Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fly, Castanet, FLY!

More from Long Gone Don this morning! New issue of the Phoenix goes on sale this Saturday!


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Paperman: The Future of Animation

I've been waiting a long time for this to go up online. A beautiful new direction for film which breathes an astoundingly fresh yet restrained lease of life into the concept of traditional animation. In creating Paperman, a small team at Disney led by John Kahrs have not only taken a wonderfully sophisticated step forward with animation techniques, they've done it with a story of such class and grace, that you you just pray they'll be given the budget to produce a feature.

If I were to make my Stranski movie tomorrow, these are the people I'd want to work with.

Watch, be astounded, and then wish them luck for the Oscars!


Monday, 28 January 2013

Scottish Book Trust Tour Announced!

Good Morning, friends. It's more than a little wet down here in Bristol at the moment but we're still smiling because we've brilliant news to share.  The month of May is shaping up to be our biggest, bestest ever live tour, and the centrepiece of the action will be our trip to Lanarkshire with the Scottish Book Trust.

This is a real privilege. To be invited to tour with the SBT is, well, it's amazing. Previous alumni of the scheme include Julia Donaldson, Philip Ardagh, Cessida Cowell, Anthony Browne, Steve Cole, Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell, Michael Rosen, Andy Stanton, Jacqueline Wilson, and so many more greats of Children's Literature it makes our head spin.

So what's it all about? Well, the Scottish Book Trust can tell you all about it:

"This coming May pupils in North and South Lanarkshire are going to go, MONKEY NUTS! As the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour takes the Etherington Brothers into schools to meet P4-7 pupils in the area between the 13th and 17th of May.

The energetic and engaging Etherington Brothers are a British comic book duo who are changing how pupils and teachers up and down the country are thinking about comic books. With Robin writing and Lorenzo illustrating they show pupils how to devise original characters, worlds and stories for a 21st century audience. 
Their aim is the bring ideas to life for pupils in P4-P7. Through humour, practice, and creative thinking the dynamic duo explain the process behind making stuff up, writing it down, and drawing it out!"

Sounds exciting when you put it like that, eh?

If you'd like your school to be involved (if your school is in Lanarkshire, that is!) then click HERE to read the details, or simply click HERE to go straight to the application page.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Character Model Sheet: TONTO

My character model sheets for Tonto from Long Gone Don, lots of fun poses in here...


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Monday, 21 January 2013

It's SNOW joke!

Let's start the week with a small apology.

Due to the freakishly heavy snowfall that has hit the East and West coasts of England we will be unable to bring our live show to the pupils of the Thetford Academy in Norfolk.  Frozen fingers crossed we'll be able to reschedule the fun for later in the year, but in the meantime we thought we'd turn disappointment to joy with a little snow themed message:

"When there's enough snow to close a school and cancel the Etherington Brothers, there's enough snow to go sledging.  But, kids, please remember to obey the most important law of sledging, which is...
ALWAYS make way for the guy with the DRAGON!!"

More silliness soon!  Now go enjoy the snow!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Alys Patterson's "The Shape of my Heart" Launches!

I'm very proud to be able to announce the publication of the new book by my very good friend (and fellow member of the Falmouth college of Arts Alumni) Alys Patterson.
The Shape of My Heart is a beautifully illustrated picture book for 2 - 5 year olds, lavishly illustrated in Alys' inimitable stlye, and you should but a copy for every little scamp you know, and obviously a copy for yourself too. You can buy the book on Amazon HERE, and check out more of Alys' work on her beautiful site HERE. Enjoy!


Thursday, 17 January 2013

When the Stars come out...

Today we present something a little different.  After watching the three hour visual spectacle that is The Hobbit (how do they make the Dwarves look so small in every single shot???) I thought it might be nice to swing to the other end of the creative spectrum and enjoy the quiet delights of a little poetry...

Last year, following a live show, Lorenzo and I were approached by Beverley Humphrey, founder of the global writing project, 'The Write Path'.  The project invites professional writers to conjure the beginning of a story or poem which is shared with schools across the UK and the rest of the world.  Pupils are then given the chance to continue the work, bringing their unique interpretations to the page.  The results are incredible.

I decided to write the opening verse of a poem that tied in to the National Poetry Day theme of 'Stars'.  I've always loved poetry, so here's my little contribution..

The Tent

I once cut a hole in my tent, to sleep beneath the sky,
I wanted to feel like a sailor of old - using the stars as a guide.
Dad said the hole was an error, the design of my tent unsound,
He reckoned the rain would fill my tent and likely as not, I'd drown.
I laughed so hard I nearly choked; my Dad was pretty funny,
Yet looking back I wish I'd listened, his worries were on the money.
For it wasn't the rain that filled my tent and washed me far away,
But the tears of an astronaut floating in space, that'd somehow lost his way.

Lorenzo took this slice of prose and turned it into a cover image for the book collection that gathers together all the work of the schools involved and is available now from HERE (school orders only).

Actually, let's look at that pic again, but this time in it's original form, because, well, why not!  It's a beauty!

A massive thank you to every student who joined in and embraced those eight lonely lines and used them as a foundation for their own, far more impressive, verse.  Special thanks to Bev for the invitation to play with words and pictures.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

More from your old pal Doogan...

A couple more peeks at some recent Great Air Race episodes today...


Friday, 11 January 2013

Long Gone Don Book 2 - a peek inside...

A few panels from the opening chapter of our new Long Gone Don adventure. Chapter 2 drops in The Phoenix this Saturday! Enjoy!


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Long Gone Don Cover!

The most recent issue of the Phoenix (#53 - on sale now!) is adorned with a brand new Long Gone Don cover, to mark the beginning of Don's new 17-week adventure. Presented here are the original inks and colours for said cover, enjoy!


Friday, 4 January 2013

Long Gone Don returns and The Phoenix goes Digital!

It's a double-dose, EPIC news Friday, folks!

At the very second that this post went live (2pm GMT precisely) the Phoenix, the UK's weekly story comic, took to the digital skies in an incandescent arc of awesomeness.  "What does that mean in English", you say?  Well, dear readers, it means that everyone in the WORLD can finally get their mitts on this brilliant title, with thanks to the Phoenix digital comic.  First you download the app, then you upload laughs and thrills and scares and shocks and adventures beyond your wildest dreams.

Best of all, the app is free.  Go HERE to grab yours NOW, then spread the word on twitter, facebook and the school playground.

And there's MORE - the Phoenix is offering all quick-thinking new readers a VERY SPECIAL OFFER - 6 months of the digital comic for just £9.99!!!  But the offer only lasts until the 11th of January, so act fast or kick yourself later!!!!  Grab the deal HERE.

And the Phoenix joy just keeps on coming, as 2013 kicks off with Issue 53 and the return of our very own LONG GONE DON!

With a special cover, a what-happened-in-book-1 catchup, and the very first chapter in a massive 17-part adventure, it's a 5-PAGE Don-flavoured feast for your eyes.  And if you like the way the new story starts, get ready, folks ----- you haven't seen ANYTHING yet!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

68 forest and Jungle concepts!

Hey folks! Happy New year! The holiday season gave me a little time to sketch, and so I present here 22 new jungle concepts, followed by a round up of  all the other tree and plant sketches I've posted recently, for those of you who like everything in one place! 600 more pages of stuff like this in HERE! Enjoy!