Ollie & Quentin Book

Ollie & Quentin Book
125 pages in full colour!

Monday, March 31, 2008

William Steig

How embarrassing. There's obviously a gap in my education here because I came up with the above cartoon before I'd ever heard of William Steig. Brendan Burford, my editor at King's, gave me a quick lesson today and is now checking whether we can run it without getting into trouble. I hope so as I spent ages on this one.

The lawyers say it's OK. As a courtesy I'm going to add an apology line to Mr. William Steig.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy 71st Birthday Dad. So glad you and mum had me when you did 'cos if you'd waited a year I'd be my brother and he can't draw at all. Mind you, he is a handsome, wealthy, jet setting property developer so it wouldn't have been all bad.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Trial over

I reported on Monday that 'Ollie and Quentin' was starting a 4 week trial run in The Reporter, Vacaville CA. Four whole days later I hear that the trial is over because loyal fans of another strip have kicked up such a stink about its being suspended to make way for the test features. Editor Diane Barney writes that the paper will look into finding another way of sampling new strips.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Old and Wrinkly

I recently spent a great day at Boxgrove Primary School in Guildford drawing cartoons with three classes of Year 5 students (Aged 10). Yesterday I received a whole bunch of letters from the kids thanking me which was a lovely and sometimes hilarious surprise. This is just one of the letters that made me laugh. Thanks Enrico.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Big Trouble

I could be in BIG trouble here. Quentin has lots of friends and relatives so I have to find names for them all. I have been slowly working through the names of my friends who are generally happy for me to use them. Pam is someone I run with who happens to have a glass eye and her name 'popped' into my mind when writing this strip. I haven't got the guts to check if it's ok so next time I see her I'll ask her to have a look at this post. If the name changes you'll know she wasn't amused. If there are no more posts after today you'll know she was VERY unamused and probably broke my fingers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spot the Difference

There are nearly 6 years between the two drawings above. On the left is the first ever drawing of Quentin (he's obviously been eating well since 2002). Can you spot 6 differences between the old and new Ollie?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Winnipeg Sun

The Winnipeg Sun (Manitoba, Canada) has asked to run Ollie and Quentin on Sundays. My first Canadian paper!

My day job

I'd love to write and draw Ollie and Quentin all day every day but I have a mortgage to pay and kids to feed so I spend most days as a lowly cartoon illustrator. I mainly illustrate kids schoolbooks which is great fun but quite poorly paid. Thing is, I don't have much choice because, if I'm honest, I can't actually do anything else. I looked into an alternative career where I could earn the same money as I do now but thought my kids might be embarrassed to see their father stacking shelves in a supermarket.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I thought no one would get this...

I really like this joke but was convinced no one would get it. I was very relieved that Brendan, my editor at Kings, liked it too.

O&Q on month trial at The Reporter, Vacaville, CA

Ollie and Quentin starts a month long trial over at The Reporter, Vacaville, CA today. They are trying out four new strips over the next four months. I'm interested to know if O&Q's going first will mean it will be forgotten by the end of the trial or whether it makes no difference.

A lot of the O&Q strips going out for syndication at the moment are quite old so I had a quick check to see if my next month's worth is any good. Aside from a couple of weak efforts and some ropey old drawings I think it's ok.

If you're in the Vacaville, CA area and like Ollie and Quentin please let the paper know. Thanks.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Movie Star

When I was 17 I had the opportunity to be an extra in a great British movie called 'Chariots of Fire'. Me, my brother and a friend were amongst the crowd in the famous courtyard race scene where Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) and Lord Andrew Lindsay (Nigel Havers) race each other around the courtyard trying to do the one lap before the 12 chimes of the clock finish. It's meant to be at Cambridge University but they used Eton School instead. If you watch the trailer I am in the scene 25 seconds in.

Deja Vu

Ollie and Quentin developed from a strip I did about a lifeboat man for the UK's Lifeboat charity, the RNLI. I have 'revisited' a couple of the jokes that I felt might be worth developing. This isn't the greatest joke but it's interesting seeing what has changed over the years. I think I drew the original in August 2002.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Stupid

Back to that comic poll in The North West Florida Daily News. Since they updated the sample strips the comments have gone from ok to awful. Reading some of the other strip comments I have realised that it tends to be people with something negative to say who make the effort to comment. Human nature, I guess. When I saw the updated choices I was a bit worried as they aren't that good. I guess it's the same for all of us. In fact I think Pooch Cafe fares worst because the choices are taken from a series so probably don't make much sense to new readers. This is a shame because the strip is fantastic. Here are some of the O&Q comments which made me laugh... a bit.

The Good:

"Kinda cute, in a penial kinda way..."
"A duck (goose?) with an attitude and a lugworm sidekick - what's not to like? "
"this is funny, I like the little bean looking thing,"

The Bad:

"Talking birds and animals are NOT funny."
"Is this strip suppesed to be stupid? or is it just dumb? It sure isn't funny." (Note the spelling here).
"Don't need a cartoon with an androgenous creature that looks suspiciously like a part of the male genitalia."

The Stupid:

"If we could relate this to strip to something that people or animals do, it might make sense."

Monday, March 03, 2008

My Head Hurts

Oh boy! I have spent the last five hours compiling a list of which strips my UK newspaper clients have not already seen. Since handing everything over to King Features I hadn't really given much thought to the fact that a lot of the strips currently being shown in the US are ones the UK have seen already. So when UK newspapers are getting the current strips from Kings they are finding they've been seen some of them before. Really embarrassed to hear that readers have noticed a couple of reruns (but secretly delighted they remember them).

Changing the subject completely. I read on the fantastic Daily Cartoonist website that someone has posted the following which I wholeheartedly agree with:
"...the comics are an easy target for cutting costs. Yet you’ll notice that nothing shuts down the blasted horoscope column. This is not the 1960s-70’s. Nobody has asked me what my sign was in thirty or more years (thankfully). It is not even religion, it is pure bunkum, yet papers will waste time on horoscopes which nobody I know ever bothers to read, except occasionally to ridicule."

Well said.

Oh, and a dentist in Washington, Pennsylvania sent me a nice letter asking if he could have the original of the above strip.