Monday 27 February 2012

Cardiff Comic Caper!

On Saturday Lorenzo and I visited the capital of Wales for the Cardiff International Comic Expo. Like Alice in Wonderland, I made the mistake of consuming the contents of a bottle marked 'Drink Me' before I was snapped in the following pic, and I continued to shrink all day. Compare me to Lorenzo below, who had gobbled a whole plate of those quick grow 'EAT ME' cakes.

There are many reasons to pop along to a comic show and meet us Etheringtons but high on that list is the chance to get one of our books daubed with a Lorenzo original sketch. He does NOT believe in scrimping on the details...

We always see a lot of familiar faces at these shows but there's a special joy to be had from meeting new creators just joining the party. One of those who particularly impressed us was Rianne Rowlands. Her artwork was superb, a punchy killer combo of great design and superb colouring, but her passion for illustration didn't stop there ... just check out THIS tattoo. Amazing work by tattoo master Jesse Smith ... it took 12 hours to complete - ouch!

But no sooner had the show come to an end than the next appeared on the horizon!

The Bristol International Comic Expo, on May 16th-17th, will be our 25th UK Comic Convention - and if that isn't worth celebrating then what is? To mark this momentous occasion we'll be launching a brand new ultra limited edition sketchbook - ONLY 25 COPIES (did you see what we did there?).

Now, anyone who's had the opportunity to dip into Lorenzo's giant 2005-2010 Deluxe edition will know the quality of the work held within those pages, so trust us when we say these babies are going to disappear fast. In the spirit of fair play it'll be first come to Bristol, first served - so grab a ticket and get there early.

See you in May comic fans!

- Robin

Monday 20 February 2012

Cardiff Comic and Animation this weekend!

We'll be there with copies of Baggage, Monkey Nuts, El Sketchbook Lorenzo Deluxe Collection and Malcolm Magic! See you there!


Thursday 16 February 2012

Photographed! The rarest Doogan treasure of all!

You've gotta be a smart cookie to get one of these, that's all I'm saying!


Wednesday 15 February 2012

Welcome to BroilerDOOM!!

Another little peek into the world of our epic adventure in comic book form, Long Gone Don. Here Don experiences an uncharacteristically friendly reception from local Broilerdoomians. Don continues his adventure in episode 7 of The Phoenix this Saturday!


Tuesday 14 February 2012

300 young minds + two young-at-heart Etheringtons = FUN!

As you are probably now aware Lorenzo and I spend a lot of time on the road visiting festivals, book shops, libraries and schools all over the country. It is wonderful to be invited to speak to children of all ages, and share some of our tips and tricks while enthusing about the pleasure to be found in writing, drawing and reading.

Last week we journeyed south west to the world famous town of Glastonbury to spend a day with the pupils of Millfield Preparatory School. And when I say 'the pupils' I mean year 3,4,5,6,7 and 8!!! Wow!

We made excellent use of the largest projection screen I've ever seen and we had an absolute ball. Nice of them to provide me with a drum kit as well...

Thanks to Vicky Hayes for organising the day and all the staff for making us feel so welcome (the coffee and the lunch were exceptionally good!). Special thanks, as ever, go to the students who contributed to some truly hilarious workshops.

We look forward to returning in the future!

- Robin

Monday 13 February 2012

Von Doogan salutes - Jack Holt!

Huge respect and congratulations to JACK HOLT, who came out on top as the solver of Von Doogan's forth Phoenix puzzler - "The Dishonest Directions"!

Perhaps you'll be next! The Dangerous Adventures of Von Doogan continues HERE! You have a chance to win each and every week! Why not check out the awesome issue 6 preview HERE!


Friday 10 February 2012

Influencing Apes! Rwanda Revealed part 2

Rwanda is a lush country. The sun beats all year round but the rains arrive with regularity allowing the thousand hills of this remarkable nation to bloom and flourish. Tea, coffee, corn, maize and innumerable fruit and vegetable crops spring from the fertile soil in all directions and barely an inch of the earth is left untilled.

Higher up, in the heart of the Virunga mountains - a chain of volcanoes stretching along the border between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo - the environment takes on a denser rain forest quality, as giant bamboo, hagenia trees, shrubs of all varieties mosses and lichen all battle for dominance. And it's through this foliage that we trekked, ably assisted by our fantastic local Rangers.

Our mission? To spend an hour with Rwanda's famous Gorillas - this was something I had been dreaming about for months...

After two hours of pretty sweaty hiking - during which an advance tracking team constantly relayed the position of our target family group back to our rangers - I suddenly saw a dark shape in the distance, moving peacefully through the green. We had arrived and our minds were blown.

The infants and females were stunning. Playful, elegant and utterly oblivious to our presence. I was so busy snapping away that I initially failed to notice when the leader of the pack arrived. 

