Friday, May 25, 2007

Cuts to Arts Grants

Chancellor using Arts and Heritage Lottery money to plug the funding gap in the 2012 Olympics…

Hi Everyone,

I have just received an email from my good buddy and writer/editor John Freeman, fresh from

It runs like this:

Dear Creators -

Please forgive me. I'm having a rant.

On the Number 10 Downing Street website there's a petition up and running at the moment which aims to stop the Chancellor using Arts and Heritage Lottery money to plug the funding gap in the 2012 Olympics.

The Chancellor proposes to plug the funding gap with a 35% reduction in Grants in Arts funding and reallocating the money - some £675 million - to the Olympics. Please submit your name to the petition and oppose the cuts to Arts Grants (Here's a link about recent developments as reported by The Guardian:,,2063378,00.html).

Any way, the petition is at:

It has already gathered over 18,000 signatures! If it gets to 40,000, it would make it into the top five most popular petitions on the site.

I've no objection to the Olympics and Paralympics themselves. It's great that it's coming to Britain. But I take exception to arts and heritage groups losing out because of it. And I'm not alone: the National Council for Voluntary Organisations ( has spoken out and remains unsatisfied by the Government's response to the concerns they've raised. The Stage reported just this week that leaders of Britain�s largest performing arts unions, trade associations and lobby groups have taken the unprecedented step of drawing up a joint letter to chancellor Gordon Brown warning of the dire consequences of the Olympics Lottery raid for the cultural sector (

If you're as annoyed about this as I was, and I hope you are, maybe you'll consider adding this banner I knocked up to your web site or blog:


John Freeman

Unfortunately the banner hasn’t opened and copied but I felt strongly enough about this to put this little Blog together quickly.

If you too feel annoyed at this please add your names to the petition, like John says.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
May 25th 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bristol Comics Expo - Review

What an excellent weekend…

Hi Everyone,

Well, my wife, Margaret and I attended the Bristol Comics Expo at the weekend and I have to say first of all, a heartfelt congratulations to Mike Allwood, whose hard work and hard working team made the weekend the most successful one yet according to most of my fellow creators and the dealers there.

I hadn’t attended one as a guest since back in the late nineties. Back then the general mood of the professionals, dealers and indeed the fans was one of dire and impending doom, following the implosion of the comic industry in the states back in 1994, following on from the inflated sales figures generated by the speculator boom back then.

This weekend was like stepping back in time. I was fortunate enough to catch up with a great many old friends in the business, although some I didn’t get around to chatting to for long – that will happen at the next one, and also to meet some new ones.

Folks I met up with again after the long hiatus from the comic book world included:

Jon Haward, Barry Kitson, Liam Sharp, Dave Taylor and his girlfriend, Lew Stringer, Charlie Adlard, Mike Ploog, David Lloyd, Simon Furman, Steve Cooke, Dave Hine, John Freeman, Dave Windett, Lee Townsend, Mike Collins, Mark Farmer, Carl Critchlow, Kev F Sutherland, Dougie Braithwaite, Nigel Dobbyn, Mark Millar, Mike Conroy, Staz Johnson, and Bryan Talbot, who sold out of his Alice in Sunderland books on the Saturday, amongst others - sorry if I have missed you out - I must still have jet lag here.

It was also my pleasure to meet up and chat with Gary Erskine, whom I had never met before. Like wise with John Watson, what a nice guy. I also managed to meet up with Jack Lawrence, on Friday evening, although we didn’t get a chance to chat for long. I spoke on the Saturday evening with Martin "Biff" Averre and his friend, whose name I sadly can’t, unforgivably, remember – sorry – after their Eagle Awards dinner and presentation. Gary Reid and Dave Hitchcock were sat next to me during my time spent sketching on the Sunday.

I also met Wakefield Carter for the first time and it was nice to finally meet up. If you haven't seen his Judge Dredd replicas - do yourself a favour and do so. I ended up buying a Judge Dredd replica badge off him. They look fantastic!

I spoke to Craig Johnson of Silver Bullet Comic Books fame that I, sadly, hadn’t realised, and neither had he, that we were sat almost next to each other. The general topic of conversation was how well attended the convention had been and how positive everyone was.

