Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Zulu Time!


Sawubona! I'll be travelling on tomorrow's Anglo-Zulu War anniversaries so unable to make my usual post so instead here's a few pictures from last year's amazing experience when I was fortunate enough to return to Kwa-Zulu Natal for the 140th commemorative events at the famous battlefields themselves.

As you can imagine, this was a truly memorable event, a great spectacle in great company with the British re-enactors, the Die Hards joined by their South African counterparts from Dundee and a 500 strong Zulu impi, mustered by the King himself who oversaw proceedings.

I'm not sure I've yet fully processed the event, busy as modern life is, but the many photos, notes, conversations and experiences enjoyed during the trip will live with me for a very long time. A real honour to salute the warriors on both sides at the very places where their bravery was witnessed all those years ago. An ongoing inspiration, uhambe kahle, go well.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Tripwire Comic Awards!


Happy New Year all! Hope all is going well so far? I'm pleased to say that Accent UK Comics has had a delightful start to 2020 with our nomination in the Tripwire Comic Awards!

That's right, Accent UK have been nominated in the Best UK Small Press / Independent Comics category among many other respected publishers.

Some stiff competition there certainly but it's nice to be recognised among your peers which is a nice reward in itself among the many difficulties in being a small creative voice in an often  overlooked medium, so thanks to the Tripwire judging panel for considering and including us.

If you have enjoyed any of our titles and creative endeavours please consider casting your vote in this and the other award categories which are a nice 'pat on the back' for all involved.

Tripwire's site can be linked to here and the voting form here , Voting is I believe open till April I but there's no time like the present if you have 2 minutes! The awards are due to be announced at the Portsmouth Comic-Con early May where Dave West will be in attendance - wonder if he's renting a tux?

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

"That's Weird!"

My Accent UK comics buddy, Dave West is always working away on something and then has a habit of that 'something' eventually appearing and so it is with this his latest project, intriguingly titled " I before E except after W, that's Weird!" currently funding on kickstarter.

He's been working on and off on this for years, initially - if I recall correctly - as 'The A to Z of Superheroes' with an overseas artist but as he became interested in vintage books an idea developed to use some of those old obscure but fascinating images in some way and armed with scissors, glue and a fevered imagination this unique comics n collage project came to life.

I've only seen a handful of these images over the years but Dave's assured me that he recently completed the whole book, so I'm intrigued to see how it's turned out in it's execution.

The Kickstarter is doing pretty well and close to funding already but if your interest is piqued, please consider backing it as the campaign's pre-order is the best way of securing yourself a copy which may be one of the oddest books Accent UK have ever released.

Dave has included some of the original art pages in the reward tiers and I've already bagged my favourite and as they say, once they're gone they're gone!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Asylum Pencils to Page!

Advance copies of our 'Return To The Asylum' comic had a great reception at this year's wonderful Asylum Festival in Lincoln a couple of weeks ago and there's still time to guarantee yourself a copy in the last couple of days of our kickstarter campaign.

This year, I had promised myself that I would write and draw one of the previous year's kickstarter reward stories and was delighted that it had been backed by the curious chap, Count Rostov, giving me a chance to feature both him and the lovely Lady M :)

A fun madcap adventure soon ensued across six pages, taking in stolen airships, space rockets, a Titanic homage, Morocco and more! For those who like a look 'behind the creative curtain', you're seeing here, one panel from my Heart's Desire tale in it's pencilled, inked, coloured (by the ever wonderful Matt Soffe) and finally the finished lettered stage to let you see the different phases involved in bringing the story to life.

If you'd like to see more, not just of my fun wee strip but many others all inspired by characters and events encountered at the Asylum Steampunk Festival, you can order a copy at our soon to close Kickstarter campaign by clicking on this link. Thank you for your interest and support.  

The Finished cover by Gary Crutchley & Matt Soffe

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Return To The Asylum!

Aha, I'm delighted to confirm that Accent UK's brand new comic; Return To The Asylum will launching this weekend in Lincoln, appropriately at the Asylum Steampunk Festival!

This is a sequel of sorts to last year's Enter The Asylum comic which proved very popular and again features comic strip adventures inspired by and starring the alter-ego steampunk persona's of festival goers, who have co-operated with our creators to produce 6 original comic strip stories plus a bonus short in this new all colour perfect bound issue.

I have two stories, one again illustrated by the talented Anna Francesca Schiraldi, featuring a Licensed Elemental Conservationist (aka 'Faery Catcher') and a seemingly cheese-obsessed Professor!

Secondly, I've both written and drawn a story featuring the legendary Count Rostov and Lady M, Asylum festival stalwarts and contributors who enjoyed  their own real-life moment in the spotlight at last year's event, which I was fortunate to witness. I therefore just had to come up with a wee story to explain the resulting 'happy ending'!

If all this sounds of interest and sadly you're not able to attend this weekend's festival, then the comic is currently the subject of a pre-order campaign on kickstarter - check out the link here where you can find out further information on the other stories and creators involved!

Friday, 14 June 2019


Wow! Go Raptors Go! NBA Champions for the very first-time in their history!

While I'd be the first to admit to not being a big basketball fan or really following the sport, I can't deny that Dave West and I fell a little in love with the Toronto based team during our visit there for the TCAF, comic art festival last month.

We caught a couple of their regional play-off games against the Philadelphia 76ers including their captivating last second 'basket bounce' victory in a wonderful atmospheric bar where the entertaining bar manager kept us informed of not only what we were witnessing but also their history. It seems that the Raptors are 'serial chokers' when it comes to the big games and regularly put their fans through torture before failing to deliver yet again.

This time was different though as Dave and I were there to add our considerable support and expert knowledge on the sport - well what an Englishman and Scotsman don't know about basketball isn't worth knowing frankly :) So when Leonard's winning shot went in, the bar and Toronto exploded in emotion as history was made. The following day was our last before flying home and it was clear what the victory meant as Toronto was buzzing, so much so we went in vain to buy shirts as a souvenir - demand had meant stores had run out of our sizes!

A Jubilant Kawhi Leonard after his history making shot (photo from Toronto Star)

It worked and not only did they put those Pesky 76ers to the sword, the Raptors continued to progress through the seemingly endless regional play-off finals until the Big One, the grand final against the fancied San Fransisco Golden State Warriors where last night, history was made with the Raptors finally delivering on their promise and it seems Toronto and maybe much of Canada went wild with this long promised but tantalisingly distant victory.

Go Raptors Go, you did it - We The North!!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Comic Packing!

Ahoy there! With the convention season settling in, it's time to catch up with making my special Comic & Print Packs. These include both collections of the self-contained Moments of Adventure comics plus a limited Artist's Pencil Edition sketch comic (or A.P.E as I call it!), two exclusive prints plus an unique watercolour character postcard, all for a very reasonable rate :)

These have proven very popular since I started them as, like myself, folk love picking up something different which showcases an artist's work at a good value price. Each pack, takes a wee while to pull together, particularly the watercolour sketches, so I tend to do them in batches ahead of a few shows.

Although if I run out, I can be seen to do some 'on the spot' at shows which itself is a strange experience when you're not used to drawing in public - everyone is usually lovely and complimentary but it's a side I still struggle over, but as with all things, practice helps!

Anyway, here's a wee glimpse of the pack's contents as I prepare a new batch of sketches!

Some of last year's sketches which, I think, have now all gone!

2019 Season sketches in preparation!