Wednesday 29 September 2010

Stranski Character 9

Sooo, more Stranski today! A little Femme to start your Tuesday, more than somewhat inspired by my girl and her beautiful wedding dress...!


Tuesday 28 September 2010


The world of comic creating can sometimes feel incredibly small. It's an industry that can involve as few as one creator, sitting in his or her bedroom/studio/coffee shop, writing and drawing and writing and drawing.

But to take that comic book, or graphic novel or illustrated novel and actually get it into the eager paws of hungry readers takes LOTS more helping hands.

Having just returned from the Bath festival and had a moment to get my breath back I now wish to post an official THANK YOU to everyone who helped make last week's Tour such a success.

To the DFB crew (David Fickling, Hannah Featherstone, Laurence Beck and Tilda Johnson) - without your constant hard work the book would not exist at all!

To Lauren Bennett for organising every last detail of our action-packed Tour - your meticulous timetable kept us from sleeping in or missing a train (both of which were extremely likely!)
But where will you send us next???

To Tony Higginson and the staff of Pritchards Bookshop in Formby - you were 48-hours worth of AWESOME and always ensured we remembered to eat ... gotta keep up your strength when you're on the road!

To Mary and Mike Wynburg from the Corner Bookshop in Garstang - thank you for the trip through the Lancashire hills and for introducing us to Owd Neds Tavern and those MOST appreciated beers!

To Elaine Silverwood and Sue Wardell from the Silverdell Bookshop in Kirkham - your ice-cream ... WOWWWW!
When we next return we're placing an advance order for our very own GO NUTS flavour (banana and peanut butter please!). Thanks for being excellent!

And to all the teachers and pupils from Merchant Taylors Boys, Churchtown Primary, Our Lady of Compassion, Freshfield Primary, St Lukes, Quernmore, Abbeystead, Holton and Strike Lane Primary!

THANK YOU for welcoming the Go Nuts tour into your classrooms and halls.

All these amazing people are just one more reason why comics have never been so much fun!

Stranski Character 8

Another character from Stranski today. Check out that Bear's-Breath long range rifle... More soon!


Monday 27 September 2010

Monkey Nuts HQ!

So, let's start the week with a little Monkey Nuts goodness! Here's a break-down of a page from the book. Oh, and don't forget, you get the book delivered anywhere in the world for FREE if you buy it from HERE, and it's cheaper than Amazon! Whoop!

Don't forget too that it's just a week and a half until our Book launch in London! Hope to see you all there!


Sunday 26 September 2010

Anthony Browne, The Masons, McKean, Ewing and Me!

What an enjoyable weekend it's been in the land of the Etheringtons ... actually, only in the land of Etherington Senior, as poor Lorenzo has been ill. He picked up a bug from giving 'high fives' to a thousand children last week so it's his own fault really.

With our chief drawer out of action it was up to me and my wife to represent the team at the Bath Festival of Childrens Literature launch party on Friday night. Before the party we had been kindly given a pair of tickets to see the current Children's Laureate, Anthony Browne, chat about all things awesome. I forgot to take a pic of him in action so I hope you enjoy this shot of Mr Browne reclining in his library.

He gave a fascinating talk, reading from his forthcoming autobiography (including funny tales about an amazing character he invented as a boy called, if I remember correctly, 'Big Hard Tackle') and discussing everything to do with a lifetime spent creating captivating books for children.
We then headed for the party, which was being held in the ancient Masonic Temple. It was a CRAZY place!

Now I LOVE secret societies. The very thought that there are groups tucked away with amazing knowledge dating back hundreds of years is pretty cool and it's exactly the sort of idea I try to include in our stories. The Freemasons are famous for claiming to have about a billion secrets (probably a big fib) but stepping inside the Temple you can almost feel the weight of their 400 year history. It was a perfect place to hold the opening for a festival dedicated to telling tall tales! 

On to Saturday, where something awesome was about to take place...

