How to Draw and Sell Comic Strips for Newspapers and Comic Books
turned out the the biggest book job I did. The original plan was that I write the text, then submit a list of suggested comic pages to illustrate the points. In reality, there was a lot more to it than that.
I came up with the idea that we actually produce a two-page comic strip for the book. I turned to my old friend Steve Parkhouse and we produced a short using a character we'd created together for US Marvel, The Boxer
We photographed each stage of the work - script, layout, pencils, inks lettering - to show budding comics creators how it was done.
The publishers Quarto were so pleased with Steve's work - as well they might be - that they retained him to provide more illustrations for the book and also used him (well, his hands, anyway) as a model in the how to photos that peppered the book.
The ironic thing was that at the time I wrote the book, I'd not had that much comic strip work published. After leaving Marvel UK, I'd scripted a few Doctor Who
stories. For Marvel US, I'd scripted the first epsiode of The Boxer
, a martial arts tales set around the time of the Boxer rebellion in China. While the script was accepted, the magazine it was for, the second run of Savage Tales
edited by Larry Hama, was cancelled before Steve had really begun on the artwork. This was to be a trend in any attempts I made to get into the US comics business.
Work on How to Draw and Sell Comic Strips for Newspapers and Comic Books
took around six months. It was all in the publishers' hands before Christmas 1986. Layouts were checked in in the New Year of 1987. I was just beginning to worry where my next piece of work would come from when I had a lunch with an old friend that was to change my life
for the next ten years.