Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Eve special: Long Gon Don original cast character designs

Last day of 2011! I hope you're all enjoying the festive holidays, and are fired up for a big NYE jamboree! For those of you who know that the REAL big event happens on the 7th January, with the Launch of The Phoenix, today's post will be of particular interest. I present below the original cast designs for our epic new comic series LONG GON DON.

LOTS more in the New Year, see you for 2012!



Friday, 23 December 2011

Free Holiday Puzzles!

Well, 2011 was quite a year, in which we appeared in the pages of the mighty Dandy almost every week with our sword and sorcery series series YORE! and my perplexing puzzle page Professor Popalop! Although we stopped working on both series a good few months ago (to begin work on Long Gone Don), the last of the puzzles has only just seen print. For those of you who enjoy a brain-teaser, I therefore present three of my favorite mind manglers from the series.

And don't forget, if you like puzzles with a twist, then my series of Von Doogan minis is still running each week in the mighty Waitrose Weekend paper, and the main event begins on January 7th in the PHOENIX!

So in the meantime, settle down by the fire, make yourself a mug of Dr Coco's Famously Filling Hot Chocolate, and get puzzling!


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Ink Dot Print Exhibition featuring STRANSKI - photos!

Some snaps here of the spectacular Ink-Dot resolution show, which runs in Colston Hall, Bristol, until the start of Jan. The show features my brand new Stranski print amongst all the other awesome offerings from the cream of Bristol's creatives. Go get some!


Waterstone's - a big thank you!

A HUGE thank you to the staff at Waterstone's Bristol city centre, and to all those folks who dropped by our signing stand and picked up copies of Baggage and Monkey Nuts on Saturday. We had such a great time and the books fairly flew off the table, leaving just enough for us to sign up some stock for the store! Roll on next Christmas!


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Dearest readers, friends and fellow adventurers! We Etheringtons would like to wish you the absolute Merriest of Christmases! Thank you all for following and supporting our exploits this year, we hope you have a wonderful yuletide holiday!

2012 is just around the corner, and it's looking like it's going to be a rather exciting year, but before any of that kicks off let's wrap our prezzies and share some warm fuzzy sentimental love!

Robin and Lorenzo!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

ComiX Factor Winners Announced!

A fortnight ago I had the pleasure of spending some quality time at the National Literacy Trust headquarters in London. The purpose of my visit? To judge the Primary and Secondary school finalists in the national ComiX Factor comic-creating competition. You may remember when we first announced this challenge (HERE), but for those who missed that post, Primary school entries had to create a best friend or side-kick for our hero, Dorko, while Secondary school entries were given the first panel for a comic strip and had to create the rest of the story themselves.

So, here I am, judging away, thinking seriously, ably assisted by the NLT's Susie Musgrove, and Renaissance Learning's Gareth Andrews...

Thinking seriously? Wait a minute ... this stuff is FUNNY!

Lorenzo (who couldn't be there on the day but cast his personal votes over the phone) and I were blown away by the volume of entries .... over 1200 from all over the country!!! The standard of drawing and writing was incredibly high.

Of course, there can only be one winner (and two runners up) in each category, so without further ado here are the best of the best for your viewing pleasure.

Primary School Winner - Max from Horsendale Primary in Nottingham, with his brilliant sidekick, 'Okrod'

My verdict: 
"Among the sea of excellent entries, Okrod genuinely stood out. As a character he was well drawn, and most importantly, original. We absolutely loved his back story, the trick with reversing Dorko's name, and the genuine sense of fun and friendship that flowed through the writing. A worthy winner!" 

Runners up 
- Krishan from Thomas Russell Junior School with 'Mr Purple Pancake' 
- Eleanor from Longford Primary School with 'Kitty Katherine'

Secondary School Winner - Niamh from the Sweyne Park School in Essex, with her fantastic comic strip, 'Journey to the centre of the Turlet'

My verdict:
"This category was extremely hard to judge, but Niamh's comic strip managed to contain every single element of great comic story telling. Consistent characters, variation in the comedy, playful dialogue, great use of colour, action, environments and sound effects ... and on top of all that it was beautifully drawn. Congratulations!"

Runners up
- Leanna from Oban High School with 'Dorko and the Gnome'
- Danny from Cheame High School with 'Dorko and the Roman Rampage'

To read all the shortlisted entries and marvel at the art, go HERE!

Well done to everyone who sent in their brilliant characters and stories and strips. You're ALL winners in our book ... but, er... some of you just happen to be the ACTUAL winners.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Baggage lands in the Emerald Isle!

Christmas is approaching and Randall's exploits are spreading to new corners of the globe!

Yesterday our plucky hero crossed the Irish Sea and landed in a clover field of joy as the Irish Independent Newspaper chose our latest graphic novel in their 'Christmas Treats for Young Adults' roundup!

And the verdict?

"The Etherington Brothers' Baggage displays a witty, engaged, interplay between text and pictures and a strong quest plot."

Great stuff! If you're STILL wondering why a book about lost luggage is causing such a hoo-ha, go HERE and treat yourself ... treat a friend ... a loved one ... heck, treat EVERYONE!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Best Books For Christmas ... the sequel!

Following on from the Guardian's broadsheet feature last Saturday (which you can enjoy HERE), in which Baggage was picked as a top ten great gift for children aged 9+, we are extremely pleased to share the news that our latest graphic novel has been included in a Guardian/Observer shortlist entitled 'Best Children's Books for Christmas.'

