Pigsticks of Arabia

I’ve been getting Pigsticks’ outdoor gear fixed in my head, and here he is in desert mode. My great grandfather was Lawrence of Arabia’s driver, so of course, Pigsticks would need to follow in his tradition!

Pigsticks and Harold go Rockclimbing!

Because, you know, Pigs and Hamsters like to climb mountains!

Avalanche! And Goats!

There will be goats. There will be an avalanche. There will be plenty of cake.

A pig and his forepigs

It’s Pigsticks, and he wants to go on an adventure, just like his forepigs.

Harold at the Discover Story Centre

I headed up to the Discover Story Centre in Stratford yesterday to run some workshops. It’s such a wonderful place, and the new Superheroes interactive exhibit is awesome!

I drew some yetis, vikings and, of course, Harold and Pigsticks. And the nicest thing was seeing the children draw their own Harolds and Pigsticks(s) later on. I haven’t seen people draw these characters yet, so it was a real thrill!

Here are a couple of them.

Harold and Pigsticks try out comics

I’m doing some samples of Pigsticks and Harold as a comic. It’s very much in keeping with the original stories (in words!) that I created about my headstrong Pig and willing Hamster – I guess they were quite script-based, so suit comics well.

Here’s one of the pages of Harold finding a parcel on his doorstep.

Stories always take a variety of shapes and form before they settle, so it’ll be interesting to see where this path leads.

Drawing Harold the Hamster

I’ve been drawing a lot of late – in bed, on the trains, in school staff rooms. Obviously, this drawing is extra to yetis book 3, which I’m very pleased to say is nearing completion. The scribbles and doodles seem to revolve around my hamster friend, Harold, as well as many vikings.

Harold is one of those characters that appeared almost fully formed, and yet also out of a need for a foil for Pigsticks the pig. Pigsticks needed a friend to get up to stuff with, and Harold arrived on the page without much trouble. His attitude is just perfect for a sidekick to the energetic and super-positive pig.

The more pictures I draw of Harold, the more I love him, and the more situations I want to put him in. I love to see how he reacts to things, and I’m currently enjoying making him look after a load of baby hamsters.
Baby hamsters don’t have any features other than eyes and a nose, in case you were wondering.

And here’s Harold again, covered in the little monkeys! He’s fast becoming overrun with them!

The Terror of the Deep surfaces

I’ll be celebrating on 6 December as my fifth book will have been published. Five books seems like an extraordinary number to me. I’m no Barbara Cartland, knocking out ten books a year (or whatever), but it does mean that I’ve dealt with all the issues and complications that arise from making one book, five times over, since 2007. That’s a point worth celebrating right there!

The Terror of the Deep, the second of the Mythical 9th Division series is probably my favourite of all of the five, simply because it’s the one where the art is really starting to work with the text as I’d always hoped it would. Everything takes time to evolve and grow up, and I’m finally feeling more confident about my illustration. I’ll never be Tenniel, but I may just one day be Alex Milway.

And so enough about that.

This blog is now live, and the one where I’ll be posting from now on. It’ll take a while to look right, and I’ll twiddle a few setting till I’m happy, but I might even try to compete with Sarah McIntyre for frequency (NAH! Who am I trying to kid!?). And while I’m there I should say that her marvellous Morris The Mankiest Monster deserves to win every award going, not just the Sheffield Children’s Book Award that it won yesterday. Fabulous news!

And so, as a parting gift, here’s a hamster carrying a lunchbox.