Monday 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween! Have a free Baggage comic on us!

Yes, you lucky things! Here is the Baggage Halloween special that appeared in the Times newspaper last week! Click it to read it!!
 Oh, and as an extra treat, Baggage is currently on sale at almost HALF PRICE on Amazon HERE!


Thursday 27 October 2011

Baggage Exclusive in the Times Newspaper - TODAY!

Sorry for the last minute posting of this but we only just found out the news! If you live in the UK and can get to a newsagent today, you can feast your eyes on a brand new half-page exclusive Baggage comic strip commissioned specially by the Times!

On page 17 (the Young Times special section) Randall finds himself in a little undead pickle as he attempts to reunite a vampire with his coffin.

Remember, this strip does NOT appear in the book - it's as rare as Leprechaun gold - so be sure to grab your copy!

It's official - Baggage is a "...visual delight!"

Those knowledgeable souls over at recently swept their critical gaze over our latest graphic novel with (thankfully) delightful results.

Jeremy Briggs delivers a thoughtful review of Baggage and finds a lot of love:

"...the plot is never going to be predictable or even, for that matter, straightforward. But that is to the book's benefit as what could have been a simple quest storyline swerves constantly between increasingly bizarre situations. Lorenzo's artwork is beautiful, dynamic when it needs to be and intensely detailed in the quieter sections..."

Oh, and how's THIS for a conclusion?

"Baggage is a visual delight that works just as well for adults as it does for children. With Christmas coming up this is one book that could just as easily be on your own 'wants' list as well as being on the list of presents to be given out to others."

You heard the man, so what are you waiting for? Those stockings won't fill themselves!

Click HERE to read the full review.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Archive footage of Robin Etherington on Drums!

Well, today is a very special day here at Etherington Towers, as it's Robin's birthday!! While you know him as a writer of comics and children's fiction, you may NOT know that he's also an exceptionally talented drummer.

Robin doing his classic "cymbal gum stop" at a benefit gig in 1996.
Having begun his musical career in the mid 90's cover-band-boom, he soon began working on his own material, and formed a long and fruitful musical alliance with "the green man". Here he is in a rare public interview with said bandmate in the fall of 2002:

My bro continued to push the boundaries of acceptable behavior on the stage throughout the noughties, and became known affectionately as "The Party Animal", later shortened to "Party Animal", and eventually, perhaps regretably, to just "Animal".

Robin on his Honeymoon in Las Vegas last year.
Robin regularly worked with female singers, and while these collaborations were, for the most part, extremely successful, there were times when the juxtaposition of a singer's sultry laid back performance could be at odds with my brother's natural rhythmic tendencies.

The following infamous performance, filmed in the hot summer of 2005 at the fashionable Sewer Pipe Club in London's hip Shoreditch borough, has become something of a legend...

Happy birthday bro, keep bangin' them drums!


Monday 24 October 2011

Big Mysterious Monday News!

There are some projects on the Etherington horizon that we can show you, some we can tease you with openly, and others that can only be whispered about in secret behind LARGE locked doors. 
Our latest outing most assuredly falls into the LAST camp.

All we can say is that we've recently signed a development contract with a TV production company

Sorry folks, that's it. We know it's not much but it's all we're currently allowed to share. Keep watching this space for more info!

Sunday 23 October 2011

El Sketchbook Lorenzo Deluxe Collection number ONE on Lulu!

I'm very pleased to say my 600 page El Sketchbook Lorenzo Deluxe Collection once again topped the charts in the comics and graphic novels section of Lulu last week! The book also currently stands at number 22 in the all-time best sellers in said category on the site. Thanks to all you guys who have bought, enjoyed, and spread the word about this massive art book, and for those of you who haven't got your paws on a copy yet, Christmas is just around the corner!

Preview and buy the book HERE!


Saturday 22 October 2011

Another Cracking Baggage Review!

Over at the Bear Alley comic site, reviewer Steve Holland has just posted a new Baggage review. Last year, in his assessment of Monkey Nuts, Steve described our debut novel in these flattering terms:

"Rich in detail and colour, you'll want to go back again and again over every page to see what you missed the first and second time around ... it's pacy, it's funny and it deserves a place on your shelves." 

Lovely stuff but how did Baggage compare?

In Steve's own words.

"Lorenzo's artwork is jam-packed with intricate design and detail; it's a book that will pay re-reading..."

And there's good news for parents all over the world with THIS recommendation.

"With all the energy of an animated cartoon, Baggage has enough craziness to entertain even the most hyperactive kid. You shouldn't have any problem getting them to settle down and read for a change."

High praise indeed! To enjoy the full review and learn even more about the adventure, click HERE!

