Picking up on the despair of older downthetubes readers with fond memories of the action-packed adventure annuals they used to get for Christmas – sadly, it seems, now an ever distant memory, if you’ve checked our recently-published checklist – we’ve got a free to download comic treat for you!
Meet Buttocks Rogers, Agent of A.R.S.E – his latest adventures available in a brand new, free collection – the Buttocks Rogers Adventure Annual 2020 (PDF link) – featuring, possibly, the craziest space action adventure hero you are ever likely to meet, the brainchild of artist Danny Cushion and professional musician JP Rodell under their joint creative banner, “Thurston Nudge“!
(For those wondering, the pair of them came up with this perhaps unlikely name after putting two ripped beer mats together in a pub that spelt Thurston Nudge…).
Danny worked for years as a character licence illustrator/package designer, but ended up getting very disillusioned. Today, his day job is a law firm archivist, a job he initially took to pay the rent, but ended up loving the job, and has been doing it for the last 20 or so years, while illustrating in his spare time.
“I met Jez (JP Rodell) in the 1990s,” Danny tells downthetubes, whose love of British comics was spurred by his older brother who was in the Merchant Navy and used to bring home bundles of comics like Hotspur and Action. “Everything I do creatively is with Jez (JP ) under the ‘Thurston Nudge’ banner.”
“Buttocks Rogers” is, as you might have guessed, a very tongue in cheek project (steady, now), an affectionate dig at a number of comic space heroes down the years.
“Jez had a story called ‘Project J.O.H.N.’ about a space rocket where all the crew members are named John,” Danny says of the project’s origins. “The rocket itself was called Joy Oh Heavenly Night! But after three or so pages, we realised the joke was wearing thin, so Jez, after much re-writing, developed it to fit ‘Buttocks Rogers’, a character I have been drawing for friends since school.”
The new annual also includes a story by Danny’s niece, Alex, called “Things Invade“, a funny alien invasion story (just in case you hadn’t guessed from the title). She also created the the games and other feature items in this year’s annual parodying many annuals past (and, some present, perhaps).
While Danny Cushion, still a 2000AD and “Judge Dredd” fan, and JP Roshell might not be well known in the comics community, they’re certainly busy, currently working on another parody strip “The Arse Kickers“, about two tough British cops that patrol the streets of Bognor Regis.
Danny tells us he has no particular plan to his working day (“I get up, draw… watch Diagnosis Murder, have a glass of wine or two and draw,” he reveals, but although sometimes dogged by thinking that his art isn’t good enough, he still loves drawing. “But remember,” he says with a nod to his creative partner, “I am only part of what I have created.”
Danny is most distracted from getting his work done by “day time TV”, he laughs. “Why draw when I can settle down to a fantastic episode of The Professionals or Space: 1999?”
A veteran of the illustration industry, these days drawing for his own pleasure, he feels it’s even harder for young comic creators to get published professionally today than it once was. “There’s so much competition out there in the internet world,” he notes.
Does he have a comics hero he’d like to meet?
“Ian Kennedy,” Danny says, without hesitation. “The man’s work speaks for itself!”
As we could see Danny was keen to get back to work, we closed out our quick interview by asking him, as we have many other creators – what one piece of advice do you offer people looking to work in the comics industry?
“Good Luck!” he retorted. And with that, he was back to the space ways…. or, possibly, Bognor…
Our thanks to Danny and Jez for granting permission to post the annual – please enjoy, and take it in the scurrilous manner intended!
Buttocks Rogers © 2019 Danny Cushion/ Thurston Nudge
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. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 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.