Monday, 30 July 2012

Moday Art: Power Walk!

A Little shot of Lewd striding into action taken from Book 2 of Long Gone Don, which is currently deep in production...! Lorenzo!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Doogan's Dice of DEATH!

A snap of a Von Doogan puzzle I'm playtesting at the moment, which features your very own cut-out-and-keep deadly dice of DOOM!



Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Real Bulkhead-ache!

What happens when Prime entrusts his destruction specialist, Bulkhead, with a solo mission in the Alaskan wilderness?  Come on, take a wild guess. That's right .... TROUBLE!!!!  And luckily for you lot, every second of the adventure has been trapped between the pages of this month's Transformers Prime comic!

In "The Battle for Bulkhead" everyone's favourite scrapper is captured by Megatron and trapped inside a prison cell designed to slowly WIPE HIS MIND!!!  What's an Autobot to do?  Why, call for reinforcements, of course.  And so begins a desperate chase as Prime and the gang struggle to find and free their friend ... before there's nothing left of Bulkhead to rescue.  

You can pick up a copy of issue 4.11 from any good newsagent or supermarket, or better still, grab yourself an online subscription and have each and every issue delivered straight to your door - go HERE for all the details.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

News Tuesday: WIN OUR BOOKS & See Stunning Tour Poster!

Some days you've just got too much to share and not enough time to write it all down.  Without wasting a second let's get to the good stuff.

Recently we were approached by Lendmeyourliteracy, an online initiative aimed at promoting the creative work of children in primary schools all over the country with the intention of raising the standards of literacy.  One of the goals of LMYL is to spread enthusiasm for reading and writing and making by allowing teachers and students the opportunity to present their positive learning experiences online.  We know from years of working with young students on comic material, that the best way to encourage creativity is by promoting group working, and the LMYL are certainly doing that.

We were delighted when they approached us to (a) be a part of the site (and you can view our special Etherington Brothers page HERE) and (b) run a COMPETITION!!!

We love competitions, so, all you have to do to win a signed and sketched copy of Monkey Nuts and Baggage (nice!) is draw your own comic character, then write a brief description of their unique features. 

HINTS TO WIN - Make your character look and sound as FUNNY as possible, and use as much descriptive language in their profile as you can!

Send a scan or photo of your pic, together with their description to -



The second news item for the day is largely a celebration of teachers, learning resource staff, literacy coordinators and school librarians.  Since September 2011 we have been on the road, roaming up and down and left and right and visiting as many schools in the country as we've been physically able to reach.  We have often been treated like dignitaries, showered with cakes and coffee and treated brilliantly by staff and students alike and during this time we have noticed a wonderful raising of standards.  But for once I'm NOT talking about literacy ... I'm talking about RAZZAMATAZZ!  

Getting students excited about an author visit is tricky but every gimmick helps and we've been blown away by the efforts of each new school on the tour.  Our final trip of the year was a local adventure, as last week we hopped in a cab and journeyed to Downend Technical College in South Gloucestershire.  We spent another laughter filled day talking to the entirety of their Year 7, but what really stood out for me - if I'm honest - was THIS poster:

I mean to say, that is something special, right?  Wowzers...

My overriding memory of the last 10 months will be one of genuine creative endeavours; both IN the classrooms, festival tents, libraries and book shops with the children, and ON the venues, as time and again the materials made to surround our visits were fashioned by hardworking members of staff going that extra mile to make the day memorable for the kids.  We salute all your efforts, and not least of all Tina Hanks and her colleagues for the masterpiece above.

Here's to the new school year where we shall try to raise the bar even HIGHER!  Hehehe...

Monday, 23 July 2012

Monday art: RATS!

A little doodle from my sketchbook from a while ago to start the day. Lots more like this in HERE!


Friday, 20 July 2012

Friday art: The Machine!

A bit of puzzle design from Von Doogan to start your weekend!


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Monday, 16 July 2012

SEVEN big winners!

Goooood morning! What better way to start the week than with a role call for the latest recruits to Von Doogan's ever-growing army of top puzzlers!

Puzzle number 21: ‘The Baffling Bridge Caper’ 
- solved by JACK BUTLER who gets a SPECIAL MENTION for being the first Doogan recruit to win the Certificate of Adventuring Excellence TWICE! Big congrats, soldier!