Friday 21 October 2011

The Etherington Strikes Back!

Finding new puns for the titles of our Star Wars posts is ridiculously easy and remarkably pleasurable.
But it is no way NEAR as pleasurable as seeing another one of our stories turned into a slice of comic action!

Yes, indeedy - the latest issue of Titan's monthly Clone Wars comic has just gone on sale and it features one of my favourite tales.

In 'The Only Good Clanker', Obi-Wan Kenobi and Commander Cody are faced with their most puzzling opponent yet - a Battle Droid named Coppertop who has managed to override his programming and save the life of a Clone trooper. As Kenobi attempts to unravel the mystery, a host of new enemies arrive on the scene, desperate to claim Coppertop for their own. But what makes this Droid so important?... 

I am joined on creative duties by Will Sliney who brings the story to vivid life.

Some stories are fun for the action, others their comedy, and sometimes because I get to explore an aspect of the Star Wars universe that's always fascinated me. This tale is definitely one for the fans. If you've watched Revenge of the Sith and you remember how the Jedi were betrayed, then this little adventure will be of particular interest.

Grab your copy from any good newsagent in the UK, France or the US, or you can set up a subscription online HERE!

Etheringtons Headline Cheltenham Festival!

While the title for this post is not strictly true (we were not, surprisingly, the main attraction at the Cheltenham Literature Festival), we did have the pleasure of performing as the last act on the last day of the fest to an extremely enthusiastic audience.

After enjoying a delightful lunch in the artists room (gooooooooooooood food) we took to the stage and, with the use of DUEL projector screens, visual monitors and all manner of gizmos, introduced Baggage and the Lost and Found workshop to a host of new readers.

And then we did a little signing!

Lorenzo, in a rare moment of madness, even agreed to draw Sid as a toilet for one young fan. Odd, but amusing!

Many thanks to Matilda Johnson and all the staff of both Waterstone's and the Chelthenham festival for supporting us and helping to make the event such a success. Oh, and for providing the cream tea! LOVELY!

Thursday 20 October 2011

Our first Baggage fan art!

There are few higher compliments than when a fellow creator turns their artistic hand to your own characters in order to deliver a piece of fan art, and there are few creators more capable of capturing Lorenzo's energy than the ever-talented Zak Simmonds-Hurn.

Just look at his picture of Randall! WOW!

I was lucky enough to previously work with Zak on a strip called 'The Strange Strange World of Weird' for the DFC comic, where I discovered that not only are his cartooning skills immense, but that he's a REALLY nice guy. One of the best. Many thanks, Zak, for this awesome pic.

And remember, folks, we LOVE fan art, so please feel free to mail us your creations! Blog exposure guaranteed!

- Robin

Wednesday 19 October 2011

The Big Issue asks us a VERY important question...

We've had a flurry of exciting press bits and pieces lately (and there's some amazing stuff coming in the next few months) but few were as much fun as being asked by The Big Issue to list the five books that I thought every child should read before they hit their eleventh birthday.

Just FIVE, Big Issue???? Oooo - that's a tough one ...

To find out what gems made my personal list, grab a copy from your local Big Issue salesman (every copy sold gives £1 to the seller, who is either homeless or housed in a vulnerable place). We'll try and source a digital copy of the article for you international readers soon!

- Robin

Tuesday 18 October 2011

The Phoenix and the Etheringtons Unite ... Round 2!

Something is coming. Something big. Something beautiful. Something magnificent.
In 2012 The Phoenix shall rise...

Reuniting many of the creative talents behind the late DFC, The Phoenix will be bringing a healthy dose of weekly wow to the UK's comic-reading kids.

As we've previously announced, Lorenzo will be twisting minds with his brain-squeezing puzzle series, The Dangerous Adventures of Von Doogan, but we've got something even bigger in the works for our main story-telling event. 

Ladies and Gentleman, prepare yourself for the epic underworld exploits of...

(drum roooooooooooooooooooooooooll)

Now, those lucky readers who've already subscribed to the Phoenix newsletter (and if you haven't, go HERE and do so at once) will have seen the first sneaky teaser for Long Gone Don, so it seems only fair to give our fans something brand new. 
Who, we wonder, is THIS guy?

Nope. That's not Don. But that's all the info you're getting!

We'll be bringing more and more exclusives for the Phoenix throughout the year as we lead up to the January launch, so be sure to keep your eyes glued to our blog for the latest and greatest news.

Monday 17 October 2011

Panel Borders & Resonance FM present: The Etherington Brothers!

Last Thursday, immediately prior to our Baggage Launch in London, we had the pleasure of being interviewed by Alex Fitch from Panelborders.

