Hello! We are Bog Eyed Books, the new publishing brainchild of Gary Northfield and Nicky Evans. Gary has been creating kids books and comics for 15 years and is the creator of Derek The Sheep for the Beano, Gary’s Garden for The Phoenix and Julius Zebra for Walker Books. Whilst Nicky is a British Sign Language/English Interpreter, and a whizz at social media.
Both of us love children’s books and have been very keen to get involved in the burgeoning market of children’s comics. Gary’s popular Beano character Derek The Sheep was ripe for a reprint, having left the comic in 2011 and once word got out of our ambitions, we were approached by the sublime Jim Medway looking to get his fantastic Phoenix strip, Chip Charlton and Mr Woofles, printed. Soon after, fellow Beano and Phoenix alumni, Wilbur Dawbarn and Alexander Matthews came to us looking to publish their bonkers historical Phoenix Strip, Useleus. Being big fans of both strips, How could we say no? We also enlisted the help of Baxter and Bailey, designers extraordinaire responsible for The Phoenix comic logo amongst other things, who delivered a simple but perfect logo and livery for our company (which has since gone on to win a prestigious D&AD Pencil design award!).
Children’s comics have been at the crossroads in Britain for a few years now. Long regarded as “disposable” and “insubstantial” compared to the literary juggernaut of adult comics, but opinions are starting to turn back in their favour. This is in no short part due to the tireless hard work of the Phoenix weekly comic, focusing on quality story-telling from Britain’s top comic creators and Flying Eye Books from Nobrow, taking the children’s book market by storm, mixing traditional picture books with beautifully illustrated children’s comics, such as Luke Pearson’s best-selling Hilda series (coming to a Netflix near you!).
Now, thanks to our partnership with Turnaround, Bog Eyed Books is looking to break into the book market and help shout from the rooftops about Britain’s other literary juggernaut, CHILDREN’S COMICS! Research has consistently shown that comics are a brilliant resource for children to develop their reading skills and Bog Eyed Books is determined to bring to the table the highest calibre of comic artists in the UK, to create books that are a masterclass of comic storytelling. Here are our first three books:
Derek The Sheep: Let’s Bee Friends! – Grumpy, but loveable sheep, Derek, is always looking for the greener grass in life, but he is constantly thwarted in his plans by the other meddlesome (and tiresome!) animals on his crazy farm! From singing bees, angry bulls, and telly watching squirrels, Derek hurtles through farm life, destroying barns, battling magical leprechauns and cheating in a haircut competition, all for an easy life! Derek The Sheep’s madcap adventures first appeared in the hallowed pages of weekly children’s comic THE BEANO, garnering a huge cult following amongst children and parents alike. Having uniquely kept the rights to his character, Gary is able to publish Derek’s stories in his own series of books.
Useleus: A Greek Oddity – Embark on the craziest odyssey through Ancient Greece, alongside its most hopeless hero, Useleus and his long-suffering teacher, the legendary Minotaur! From battling giants, to outwitting gods, to clashes with mythical creatures, Ancient History has never been more fun! An Asterix for the 21st Century. Leaping from the hallowed pages of popular children’s weekly comic, The Phoenix, USELEUS channels Ancient History through the madcap eyes of two renowned Beano and Dandy creators, Alex Matthews (words) and Wilbur Dawbarn (pictures).
Sgt. Chip Charlton and Mr. Woofles – Scared of horses but driven to fight crime and seek justice? What is a young Canadian to do? Chip Charlton joins the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, picking his dachshund buddy over the conventional equine sidekick. Sgt Chip soon proves the naysayers wrong, and time after time, crime after crime, demonstrates how even a weak stomach is no obstacle to following your dream. Three cheers for Sgt. Chip Charlton and Mr Woofles of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police! Sgt. Chip Charlton and Mr. Woofles first appeared in the highly acclaimed British comics weekly, The Phoenix. Jim Medway’s gentle, but beautifully observed humour has gained him much praise over the years, including being nominated for The Young People’s British Comics Awards in 2013 for his first graphic novel, Playing Out (Blank Slate 2013).
Don’t miss the LAUNCH PARTY happening TOMORROW – 5th October 2017 – at GOSH COMICS!! From 7-9pm the creators of these funabulous comics will be present to sign copies of the books!
It’s going to be a BLAST!
Post by Sarah