Friday, 23 October 2015

Travels - Harrogate, Belfast, Isle of Wight, er, Clevedon

Look at us all over the big screen. In the foyer of Harrogate Theatre where the Socks returned to give their 90 minute show including Minging Detectives, and nifty it looks too. This was all part of the past couple of weeks travel which has seen me putting the miles in, while doing a little bit of everything that I'm famous for.

Returning from Switzerland I'd had a busy Saturday doing a class in Thame in Bucks then zooming off to Leamington Spa for a Socks show, then on Tuesday Hev joined me on the trip to Harrogate with the Socks. After which we started the proper travel.

The Shirts 1978 album, bought at a retro shop in Harrogate. On blue vinyl on less. Now tell me your plans...

Up at 4am to get the 7am flight to Belfast where I returned to Wellington College and Aquinas Grammar after a few years absence. They did the usual fab work and my librarian Tanja was most accommodating, feeding me and driving me to the airport even. During my time in the airport I was busy reading, reviewing and voting on the 48 scripts entered in the forthcoming Halloween Sitcom Trials (being very active in its parallel universe over at, I ought to mention it on this blog more often, oughtn't I).

Here's me grinning cheesily by a Belfast flipchart. I don't know whether it shows, but over the last month I've had some of my teeth done. The discoloured fillings in my front teeth have been replaced. So, though they're hardly Hollywood teeth, I should have a smile that looks a little more lovely and unblemished.

My flight from Belfast got me home at about 11 at night, after which the alarm was set for 3am so that Hev & I could get to Southampton for the 7am Isle of Wight ferry in order that I could do two days of classes at the Isle Of Wight Literary Festival. A glittering affair, it saw us at a lunch party at the Royal Yacht Squadron rubbing shoulders with the likes of Michael Morpurgo and Whispering Bob Harris. None of whom we spoke to, of course, being far too shy. Though we have a wonderful chat over breakfast with a couple of our fellow authors.

Still can't see the new teeth? Me and a flipchart in Cowes. After a class on Saturday afternoon, we caught the early ferry and were home in time for Doctor Who.

Back on my desk in the studio I've been busy writing scripts for the 2017 Beano annual - with all the Bananaman and Gnasher scripts delivered, I'm writing the Bash Street Kids scripts now - and writing and drawing for 2017's Dandy annual. The Great Dandy Bake-Off has been drawn and delivered, then I had to re-letter the whole thing having discovered they've moved from lower case lettering to caps. I also have the embarrassment of having drawn Beryl The Peril in her Karl Dixon style as per the 2014 annual, only to discover she's being drawn old-style. So in my second strip, Strictly Come Dancing, I'll be drawing her in a different style and making a joke to cover up the difference. Oh yeah, and I've also been doing my accounts for my tax return. How many miles did I drive in 2014? You don't want to know. Oh yeah, and I made a Socks video for The Martian.

From the script for Gnasher: Conkers, the only script to get rejected from the 2017 annual (so far),  only biting the dust because they already had a conker story.

And just ahead of a busy weekend in Manchester and Liverpool, with the Socks, the Comic Art Masterclasses, the caricatures and The Sitcom Trials (house!), last night The Socks played a gig in Clevedon, of all places. In The Theatre Shop, the brilliant new community theatre initiative in a shop in the centre of town, we had a wonderful receptive and voluble audience and a cracking show. I didn't see that coming.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here


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