• Paul Gravett, co-curator of the Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK exhibition at The British Library reminds us that it closes on Tuesday 19th August. He’s giving two more Co-Curator’s Tours, free with your ticket but you must book. The first is this Tuesday, 5th August at 6.30pm, and the second is on the closing night itself, 19th August again from 6.30pm. And on this historic last night, co-curator John Harris Dunning will be joining Paul for a grand finale double-act performance not to be missed.
• Gary’s Garden: Book 1 by Gary Northfield goes on sale 7th August from David Fickling Books. A regular feature in brilliant weekly UK children’s comic The Phoenix, Gary’s Garden features the stupid and bizarre creatures that colonise my back garden. From loopy squirrels, to depressed tadpoles, to inter-planetary ladybirds, you never know who’s going to turn up from one week to the next!
“I’ve watched Gary at the next desk over in the studio, putting together these comics for his regular strip in The Phoenix and they’re brilliant,” enthuses fellow comics creator Sarah McIntyre. “His drawings have so much energy, his jokes are wonderfully zany, his colours are beautiful, and he creates such a funny and engaging little world down among the grass of his back garden.”
• Also on sale on 7th August from David Fickling Books is How to Make Awesome Comics by Neill Cameron, compiling many of his fantastic guides from The Phoenix to creating comics for both little and big kids. Neill’s comics workshops are hugely popular whenever he runs them and there’s no better way to get kids reading than to get them making comics. This book is packed full of comic ideas that really make comic creation fun and easy for anyone to follow.
• Lew Stringer is bringing “Ivy the Terrible” back to The Beano in the issue on sale Wednesday 13th August, a 1980s character who has been revived several times over the years. “I even did a fill-in strip myself several years ago,” Lew tells us. “The new series will be half page strips and the scripts I’ve been getting are full of slapstick fun and a delight to draw.”
His “Lord Snooty” mini-strip will also continue in The Beano for another month or so, and he’s also writing/drawing another mini-strip featuring an old favourite that will begin in a few weeks.