 What I really enjoy about a good panel is when the organisers manage to combine a genuinely interesting set of creators. Regular readers will have a pretty good idea of the energy and fun that Lorenzo and I throw into every page of our books, and the reasons we love making comics. But it was fascinating to be able to discuss every aspect of the process, from our inspirations and motivations to our approach to writing for children with two such amazing guys as Garen Ewing (second from right) and Dave McKean (far right).

Eleanor Hawken (above left) held court marvelously, asking great questions and kept me in line whenever I mentioned robots, monkeys or bare bottoms too often. I also had the chance to show some previously unseen images from Baggage and Freaky Giblets which was cool!

Afterwards the three of us held a mini signing and the laughs continued with conversations about the best line delivered in a nativity play, demonstrations of how NOT to draw a coconut and Garen's need to get rid of his pencil and move straight to ink when it comes to sketching in books (there are a LOT of Rainbow Orchid fans out there and that number is only going to increase, my friend!).

Then it was off, for a fish and chip supper and a short train ride back to Bristol.

Many, many thanks to all the staff and volunteers from the Festival and Waterstone's for making this a great night - we look forward to returning in the future!

Friday 24 September 2010

Here Me SPEAK - This Saturday!

Barely have our feet touched the ground before we're off again!

Tomorrow, Saturday 25th, I have the extreme pleasure of joining talented fellow comic creators Garen Ewing (The Rainbow Orchid series) and Dave McKean (The Savage, Coraline, The Graveyard Book and a million other tales!) on a panel entitled 'Graphic Novels: The New Revolution' at the Bath Literary Festival.

The event runs from 6-7pm, after which I think we'll all be on hand to sign our books and chat away and stuff. Lorenzo will be in attendance so anyone coming to grab a Monkey Nuts book should be able to get both of our sloppy signatures on one page!

It looks to be a cracking event so if you're in the area, grab a ticket (for only £5) by emailing ( or calling the box office on (01225 463362).

See you there!

All Good Tours Must Come to an End...

Which is a real shame, especially when they've been as completely and utterly excellent as this one!

We're still in the process of gathering all the pictures and photos taken during the week and will be posting up proper snaps once we've got approval from the schools, together with a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped make this adventure such a success.

But until then we just wanted to show you a few snaps from our travels.

AMAZING countryside...

 HILARIOUS shop signs...

DELICIOUS buckets of ice-cream (MUCH more on this story to come)

TOTALLY AWESOME headphones ... Tiger headphones!!! Kids today get all the cool toys!

It doesn't get much better than this!

Incredible Fan Art!

Right, we're back, and boy have we got a lot to talk about! While Robin is putting together a full tour report though, I just HAD to come in and show you this simply INCREDIBLE piece of Monkey Nuts Fan Art by none other than supreeeeeemo comics creator, NEILL CAMERON!

Click the pic here to see the whole thing in all it's glory on Neill's blog, and then have a look around at all the other amazing stuff he has there! Thank you Neill!!


Tuesday 21 September 2010

The tour is ... AWESOME!

We're two days in and already lost for words! Everything about this trip up country is fantastic.
Too busy and, well, quite frankly too knackered to give all the details at this stage but here's a few snaps to set the mood.

One of the most popular questions we've been asked by the BILLIONS of children we've met in the last 48 hours is WHERE DO YOU WORK. Whenever I say we work in a castle however, they just laugh.

For all the doubters out there, the photo above is Lorenzo's castle (look at the battlements/crenellations above his studio window!) and it was taken at 7am, Monday morning, just before we set off on our Northern adventure.

Nice sky!

We always try to travel light and yet STILL seem to pack an immense pile of swag - which can be seen here, delicately arranged on Liverpool Lime Street station.

Flipcharts, laptops, pull-up stands, a thousand different coloured pens (Lorenzo's) all manner of cool t-shirts (mine) and an old gameboy. Everything two growing comic-loving boys need for a road trip.

One last pic? ... better make it good.

