Friday, 30 August 2013

Attack of the Cupids: Brand new full wrap cover by Lorenzo!

If you remember THIS or THIS then you'll understand why I'm pleased to announce that the second John Dickinson Muddle and Win novel, Attack of the Cupids has just been published, and once again it features a brand new cover by yours truly. Below are a few shots of the final product, along with some glimpses into the creation of the cover, interior, and the hand-drawn fonts for the logo.

The book can be bought HERE on amazon, and while you're there, why not get book one as well? They do look rather nice together!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

6 Weird Rides...

A few new vehicles from my sketch books. 600 more pages of stuff like this in HERE!


Monday, 26 August 2013


PHEW! Well, that was an exciting trip...

It is amazing what you can pack into 44 hours if you REALLY go for it. The Edinburgh International Book Festival (positioned so nicely among so many other wonderful festivals taking place in the city during August) encourages guests and visitors alike to head out and have fun. And so we did.

The weekend kicked off brilliantly with a rather nice dinner at which we were accompanied by the lovely Philippa Dickinson and Dominica Clements. Many laughs were had, glasses chinked and delectable Italian cuisine consumed. Then it was back to the Bonham hotel (extremely plush) for a long sleep ahead of the main event.

Saturday began with a breakfast of French Toast (or Eggy Bread, or Pain Perdu .. however you know it) before we headed off to the site for some pre-show interview/photo sessions. We were delighted to find that David and Caro Fickling were at the festival and available for our show. With the premier champions of quality comics for children sitting in the audience, expecting to be entertained (along with comic and manga superstar Emma Vieceli - gulp), we took to the stage and had a blast.

Afterwards, Lorenzo and I were escorted to the Children's Book Shop for a signing session. It never ceases to humble me when you see children and families queuing like this. We really are lucky to be able to create stories for such an appreciative audience.

That said, how does one respond when presented with the compliment:

"Your books look great. I should have brought another one for MYSELF, not just for my son."

Simply smile, agree, then turn your head, and point out the nearest till or checkout where THAT purchase can be made, as demonstrated below...

Tired and happy, and safe in the knowledge that we'd had a great time and met some truly lovely people (both new readers and familiar fans, young and old) our work was finally done ... and it was time to play.

We always make a point of booking a couple of shows while we're in town. There is so much great stuff to see that it's actually quite hard to go wrong, but I love taking the time to peruse the listings for interesting events.

So, first up, Lorenzo, Mimi and I headed to the Underbelly to see the insanely, ridiculously talented musical duo of Daniel Holdsworth and Aidan Roberts, as they attempted (successfully) to perform the entirety of Mike Oldfield's seminal 1973 album, Tubular Bells ... a task which originally required 30 performers to record.

It was ... quite frankly ... astounding ... a feat of coordination and talent and energy and virtuoso musicianship the like of which I've never seen.

We left the venue giddy with the brilliance of it all ... and more importantly HUNGRY.

Food is vital on the road but our diet can be a little, erm...

Yes. Quite. Don't tell our mum.

Refreshed and full-bellied we headed back to Bristo square, and the Pleasance venue for an evening with the one and only Scroobius Pip. How to describe Pip ... Beat-poet? Philosopher? Comedian? Sage? Dude? Legend? The man defies definition, but anyone who can open a pretty serious set (and his poems are not for young ears) by singing the theme tune to Ducktales at the top of his voice, well, he probably doesn't like titles.

Let's just say it was an unreservedly brilliant show from start to finish.

Sleep, shower, a mighty breakfast for three, a short taxi ride to the airport and we were all set to depart Edinburgh after another wonderful weekend.

But even when they've called your departure gate, there is ALWAYS TIME FOR AIR HOCKEY!

A huge thanks to everyone at Random House who helped organise the trip (Charlotte Portman and Harriet Venn); to the crew who made sure everything ran brilliantly on the day (Janet Smyth, Hannah Trevarthen and all the EIBF staff); to our fellow comic creators who contributed to the excellence of the Stripped Edinburgh festival; to Mimi for taking all the photos (as ever), and to our amazing fans who made the entire thing possible in the first place.

We can't wait to return in 2014!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Monday, 19 August 2013

Edinburgh Excitement - 5 days to go!

It's time to play the music!
It's time to light the lights!
It's time to meet us muppets on the Etherington Brothers' Big Adventure Show ... in five night's time...

This Saturday marks our third fantastic year performing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and we're delighted to share our brand new show filled with fun, tips, tricks (and a bit with a French Harry Potter).

There are a few tickets still up for grabs for our 2pm show in the Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre, so click HERE to secure your seat ... and get ready for a little of this...

...a touch of this...

...a worrying amount of this...

...a bizarre dollop of this...

...and hopefully lots and lots of THIS (hands up and giggling, that is - not mums stealing their sons' hats...).

We'll be signing copies of Monkey Nuts and Baggage afterwards in the Bookshop tent from 3pm, so if you miss the show be sure to head over and say hi.

Can't wait to see you all there!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Phoenix bangs the drum for our Edinburgh show in style!

Our frineds at the Phoenix have a great article up about our forthcoming Edinburgh show, here's a little sample:

"Do you secretly desire the ultimate treasure in the universe? Have you wondered if it’s possible to talk a really hungry snake out of eating you? Perhaps you’d like to be able to travel at the speed of a dotted line. Or survive a jump from a plane without a parachute. Maybe you’ve always wanted to meet a zombie comedian. Or a talking cat. Or a French Harry Potter!"

Read more, and find out how to get your tickets, over on the Phoenix's awesome blog of er...awesome, HERE! 

Monday, 12 August 2013

Puzzles like no other!

With the Journey to Asteroid "X" adventure well underway now in The Phoenix, I wanted to show a few more puzzles from the previous adventure, The Great Air race.

Don't forget, every week there's a chance to win some awesome Von Doogan merchandise in the Phoenix, including a brand new Asteroid "X" poster, just by solving Doogan's challenge!


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The 113

A little vehicular sketch drawn whilst on the road in Scotland last week...


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Independent votes The Phoenix one of the 50 best beach reads this summer!

"Fun, well-written and beautifully drawn"

What more could you ask for? Read the full article HERE!


Monday, 5 August 2013

Behind the scenes at the BBC...

No real words today, just pictures - taken before, during and after last Friday's Edinburgh adventure when we recorded our show for Authors Live, the Scottish Book Trust and the BBC...

The results of our filming should be available for all to enjoy later this month and we'll be sure to give you all the details when we know more.

One final gem - the picture below was sent in by an avid reader who saw the show, consumed his copy of Monkey Nuts in one evening (wow!) and, filled with inspiration, drew us this incredible picture of a Hipo-croca-wolf. INGENIOUS!

Many, MANY thanks to Chris, Beth and all the SBT, BBC and Blackwells staff and crew who made our latest trip to Scotland such an enjoyable experience. We can't wait to return (in two weeks time!)...