Puzzle number 22: ‘The Unexpected Edifice’ 
- solved by LOUISE SALMON

Puzzle number 23: ‘The Big Discovery’ 
- solved by HADRIAN FORD

Puzzle number 24: ‘The Morse Message’ 
- solved by ARTHUR CONMY

Puzzle number 25: ‘The Three Strikes’ 

Puzzle number 26: ‘The Jungle Hunt’ 
- solved by EMILY SPARROW

Puzzle number 27: ‘The Weighty Problem’ 
- solved by JOSEPH MURPHY

Fantastic work, fellow puzzlers, you can all give yourselves a pat on the back! But WAIT! The Doogan still has a way to go in his battle against Captain Nemo, and whatever else lurks beneath Javasu island, so sharpen your pencils, your thinking and your wits, and grab the latest copy of the Phoenix TODAY!


Friday, 13 July 2012

The Phoenix = The END of summertime blues!

With the school summer holidays fast approaching, parents all over the world are preparing to ask themselves that duo of most tricksome questions:

(1) How do we keep everyone happy on LONG car/bus/train/plane journeys, and...
(2) What do we do if it RAINS???!!!

Yes, it's a pickle of a problem, but luckily the solution is at hand. A one stop answer to cure ALL ills, and resolve ALL problems. You don't believe me? Well then, simply purchase a PHOENIX COMIC SUBSCRIPTION and prepare to be amazed at the results! 

With tales crafted by some of the greatest writers and artists working in the UK and beyond, The Phoenix Comic needs little introduction and is guaranteed to keep children and adults happily entertained for EVER! Just take a peek at the magic contained within the pages!

And what of our efforts, eh? Well, while Lorenzo continues to studiously produce his amazing Von Doogan puzzle series (some challenges having proved to be so mind-confoundingly difficult that even grown men have burst into tears, literally weeping for the answers), our comic brains have been hard at work.

The second epic adventure of Long Gone Don is now beginning to take shape.  And while we have no wish to spoil any surprises - of which there will be plenty - it seems cruel to talk about our work without showing anything. So, for your extremely EXCLUSIVE delectation, here is a snippet of the good stuff, as the evil General Spode and his henchman, Count Valush, discuss interview techniques...

That Spode, eh. What a scoundrel.

Stay tuned for more comic news as it breaks!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Hounsdown School Visit

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside!
Oh, we do like to be beside the SEA!

It's true, folks, especially as we grew up close to the stony beach of Climping in West Sussex.  We therefore take great pleasure in every school visit that takes us near to open water (which is actually never more than 70 miles from any point in England - FACT!) and last week saw us heading down to Southampton and the marvelous school of Hounsdown, as part of the Wessex Schools Literacy Festival.  It was always going to be a fun trip, but we didn't realise how much fun!

Author visit preparation can be an art form in its own right, and we never cease to be amazed by the time and effort that teachers, librarians and literacy coordinators put into spreading the good word ahead of our arrival.  Just look at what Hounsdown produced... 

Wow.  Amazing, right?  And just the boost of brilliance we needed ahead of speaking to the entirety of Year 7 - (which is always more students than you think!).

Then, it was coffee and biscuits time (some rather wonderful chocolate rings in the selection) and a filmed interview with students from the Year 9 BBC News reporting team. Their truly excellent questions had us thinking hard and laughing harder.  Here's an arty out-of-focus shot of us brothers awaiting the next killer Q.

Lunch followed our TV grilling.  A remarkable spread, it must be said, that culminated in a lip-smackingly delicious homemade lemon cake.  Here I am, giving praise to the wonder of baking. 

The final leg of our day included a diary room entry, where we listed our favourite GOLD MEDAL READS - great books we love, from our childhood and more recently - and a second workshop, this time with Year 8 students. 

Huge thanks to Bridget Bancroft, and all the staff and students of Hounsdown, for inviting us to be part of their incredible festival and making us feel so welcome.  We cannot wait to return in the future!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Friday Art: GRONK!

Sometimes the only way to leave a place is through the window...


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Fantastic Monster Art by David Campbell!

Remember our little Friday art challenge a week or so ago? Well check out this quite simply AWESOME entry from top artist David Campbell!
You can see loads more of David's fantastic art and characters right HERE!