Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Baggage chosen as "Recommended Read" by Young Writers!

Young Writers is one of the many wonderful organisations that aim to promote reading and creative writing for pleasure. After twenty years of hosting workshops, publishing magazines (Scribbler! among them) and providing schools with countless resources, the good folk at Young Writers certainly know their stuff.

All of which should demonstrate why a reading recommendation from them is a serious honour!

"Our favourite brothers are back again with yet another thrilling comic story ... Baggage is without doubt another well-written, well-illustrated comic masterpiece from the talented Etherington brothers. Marvel at the brilliant drawings, cower over the sometimes dangerous characters and laugh out loud at Randall's hilarious mishaps. This book is sure to excite and thrill any age!"

Now that IS a recommendation! And with less than a month to Christmas, now is a good time to grab your copy.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Live Action Baggage Teaser!

Slightly misleading title perhaps, but entirely truthful. The video that follows is a live action (not animated) teaser (in as much as it's just an excerpt) from our book Baggage (Baggage).

The fact that it's ME reading from the book and not Bruce Willis in a Randall costume running around New York holding a suitcase ... well ... you obviously have a VERY active imagination!

You may remember we posted a link to the teaser for this teaser (so much teasing!) a while ago. The video was recorded as part of Renaissance Learning's fantastic project, Read to a Million Kids, which aims to promote literacy through finding new ways to excite children about books.

Let's see if it works shall we?

Ahem. Ridiculous.

Hopefully this little slice of nonsense made you grin, and if your curiousity has been suitably aroused and you just HAVE to know what happens next (who wouldn't?) then grab yourself a copy of the ultimate christmas present HERE!  Treat yourself, treat your friends!

- Robin!

Friday, 25 November 2011

A Tip Top Baggage Review Finale - Five Stars from Comic Heroes!

Hip-hip-HOORAY, it's Friday ('Black Friday' in the States - a bit like Boxing day, it's their busiest shopping day of the year).

Time to celebrate the passing of another week in style, and what better way than to round up our triple-bill review-a-thon. We've heard from online review sites and young readers, and now it's time to turn our attention to the cream of British print review magazines, Comic Heroes!

This bi-monthly title launched last year and has rapidly become a firm favourite among UK comic fans. Issue (number 9) was a super-sized Spiderman special.
Packaged in a card slipcase, the magazine focuses on all aspects of the comic medium, from the latest releases, movie and game adaptations, international events and, naturally, REVIEWS!!!

Imagine our delight, when we learnt that Baggage had made its way into the pages of this fine periodical.
There was some whooping, especially when we spotted those five all important little red stars!

It appears, although I may be reading between the lines, that reviewer James Lovegrove rather enjoyed our second comic outing.

"Robin Etherington's script deftly orchestrates the chaos. Not a single plot element is wasted. Events occurring in the opening pages have ramifications right through the book. This is nothing less than sublime comics storytelling."

Oh, James ... you go too far!

"And his brother Lorenzo's art is a dream. He makes a funny-animal world utterly believable, peppering his panels with sight gags and humorous detail."

You really shouldn't ... but do go on...

"Baggage could have come from the pens of Goscinny and Uderzo (creators of Asterix) in their prime. It really is that good. Kids will love it, and if you're an adult it will make you feel like a kid again, in all the right ways."

I'll be honest with you, folks, it doesn't get much better than that.
Thank you James and all the team at Comic Heroes for featuring our work among the big titles and popular series.

To read the full review, visit your local newsagent now, or go HERE to buy an online subscription!

Happy Birthday bro!

It's William's birthday!! Happy birthday bro, hope you have an awesome day, and that you stuff your face with with food and fizzy pop!!

Tons of love!

Lorenzo and Robin!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Lorenzo's The Dangerous Adventures of Von Doogan launches in Waitrose Magazine!

Just as Monkey Nuts was launched in the Guardian before it landed in the DFC, so too is my new puzzle adventure series The Dangerous Adventures of Von Doogan making a mini debut in Waitrose Weekend. That's right! Every week from now until Christmas you'll be able to indulge in a little befuddling puzzling in a Lorenzo stylee by dropping into your local Waitrose and picking up a copy of their FREE weekly paper. On the puzzle page of each issue you'll find a mini Von Doogan puzzle to get your brain warmed up for the main event in the Phoenix! Happy Solving!


A Trio of Top Baggage Reviews - Part 2!

A second helping of fun today, as we journey to the Forbidden Planet International blog where Mia (a year 6 pupil) has generously shared her thoughts on Baggage in an exclusive review.

So what does our youngest critic (to date) have to say about Randall's tall tale?

