Thursday 27 June 2013

Catch us on the BBC this August!

This August, as part of a mulitplatform package of broadcasting and events from the BBC to be recorded during this year's Edinburgh festivals, Lorenzo and I will be returning to Scotland to perform a very special workshop. 

On Friday 2nd we'll be filming our latest show live for the BBC at Potterow centre, in front of an audience of 300 local children. The event is part of the Author's Live series, hosted and run by those marvelous folks at the Scottish Book Trust. Other such luminaries who have appeared include Tony Robinson, Julia Donaldson, Andy Stanton, and Michael Rosen ... gulp ... no pressure then!

We are incredibly honoured to be a part of this fantastic series and cannot wait to get in front of those cameras and gurn out little hearts out.

But if you're thinking this sounds cool but there's no way you'll be able to catch the show on the day itself - do not fear! The entire event will be made available online for the following week courtesy of the BBC iplayer. You can literally beam us into your front room - HAAZAA! We'll make sure to post a link once the programme is available.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Attention UK Illustrators looking to do GOOD!

If you're an artist or illustrator keen to make a positive difference to the lives of young creators, then THIS is the blog post for you!

Some of you good folk may have heard of a not-for-profit organisation called the Ministry of Stories. Based in East London, the Ministry was set up in 2010 as a creative writing centre for children aged 8-18 with the soul aim of using storytelling as a form of inspiration to help build confidence, self respect and aid in communication. And to foster a love of writing and reading, of course.

These ideals are something we Etheringtons hold close to our hearts so you can imagine our delight when we discovered that the idea was spreading! A few months ago, ably supported by the Ministry, the Bristol Story Lab opened for business.


A non-profit scheme built along similar lines to the Ministry (and led by the excellent and enthusiastic Sam Taylor and Dave Taylor) the Story Lab is currently running monthly storytelling sessions from the brand spanking new J3 Library complex in Easton. We've been helping out whenever possible, hosting writing workshops and generally shouting about what a brilliant idea it is. But now that they're up and running and building their ever growing timetable for the coming year, the team at the lab is in need of a whole HOST of volunteers.

If you're an illustrator and would like the chance to blow children's tiny minds by bringing their stories to life, you can CLICK HERE to apply.

If you're not an illustrator but love the thought of being involved in this project, you can apply to become a mentor and story technician by CLICKING HERE.

Trust us, you'll have an amazing time. Oh, and please do spread the word - schemes like these make a genuine difference to their local community.

Illustration courtesy of Dan Startup.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Get your tickets FIRST for our Edinburgh Festival show!

In a year of landmark Etherington hat tricks (our third appearance at Hay, writing our third Long Gone Don book and puzzling our way into a third Von Doogan book) it possibly comes as little surprise that August 24th will mark our third appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Well, it's the third appearance for ONE of us, at least, as the blurb for our public event reveals...

"Over the last couple of years, Robin and Lorenzo Etherington have established themselves as firm Festival favourites (although Lawrence missed one year due to an exploding appendix). With their wild and wacky romps through the world of their brilliant comic stories, Monkey Nuts and Baggage, they immediately engage attention. Join them to find out how together they create their stunning, detailed artwork and funny, gag-packed adventure stories."

Tickets for our new show go on sale THIS FRIDAY (we wanted to give you a little advance warning!) and will be available for purchase HERE!  

Our show is part of a series of events collected under the title STRIPPED - a celebretaion of comics, graphic novels and the people who create them.  Fellow Phoenix artists and writers (including Gary Northfield, Garen Ewing and Adam Murphy) will be appearing alongside legends such as Neil Gaiman, Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, Posy Simmonds, Grant Morrison and Bryan Talbot

You can download the entire amazing lineup (over 40 events!) HERE!

Friday 21 June 2013


Quick snap of a sketchbook doodle for today...!


Tuesday 11 June 2013

Unseen concept art - 6 new trips into strangeness!

