Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bentley’s New Car Seat…

Out and about with the Bogtrotter…

Hi Guys,

Here is the third in the series of first specials for my little pal, Bentley.

Today we see his new car seat arrangement, which I bought soon after he arrived at our home. These photos were taken in November 2008.

He loves going out in the car and is fully kitted out with all the mod-cons, like a seat belt harness, a mini dog-sized rucksack with his treats in, a retractable drinking bottle and dish combo and his “Super Bentley” toy, which he always takes with him.

Once he had these things he became my constant companion on many of my trips out.

Up to press, like I say he has been to the centre where I hold my Fantasy Art Course, my Printers, Toontastic and lots of other places besides.

He also breaks up those longer journeys when I have someone to talk to…honest.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 28th 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bentley’s New Coat…

Or, "Well you had my hair cut, mate…"

Hi Guys,

Here is the second in the series of first specials for my little pal, Bentley.

Today we see his new coat, which he got following his first trip to the hairdressers. These were taken in September 2008, as were the ones of his first haircut.

He looked so in need of a coat when he was scalped, it was a lovely job of hair removal, but he still looked like he could do with an extra bit of added coat.

Here he is sporting the said coat alongside our eldest cat, Casper on the bed.

Joanne had originally bought it for Ratster, but Lucy, to use her real name, had never really took to it, even after wearing it a while, so with that in mind I thought I would pass it on to the little fellow.

You should have seen the look of disgust when I out it on him and yet I felt it really did the business for him.

Anyhow I suspect his street cred was going out the window, if he wore it, so it remains hung on the back of my studio door with his harness and lead, with one difference, they get used, whereas the coat doesn’t.

I haven’t told him yet, but the next time it snows and we go out for a walk, he can try it on again…but please don’t tell him.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 27th 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bentley’s First Haircut…


Hi Guys,

Here is the first of a series of first specials for my little pal, Bentley.

One thing I asked for, when I took him along to the dog grooming salon, was not to give him a “Phil Mitchell”, which for those unfamiliar with the term, relates to one of the Mitchell brothers characters from the Eastenders…in other words, not a number one on the shaver.

He came back with more hair than that, but although he had, he still looked so different with a much shorter coat.

He seemed quite pleased with his little self on returning home, but also a bit bemused to see his shorter hair.



From arriving here on day one he has enjoyed sitting on my knee at the computers and the drawing board.

Any artists reading this should try working with a little Yorkshire terror, sorry I mean, terrier on their lap.

Following this one, featuring his first trip to the hairdressers, will be photo sets of the little fellow entitled:

  • Bentley’s New Coat
  • Bentley’s New Car Seat
  • Bentley’s Long Walk Adventure
  • Bentley’s Second Long Walk Adventure
  • Then I’ll show you the best of some miscellaneous photos of him and his friends

Yes, some folks think I am a little mad, but I hope you enjoy looking at my little buddy, who spends one ecch of a lot of time with me in the studio and going all over with me on my travels.

Up to press he has been to the centre where I hold my Fantasy Art Course, my Printers, Toontastic and lots of other places besides.

I thought I would share some of those fun moments with you.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 26th 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Changes in the Comics Industry...

What’s different after almost thirty years as a professional?

Hi Guys,

Over the past almost thirty years I have noticed some remarkable changes within Comics.

The first and probably most crucial in instigating these changes being vastly increased communication channels.

For too many years the way publishing in this industry works has pitted creators against themselves with a closed-shop mentality, which I have never understood. Publishers who have made it quite clear not to discuss rates of pay with other creators, because it could have a negative effect (a euphemism for being fired).

I noticed this big change starting to take effect with the advent of the Internet, when suddenly all the creatives within the industry were able to communicate far faster and far easier than before. Suddenly we could all take to each other no matter where we were in the world and to folks whom we may only know from their work previous to this.

Now the above doesn’t mean I am speaking bad of anyone in the industry, but the way that publishing worked previous to this, whereby folks were working in isolation meant that quite often the mere knowledge of the fact the above may be true, indeed made it true, in the minds of those working inside of comics and as a result meant folks did keep things to themselves at times, not everyone, but it was there.

There was always a joke within the comics fraternity that if someone “coughed” we all knew about it within an hour or so. Nowadays that cough is almost certainly heard the nanosecond after it has happened and now it isn’t just the guys in the industry that hear it either with Networks like MySpace, FaceBook, and the like to deliver the information.

This freedom given to us to communicate 24/7/365 is what is enabling many of the changes to be implemented and endorsed by everyone.

What we all need to remember is, if more folks pool their skills, knowledge, and information of this kind then we really can thrive as a community.

Nowadays more folks are likely to inform others of impending work, whereas it was a while ago kept quite secretive, until the book(s) were off the ground ensuring work on the book was attained, without the fear of losing it through telling someone else, very sad, but very true.