It was a great chat and Alex quizzed us on pretty much every aspect of our past/present and future career and our personal approach to the creative process. If you REALLY want to get to know us Etherington Brothers, then THIS is the podcast for you!

But wait - there are even MORE ways to listen! Click HERE to find yourself whisked away to the Panelborders Etherington page. The grey arrow opens the streamed interview above, but you also have the option to download an mp3 version, or open the podcast in itunes or facebook.

- Robin

Saturday 15 October 2011

Ooooo ... it's The Big Bold Baggage Launch Report!

We Etheringtons love to throw a party, and there are few better reasons to do so than the release of a brand new book. And not just any old book but BAGGAGE, our first graphic novel adventure to appear in its entirety without anyone having read a single page.

So it was with immense joy that last Thursday night we arrived at the Holland Park branch of Daunt Books and discovered this...

A tasteful display, an elegant presentation ... and, most importantly, it filled the entire window!
More fun was to be found inside in the form of booooooooooooooooooooooks...

...and our wonderful wives, Esther and Mimi, here seen making our banner look incredibly shabby in comparison to their pure glamour!

Before any of the action took place we were interviewed by Alex Fitch from Panelborders. Alex had brought a big bag of great questions with him and we discussed everything from Malcolm Magic to our future projects, why our stories always feature characters falling, how Lorenzo's approach to art has developed and a whole bunch of other gubbins. As soon as the interview is online we'll post a link.

Then it was time for a glass of wine and some quality chitchat with the horde of friends, fans, family and Ficklings who had turned out in force to have fun. 

In a DFC Library moment of WOW, Sarah McIntyre (creator of the beautiful Vern and Lettuce), James Turner (creator of the action comedy Super Animal Adventure Squad) John Aggs (writer on The Boss and artist on Philip Pullman's John Blake) and our very own Chief Tuft, David Fickling join us in a single picture. Remarkable!

The crowd await our big stage entrance as dancing girls gyrate and "Eye of the Tiger" plays in the background (some of our blog facts are fiction).

A gaggle of awesomeness caught in one shot - Kirsten Armstrong (editor supreme), Laurence Beck (Phoenix comic designer and all round nice guy) and two more Ficklings, Rose (daughter) and Caro (Mother and the brains controlling the Phoenix machine).

Andie Tong (artist on Tron, Spiderman and Thor to name but a few) smiles while Lorenzo tries out his "stern" face. Or is it his "smelt something funny" face?

Here I stand with the wonderful Tilda Johnson and Kirsten - the duel power behind the unfathomable organisational and editorial book process. So many beautiful ladies, so much wine ... sigh ... great times!

Will Fickling (editor on Monkey Nuts and our brand new project - news of that coming soon) and John Aggs hang around looking cooler than us. Thanks a bunch, guys.

In a rare moment of cruelty we mistake our best friend in the publishing world, the ever-awesome Lauren Bennett (who we couldn't live without) for a leaning post. The rabbit punches to the kidneys we received shortly afterwards stand as a reminder to NEVER do this again. EVER.

These events often offer a chance to catch up with friends you haven't seen for ages, and uber-talented mates Kris Dyer (one half of the writing team behind the magnificent Radio 4 series 'On the Blog') and James Gillingham (award-winning playwright) are just such a pair. Here they are seen helping me promote spectacles as THE must-have accessory for the truly discerning artist.

Just ... Just ... SO MANY LOVELY PEOPLE!!!

Wow ... anyway, after enough wine and twiglets and peanuts and grapes and sweets had been consumed, David Fickling took to the floor and gave a memorable turn as compere before I babbled on about cornfields, the sophomore slump and explained the finer points of our creative process: "Lorenzo no likey, Lorenzo no drawey."

Then it was on to the signing ... which was, quite simply IMMENSE! When a book shop kicks you out and there're STILL folks wanting to get their books daubed, you know you've had a good launch. In fact, poor Lorenzo's drawing hand has been in a sling ever since!

For some (the sensible) the night ended there, and for others it was just getting warmed up (ahem). 
We wish to thank everyone who made this evening possible - David, as ever, for publishing and championing our work, Lauren for working tirelessly to bring all the action together (sorry again for leaning on you), Daunt Books for having us, our wives for putting up with us, and each and every one of you wonderful people who turned up to celebrate. 

Transformers Prime Issue 1 on sale NOW!

Welcome to "double post Saturday" - that unique phenomenon that only occurs when we've got too much news to share and not enough time to share it in!

First up, I am thrilled to be able to tell you all about the latest incarnation of Titan's Transformers Comic. With the Michael Bay movie era receding slowly into the background it's time to shake things up in the land of Cybertronian conflict. 
And what better way than to celebrate than the latest incarnation of Transformers goodiness - the PRIME cartoon series!