"Once he (Randall) gets the case he starts looking at it for clues for who it belongs to, which starts us off on a really funny, really silly, but very good adventure."

Well now, this sounds positive!

"I liked this book because I found it funny. My favourite bit was when he was in the sweet shop and the old lady was making rude things out of liquorice!"

Ha, that was MY favourite bit too! So tell me, Mia, who do you think will enjoy our book?

"I would recommend Baggage to all readers because I really enjoyed it and I think that anyone else would like it as well!"

You can't say fairer than that. Children know what they like, and this young adventurer just gave us the thumbs up - HOORAY!

To read the full review, go HERE!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Trio of Top Baggage Reviews - Part 1!

Good morning (thought depending on where you are and when you read this blog it might be good afternoon or good evening).

To accompany Lorenzo's invite to the latest Inkdot show (if you can make it, do so - it's going to be great) today we have the first of three great Baggage reviews to share.

Probably best to tackle them in order so here's what Andy Oliver from the ever superb Broken Frontier site had to say about our latest comic escapade.

"With each splendid new offering from The Etherington Brothers the sense that we are seeing creators destined to be regarded as one of the all-time great teams of British children’s comics only increases. However hyperbolic that claim may sound, the reality is that there’s something very special about the Etheringtons’ empathic relationship with their target audience."

Wow. Erm, thank you Andy, thank you very much indeed! And there's more:

"Lorenzo Etherington’s visuals are absolutely crammed to bursting with jokes, sight gags and intricate details."  

My word. This is fine praise indeed ... but there's MORE:

"This is the closest you’ll ever come to seeing animation on the printed page."

Right, well, that review pretty much made our year! 
To read the full article go HERE and don't forget to join us tomorrow when we'll be sharing an online review from a MUCH younger critic.

Ink Dot Exhibition opening night invite - December 1st!

I have a brand new Stranski print in the Ink-Dot RESOLUTION exhibition at Colston Hall this December, and I wanted to invite you all to the opening night art-and-booze-and-live-music-jamboree on Thursday December 1st! Details are on the flyer above, it'd be great to see you there, and feel free to bring as many friends/family/pets as you wish!

See you on the night!


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tour Report - Leeds!

Last week we packed our bags and headed North to Leeds for a four-day tour. It is fair to say we had an absolute ball.

The fun began on Thursday with a full day of comic workshops at St John the Evangelist Primary School in neighbouring Bradford. The pupils in years 3-6 proved, once again, that the only quality you need to unlock genuine creativity is a willingness to say something silly. The number and variety of amusing and original ideas flying around the classrooms had Lorenzo and I in hysterics. Many thanks to Sam Waugh for organising the trip.

Then it was back to Leeds to check in at The Met, our rather swanky looking hotel.

Despite the grandness of the entrance (and it was grand) we were most impressed by the giant Christmas tree in the foyer! Here I can be seen posing as a fairy ... or perhaps a bauble.

We rose early on Friday in order to make the most of the buffet breakfast (that's just good sense) and, as is traditional on this blog, our camera was primed to capture our selections. I opted for a classic platter.

Lorenzo ... yes ... well...

He did eat a lot of pizza the night before, but still ... that is pathetic!

Friday was all about the Young People's Graphic Novel Awards, in which Monkey Nuts had been nominated. The event, organised by Deborah Moody, took place in the Art Gallery exhibition space in Leeds Central Library (a wonderful labyrinthine building filled with hidden rooms and staircases). A packed audience was treated to presentations from three of the shortlisted titles, as Sarah McIntyre, Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers (the Metaphrog team) and we Etheringtons took to the stage. Afterwards, Dave Shelton (last year's champ) announced the winner - many congratulations to fellow DFC Library contributor Sarah for scooping the title - a raffle was held (with the shortlisted books making for VERY popular prizes), and we then spent an enjoyable hour signing books and sketches and chatting with the audience.

Oh, and look at this lovely etched crystal paperweight we were given - cool!

That night Lorenzo and I found a superb Mexican restaurant near the Corn Exchange, called Neon Cactus. If you're ever in Leeds, we urge you to visit. GREAT food and good times all round!

Which all brings us to day three and four - the big one. Our debut appearance at the Thought Bubble Comic Festival. Nicely timed, I might add, to the show growing from a one day event to a full weekend of panels, signings and more comics than you can handle.

And here we are in action!

We'd been looking forward to meeting lots of new readers but we never realised how many there would be. Our entire stock of Baggage, Monkey Nuts, El Sketchbook Lorenzo Deluxe Collection and Malcolm Magic was feverishly snapped up by Sunday lunchtime, leaving Lorenzo and I with little to do but purchase comics, grin and finally, head home. We came, we sketched, we comiked!