This is Tuesday morning on our patio at the first hotel we stayed at.
Yes. 'Tis true. We had a private golf course. Shweeeeet. Neither of us play golf but it's the thought that counts!

A full tour blog featuring pics from all the schools, art from the kids and lots and lots more information will be going live in the next month (ish) but as soon as we've got back we'll get some snaps up to show off all our amazingly amazing new Monkey Nuts fans ... and there's a LOT of them.

More soon ... better get a little sleep ... we've 500 children to make giggle tomorrow.


Sunday 19 September 2010

Top THREE!!!

Okay, so this is probably the last post before we head off for a while, so I thought I'd better make it a good 'un!
Today we have been delighted to discover that Monkey Nuts has slid into third place on the Amazon bestseller list for children's graphic novels!

My word, only a Tintin collection and the graphic retelling of some old vampire thing blocking our path to super stardom. Not a bad start to a Sunday.

We've even managed to enter the full graphic novel list at a respectable #73 which is pretty sweet considering the unbelievable competition.

It may be a fleeting visit to the top but if you don't celebrate the little victories in life ... well, then, you'll miss out on some celebrating or something.

Anyway - HOORAY!

Saturday 18 September 2010

All New 'Formers Action!

Cor, there's a lot going on at the mo!

UK comics fans can punch the air and whoop in unbridled delight as another Etherington-penned Transformers story hits the shelves of newsagents and supermarkets all over the country!
Issue 2.17 of Titan's ongoing Transformers comic is available NOW!

I expect everyone to take to the streets in wild jubilation! Or at the very least go and buy a copy and enjoy a slice of Starscream smackdown action in a rain forest!

He burns trees without a thought for the environment!


10% Off until 22/09/2010

Yes, sir, we're doing it again! Aren't we good to you guys?! For the next FIVE days you can get get 10% off both the giant El Sketchbook Lorenzo Deluxe Collection or the slightly smaller but equally packed Malcolm Magic big Kahuna Collection.
Just go HERE, pick your books, and at the final stage of the checkout enter the code "CHEERS" in the coupon code box.

Offer ends 22/09/2010



Friday 17 September 2010

Review Roundup!

So much news, so few days before we leave!

Copies of Monkey Nuts are now flying all over the place and the reviews are just beginning to drop in.
We'll try to ensure we catch them all but if we miss any just send a link and we'll post them up for your reading delight.

To start the ball rolling we've a lovely piece by Richard Bruton over at the mighty Forbidden Planet (
Go HERE to read the full review but enjoy this excerpt for starters:
"It’s a manic, full on adventure serial, heavy on the laughs and with some very nice, suitably kinetic artwork."

Next up, Emily Pacey at Design Week has featured a great piece on their blog, looking at the next three titles in the DFC Library series.
"Detailed drawings and beefy, bouncy comic-book prose combine to create a beguiling and convincing world."
Go HERE to read the rest!

Pre-eminent graphic novel and comic reviewer, Paul Gravett, also takes a look at the second wave of DFC awesomeness in his September round up of books you really should own, HERE!
"The whole trio represents some of the liveliest, loveliest all-ages comics you’ll find anywhere today."

So that's hoorays all round then!

There are lots of little moments in the creation and publication and release of a book that make you say, "Holy moly, that's neat," or something less ridiculous.

Well, yesterday on a walk through town with my wife I spotted something we never believed we'd see (but always secretly dreamed about) ... our very own book in a shop window!!!!!!!!

Just look at the pride in my eyes ... er ... well, trust me - behind those shades there's some real pride at work!
The mighty Arnolfini centre is home to one of the most awesome specialist art bookshops in the country.

And there we are in their front window, amusingly positioned next to Will Self's new book!

But there's more! Inside I discovered that Monkey Nuts was being presented on one of their key standup table displays among the serious art and design volumes.

I mean ... does it get any better than that??? Wow...

This, dear readers, THIS is why comics have never been so much fun.

Oh, and if you see Monkey Nuts in a shop near you be sure to snap a pic and send it in - we're always keen to thank those stores that support the exploits of Sid and Rivet!