The real treat here is that not only do the seventeen books selected include some SERIOUSLY big-hitting authors (Michael Morpurgo, Anthony Horowitz, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson) but they've also been chosen by a variety of critics.

To be included in such venerable company is, quite frankly, brilliant!

I beg your pardon? You're yet to find out what all the fuss is about? Well then, my friend, simply visit your local bookshop or go HERE to grab a copy of Baggage and begin the adventure.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

We're signing at Waterstone's Bristol on Saturday December 17th!

Hey folks! Still looking for that perfect Christmas gift, and want to give something EXTRA personal? Then why not come down the Bristol Galleries branch of Waterstone's on Saturday December 17th and get a copy of Baggage or Monkey Nuts dedicated to your nearest and dearest (or yourself!). I'll be doing a sketch in every copy, and Robin will be writing his typically amusing dedications! Come down, chat to us, and have a jolly old time!

See you there!


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Super-sneaky peek at a couple more panels from Long Gone Don!

Yesterday we off in London having meetings and things, which meant we couldn't tell you that day six of The Phoenix Comic's Awesome Advent Calendar of Awesomeness featured a very sneaky-peek at a couple more little panels from Long Gone Don! See 'em HERE! Now that's a BIG bowl of soup!


The Process

A little visual step-by-step today, for those of you who like to geek out on how things are done. Scroll down for a break-down of my process in painting the Stranski Resolved print, that is now available from Ink-dot HERE!

Will Megatron REALLY spoil Christmas?

It's surprising to note, but the opportunities to write Christmas-themed comic strips do not pop up that often (once a year, yes I know, but that's not my point!). In fact, I've only previously written one for Monkey Nuts. I was overjoyed therefore, to be given the chance to bring some winter flair to the latest issue of Titan's Transformers PRIME comic, which hits the shelves this week.

In "Ice Breaker", Megatron and Starscream hijack a nuclear-powered vessel as part of their latest diabolical scheme. While Optimus, Ratchet and Bumblebee head to Antarctica to confront the menace, Bulkhead and Arcee are left to look after the base and keep the Christmas spirit alive ... which is likely to be a challenge as they can't agree on ANYTHING!  

Jeremy Tiongson is back on art duties and delivers some great pages.

Grab your copy when it hits the news stand, or better still, place a subscription HERE, and never miss an issue again!   

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Comic Buzz gives Baggage the thumbs up for Christmas!

Finding age-appropriate comics for children (and GOOD comics, at that) can sometimes be tricky, but thankfully the good folk over at Comic Buzz have put together a perfect Gift Guide for 2011.

And guess which library of comic books makes the cut? THE DFC! HOORAY!

For comedy, action, adventure and FUN, look no further than the DFC winter collection.

You can buy all three of the titles listed above at any good bookshop or online retailer.

Long Gone Don ... tiny tease review...

Forbidden Planet International have this to say about the two-page Long Gone Don teaser included in the ultra-special-edition-free-for-everyone-Issue-Zero copy of the Phoenix:

"There’s a sense of typically huge, manic action the Etheringtons always seem to deliver."

If you want to see what's got them all excited, click HERE, enter your details and the special code 'PHOENIX1' and receive your very own copy ... for FREE! 

Did we mention it was free?

For tons more fun visit the Phoenix Comic website!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas gifts for all!

I'm very proud to announce that my wife Esther Curtis (no blog yet - naughty!), together with good pal Alys Paterson (needs to update her blog more than three times a year!) will be selling their awesome work at the big Tobacco Factory Christmas Market here in Bristol this coming Sunday! If you like beautiful illustration and you're short of a christmas gift or two (or just want to treat yourself) than get down there! Read the flyer attached, and then scroll down for some sneak-previews of just a few of the myriad of treats on offer!

See you there!


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Baggage chosen by the Guardian as one of its Children's books of 2011!

Saturday mornings do not get much better than today.
Over coffee and fried eggs we discovered that our latest comic adventure, Baggage, had been selected as one of the Guardian newspaper's top ten Best Children's Books to give for Christmas.

Seriously ... how cool???

If you have time to grab a copy, or have already purchased one, we can be found on page 18 of the review section. If you missed the Saturday paper, you can read the full article ONLINE but here's that all important review summary:

"With its strong sense of pace and drama, Baggage shows the Etherington Brothers' reputation as creators of great comic stories, told equally skillfully in words and pictures, going from strength to strength."


2011 has been an absolutely phenomenal year for our little studio, with more projects lined up, more fans met (young and old, longtime and new) and more positive feedback garnered, than ever before. But to round it out with a top pick from the Guardian ... the paper that first introduced the world to Monkey Nuts back in early 2008 ... well, that's just about the best present anyone could hope for!

If you're still looking for that elusive gift, and this feature has piqued your interest, you can buy the gift of giggles for any/all members of your family/friends HERE! 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Just in for Christmas! Brand New Stranski Print!

Hey folks! My brand new Stranski print from Ink-Dot and Hello Blue is now available for purchase through our store! Go HERE and scroll down the prints section on the right to check it out and purchase!


Thursday, 1 December 2011

A Free comic for EVERYONE!

Yes that's right! The free issues of The Phoenix issue ZERO are now available for you to get your greedy mitts on! All you have to do is visit enter your address details and the Waitrose Offer Code - PHOENIX1 - and a FREE copy of the comic will be posted to your home!

Of course, the big deal for us in issue zero is that it contains the world's first glimpse of our new comic book EPIC, Long Gone Don. Here, to whet your appetite is a SERIOUSLY sneaky peek at how that's going to look!

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!