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make our first trip to Leeds such a success. We had an incredible time and we can't wait to return.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Grab your FREE copy of the Phoenix - TODAY!

The word FREE is almost as delightful as the word COMIC. Today we're giving every reader the chance to enjoy them both.

While we were away on tour in Leeds (full report tomorrow), the Phoenix Comic roared into life, firstly by launching their brand new website, and secondly with an amazing deal - in conjunction with Waitrose - for children all over the country.

If you were lucky enough to get your mitts on a copy of the free Waitrose Weekend magazine (seen above and still available, so if you have a Waitrose in your town, run out and snare yourself a copy) you will have discovered a four-page section dedicated to the Phoenix comic. You can see sneak peeks of loads of strips and characters and best of all? ... every reader gets a chance to claim an ultra-special Issue 0!

All you have to do is visit thephoenixcomic.co.uk/waitrose enter your address details and the Waitrose Offer Code - PHOENIX1 - and a FREE copy of the comic will be posted to your home!

But don't waste any time - there are only limited stocks of this bonus, exclusive, one-of-a-kind preview and they're going FAST!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Lost and Found Tour continues...

It's all go at the moment - with a multitude of exciting projects stacking up neatly like the most incredible Jenga tower ever - but we've still found time for the next leg of our Lost and Found tour.

This week we'll be taking Baggage and Monkey Nuts up north, to the mighty metropolis of Leeds for a four day celebration of comics. And the party has already begun as this live snapshot from the city centre clearly shows.

On Thursday 17th we'll be visiting neighbouring Bradford to host a trio of workshops in a local school.

On Friday 18th we'll be sharing our trade secrets at the Leeds Graphic Novel Awards, where Monkey Nuts has been nominated (keep those fingers crossed).

And on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th you'll find us at the Thought Bubble Comic Con in the Royal Armouries Hall. We'll be around all weekend, so come down, find our stand, say hi and grab a signed copy of Baggage, Monkey Nuts, Malcolm Magic or Lorenzo's magnificent 600 page Sketchbook Deluxe!

It's going to be excellent - full report coming soon.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Return to Cybertron...

Let's start the week with something fun - a brand new issue of Transformers!

This month's comic is a little different. I'd wanted to show a different side to Megatron for a while, especially (if you know your Transformers lore) as the Decepticon commander was once a charismatic leader capable of dividing a nation.

In War Story therefore we return to the Cybertronian warrior's homeworld and witness a desperate battle that might have changed the course of history. Horacio Dimingues provides the tasty art - here's a sneak peak!

Visit your nearest stockist to grab your copy today!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The ultimate Christmas Special Offer!

I know it's a little while to Christmas yet, but when it comes to ordering gifts online, you really do need to plan ahead! So, for all those of you who know someone (or ARE someone) who wants to spend Christmas day rifling through literally thousands of illustrations, concepts, roughs, design sheets unseen artwork and more from my work in the comic, book and animation industries, then this is the deal for you!

From now until the 20TH NOVEMBER you can get a whopping 20% of the mighty El Sketchbook Lorenzo SIX HUNDRED PAGE sketch book!

Simply go HERE, (where there is now a NEW updated preview the book), add a copy to your basket, and at checkout enter the code NOVBOOKS11 and claim your money off!

Happy reading!


P.S. You can also use this code with the Malcolm Magic Big Kahuna Collection!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

On November 24th Robin will attempt to read to a MILLION kids!

Wednesday is not traditionally a typical day for BIG news, but we Etheringtons like to do things a little differently. In fact, the more different, the better. Which is why, when the wonderful folks over at Renaissance Learning asked me to perform a live reading of Baggage, I happily agreed.

Live reading from a comic book? What could beat that challenge?
Well, how about attempting to read to a MILLION children?

Ridiculous ... but TRUE!  Here's the official explanation:

"Read to a Million Kids is Renaissance Learning's campaign to read, quite literally, to 1,000,000 children through a series of exciting online activities, resources and live reading events featuring some  of the most popular children's authors!"

"One of the best ways of achieving this is through storytelling, which can have a significant effect on children of all ages and abilities. By first encountering a book in this way, many children go on to pick up, read and enjoy books in their own time. We hope that our growing video collection of popular children’s authors will appeal to and motivate children of all ages and abilities to read for pleasure."

Brilliant stuff, I think you'll agree. And now for an extra special teaser of what's to come later this month...

This is a truly worthy initiative, so get out there and spread the good word.

Oh, and TEACHERS can find a host of excellent classroom resources HERE!

Let's make this happen, people!

- Robin

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

World War Weird: THREE

More One Eye Stereo Vision from World War Weird...