Tuesday 31 May 2011

Touring ROCKS!

Just wanted to pop in and throw up a little devil horns celebratory gesture to start the week. Arrange your fingers as demonstrated in Fig 1., thrust your hand high in the air, grin like a loony and jump around your bedroom/classroom/workplace.

Fig 1.

If you're wondering why I'm in such a good mood, well, we've just returned from a double event tour of the Birmingham Young Readers "Book Bash" and the Hay Festival and both shows were absolutely awesome.

Full reports with photos and pics and details coming soon, but to every new and old reader we met this weekend, we salute you like only the rock gods can. Raise the horns!

You guys make it all worthwhile.

- Robin

El Sketchbook Lorenzo Volume 5 sold out!

Well, after a very enjoyable few days out on the road continuing our year long Monkey Nuts Go-Nuts tour (full reports to follow from Robin) I just wanted to pop in and announce that El Sketchbook Lorenzo Volume Five has now sold out online, so they're gone forever! If you managed to grab a copy, then well done! However, there are still plenty of goodies to be enjoyed in our store HERE!


Wednesday 25 May 2011

May Festival Madness - This Weekend!

It's Wednesday, which obviously means it's Dandy day as Lorenzo has pointed out (thanks, pal) but it also means it's three days to festival-orama-rama!

Yes indeedy-do. This Saturday we'll be traveling up to Birmingham for an overnight stay ahead of a trio of Etherington Comic Workshops that are set to rock the city's foundations. On Sunday 29th, as part of the Young Readers' 'Big Book Bash' celebration, we'll be meeting and greeting and entertaining young and old readers alike in the wonderful Aston Hall.

Catch us if you can at either our 11am-11.45am, 1pm-1.45pm or 3pm-3.45pm slots.
And best of all - the workshops are FREE!

Then it's straight back on the train and off to Hereford and the mighty Hay Festival.
Our Monday 30th event appears to have SOLD OUT again (hooray!) but there might still be tickets available on the day.

For those lucky festival goers who've already secured their seats, we'll see you at 11:30am on the Starlight Stage.

Let the tour begin!

Professor Popalops' Breakfast Buster!

Wednesday = Dandy day! I'm just about to scamper off to the shops to pick up my copy, in which Piggy, Doombar and Elfin from YORE! will encounter some spell swallowing! In the meantime, I wanted to show you a little more artwork from the second season of my Professor Popalop puzzle pages, coming soon to the Dandy...

As usual, click these images to go LARGE and see all the little details!

More on the way!


Sunday 22 May 2011

Something that I want

Right, it's a Sunday, and Sundays are the best.  Today's post is dedicated to the guys at the Walt Disney Animation Studios who made this awesome four minute delight that sums up exactly how it feels to get up every day and do a job you truly love. Try watching this without a huge grin on your face. It's impossible.


Friday 20 May 2011

Going Once ... Going Twice ...

Last week Lorenzo and I had the immense pleasure in hosting a book auction at the Bristol Grammar School. It was the final event of a superb day that would have set the record as the biggest one-day book sale in the UK, if only the good folk at Guinness had allowed them to register (apparently there's an amusing clause that states no record can be registered/attempted unless a record has already been set for the event ... er ... isn't that a chicken and egg scenario???)

But who cares about the trophies - this was one WHOPPING great book sale!

Good to see that pile of Beano annuals above.
After ten hours of frantic selling, we Etheringtons took to the stage and spent an exceptionally enjoyable hour bumping the prices of rare editions, special editions, signed hardbacks and other unique book-based goodies.

Do you want to see what a couple of professional auctioneers look like? Um...

Anyway, what was it all in aid of? Well, four very clever students (seen on the stage above - left to right, Jack, Tej, Rose and Elizabeth) had managed, through skill and determination, to reach the world championship finals of the Kids Lit Quiz, a most prestigious event being held in .... New Zealand!

With no budget to pay for the flights, Lucy Shepherd - the school's event co-ordinator - leapt into action and organised the entire thing in a matter of months. She even managed to convince the children to help us!

While Tej commentated from the stage and explained the finer points of bidding, Rose and Elizabeth brought a little flair and glamour to the selling process.

And as for young Jack ... well, there was only one job he wanted!

The day was a resounding success, raising over £4000, and every donated book that didn't sell was given to Amnesty International to redistribute. Everyone's a winner!

Many thanks to Lucy and all the staff of Bristol Grammar for putting on such a great show and for inviting us to be a part of the action.

(Photos provided courtesy of Graham Fellows.)


Okay, so those of you with a keen memory will remember THIS POST from July last year, in which we talked about a brand new series of fully illustrated novels we'd just signed to Random House/DFB. Well, the books are coming on well, and I just wanted to pop in here and show you a teeny-tiny bit of artwork. The series is a little way off being ready yet, but stay tuned to the blog for more news...!