Let me say this in all honesty. Nothing can quite prepare you for coming face to face with a Silverback...

His name is Bwenge, which means "Intelligence" and watching this regal statesman of the forest go about his business, it is not difficult to understand why. You only have to look into a Silverback's eyes (something I was instructed NOT to do but simply couldn't stop myself!) to see the mind at work.

Then, suddenly I found myself shuffled to the front of the group, within a mere three metres of this living wonder. My delight should be evident to all!

A second after the photo above was taken Bwenge decided that he had had quite enough of my googly eyes and knuckled towards me. In the most uncool fashion imaginable I attempted to run to safety only to lose my footing and stumble into the bracken. Scrambling clear I felt both foolish and exhilarated for the Silverback had only been moving to a new eating spot, clearly favouring the greenery I'd been hiding in. He wasn't in the least threatened by my presence: in his eyes I was less bothersome than a mosquito!

Our hour of privilege finally came to an end and we all trekked down the mountain, grinning like idiots. There are only 13 gorilla groups living in the Virungas and only one visit to each family is allowed per day which makes this experience all the more special and one I heartily recommend, should you ever visit this remarkable country. Even better, team the visit with a trip to the Nyungwe Forest and the breathtaking canopy walk.

Now, I had always wanted to tell a story about a primate, and that dream was realised with Sid's adventures in Monkey Nuts Book 1 ... but this AMAZING experience has refueled my desire to generate another tale of ape-based action so watch this space for more news, friends!

- Robin

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Don on the run

 Some new art this morning, from the latest issue of The Phoenix, in which Don goes on the lamb through the dusty streets of BroilerDoom...

Read Long Gone Don every week, HERE!


Tuesday 7 February 2012

Book Brunch serves up a side helping of Etherington!

Okay, this one's a little belated, but dropping it ahead of my NEXT post-haste post-Rwanda post (trying saying that ten times fast!) seems rather apt.

Last Thursday, Book Brunch - that online bubbling cauldron of tasty publishing titbits - got wind of my tiny African escapade and decided to spread the good word even FURTHER.

Which is basically awesome.

In case you're struggling to read the TINY text on this screengrab, my comments read something like this:

"When I was first approached with the opportunity to visit Rwanda my mind turned instantly to the unforgettable events of 1994. I had no distinct concept of the country or its people outside the remit of that unforgettable tragedy. But there is nothing greater in life than witnessing first hand the strength of human nature and so, thanks to a good friend working with Paul Kagame's government, I found myself transported to the 'Land of a thousand Hills' - a verdant, vibrant country more captivating than I could ever have imagined. 

"But I wasn't simply here to enjoy the sites, I had a mission: to bring comic books to a nation that had never seen one before, and to try and teach the basics of comic storytelling to as many children as possible."
Erm. Actually, that's exactly what it says!
MANY thanks to Book Brunch for making this visit a newsworthy piece.
- Robin

Monday 6 February 2012

Come see us at the Cardiff Comics Expo!

Want to brush away those February blues? Then come see us at The Cardiff Comics and Animation Expo in just under three weeks' time! We'll be sketching, signing, chatting and generally having fun all weekend at our Etherington Brothers stand, so drop by, say hey, and maybe pick up a book or two!


Thursday 2 February 2012

School is OUT!

"Pinch, punch, YESTERDAY was first of the month" ... which means a new slice of Etherington-inspired Prime action for your eyes!

In "School is Out!" things get a little toasty for Jack and the Autobots after a series of bizarre gas explosions destroy four neighbourhood schools. Fearing Decepticon involvement, the team splits up to monitor the remaining buildings but all is not as it appears ... and the results are explosive! 

Horacio Domingues rejoins me on art duties with some fantastic pages.

And remember, if you can't find a copy at your nearest newsagent then simply order a subscription HERE!

- Robin!

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Von Doogan's Army!

So, as many of you now know, the best use of email these days is for sending in your solutions to the Von Doogan weekly brain-benders in the Phoenix comic, in the hope of snagging the title of WINNER and bagging yourself something cool in return! Well, I'm pleased to announce that the first few puzzle champions have now been announced, and they are....

Episode Zero: ‘The Chattering Totem of Tukaluk’ 
- solved by AMY PERKINS
Episode One: ‘The Nine Locks’
- solved by WILLIAM MACKIE
Episode Two: 'The Big Mysterious Package of Mysteries’
- solved by JAMIE TODD
Episode Three : 'The Big Engine Trouble Puzzle'
- solved by SOPHIE KING

HUGE congratulations to all those who sent their solutions in, and if you didn't win, have HEART! There's another opportunity to become an honorary Dooganeer each and every week, only in The Phoenix!

Want more Doogan? You can get clues to each puzzle, watch the Doogan trailer and keep up to date with the puzzle master himself on his very own web page HERE!