There is also a shift in the emphasis of working in comics, because of a certain fact, as unbelievable to some as it may seem and that is, that there are some folks that want to work in comics that DO NOT want to particularly work in the genre of Superheroes. Now, despite the fact “mainstream” comics (I really hate that term) really only provide Superheroes to the world with variations on the same theme, in the US at least, other comics are now being produced, telling new stories in many different genres with many readers shifting their allegiance to read these new books, having become totally bored and despondent with superheroics.

Now to the Fanboy (whether that be as a Fanboy/Creator or a Fanboy/Fan) that may be tantamount to sacrilege, but it’s true.

Since I got back into the Comics scene a few years back, just before setting up Wizards Keep, I have noticed this shift and the other things I have spoken about today becoming more and more prevalent.

Yet the one thing I really see is a return to the roots of the US Comics Industry at least, whereby Creators are producing their stuff in-house and publishing it, in the modern setting themselves, whereas folks like Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Will Eisner, Jerry Iger et al, originally at least, produced their stuff and packaged it for the publishers, delivering, as they did, a complete package.

We are living in very interesting times at the moment in Comics with a shift in power between the large corporate organisations, who so obviously feel there is no room for the small guy and they could argue the semantics of good business practise here and that of the small guys.

Recent technological and demographical changes have meant that affordable printing and alternative means of distribution amongst a whole host of different emerging avenues to publish within, are readily available to those that wish to utilise them, which in turn means that for now at least the small guys have a chance to have a share in both their voices and also the marketplace with the big boys.

For me, that is all that one can ask for. Business is business, is business, as they say and as such competition is seen by most as a negative thing, whereas to my mind I think it just encourages one to up the ante a little on occasion, when you may look at someone else’s stuff and realise you may have been resting on your laurels a little there, so need to make a move to improve in some area.

Inspiration from other folks should be both sought after and indeed embraced and not shied from, almost as though it is something unclean. None of us working a vacuum and all of us are a some total of the observed parts of our life’s experiences, so we should not be afraid to look at the other guy(s).

I am not endorsing plagiarism or anything, far from it, I hate that, but I am saying we should all be aware of and keep in touch with the work of others and the marketplace.

This all leads me into a series of upcoming Blogs were I will look at the shifting fortunes of the Comics Industry from all around the world from it’s first tentative steps way back when to the present day. I hope you will join me here and that you will feel free to discuss your views on the subject too.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 18th 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meet Chief…

Simon and Amy’s new doggy…

Hi Guys,

Well a couple of weekends ago my Son, Simon and his Fiancée Amy walked into our humble abode and introduced me to yet another addition to the doggies in the Perkins households, a little five week old Staffie, who has now been christened after gone under a few nom de plumes before arriving at Chief.

Right away as soon as I heard the name I was reminded, for all those oldies out there, of the 70’s hit TV show, Garrison’s Guerrillas and the character of, if memory serves me right, Native American decent called Chief.

Well what a bundle of fun he is for them both.

So without further ado here are a few of his very first photos from his first visit here:

Isn’t he just beautiful?

Coming soon:
More on the adventures of Bentley “Bogtrotter” and his friends.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 17th 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bristol Comics Expo 2009…

I’m on the guest list and Wizards Keep are Exhibiting…

Hi Guys,

Here is the first of my updates on the run up to this year’s Comic Expo in Bristol here in the UK. I thought it was time to tell you guys that I’m on the guest list and Wizards Keep are Exhibiting.

First of all I would like to say many folks have mentioned the fact that the Comics Expo, is taking place in the Ramada Hotel alongside the Small Press Expo in the Mercure Hotel (a short walk between the two) is a negative move by organiser of the Comics Expo, Mike Allwood.

Hopefully the following information will allay any such fears from you guys!

Yes, there is a small downsizing due to Mike’s current work commitments and the time with which he can organise the event this year, and are co-producing with the show with Fantasy Events this year.

The current “credit crunch” has had a effect with 2 major sponsors/supporters saying they could not lend their support in 2009. Mike believes they will be alone and that now is not the time to be making expensive plans for May 2009.

The ownership of the Commonwealth Hall is still unlikely to be resolved by 2009, but 2010 should see the whole of the building available, that would create an extra 20-25% more space for the Expo.

Now what does that mean for folks wanting to come along and see the guests and exhibitors that will be attending this year?

Well it means that although a little more streamlined, it reminds me of my first Comic Convention I ever attended, as a 20 year-old wanting to break into the industry way back in 1979 at Colin Campbell of Bytoo Books fame’s convention at the Metropole Hotel at Birmingham’s NEC exhibition complex. This was were along with my younger brother Chris I met folks like Al Davidson, also trying to break into the industry and professionals like, Frank Brunner, Jim Steranko, John Bolton, Joe Staton, Len Wein, Denis O’Neil, Steve Leialoha, Rodney Matthews, Jim Fitzpatrick and many others.