Wednesday 18 May 2011

Etheringtons Ambush Hay and More Festival Tickets Released!

It's a frantic month and we're barely keeping up to date with what's happened, what's happening and what's soon to happen!

Reports and pics from the Big Bristol Book Auction and the Cowbridge Book Festival coming soon but first some exciting news.

As some of you may know, we are due to appear at the wonderful Hay Festival on Monday 30th May at 11:30am. We had previously announced that the event was SOLD OUT ... which it was ... but we're now delighted to share the news that we've been bumped into a larger space and tickets are now available for the show! HaaZaa!

To grab your ticket, click HERE and snap one up before the second batch run out (fingers crossed!).

In other Hay news, Lorenzo and I were a bit cheeky recently and ambushed the official blog for the Hay Fever Children's festival. They never saw us coming!

Click HERE to read our mighty message. Only nine days to go!

Bristol Comics Expo report part 1 - Sketches

Hey folks! A quick bit of bloggery to show you a few of the sketches I did in books for all the lovely peeps that dropped by to see us at the Bristol Comics Expo this weekend. I drew about 50 or so sketches over the weekend, and my hand is only just recovering! Here are a few of 'em!
Oh, and STOP THE PRESSES! I was proud to do a sketch for the awesome Kat Nicholson on Saturday, and she took the time to scan and colour it! How cool is that?!! Seriously, flippin' awesome!! Scroll to the bottom to see it in all it's amazingness! Thank you Kat!!!!! Oh, and don't forget, it's Dandy day!


Monday 16 May 2011

El Sketchbook Lorenzo Volume F.I.V.E. on sale now with 20% off!

The first 30 sold out at the Bristol Expo this weekend, now it's your last chance to get a copy. Just 30 copies available (delivered anywhere in the world!) through our store HERE. If you order before 31st May and enter the coupon code MAYBOOK at checkout, you'll get an additional 20% off!

Friday 13 May 2011

We've Sold Out ... Again!

(Not sure what happened to blogger today but this post from Thursday seemed to disappear!)

Anyway, the 'selling out' this time, refers to our forthcoming appearance at the Hay Literary Festival, on Monday 30th May. Anyone planning on grabbing a ticket for the hottest show in town will be sadly disappointed ... because they've ALL gone!

We've been looking forward to attending this fantastic festival for years (any event that looks as cool as the shot above gets a big tick in our book) and cannot wait to meet a new legion of comic fans.

The kind folks at Hay have even invited us to add a blog to their festival site - ooh, the power! - and we'll post a link to our ramblings next week.

Even if you can't get in to our show we thoroughly recommend a trip to the wonderfully named Dairy Meadows where you can catch a host of incredible children's authors including Eoin Colfer, Julia Donaldson, Charlie Higson, Judith Kerr, Axel Scheffler, Marcus Sedgwick, Darren Shan, Andy Stanton, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson and many more.

Thursday 12 May 2011

Look ... er ... Listen, Ma - We're on the Radio! For 6 days ONLY!!!

Well bless my socks, it's double post Thursday!

There have been a barrage of newsworthy bits and bobs recently but this is a particularly fun one to share.
Yesterday, in support of an amazing book sale that took place at the Bristol Grammar School (full report to come soon) Lorenzo and I hijacked the mighty airwaves of BBC Radio Bristol and had a rather entertaining chat with Anna King.

And now, thanks to the miracle of digital radio you can listen to the whole conversation through your computer! Just follow THIS link, click on the 'LISTEN NOW' button, and when the new window opens and the show starts playing, skip forward to 1.40.58 ... approximately!

And yes, there's a lot of giggling but 30 seconds before we went on air we learned it was national doughnut week and news like that just tickles us.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Take a seat...

Dandy day! Dandy Day! Yeah, that's right, fellow adventurers, the latest issue of the Dandy comes out today, and within it's papery walls you'll find the latest episode of YORE! in which our brave heroes come face to face with the Black Mage!! Oooh! Here then, is a recent environment I've been working on for the series...

And it's three days until the Bristol Comic Expo!


Tuesday 10 May 2011

Brimsham Green School Delivers Unexpected Delights!

I've said this before and I'll no doubt say it again, but we are extremely lucky to be invited to bring our brand of comic tomfoolery into the heart of schools, libraries and festival venues the country over. We take immense pleasure in sharing our personal thoughts on the creation process and how it relates to writing, drawing and reading, and last week saw us embark on another wonderful adventure as we made the short journey to nearby Yate and the Brimsham Green school.

Neither of us were envisaging a peaceful country walk but as we approached the venue we found ourselves strolling along a lovely lane populated by strange beasts like THESE!

But baking sunshine and mangy horses aside, we had work to do.

Arriving at the school we were met by Becky Harrison, Brimsham's study centre manager (and kind soul who invited us in the first place!), and taken to the school library. It was a fantastic, airy building and a perfect space for our workshops. It even featured electronic skylights ... which was unexpected.

