Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Down in the jungle!

Last week we revisited the ever-wonderful Backwell school and, as is usual with our events, we were happily anticipating a morning of laughs and nonsense and fun. What we were NOT expecting was to be presented with an absolute FEAST of comic awesomeness, courtesy of two of the schools students!

Since our last visit, a mere four weeks ago, Millie and Charlie - both in Year 7 - had managed to conjure all of THIS:

There is so much to enjoy in this work, it's difficult to know where to start. The characters are original, brilliantly realised and superbly named (Dr Ssssavahana the long suffering snake being a personal favourite), the comic strip - named "Down in the Jungle" - was imaginative and continually amusing (comedy repetition, irrelevant sight gags, word play, slapstick - they'd done it all) and the art was simply brilliant. Just LOOK at the giraffe above - love that they added an extra piece of paper to the sheet to get that neck juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust long enough!

But while it was difficult to know where to start with my compliments, it was VERY easy to choose where to finish. The following pic needs no description...

Yep. Indeedy. True dat.

A thousand thanks to Millie and Charlie for presenting us with their hard work. Keep the good stuff coming!
And if anyone else has comic characters or strips they'd like to share, just email them over and we'll pop them up on the site. We love seeing your creations.

Tuesday Art: How I create a Von Doogan Puzzle...

Here's a little break-down of the stages involved in one of my recent Doogan Puzzles for the mighty PHOENIX!


Friday, 25 May 2012

The Sheriffs of Nottingham!

Hang on, that title makes us sound like the bad guys, while our recent visit to Ellis Guilford School in Nottingham was more like Robin Hood and Little John riding their horses into town with pockets stuffed with comic gold (er ... well, actually much closer to Friar Tuck and Maid Marian on the back of a donkey, but you get the point!).

We spent an absolutely superb day entertaining and being entertained by the staff and students alike, sharing hints and tips on writing, drawing and creating books and generally having a brilliant time.

Just take a look at the joy on our faces as we stand before another amazing hand-crafted Etherington display - you can't fake that kind of raw pleasure!

The workshops were filled with great story suggestions from the kids. Almost too inventive at times, as I was forced to act out some strange scenarios (a cat who was a baby sitter by day, but dreamed of becoming a professional cricketer springs to mind!).

We also had the pleasure of joining the Ellis Guilford Mad Manga comic group for one of their fortnightly sessions. If your school is yet to set up a comic club and you're wondering if it's a good idea - IT IS! GO FOR IT! It's the perfect place to try out your art and writing and discover new books with friends.

Many thanks to everyone at Ellis Guilford for making us feel so welcome ... and for providing us with donuts!!! We look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

This droid is malfunctioning...

What's better than a brand new issue of the Star Wars: Clone Wars comic? A brand new issue of the Star Wars: Clone Wars comic featuring one of MY stories, of course! Haha! Only joking.

Here's the summary for 'A Small Scrappy War', which is illustrated by the fantastic Tanya Roberts and which you can read exclusively in Issue 6.33:

'Captain Rex and Sergeant Coric are sent to the Outer Rim agri-planet of Biitu. The population there has found a way to turn the endless toil of battle into cold, hard profit. But is there something amiss about their resourceful operation?'

Oooooooooooooh. Intrigue!  Action!  Blasters!  Malfunctioning killer droids! It's got the lot.

If you're in the UK you can find a copy in any good newsagent, or you can order your copy online HERE! 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Have your question for the Etherington Brothers read out LIVE on Bookbabble TV!

 You still have a few days to submit your question for us to Book Babble TV! The best questions will be asked LIVE on the show! Although the show doesn't air until the 12th June, we're filming it this coming Monday, so GO HERE  to get your q's in QUICK!


Friday, 18 May 2012

Sunny May + a SOLD OUT Hay = YEAH!

The Hay Festival is fast approaching and we're going to be there basking in the sun and providing all the cartoon action, fun and giggles you could possibly require.

To celebrate our rapidly approaching triple-show fest, we hijacked the Hay Fever Blog!
MWAHAHA! The power was ours ... for a short while.

You can find out what we had to say HERE!

Those of you keen to grab a ticket to Saturday's public show ... I'm really sorry but it's SOLD OUT!!!
If you've been lucky enough to nab your seat we can promise you're in for a real treat.

See you in a fortnight!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Bristol Bonanza!

