Creating Comics: Thunderbirds Step by Step, by Mike Noble

If you’re curious about the process behind creating a comics page, then here’s some Thunderbirds-inspired examples by the late Look-In and TV Century 21 artist Mike Noble, which he drew for a local school around the year 2000, to show the process of producing artwork for a comic.

Mike, who died in 2018, is perhaps best known for his work on the British weekly comics TV Century 21 (later, just TV21) – drawing strips such as “Fireball XL5“, “Captain Scarlet” and “Star Trek” and Look-In – working on strips such as “The Famous Five“, “Follyfoot“,  “Robin of Sherwood“, “Timeslip” and many more.

Award-winning production company Spiteful Puppet announced last year it is to publish a collection of the Look-In “Robin of Sherwood” strip, in partnership with Chinbeard Books and Rebellion Publishing.

Mike’s art for the school workshop, published here with the kind permission of art collector Jeff Haythorpe, was based on Frank Bellamy’s “Thunderbirds” artwork for the weekly Gerry and Sylvia Anderson-themed comic TV21 (No. 137) and consists of a penciled page, an inked and, finally a coloured board.

Also featured here is the original Bellamy spread, for comparison – so we’re treating you to the work of two masters of British comics in one post!

• Stay tuned to the Spiteful Puppet web site at and their  Facebook presence for the latest on their Robin of Sherwood collection – and other projects

With thanks to Jeff Haythorpe

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: British Comics, Classic British Comics, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes News

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