crusaders and super heroes, arguing that the pleasure of sequential storytelling is in the breadth of history associated to it's myriad characters and the huge, expansive nature of it's universes. Rachel however saw a genuine pleasure in the fact that graphic novels are a quicker read, offering a welcome break from traditional literature without a loss in quality. Unfortunately, the core of the show is aimed at the importance of more autobiographical and mature material, which is all well and good (I'm a huge Chris Ware and Craig Thompson fan) but in my opinion they sort of missed the point a little.

The main problem here really starts with their use of the term 'graphic novel'. Its a divisive title created initially in the late 1970's as a way of selling comic tales to an adult audience. Alan Moore once memorably stated that is was little more than a 'marketing term' and looking at the reading list connected to the podcast I can see his point. Daredevil sits beside Maus; Watchman beside Black Hole. These works are significantly different in content and tone but they can all be grouped happily in the same pot. According to this system if it's book length and told sequentially then it must be called a graphic novel.

Nah. They're all just comics, people, and their true power lies in how much FUN they are to read - an extremely basic emotion and an experience that the panelists failed to highlight.

Lorenzo and I began working with this art form because of this precise potential for entertainment. To illicit gasps and wide-eyes and cheers and groans and laughter. Nowhere else have we found that same combination of ingredients with which to create our particular story-telling stew, than on the comic page.

So, yeah, comics have never been so much fun ... and there's an awful lot more fun to come!

London sketches

Sooooooo, I spent the weekend in London, and thus had plenty of time standing around on the underground and stuff, thereby giving me the opportunity to do a little character sketching, enjoy!


Friday, 18 June 2010

THE ESCAPE exclusive new print available NOW!

So, Robin and I were at the astoundingly awesome Ink-dot/Howies ESCAPE exhibition opening last night, and we were so blown away by the work in the show. Seriously, if you're anywhere near Bristol between now and the 11th July you NEED to see this show. It's very cool. More details HERE.

I'll be posting some photos from the opening night up very soon.

The launch of the show also means that you can now buy my brand new exclusive print from the show. Here, for your viewing pleasure is the full piece. It's available in A3, A2 and super-big-super-beautiful A1 sizes, and the production quality on these prints is through the roof. Gorgeous paper, super-high quality Giclee printing, they are things of beauty!

To preview and buy this bad boy, go to the prints section of our store HERE.

Oh, and my previous print for the ink-dot guys, featuring Stranski, is now also available in all three sizes. Whoop!



Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Happy Birthday, Etherington Pa!

So, today is a very important day, as it's the birthday of the bestest guy in all the world, our dad!
I'm so proud to have a father as caring, compassionate, and downright genius as Mr Etherington senior, and I just wanted to come in here and tell him so! Pops, I'm sorry I can't be with ya' today, but I hope you guys have a lovely time whizzing out around the Norfolk countryside!

Here, just for you, is my special version of Jack Vettriano's Birth of a Dream. Now hurry up and get that boat in the water!

TONS of love, Pops!


Monday, 14 June 2010

Ink Dot escape Exhibition opens this Thursday 17th!

Here's another little detail from my brand new print which will be launched at the Howies/Ink-dot ESCAPE exhibition this Thursday 17th June.
There has been an update to the sizes available this time, so the print will now be available in the following sizes:

A3 Limited Edition of 50
A2 Limited edition of 30
A1 Limited edition of 10

The prints are being produced by those extremely talented gents at Hello Blue, and will be high definition giclee prints on beeeeutiful 315gsm 100% cotton, acid and bleach free archival quality paper. Lovely!

The show features over 30 other new prints from a selection of the UK's finest illustrators, animators and designers, so it's going to be awesome, basically.

Moe details HERE.

Both Robin and I will be at the launch, so we look forward to seeing you guys there!



Friday, 11 June 2010

9 1/2 years of lurve!

So, yesterday I celebrated 9 1/2 years of knowing and loving the most perfect girl in all the world, and in 3 months she'll go from being my girl to being my wife! I couldn't possibly be happier than when I'm with her, and I just wanted to say, I love you baby, you are literally PERFECT!


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

When Sports and Art Collide!

WooHoo - it's double post wednesday!

Following on from Lorenzo's wonderful morning scribblings I'm delighted to pop up a link to a lovely post from renowned travel/sports journalist Matt Barr.  Last year I had the awesome privilege of tearing up the French and Swiss Alps with Matt, but we rarely had the chance to chat about much more than snowboarding ... yep, unbelievable as it may be I forgot to mention the whole 'I make comics' thing until very recently!

Anyway, go visit the ACM writing blog HERE to read a cracking little bit of Etherington blurb from the king of the hill.

And for a taste of true mountain madness go HERE to watch Torstein Horgmo's triple cork!


The NEXT sketchbook...

So, I've been totally blown away by the response to the release of my monster sketchbook, thanks to you all for the kind words and great feedback you've been sending us and telling us in the forums, it's made putting the whole thing together so worth it!
And so, as the last one took me about a year to put together (600 IS a lot of pages!) I've decided that as I want to get the next one published within the next 18 months, I probably need to start work on laying it up now.

"The NEXT one?!!" I hear you say.

Ohhhhh yeah, there's a LOT of stuff you still haven't seen yet...including this gal, who has a hint of the Miku Hatsune about her...

Stay tuned!


Monday, 7 June 2010

Clones Never Say DIE!

A new week in the Etherington kingdom means a brand new comic ADVENTURE! The Clones are back!

The latest issue of the increasingly popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars comic has hit the shelves with an action-packed tale from Robin. Star Wars Books online sum it up better than we can!

"Padawan Ahsoka Tano learns a valuable lesson in clone courage when she and Jedi Master Kit Fisto hear the tale of a badly wounded soldier. Are you brave enough to accompany trooper Marrt back to the planet where his entire squadron was wiped out? Jungle combat, monsters and duplicitous dealings abound in this thrilling tale!"

Nice!  Head to a supermarket or newsagent now to pick up your copy and take the fight to the bad guys!

Monday morning life drawings...

Okay, let's start the week with something sketchy. Each morning I warm up with a little quick life drawing, here's a few from today...


Friday, 4 June 2010

Birdsong beginnings

Happy Friiiiiiiday! Here's a little step-by-step character design, Lorenzo stylee.
This is for a little teeny-tiny Lore of the Things story we're doing to support the awesome Birdsong anthology, a superb little title that's chock-a-block with upcoming UK comics creators. The book itself will be in black and white, but I'm going to be doing it all up in colour too, because I'm funny like that...

More soon!


Thursday, 3 June 2010

Ooooh! Sid and Rivet Badges!

Just wanted to show you these exclusive little metal beauties that DFB produced for the MCM expo! Mine are going on my school bag for sure!


Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Holy COSPLAY, Batman!

Well, the mighty MCM Expo has been and gone and left all those in attendance with some quite surreal memories!

If you've never attended this monstrous event (featuring anything and everything related to Movie, Animation and Comic culture) then you've missed out on the single greatest gathering of costumed marvels.

Forget Spidey, Superman and the like, it's almost impossible to describe the variety of obscure Japanese and Korean characters that walk the floors of the Excel centre. Of the 41,000 attendees that make the annual pilgrimage to the show, I would guess-timate that at least 39, 750 are in costume! It's an, er, amazing sight.

Anyway, the DFC Library was greeted warmly by the horde and I had the opportunity to chat to legions of Monkey Nuts fans who all asked the same question: "Where's Lorenzo? He's the talent."

To finish - here's a shot of ME (not Lorenzo, sorry) and the boss, David Fickling
The man's a legend!