Off on tour in Liverpool!

Right, we're going to be kicking off our GO NUTS tour in Liverpool next week, doing workshops, signings, and appearances. Over the course of four days we're going to be seeing something like 1,200 children, and hopefully getting them excited about comic making, comic reading, and Monkey Nuts! We'll do our best to do a bit of blogging out on the road, if we can get to a computer!

To give your eyeballs a little Friday treat, here's another concept design for Stranski, enjoy!


P.S. Oh, and don't forget, if you're in or around Bath on Saturday 25th, Robin will be appearing on a panel at the Bath Festival of Children's Literature with Dave McKean and Garen Ewing. Details HERE!

Thursday 16 September 2010

Monkey Nuts and a giant metal HORSIE!

Hey-hey, chipmunks! Here's another preview from Monkey Nuts : The Diamond Egg of Wonders.
You can pick up your copy in the uk through Amazon HERE, and if you're anywhere else in the world you can get it delivered POST FREE from HERE. Nice!!

More soon!


Wednesday 15 September 2010

Stranski Character 6

Right, we're off to London today for a meeting about future projects and stuff, so I just have time to drop by and pop up another Stranski character.

Oh, and those of you wondering if The Lore of the Things is ever going to get updated, have no fear, once Baggage is finished at the end of this month I'll be back on it!


Tuesday 14 September 2010

Wiggle stereoscopy

'Morning! Hey did you know it's just over THREE WEEKS until the MONKEY NUTS Book Launch Party in London!! Want to be there? Just read the details HERE!

In the meantime, here's another character from my Stranski book, and a little tentative experiment taking my first steps in Wiggle Stereoscopy.

Oh, and next week we're going to be on the road as the Monkey Nuts GO NUTS TOUR kicks off with 4 days in Liverpool! Yeah!


Monday 13 September 2010

Girl from Stranski

Another little Stranski character sketch to start the week!


Friday 10 September 2010

More Stranski

So, despite my best attempts to get it all done before the wedding, I still have a lot of work on Baggage to do, which means pretty long days at the drawing board. To stop myself going stir crazy, and to keep my head fresh creatively, I tend to do a little bit of sketching in amongst it all. So here's another piece from Stranski.


Thursday 9 September 2010

Miss Caroline Julia Rose has taken the time to write a really cool review of Monkey Nuts: The Diamond Egg of Wonders on here book review blog. Check it out HERE!

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Come and meet us on the Road!

Right, Folks! We're going to be doing a few appearances over the coming months, I wanted to let you know about some of 'em! Some are workshops, some are signings, and some are a bit of both! Just follow the links to learn more!

20th - 24th September: The Etherington Brothers Tour Liverpool! Look out for local listings of schools and library events in the city!

Saturday 25th September: Graphic Novels: The New Revolution Dave McKean, Garen Ewing and Robin Etherington talk at the Bath Childrens Literature Festival.

Thursday 7th october: Monkey Nuts and the Diamond Egg of Wonders Book Launch at The Kew Bookshop in London.

Saturday 16th October: Birmingham International Comic Show. NOTE: We will be appearing on the SATURDAY ONLY of this two day show!

Saturday 23rd October: Crystal Palace Children's Book Festival. Workshop and signing.

Saturday 30th October: MCM Expo London. TBC.

Sunday 31st October: Cartoon Museum DFC Workshops and signing day. London.

Top Fifty - in GOOD company!

Stats, schmats. We all know that numbers can be fiddled or tweaked or interpreted to back up pretty much any argument. But when it comes to cold hard sales on a minute by minute basis, you just can't argue with Amazon!

Today (for possibly a limited time only - but who's counting) Monkey Nuts and the Diamond Egg of Wonders has leaped into the big time and planted it's sequential feet firmly in the top fifty bestselling children's graphic novels at a respectable 46! 

Let's take a look at what that means...