The above group of professional artists and writers was quite a stellar group of creative folks and the convention still stands out as one of if not my favourite of all time. Now this could be to do with the fact it was my first I ever went along to, so it could be for nostalgic reasons, but I have been to other very momentous ones just prior to working in comics and also others as a guest alongside some great names and others in different parts of the world and this one still holds up for me, not because of nostalgia, but because it was a very cosy and intimate experience, because of the relatively small set up in comparison to others I have attended since.

So if you want to pay a visit and speak in more intimate surroundings, I figure that this one in May should fit the bill perfectly.

Now whom can you expect to see on the Wizards Keep tables?

Well accompanying me for the extended weekend will be my wife, Margaret, fellow writer, Paul Roberts and his partner, Cyn, so there will be plenty of folks on the stand to speak to.

What products can you expect to see on the Wizards Keep tables?

Well as well as the usual fare, limited edition signed and numbered Sketch Books, limited edition signed and numbered Giclee Prints, Worlds End A2 Posters, Worlds End Mouse “BriteMat” Mats, Worlds End Figurines, The Worlds End Ashcan (containing artwork, not included in the Worlds End Graphic Novel - and coming with a £2.50 money back security Voucher, redeemable against the Graphic Novel), and Original Comic Art, we will have some Expo exclusives:

First off are the new Worlds End Door Posters, and Fantasy Book Marks.

We will also have some information on our New Mural Artz Product range.

Also showing for the first time should be the new Worlds End Colouring Book, the latest Sketch Book – 12 The Witching Hour, and a chance to view for the first time, exclusively to Bristol Comics Expo some new art by me that takes me in a different direction from that which folks have come to expect off me, and which will be coming out as Giclee Prints soon.

You can also take a look at the new Worlds End Graphic Novel pages in full colour, before we go to print later this year.

There will also be lots of freebie stuff, which we will be giving away, and a competition or two as well for a chance to win some our great products.

Paul is also bringing along some copies of Dark Crusade Issue #1, published way back in 1995. If you like Demons, or Fringe, or Buffy on TV, this one is for you. Remember though we were there first.

As always we are excited about meeting up with as many of you guys as we can over the extended weekend.

Remember, please don’t be shy, do come along and say hi…we don’t bite…honest!!!

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 10th 2009

Monday, February 09, 2009

Hot Wheels Issue #54…

A look at the latest cars…

Hi Guys,

Here is another of my monthly sneak peaks at the cars you’ll see in issue #54 of the Hot Wheels comic, out now, to whet your appetite.

The two cars are respectively:

Spector – From the story: “The Spector Ejectors!”

Sweet 16 – From the story: “Number Crunch!”

The former story is one, which hopefully teaches Chuck's arch nemesis Diesel DarkClaw the error of not looking before he does something…although I doubt that very much and the latter story sees Chuck Speed under attack from above by Diesel DarkClaw and his henchmen in their autogyros.

The same gang produces both stories as always:

Written by – Ian "Imperial" Rimmer

Pencilled, Inked and Computer Coloured by – Tim "Thane-ly" P
Edited by – James "Jousting" Hill

With Production Design by – Rob "Regal" Sharp

This comic from Publisher, Toontastic is on sale now!

I am looking forward, as always, to hearing what you think of this latest artwork.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 9th 2009

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Boxcar Astronaut 100 today…

Congratulations to the web-comic’s creators…

Hi Guys,

It's great to see both creators, Jeff Carter, writer and Marc Lapierre, Artist are as enthusiastic now as when they first started.

Sunday mornings for me are now, because of
Boxcar Astronaut, a little like reading the "Sundays" of old when strip work abounded...sadly now pretty much a thing of the past, at least here in the UK.

I really look forward to a visit to the website on Sunday mornings.

These guys are a breath of fresh air in a world full of hyper-violent, totally immoral anti-heroes (despite the fact these same guys were envisioned and started off life as being the epitome of what embodies the concept of what it takes to actually be a hero).

There is room for some stories of this new kind of course, but now where once we had the rare character or two, like Wolverine and The Punisher, who would if necessary use excessive force to get the result, even if that meant causing long term harm to the bad guys, or even death, nowadays the distinction between hero and villain is not just blurred, but juxtaposed, whereby the only difference between hero and villain is the hero either has a bigger gun/sword/weapon or is more determined to get a result at any cost.

Boxcar Astronaut is pretty much like reading Asterix, Prince Valiant, Flash Gordon, Calvin and Hobbes, or a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby comic, or any Marvel DC comic prior to the 1980's...FUN and a joy to behold.

