Sunday 31 May 2009

वेस्टर्न बी थे सोक्क्स

The Scottish Falsetto Socks do a Western:

Begging two questions. 1) How do they select the adverts to go over your Youtube videos? These are just plain random. And 2) Why has they heading for this blog post come out (on my screen at least) in Hindi?

Friday 29 May 2009

Draw A Dalek with the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

New from the Socks, a singalong tutorial in how to draw a Dalek.

I also linked up this RSS feed for this blog to my Facebook notes, having discovered that no-one reads this blog (it has literally 0 followers). Hopefully this will turn up on Facebook.

Thursday 28 May 2009

Flipchart page on eBay

Rather randomly I've listed a flipchart page on eBay.

It's one of the pages that I draw at the start of my Comic Art Masterclasses. Hardly the greatest piece of art as I'm talking to the class as I draw it, but it breaks the ice and shows what I can do (trust me, that's impressive to an 8 year old).

Probably go for 50p, any takers?

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Socks alluded to on Outpost Gallifrey

Ooh! Ooh! The Socks are subtly alluded to on Outpost Gallifrey:

Mention is made cryptically of our appearance on the forthcoming War Games DVD. Thusly:

"If you look carefully on all three discs, you might find some interesting Easter Eggs hiding away, including a somewhat different take on 'The Trial of Doctor Who'. And so might I! And so might he!"

Feeling a little bit more part of history. And the future.

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Sitcom Trials 10th anniversary season

I have just learned that Declan Hill & Simon Wright are no longer going to be producing The Sitcom Trials (a move which I hasten to add is entirely their own, as I have been more than delighted with the success of their two seasons in the saddle).

This means the onus is upon me to produce the 10th anniversary season in October. The Pitch Fest will be returning, under an exciting new guise, as will the original format with the winners announced at the end of each show. As for other details of the season, in particular the method by which the scripts will be selected, these are under discussion.

Writers, actors and directors who want to be involved should stay tuned to this spot for further details. (Don't email me your photos and CVs just yet, the call will come.)

Looks like the future of The Future Of Sitcom is back in my hands.

Kev F Sutherland
Executive Producer
The Sitcom Trials - The Future Of Sitcom, In Your Hands

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Comics Spin Off Into Comics - Press Release

Edinburgh Fringe comedy show releases comic book

Comedy acts from the stand up circuit and Edinburgh have spun off into many artforms, from radio and TV to the web, DVDs, CDs, novels, poetry books and all forms of merchandising.

But The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre has made the first excursion into the world of comic books.

The Socks, currently in the middle of a national tour and preparing for their third run at Edinburgh, are the brainchild of Kev F Sutherland who, as well as being a familiar stand-up and the creator of the writing talent show The Sitcom Trials, writes and draws comic strips for The Beano and Marvel.

So, with comic synergy, Sutherland has adapted some of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre’s most popular routines from their stage shows and videos into hilarious Beano-esque comic strips. Comedy sketches like their versions of Romeo and Juliet, Torchwood and Life On Mars, come alive in the Socks 64 page self published mini-manga.

According to comics-buff Sutherland this follows a great British tradition. “Charlie Chaplin’s comic strip was on the cover of Film Fun weekly in the 1920s” says Sutherland, one time producer of the UK’s annual Comic Festival, “and before that Victorian music hall legend Dan Leno had his own weekly ‘illustrated funny paper’. Arthur Askey, Tommy Cooper, Norman Wisdom and Frankie Howerd were cover stars of Radio Film, Film Fun and TV Comic, Benny Hill and Ken Goodwin off The Comedians had weekly strips in Look-In in the 1970s, and The Goodies used to appear in Cor! Comic. But in more recent years, apart from a Comic Relief spoof in The Beano, and a one-off adaptation of Simon Pegg’s Sean Of The Dead, no modern comedians have starred in their own comic strip. The Socks are proud to be reviving a fine old British comics tradition.”

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre’s Sock Comic is available at their touring shows (dates below) and at The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe from August 5 – 30 2009, or at

Venue: Gilded Balloon Teviot – Billiard Room - Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Dates: 5 - 30 August 2009
Tickets: Mon – Thurs £9.00 (£8.00), Fri – Sun £10.00 (£9.00)
Times: 22.15 (23.15)
Box Office: 0131 668 1633 / online

Tour dates:
Chelmsford Civic Theatre 20 May, 8pm £10
Blackwood Miners Institute 21 May, 7.30pm £7.50
South Shields Customs House 23 May 7.30pm £7
Folkestone Quarterhouse 24 May 2pm £4
St Albans Maltings 12 June 8pm £10
Crawley Hawth Theatre 20 June 8.15pm £10
Milton Keynes Madcap, 11 July 7pm £9

Kev F Sutherland
T: 07931 810858
T: 0131 668 9483

Monday 18 May 2009

Phantom Of The Opera - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

New from the Socks, a version of Phantom Of The Opera, as part of a plug for Big Finish's audio version of the same. Fun to do, enjoy...

Sunday 10 May 2009

Comic Expo 09 pt 2

Saturday, enjoyed a marvellous night in the bar at Comic Expo, the annual UK comic convention which has taken place in Bristol since 1999. This is the event's 10th anniversary, which sadly went uncelebrated, (It is also the 30th anniversary of my very first comic convention, my best mate Steve and I have attended a big do at the NEC in Birmingham in 1979. This went even more uncelebrated).

The Saturday night's drinkathon with fellow comics professionals is always the high point and this year, apart from a brief visit to the Small Press event, comprised my entire con. The main Expo was sold out in advance so, according to the website, nobody was going to be able to turn up and get in on the door. I hadn't been sent an invitation as a guest which I'd kind of got used to expecting (apart from enjoying 21 years in the business as a professional comic writer and artist, I was also the reason the Comic Expo takes place in Bristol in the first place, having created it as Comics 99 and run or co-run it until 2004), and frankly couldn't face the possible indignity of having to face a stranger at the front desk and run the risk of coming out with the phrase "don't you know who I am?", so I gave the Ramada's daytime event a miss.