Firstly, joining this club has placed us alongside dear friends like Jamie Smart with 'Find Chaffy', Garen Ewing and his wonderful 'Rainbow Orchid' books, and the mighty 'Mezolith' by Ben Haggarty and Adam Brockbank. We're directly flanked by Kazu Kibushi's highly successful Amulet series and some old chuffer names Hurgo or Hugo or something.

To be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Schultz, Goscinny, Uderzo and Jeff Smith - no matter how fleeting an experience it may be - is pretty wonderful so a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped make this an extremely memorable Wednesday!

Keep up the good work and we may even have a stab at the top twenty!

Monday 6 September 2010


So, as readers of our BLOG will know, I got married last week! Yay! What an amazing day, I can't describe how it felt, just so wonderful and so many of our great friends and family there to enjoy it with us. As soon as I've got the official pics back I'll post a few in here!

In the meantime, whilst I was away Monkey Nuts and the Diamond Egg of Wonders hit the bookshops, and if you buy it from THIS SITE you can get FREE DELIVERY to anywhere in the world!!!!! I'm not kidding! Go to it!

Today let's start the week with something a bit different, though, here's a little character sketch from my "Been writing it for years really need to start drawing it now" personal project, which goes under the working title of Stranski.

Back soon with a few dates for public appearances we'll be making with the Monkey Nuts book!


Saturday 4 September 2010

We're doing it again! 20% off El Sketchbook and Malcolm Magic!

Right, this offer was so successful last time that we're doing it again!

To help the students of the world deal with the ghastly thought of heading back to their institutions of learning, we're offering two of the finest academic books in all of history at a super-cheap-knock down price of 20% off!

That's right! Order before the 6th Sept and you'll get a whopping 20% off either El Skethbook Lorenzo Deluxe Collection, or Malcolm Magic the Big Kahuna Collection! Hell, why not grab 'em both!

Just go HERE, select the books you want, and at the final page of the checkout stage, enter the code "SCHOOL" in the coupon code box

You're welcome!

Got it, Read it, Loved it - TELL THE WORLD!

Our very first Amazon review for Monkey Nuts has dropped, a mere two days after the book has been released, and it's a corking FIVE STAR SENSATION!

And here they are in all their glittery magnificence...

(Sigh) ... what a sight for sore eyes...

If you've now got your book, or are planning to purchase a copy in the future, and you feel like spreading the good word to those readers yet to discover the delights of the Sid, Rivet, Chief Tuft and the Isla de Monstera, we'd be delighted if you'd take a second to post your thoughts on Amazon.

One of our main goals is to try and reach as many new and reluctant readers as possible and every review encourages children and adults alike to take a chance on something unknown and exciting.

Your opinions are worth far more than ANYTHING we can say about our own work (obviously!) so go out and tell the world!

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen...

Would you please be upstanding ... for the Bride and Groom!

Some weddings are special because you know the couple getting hitched.
Some are special because it's family.
And some are special because they ROCK from start to finish!
Lorenzo and Esther's wedding managed to combine all three in magnificent style.

It was without doubt the greatest bespoke event in the history of bespoke!
Firstly note the bunting above (over 100ft of it, all made by Esther!).
Then take a look at the place settings, designed by Esther (note the chair covers handmade by Esther's Mum!)...

The flowers (all grown by Esther's Mum!)...

The table plan made by Lorenzo (along with the invites, party favour bags and a ton of other details!)

Like the moustaches and glasses? So did we? 80 handmade by Lorenzo! MADNESS!

My awesome brother and his gorgeous wife treated their guests to a wonderfully unique day in the beautiful Welsh countryside, but dressings, design and details aside the VERY best thing about Saturday the 18th August was watching these two get wed. It was one of the proudest moment of my life and I hope they're thoroughly enjoying their honeymoon.

One last pic? Alright!
Here they are kicking up their heels in a breathtakingly awesome first dance (sorry for the blur but they were spinning too fast).

Welcome to the family, Esther! It's a mad house but a good 'un!