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Sapphire & Steel Competition: Nigel “Spleenal” Auchterlounie joins the fun

Recent news of a possible return to our screens of the spooky Sapphire & Steel prompted various comic artists to pipe up that they’d love to draw a new comic based on the show, so we’re challenging our readers to do just that. It’s just for fun and open to any style – realistic, cartoon, montage, or even a one-off illustration (but strip preferred). All we ask is that you tell your new Sapphire & Steel tale in one or two pages. No epics!

The winner – I’ll pick three – will receive some goodies from my hoard of British comic-related goodies, and we’ll publish the best entires here on downthetubes.

Nigel Auchterlounie (AKA Spleenal) has just joined in the fun, a cartoonist who has worked on everything from all-ages comics like Dennis the Menace to biting, one-page satirical strips that, when posted on Twitter, point out the inconsistencies and unfairness behind the policies and actions of our current coalition government. For Blank Slate Books, meanwhile, he has produced Spleenal and Weak As I Am. The former is a comedy, while the latter is his own unique take on the superhero genre.

I hope you enjoy his entry, below…

• Please send your Sapphire & Steel competition entries to the downthetubes web site address – no high res files, ideally 1600 pixel width at least and no web links. Entries must be received by 12 noon on Thursday 8th October 2015. Good luck!

Read our news story about the possible return of Sapphire & Steel and the launch of the competition here

• Check out Nigel’s official site here or follow him relentlessly on Twitter until he can no longer hide @spleenal

Sapphire & Steel: The Blacjk Tree Assignment by Nigel Auctherlounie

Sapphire & Steel: The Blacjk Tree Assignment by Nigel Auctherlounie

About John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative" who is currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 25 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary, including DEATH'S HEAD II and WARHEADS. At Marvel he wrote strips for THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, THUNDERCATS, DOCTOR WHO and co-created SHADOW RIDERS with Brian Williamson and Ross Dearsley. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. He has written comics for Marvel UK, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lucky Bag Comic, CGL (an Italian publisher), STRIP Magazine and ROK Comics; and edited some of Titan's British comics collections including Dan Dare and Charley's War. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

5 comments

  1. Makes even less sense than the series.

    There’s no reason for Sapphire’s eyes to turn black (the only precedent for this is when she was possessed by The Darkness, in Assignment 2, and – even then, it had to be summoned, and invited to talk).

    Likewise, the dialogue in this piece, is unrecognisable as that characterised in the series.

    There is no indication of Time having ‘broken through’, in this piece (an absolute given in every story), no trigger, and no real resolution.

    Poor, I’m afraid.

      • Sorry, Nigel; I’m pretty deeply steeped in Sapphire & Steel, so the points I highlighted really do stick out like a sore thumb 🙁

        • That’s alright Rob. You’re right that Time’s not broken here. They’re stopping an attempt to break time by creating repeated moment, much like the dinner party assignment. You’re right about there being no reason for Sapphire’s eyes to turn black too. She turns them black only because she wants to. As a way encouraging the man to leave the wood and never come back. That these two points weren’t apparant to you is a failing on my part as the writer.

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