More concepts from my sketch books today, for those of you that like to see the work that goes on behind the scenes of our comics...!

600 more pages in THIS!


Monday 10 June 2013

An Introductory Video to the Etherington Brothers live show...

Good Monday to you all,

Always nice to start the week with something different, so here's a fantastic vid, shot and cut by South Lanarkshire council during our recent trip to Scotland. If you ever wondered what our live show consists of, well, this is a pretty accurate taster!

Anyone interested in booking us to appear at their schools, libraries, festivals, yachts, etc, can visit our workshop page HERE, where you can find out all the relevant details.

Many thanks to David Campbell for producing this brilliant video.

Friday 7 June 2013

The Day that Hay went WAHAY! Festival Report with pics!

A fortnight ago, though it seems like only yesterday, the great Hay Festival opened its doors to greet a hoard of over-excited, giggling, juvenile wannabe creators ... and once we finally moved out the way, the actual children were allowed to enter (ba-da-boom, TSSH!).

Hay Fever is the children and family-friendly segment of the main festival, and each year the action kicks off with a double day helping of shows for local schools. This is something we'd been looking forward to for months; the BIG laughs. The laughs that come when hundreds and hundreds of kids find something truly, uncontrollably funny. And these audiences did not disappoint...

I should probably start this photo montage in chronological order, but there is one photo that sums up our 2013 trip better than any other ... it might only June but this could well be our pic of the year ... 900 KIDS GOING CRAZY! Click to see the action in all its glory.

And for three fantastic days in the Hereford sunshine, the fun just never stopped...

We were delighted to be joined by our wives and the latest edition to the Etherington clan, little Edward, - snapped here attending his first festival at just under 3 months old! He wasn't quite ready to see our show (it's a bit noisy) but he behaved extremely well for a tiny tyke!

MASSIVE thank you's to everyone who helped make the trip such a blinding success - Lauren Bennett and Harriet Venn at Random House (for sorting everything), Jenny at Mouse Castle Barn (for the hospitality), Kevin Crossley-Holland and his wonderful wife Linda (for the best stories EVER), and Rhodri Jones and all the staff and helpers at the Hay festival. You guys kept the whole shebang in order while spoiling us rotten. 

We cannot wait to return in 2014!

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Sunday 2 June 2013

Scottish Friendly Book Tour - Report with pics!

A fortnight ago Lorenzo and I joined forces with Scottish Friendly and The Scottish Book Trust to bring our brand of creativity and abject silliness to the classrooms of North and South Lanarkshire. In five days we met, entertained, inspired and giggled with thousands of young artists and writers. 

The tour was fantastic from start to finish and our chaperones, Chris and Beth, made sure we were ready for action and well armed with good food, drink and cheer. It was a magical week in their company, which ended with them presenting us with two x amazing artistic creations, each depicting a stage of our Scottish travels in miniature form. Look at the wonder on our faces!

During the week, I kept a blog running over on the Scottish Book Trust facebook page which you can read in full HERE without even having to login. Just scroll down their page for lots and lots more detail from the road including a rather infamous injury incurred on a miniature golf course. Let’s just say this for now – Lorenzo should probably stick to drawing

But what does an Etherington tour look like? Well, we start by finding a hotel that has a unique character, for instance, one that is attached to a theme park (this was the view from my window)...

Then we add a little of this...

A ton of this...

A wonderful amount of this and this...

If we're very lucky the children add things like this (just seen in left foreground, handmade versions of the case from Baggage, the snowglobe from Baggage - including castle! - and even, hidden behind me, a replica diorama of the BonkersBall stadium from Baggage!!!!)...

Eventually, after ten great shows, we usually end up looking like this...

Aside from Chris and Beth and all the students and teachers we met over the week, a final special thanks must go to Scottish Friendly for facilitating such an incredible experience, not just for us, but for every author or illustrator lucky enough to join the tour. We'll never forget our adventure!