It's a funny old business this comic lark.
A fair few years ago, Paul Birch, a very good mate of mine, asked if I'd be interested in pencilling the 2nd story arc of a newspaper type strip that he was writing.
The first story arc "The Princess of Tsyzac" written by Paul, pencilled by John Royle, inked by Joe Ahern and John Hodgkins, lettered by John Robbins and coloured by MatsEngesten, was finished. Paul planned to get it published on the web and for a time is was to be seen on "Bulletproof comics" website.
I pencilled 15 page and Garen Ewing inked the first four.
Garen couldn't ink anymore because of his commitment to finish his wonderful "Rainbow Orchard" trilogy (and I can't recommend this book enough. It should be on everyone's list of comics to read.) so I inked the remaining 11 pages....
And then we stopped, in mid flow.
I'm not too sure if even the first arc was published on Bulletproof comics' website, I know that at least 3 of the 12 page strip were shown.
Anyway Paul didn't write any more script for me and I went on to do other stuff.
I thought that was it, that Carter and his cast of supporting characters had been relegated to the forgotten cupboard of unfinished strips and ideas... never to be heard of again.
But I had not counted on Paul and his unwavering vision to see Carter published weekly on the web.
So here we are again, Paul contacted me this year, gently hinting that he might have found a new home for his wayward reporter hero and would I be tempted to finish the story we started all those years ago.
Of course I said yes straight away and after a massive hunt Paul and I managed to find the artwork. I was suprised just how much we'd done, it was all inked and lettered and waiting to be coloured.
So Paul got out all his old notes and began to write the next few pages and quickly passed them on to me.
Now although I said yes, I was a bit swamped with all the other gubbins I was doing, so I couldn't start it straight away. Luckily Paul in his infinite wisdom had accounted for this.
The first story arc "The princess of Tsyzac" would finally be published in it's entirety, and then a short 5 pager "Seek and you will Find" pencilled by by Joe and Mats, lettered by Donald Jackson and coloured by Andrew Dodd.
And finally it would be my turn with "Shang Ra La La La".
So now here they are, the first two done and published and from last week my little tale has begun.
All these tales of adventure can be seen at blogs.birminghammail.net/speechballoon/.
So why not have a quick look... I guarantee you'll be entertained.
I'm rather pleased with it, cuz it's me first colour work and I get to draw some yetis... but they'll be in later episodes.
And if you subscribe to their RSS feed you'll never miss an episode.
The image above is the first episode, but if you want to know what Carter and his cronies are saying you'll have to nip over to Birmingham Mail's Speech Balloon to find out.