I spoke with Clive Bryant about his new company Classical Comics – an exciting new company producing great comic book adaptations with some great talents on board. I’ll be writing a Blog about the books coming from them soon.

I also caught up with Lorenzo and his brother Bob, from Blink Twice – If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do yourselves a favour and do so, really lovely stuff being produce by them – I was put onto their work last year when Carl Critchlow showed me one of their books.

I spent a short while, at the end on Sunday speaking to Harry Markos of Markosia comics about their plans and their books in general. There is some superb stuff available from this new UK Company and I couldn’t resist buying a few of their collected trades.

We were privileged to see a Dalek greeting folks as it searched the convention at the commonwealth site for the Doctor. Another set of attendees were, Darth Vader, Bobba Fett, what seemed, like an entire squadron of Darth’s Storm Troopers and some other Star Wars folk who attempted to persuade folks to go over to the dark side as they tried to catch their trains and explained they didn’t want to attend the convention…really! The dealers had some great stuff on show and the artist’s alley was always full of folks signing and sketching for the fans.

Saturday afternoon saw me sketching for Andrew Wildman’s charity along at the DrawTheWorldTogether stand.

Sunday was pretty much spent sketching and talking to fans, although I was asked a few times to review portfolios, before saying my final farewells, packing up and setting off on the long journey back home.

What was really great to see after such a long while was the amount of families, kids and boyfriends bring along their girlfriends and vice versa. A massive improvement on what I saw last time I attended a major convention. The convention was buzzing and this was reflected back in the bar at the end of the day when all the professionals met up along with many die-hard fans for a quiet drink or twenty. Even my wife, Margaret enjoyed meeting everyone, although she did retire earlier than me allowing me to mingle into the early hours, but I know it was really to watch the football on TV back in the hotel.

Things seem to be changing within the comic industry at long last and what I heard was encouraging. There are stories coming to the fore containing bright, colourful, heart-warming adventure stories again at last.

I wasn’t going to attend the Birmingham convention, but may do so after seeing how this one worked out. I still don’t think I’ll be attending with the rest of the guys here with a Wizards Keep stand, as I think we are leaving that for next year allowing me to get on with the “Worlds End” graphic novel.

There could be a clear case for the weekend to be longer with either the Friday or Monday being used as a professionals, dealers and industry folks only day and evening, giving us time to chat, instead of it feeling like a wedding or something, with everyone having a brief five minutes brief encounter, before moving along to mingle with other folks.

Before I go I would like to say a very big thank you to the many folks – both young and old – that took time out to discuss the new work, which was on display on the Sunday.

I would also like to thank all the professionals who greeted me like a long lost friend and made me feel like I had never been away – this is how it all started for me all those years ago and although there are some wrinkles, grey hairs and extra baggage amongst our merry troupe of artists and writers, and time as moved on, it was good to be back home again!!!

Below are a few photos I took from the convention and thought I would share with you all.

Also check out Lew Stringer's Blog I know he is going to be covering it all too.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
May 15th 2007
Me handing over a sketch to a fan of City of Heroes at the DrawTheWorldTogether stand

Me sketching for a fan of City of Heroes at the DrawTheWorldTogether stand

Lew Stringer and Mark Farmer discuss one of Lew's strips in a Norwegian Comic

Barry Kitson - The guy who helped open the doors to Marvel for me

Jon Haward - my buddy - and me

Jon Haward Sketching for a fan

Mark Farmer - Jon Haward - and Alan Davis - ater the Mark and Alan Interview. Alan and Mark are one of the greatest art teams working on Superhero comics today

Another shot of the dynamic duo and Jon - the interviewer

Arty shot of Mike Collins in a worm's eye POV - really just a shot taken by mistake

Carl Critchlow signs an issue of his comic book Thrud the Barbarian for a Fan

Me - just finished with a sketch

Mike Collins and Me

Bryan Talbot signs a copy of his graphic novel, The Tale of One Bad Rat

Me still waking up from the previous night from the look on my face

The Mighty Markosia stand

Friday, May 11, 2007

Spider-Man Review and Bristol Comics Expo

Or, wow so this is what it’s like to have a life…

Hi Everyone,

Went along to see the new Spider-Man movie tonight, yes I took a slight break from the board and enjoyed life…had to get some practise in before the weekend to ready myself for the Bristol Comics Expo.
What a film…!!!