The sun was shining, the people were smiling, the comics were selling and the tales they were a-telling! Last weekend the Bristol International Comic Expo returned to its spiritual home beside Temple Meads station with a joyful spring in its step. And we Etheringtons shared in the positive vibes for we were celebrating our 25TH UK comic convention!

Aside from our 25 SUPER limited edition Lorenzo sketchbooks, we brought a stack of swag for folks to sink their teeth into (a purchase of one of everything would have netted you over 1300 pages of comic finery ... for those who like statistics).

Aside from the socialising (of which there was plenty) comic shows are all about giving the fans what they want, and judging by Lorenzo's nine hours of non-stop sketching, I'd guess what you guys want is ART!

For future reference, if you buy a sketch book from us at a show, THIS is how my brother signs it...

T-shirt fans will probably have heard of the awesomeness that is Johnny Cupcakes, which makes the pic above a particular favourite of mine.

On Sunday Lorenzo had to return to the studio to work on the last chapter of Long Gone Don book 1, which left me ... gasp ... IN CHARGE OF THE PENCILS!!!!

And, for your rare viewing pleasure, here's what I produced for one young fan - my take on Lorenzo's very first attempt at Malcolm Magic, originally conjured in 2003.

Judging by her smile, I think I got away with it!

Thanks to all our friends and fans and readers, new and old, old and young, who took the time to come up and say hi. We had a blast and we look forward to seeing you guys at a future event.

- Robin

Monday, 14 May 2012

Monday Art: AXE!

A little study in action and reaction to start the week!


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Thursday Art: Infantry!

A little step-by-step of a group of Spode's infantry...


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tuesday Art: Midden Prison!

Click the pic to see it BIG!
A shot here taken from Long Gone after our friends find themselves locked up in Midden prison.

This is not the first prison I've created for our books, as Malcolm and the gang got locked up too, and the Monkey Nuts team had to break IN to a prison. In fact, even the cast of YORE! got banged up in an unpublished episode! Where our fascination with incarceration comes from I couldn't tell you, but long may it continue, as impenetrable edifices are very enjoyable to create!


Monday, 7 May 2012

Winter's comes to an end...

I'm sure most of you (our UK friends and readers at the very least) are sitting there thinking that winter came to an end quite a long time ago ... but you'd be WRONG!  Winter only finishes when the ski lifts close in the mountains and that happened on Sunday.  How do I know?  Because I was right there, in the mighty off-piste mecca that is Tignes, knee deep in some of the most incredible end of season powder for fifty years!

Turn away if you suffer from vertigo ... NOW...

If you know me, you understand that after comics, the mountains are one of my main addictions.  But despite MANY trips to the hills, I'm always prepared to be surprised.  And nothing surprised me more than having to catch a London underground tube train to get to the top of the slopes.  Madness?  Genius?  Who knows!

Every trip to find snow carries with it the chance of misfortune but our little gang could not have been luckier.  Fresh snow everyday, clear blue skies, few accidents and almost NO ONE else on the mountains!  Amazing...

In my continuing attempt to JUMP the world, I climbed the glacier, found a large and deep pocket of snow and launched myself into the air.

Yes, it was cold.
No, I don't regret it.
Yes, I left a large crater.
No, I was not respected by my peers.
And yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

One last treat ... despite the wondrous conditions, Spring was trying it's hardest to make itself known and never more so than in the emergence of dozens of ALPINE MARMOTS, better known as large ground squirrels!  Just take a look at these cute little devils.

That's some real life nature spotting, right there!

I hope this post holiday post has at least made you smile and at most excited your interest in having a go at a winter sport.  Sure, you'll be broke for life if you fall in love with the snow, but standing on top of the world is a simply unforgettable experience.  Okay, enough messing around - I think it's high time I got back to work!

- Robin

Friday, 4 May 2012

Friday art: SKULLS!

Here's the original inks and colours for my recent Long Gone Don Phoenix cover.



Wednesday, 2 May 2012

New Art! "Cavalry" design break-down

 A design for General Spode's mount, which will appear in a future episode of Long Gone Don...


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Bid now to win an exclusive copy of El Sketchbook Lorenzo Voume Six with an original illustration!

The auction for the ultra-rare copy of the 140 page El Sketchbook Lorenzo Volume 6 is now LIVE on Ebay! GO HERE to check out the lising and place your bid! No starting price, no reserve and FREE POSTAGE to ANYWHERE in the world means this is an auction for the fans! And if that wasn't enough, here's a shot of the original illustration I've drawn on the first page of the book for ya...
Learn more about the book HERE!