The impression I got at the bar was that I hadn't missed much. The photos of the exhibitors seemed to be familiar publishers from the previous year, but fewer in number. The most exciting material had always been on the Small Press tables, and those I'd already enjoyed round the corner at the Mercure hotel. But it seems that the down-sizing of the event, losing (through circumstances beyond the organisers' control) the Empire & Commonwealth Museum has had a very damaging effect. Without the bulk of traffic that comes with an event open to browsers, and without the Small Press benefitting from proximity to the big boys and vice versa, most people sold less stuff. I wait to be corrected on this, but certainly every person I spoke to who was trying to sell their wares sold less of them that at any previous Bristol show. Other items, like the Charity Art Auction and Awards ceremony, were also missing, but maybe I'm the only one who thought they were needed in the first place.

I even heard a rumour, which I very much doubt, that the organisers plan to do without using the Empire & Commonwealth again next year. If this is true I would be very disappointed, as I'd imagine would this year's exhibitors who might think twice about paying for a table again if they face the prospect of such low sales.

Anyhoo, the night in the bar was fabulous, and I spoke drunkenly and endlessly with far too many people to recount. Possibly my favourite conversations were with Simon Bisley (possibly the first time we've ever spoken, what a brilliant bloke) and Glenn Fabry (one of those very drunken "you're my best mate" conversations that everybody loves), and I confess I got a little buzz from those people who would insist on mentioning how much better it was in my day (selective memory is a great thing, much of my event-running left a lot to be desired).

I bought (or was given) a few comics, the very best of which was Laura Howell's Tales From The Crust, she's a genius of whose talent I am actually jealous. The Goodman Brothers' Square Eyed Stories 22 and The Banal Pig Landscape Anthology came a close second, the rest were all brilliant cos all comics are in some way or another.

Now, where do I go to read everyone else's memories of the weekend?

Saturday 9 May 2009

Comic Expo 09 pt 2

I'm just back from my brief visit to Comic Expo and Small Press Expo Bristol. To be accurate I only went into the Small Press Expo which is in the swanky Mercure Holland Hill Hotel, where I bought some stuff and chatted to nice people who I hope I'll see again tonight. Tonight is when I'll go to the less swanky Ramada where the Comic Expo itself takes place. I've been able to keep up to speed on what I'm missing with such shots as this:
- from this Live Blog:

Doesn't seem like I'm missing too much. Later tonight I shall get into the Comics Professional Drinkathon which is, for pros of my vintage, really what the event is all about. But the daytime should be all about the public, who I like to call The Kids, meeting the creators. Whether that has indeed taken place I wait to find out. From the little evidence I've seen so far, any actual kids are pretty thin on the ground. As is the hair of the bulk of the punters. I don't think I'm being unfair to suggest this is the heaviest concentration of 40-something diehard comic fans at a Bristol Comic con ever.

I have to confess a bias here. I started up the Bristol con in 1999, as Comics 99, after the long-running UKCAC (UK Comic Art Convention) had given up the ghost. I pitched the show deliberately to attract new, fresh comic readers, rather than relying on the dwindling numbers of stalwarts. I made sure the Evening Post and Venue covered us, and designed events like the charity fundraisers (World's Biggest Comic, Deck Of Cards etc) to get us maximu coverage. The programme cover featured characters you'd recognise (Batman, Spider-Man, Dennis The Menace and Judge Dredd) who you'd recognise if you'd never even read a comic. That and the pocket-money door prices was designed to build the audience, not just for the comic convention itself but for comic readership. And do you know, I'm vain enough to think it worked.

With the help of Mike Allwood and Area 51, the event grew over the years until we started to fill the Empire & Commonwealth Museum in Bristol, and the Ramada, and often a second hotel. WE had 1000s through the door and were rightly seen as the Official Annual UK Comic Event. I gave up running the festival after 2004's events had lost me more money than I could afford, and for the next 4 years it continued to be the big one. This year, through no fault of the organisers, they've had to lose the big hall of the Empire Museum, leaving them with a much smaller place in which to work.

Gone is the Awards Ceremony (usually the big Saturday night event, presented in recent years by Mitch Benn, Simon Pegg, Hattie Hayridge, even once by Jonathan Ross and Paul Gambaccini), and I see no sign of the charity art auction (which in its best year raised £10,000 for ChildLine). Last year saw a peak in the number of folks turning up in fancy dress, but this year I've stumbled across none.

I look forward to hearing more upbeat impressions of Bristol's comic event tonight in the bar, stay tuned.

Comic Expo 09

First night in Bristol Comic Expo bar went well. Noticeably fewer people but still most of the usual suspects. I was a real lightweight, wasn't drinking, and chatted to Mark Buckingham, Boo Cook & Gemma, the Fegredos, the brothers Goodman, Gio Spinella, Pete Renshaw, Budgie, Cassie 'Eagles' Conroy, Tony Lee, Laura Howell, Vicky & Richmond from Hi-Ex Inverness and a few other confabs that went even more fleetingly. Tonight I'll be taking a taxi and drinking, should be a different kettle. Have since seen some 3am photos and it doesn't look like I missed much. It was mentioned that, if Rich Johnston isn't even here, it must be quiet.

Today can't go to the main Expo in Ramada (limited numbers, and you can't get in without a ticket anyway) but shall have a look at the exciting sounding Small Press event then make my way to the Ramada bar in the late hours. See you all there.

Kev F
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