The characters are what I love most about the wonderfully creative worlds within Comicdom, they exude warmth, charm and a feeling that harks back to more innocent days, when a box and some odds and ands and a friend or two where all you imagination needed to create new adventures, in which you all had a starring role.

The stories within
Boxcar Astronaut contain all the elements of fun, excitement and that sense of innocence, which all of us have shared experience of from our own childhoods.

The stories remind me of what I love best about this life; family friends, parties, open fires on a winter’s evening, Christmas, holidays, children, the seasons, comics, humour, innocence, laughter, great storytelling, great artwork, yes all of this and more, much, much more.

The stories are all such that there isn’t a person on the planet that would not relate to something within them…we have all been there and this nostalgic and fun-filled series of adventures leave you with feelings of warmth, happiness and contentment, alongside another of wanting more.

Back when I was a kid and avidly reading comics I couldn’t wait for next week to come around (UK comics were in the main weekly anthology titles back then) when I could read further episodes of my favourite character’s adventures, whether they were humour or adventure based.

Those feelings have returned as each Sunday I read that week’s episode and get to the end and sometimes read some of the back catalogue on the Boxcar Astronaut website, but always have that I wonder what will happen next feeling I had as a kid.

Below you will meet the Gang and also see three of the strips, respectively from episodes 2, 50 and 99:

So Jeff and Marc, please keep me and the many other folks that also read your work regularly happy, by having many more episodes to come, and if you haven’t seen the strip yet…shame on you.

Get over to
Boxcar Astronaut right now you’ll be back to say thanks!!!

Here's to the next 100.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 8th 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009


Or…once again the UK comes to a standstill…

Hi Guys,

Well once again in these fair isles of ours, despite the fact we all knew it was coming, the folks in power decided not to let out the Gritters…until after the snow had fallen.

Then we listen to the media, who have shifted the emphasis of the news for moment to the weather, away from the global recession, which they have been promoting for a period of around eighteen months, or so, gradually increasing public awareness to the impending Armageddon, until their prophecy of doom arrived. Like they say, throw enough dirt and some of it will stick!!!

Well, like the aforementioned dirt, the prophesised snow started to arrive yesterday, or at least it did around these parts and this morning the UK has awoken to sheer chaos.

Now okay there are snow falls around the 10cm mark and others around the 30cm mark, but hang on a second, here’s a novel thought, send the Gritters out before the main fall of snow and it should help and maybe a plough or too wouldn’t go amiss either.

You look at parts of Europe and parts of the United States where this would be an hours’ snowfall and they don’t seem to stop for long before the traffic is moving again. We get snow of any amount and the country comes to a standstill.

I remember going back out to the Defiant offices at the beginning of January 1994 and New York seeing eighteen inches of snow on the Friday and another twenty-four inches arriving on top of this on the Saturday. Sure the traffic stopped, but not for long. The snowploughs arrived and simply moved up the streets ploughing the snow from the middle creating small hillocks on either sidewalk, which the owners of the stores, hotels, offices, etc simply dug little passageways through to get to cross the street.

The last time I remember seeing anything like that was in 1980/81 and we got a real blizzard here in this area. The snow didn’t last more than a week, but there was a lot of it. The time before that, I was a kid, way back in the early/mid-sixties and I remember my Dad and me digging a tunnel down the road to the shop. Although back then it snowed more often and there was always more than we tend to see nowadays. It does get bad in this neck of the woods, but the lack of forethought about dealing with the impending snow, rather than it’s aftermath is the reason we see so much chaos.

Oh well at least today we are hearing about the chaos of the roads and not the recession. If only we could get the media to push other, much more worthy of news casting, affairs, we could then change the world for the better, it obviously worked for the doom and gloom patrol.

Sure folks, we are in a bad way at the moment globally, mainly because of a small amount of greedy individuals (we all know who they are) but we need positive thinking and folks to start spending a little again. It stands to sense if I don’t buy off you and you don’t buy of him and he doesn’t buy off her and so on and so forth then the world economy fast comes to a halt and we see the domino effect in action!

Oh well, soon be summer and then here in the UK, surrounded by water as a small island nation we may have to endure water rationing again!!!

Maybe Monty Python were right with their sketch about the game show, “Spot the Brain Cell”, maybe we should look at the folks in power taking part in a new show of the same name, but for real.

What do you think…?

Coming up on the Blog:

  • Hot Wheels Issue#54
  • Bristol Comics Expo 2009
  • More Comic Reviews
  • More thoughts on kids and comics
  • Changes in comics from the sixties to today
  • More from the adventures of Bentley and his pals
  • A “Worlds End” Graphic Novel update
And don’t forget to send in your illustrations for the Colouring Book Competition, for your chance to have your work included in the Worlds End Colouring Book.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 2nd 2009