If you haven’t yet seen it you have to go along!

Nice touches with the storytelling!

Great SFX!

Action galore!

Overall a great movie and highly recommended!

Won’t spoil things by giving a blow-by-blow account…

Just go along and check it for yourselves…or you’ll be sorry you missed it.

Trailers included Fantastic Four 2, Transformers, and Surf’s up.

This summer is going to see movies coming to theatres..

Anyone going along to the Bristol Comics Expo - see you all there.

Like I said yesterday…don’t be shy, come over and have a chat!

My next Blog will be a review of the convention and lots of photos to share with you of the event.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
May 11th 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bristol Comics Expo

Latest News of what I have lined up for this coming weekend!

Hi Everyone,

As you no doubt know I am attending the Bristol Comics Expo this coming weekend on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th, along with my wife, Margaret.

This is the first time I attended a major convention since the late nineties so it’s a really exciting event for me. Please come along and feel free to have a chat with us. Margaret – who has given up her last game of the season (and it’s a home game too) for Blackburn Rovers - so she can be at the convention with me.
Tim’s Bristol Comics Expo Itinerary:

My schedule whilst there at the moment – and this always manages to get somewhat changed as folks ask you to get involved at the last minute due to folks being late or unable to attend at that moment to sit on panels and the like – is something like this:

Saturday 12th May:

Sketching for Andrew Wildman’s Draw The World Together charity.

Please come along – there will be artists in attendance all weekend – please lend us your support. Andrew works very hard indeed for this charity and kids all over the world benefit from your support!!!

Sunday 13th May:

I have a table where I will be selling my Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Sketch Books, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Giclee Prints, my “Worlds End” Poster, Bookmarks, and Original Comic Artwork from my Marvel, 2000AD, and Newsstand days. There will also be a chance for you to get an original sketch off me.

The Sketch Books all have a different blue pencil sketch in the back inside cover. No two are ever the same, making each one truly unique.

WORLDS END Graphic Novel Update…

The “Worlds End” graphic novel is now passed the half way mark at the pencils stage so anyone attending can come along and have a look at the pencilled pages and chat about the concept, my company and anything else you wish to. Please don’t be shy…

I have had more emails and enquiries from folks in regard the news I shared with you in my last but one Blog, regarding the new upcoming project, which I have said will have you all on the edge of your seats when you see who’s involved!!!

Well more than that I can’t say at the moment…but I may spill the beans at Bristol…Just ask me to see if I’m willing to talk!

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
May 9th 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Worlds End - Graphic Novel - Update.

Half way through the first graphic novel! Hi Everyone,

Well the “Worlds End” graphic novel is at the half way mark at the pencils stage so I am really starting to cook with the book at long last, having now made it the number one priority at Wizards Keep for me personally.

As the Bristol Comic Expo gets ever nearer I am pressing on with the pencils and I’m aiming at a number of other pages being complete – in an ideal world. Either that or the completed turnarounds for the forthcoming figurines range.

I have had several emails and enquiries from folks in regard the news I shared with you in my last Blog, regarding the new upcoming project, which I have said will have you all on the edge of your seats when you see who’s involved!!!

I’m sorry but to all you folks that have already received answers to this effect and those still wondering, more than that I can’t say at the moment…

I just ask you to please be a little patient.

My Blogs still continue to be a little lightweight at the moment, whilst I crash on with the “Worlds End” graphic novel, so please if you enjoy reading this Blog accept my apologies as I have to concentrate on finishing off the pencils ASAP!

To whet your appetites – for those that haven’t yet seen the “Worlds End” large format poster, or the large format Giclee version, available from the Wizards Keep website, here it is, at the top of this Blog, in all its glory, and for those that already own one, here it is again…

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…

May 2nd 2007