I'm sure you've spotted the theme by now but there were more unexpected treats to come.
First up, our rider. Now, we're used to the odd sandwich or biscuit and cup of coffee, but Brimsham went the extra mile.
Sandwiches, biscuits, grapes, bananas, coffee and DOUGHNUTS!!!

What a bag.
Eventually Lorenzo stopped eating and we got down to the business of talking comics. Our first group was made up of students from three local primary schools. We had a fantastic session and signed so many copies of Monkey Nuts and our workbooks that we were late for our second class!

As the year 7 students took their places for our final workshop of the day Lorenzo and I took a moment to marvel at the unexpected (see what I did there) seating options available. Apparently, the school has a film club and the giant beanbags seen in the pic above were purchased for screenings.
I now want one. They are awesome.

Many, many thanks to Becky Harrison and all the staff and students of Brimsham Green for making us feel so welcome. We cannot wait to return with BAGGAGE!

One year on and going strong!

Last Thursday, the 5th of May, marked the first anniversary of my marriage to the wonderful Mimi. I honestly don't know where the past 365 days have gone (or the 10 and a half years before that!) but I'm still grinning like an idiot so I guess it must have been a fun time.

We decided to celebrate in semi-traditional style gifting each other pressies with a PAPER theme (which obviously has a nice relevance to a comic creator) and Mimi knocked it out the park. We were married, as some might know, in Las Vegas and honeymooned in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The 5th of May marks the Mexican holiday "Cinqo de Mayo" when, in 1862, the Mexican army were victorious over French forces at the Battle of Puebla. Irrelevant facts? Possibly, but Mexican and New Mexican traditions now have a special place in our heart.

Which partly explains THIS.

Yes, that's a giant sweety-filled piƱata, complete with idiot husband swinging and missing spectacularly.
Mucho respect to Mimi for combining paper, a Mexican tradition and the number ONE!
Cor, I knew there was a reason I married that girl...

NOTE: The keen-eyed among you may even spot in the lower left corner of that last pic, a miniature skeletal bride and groom. Far from being morbid, these are icons that celebrate, "Dia de los Meurtos", the Day of the Dead, another Mexican holiday. FACT!

Saturday 7 May 2011

Bristol Comics Expo - Lorenzo's picks of NEW stuff to look out for...

Right, with the Bristol Comics Expo coming up in just seven days, I wanted to drop in here and give a little pre-show ramble through some of the stuff that you really should look out for if you're coming to the show. There's always a lot of comicy goodness at Bristol, but I want to focus here on new artists bringing their first work to the show, or unsung heroes that are just doing comics in a way that I DIG. Not only that, but (with the exception of some of the Tales of the Spiffing artists) they're all girls too, which is very cool.

Let's start with the awesome Jen Smith, who will be showing paintings, postcards and various furry delights featuring a menagerie of monsters, robots and CATS, many in slightly perplexing situations wearing befuddled expressions. This is Jen's first show, so go and say hey to her and buy some of her goodies...

Next up, you really HAVE to pick yourself up a copy of Tales Of The Spiffing, a fantastic looking anthology featuring art and stories by a whole load of painfully talented creators from Aardman Animation Studios. Featuring work by Dani Abram, Emilie Timmermans, JP Vine, Jess Jackson, Jonny Duddle, Kris Pearn, Matt Jones, Ashley Boddy, Sarah Matthews, Theresa Whatley and loads and loads more. I'm hoping a lot of these guys will be in attendance, as many are based here in Bristol, so you should hopefully be able to get pleeeeeenty of signatures on your copy of the book!  Here's a couple of pages, I'd show more but you need to buy the book!...

Time to talk about Nikki Stu, who is appearing I think for her third year in a row to Bris, so she's not exactly a newcomer, but, still, you may not have seen her work, and you should! Great sense of design, colour and STYLE, all wrapped up in an ability to create truly original worlds and characters, LOVE it...!

Okay, another creator here who's been doing this comic thing for a while, but she's a long-time Etherington Bros friend, in fact we first met her way back when her comic store stocked Malcolm Magic in single issues! I am of course talking about Jess Bradley, whose sense of humour in everything she produces Just. Hits. The. Spot. I mean, look at these stuffs...

Right, time for one more, and I must admit, I'm not 100% sure that she'll be appearing at the con, but she may well be on the Draw the World Together stand, it's Jenny Clements! Yeah, I know, she's been featured on the blog before, but she's started making comics recently, and if that isn't a thing to celebrate, then what is?!! If anyone's been to one of our comic making workshops, they'll know how much I harp on about the importance of PERSONALITY in characters, and Jenny manages to fill every drawing she does with spades and spades of just that. Go see her draw at the show and see how it's done!

What are you waiting for? See you at the show!