It is, as the cover states, PRIME TIME!

I've been having an absolute ball bringing all the fun and action of the TV series to life in comic form and I'm lucky to be joined on art duties by the superbly talented Jeremy Tiongson. His mechanical rendering of Prime is fantastic. But don't take my word for it; here's a couple of sample art-only pages for your eyeballs to enjoy!


You can pick up a copy of the comic at any good newsagent or comic shop.

And for those of you who prefer your cartooning paper free, you can now order a digital subscription HERE.

- Robin

Friday 14 October 2011

The Lost and Found Tour heads to Cheltenham!

Last night we were partying in London at the Daunt Books launch of Baggage (full report with pictures and details of all the action coming soon) and this SUNDAY you can catch us at the Cheltenham Literature festival.

There are only a few tickets left (if you've already booked your place, you're in for a TREAT) but even if our show sells out you'll still be able to catch us afterwards when we'll be signing copies of Baggage and Monkey Nuts in the Waterstone's bookshop tent.

The fun starts at 16:45 and you can grab one of the last remaining golden tickets HERE!

Professor Popalop Ep 11 in the Dandy this week!

Well, what a fun time we had at the Baggage launch last night! And not only that, did you hear about what was announced a couple of days ago?! No? Well, stay tuned, there'll be more on both things from Robin next week.

In the meantime, want to stretch your brain-muscles? Well, why not pick up a copy of this week's DANDY featuring episode 11 of my professor Popalop series, in which you have to BUILD a ROBOT! Sounds simple, huh? HA! Just you wait and see...!


Tuesday 11 October 2011

National Literacy Trust Interview

Last month we were interviewed by those wonderful folks over at the NLT in connection with the ComiX Competition we helped them launch. The full transcript from the interview is now available to read online!

Here's a couple of excerpts to whet your appetite:

Within your comics you always construct such vibrant original worlds. What inspires your creations?
"World building is something that we consider vital to our work. The joy of the comic page is that you can go anywhere and do anything. It’s the bridge between straight prose and animation, and as such comic artists have to shoulder a real visual responsibility. A lot of comic creators rely on suggestion as a shortcut to design, but there is nothing better than watching your characters actually step into somewhere fantastic, where every nut, bolt and leaf can be seen. We take inspiration for our environments from real life and fiction in equal measure. In Baggage we frequently blend eastern and western architectural details, while adding another layer of pure imagination. That’s the greatest way to create something that feels both familiar to the reader and yet original."

Do you think that blogs, and the internet in general are now so popular that they threaten more traditional forms of reading?

"It’s important to remember that radio, cinema and television were all seen as the potential death of traditional reading at one time or another, but the pleasure and the uniqueness of the reading experience continues to survive and thrive. The internet, Kindles, iPads and readers all essentially serve the purpose of promoting literature. If the Kindle is Amazon’s bestselling product, then (self-publishing arguments aside) it is a good news story for books in general. The trick for writers/readers, and the industry in general, is to utilise the strength of these tools.
We spend a lot of time ensuring that our blog is an environment that promotes the joy of creating and reading in equal measure. Oh, and it’s fun. And filled with awesome pictures."

If we do say so ourselves! And there's a LOT more where that came from.
To read the full interview simply click HERE!

Monday 10 October 2011

Great review of Baggage over at Forbidden Planet

" It’s a hugely satisfying, very silly, very funny quest meets chase story, and when you’re that satisfying, that silly and that funny, all rolled into one, you manage clever by holding it all together so very well."

Those fine folks over on the mighty Forbidden Planet blog have put up a very nice review of Baggage, and we thought you all may like to read it! The review also includes many EXCLUSIVE peeks at pages from the book which have not been seen anywhere online before. So what are you waiting for? GO HERE and read the full review!


Sunday 9 October 2011

Cookies and Comics at Foyles!

Is there anything better than seeing your book in a shop window? Yes, as it happens - seeing a giant BANNER for your book in a shop window! Now that is nice.

I know, right? Neat.

Our Bristol Baggage launch was an absolute hoot from start to finish. Foyles laid on a delightful platter of biscuits and cakes and cookies and soft drinks for all the children and parents who attended. These were rabidly consumed while we entertained the audience with our new workshop, in the store's fantastic event space. Afterwards we held a signing session and chatted to all our readers - new and established, young and old.

Many thanks to Dave Lawrence and the rest of the lovely staff who helped make our event such a success.
We look forward to returning with new treats in the new year.

And for all you London-based readers, remember: Thursday 13th is YOUR time to shine.
Daunts Books, Holland Park, 6:30-8:30pm ... round two ... ding ding!