On sale soon from The Beano and The Oldie cartoonist Tom Plant is Sunshine Bay: Not Half As Bad As People Say, two fantastiic, funny and beautifully drawn short stories based in the delightful seaside hellhole of the same name.
Tom very kindly sent us an copy of the full colour collection, presented in a format that evokes memories of old Perishers collections, with art that’s very bit as good. Not only is there a fantastic detail to Tom’s work but great storytelling, too.
The two tales offer the story of Dredger Dave, an obnoxious fisherman, who pays a dreadful price for his greed; and a beach-combing lad who discovers more than he expected on the sands of Sunshine Bay.
Throughout, Tom delivers some gorgeous watercolour art and great characters as Sunshine Bay delivers up more than the normal kind of dangers you’d expect to find in a dodgy seaside town. It’s a fantastic, if short, collection and one I think you should definitely check out.
Tom, a Bristol-based illustrator, cartoonist and character designer who has also just started a web comic called Vergil and whose clients includeThe Beano, The Guardian, Marketing Week and The Oldie Magazine tells us Sunshine Bay was inspired by his trips to the many crumbling seaside resorts near Bristol, especially Weymouth and Weston Super Mare.
“The eerie atmosphere, colourful characters and general feeling of fading former glory in these places really appealed to me,” he says, “so I smooshed them all together. I hope that the result is a love letter (postcard) to the decaying brilliance of seaside towns, with some giant fish and aliens thrown in for fun.”
By day, Tom works at a company called Nessy drawing characters, storyboards, concept designs and providing art for computer games and animations aimed at dyslexic children.
As well as his own freelance projects like Sunshine Bay, he tells us he has a strip in Jamie Smart’s upcoming Moose Kid Comic, and a film called Art Bastard is also on the way, created by film maker Chris Lawrence (the director), Tom and illustrator Leah Hemming, which will be released this summer (based on Tom and Leah’s eponymous comic strip).
You should also check out his blog for some marvellous drawings of commuters he encounters – they’re smashing pen and ink sketches.
• Tom Plant’s Official Web Site: www.tom-plant.com