And it arrived just in time for Thought Bubble, a great big newish but already full-scale comics convention in Leeds, at which I had a table on Saturday. Look, here's a photo of me drawing something festive and, according to one commentator after he saw the picture, "look[ing] about fourteen". You can see the new issue there in the foreground at the bottom of the picture, right next to a sneaky peak at something yet to come!
You should click all these pictures so you can see them properly. The power of Christmas compels you.
As you can see I had some prints available on the day, some of my own and some by Abby Ryder, but mostly collaborations between the two of us, and mostly taken from last year's Advent-ure Calendar. That's the thing we do in December, stories about the young Santa's early adventures, with a different illustrated episode posted every day. We're putting together a website to host previous episodes currently, so I'll show you that when it's ready.
Here I am selling something to someone. Note the actual Demon Tomato in the foreground, which one girl's instinct was to squish in her hand. Luckily she caught herself before she did it, realising it was a real tomato that I'd embellished with googly eyes and angry eyebrows, and not one of those squishy stress toys.
Readers should note that this isn't a plot spoiler, as the eyes were only an allusion to the title of the comic: in the comic, the Demon Tomato itself remains a perfectly normal tomato and is only mistaken for a demon by the alien warlords who want to attack Earth in order to destroy it.
The most popular of last year's smaller drawings seemed to be these:
Mr Blessed, the Beard Growing teacher, whose role, like his voice, cannot be understated.
Those were the pictures of mine most chuckled at by visitors, along with Abby's excellent painting of Santa vs. King Emperor Titan, which you should click on to see all of:
You can (and should) look at more of Abby's Santa Versus illustrations on her blog.
Thanks to everyone who came and bought things, or just stood at the table for a natter*, and to our pals Tom & Jaime for ferrying all my boxes and equipment (and self) to Leeds, and all the genuinely really helpful staff Lisa's gathered together to run Thought Bubble. By all accounts it was a very comfortable convention to work at!
Remember to email me for your copy of issue two (it's dead good, and only a couple of quid), and stay tuned for info about the lots and lots and lots of pictures I've now got to draw very quickly over the next few weeks.
* A Snatter natter.