the nib – eu referendum

Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on June 9th, 2016

This comic went live a few days ago on The Nib. I’ve been working on it for a while – trying my hardest to make the forthcoming EU Referendum as accessible and entertaining as possible. It was a huge help working with my editor Eleri Harris who guided me through the process of editing down a potentially sprawling 70-80 panel comic into this relatively succinct 40 panel piece.

You can read the full comic here.

The comic had to to do several things: it needed to communicate the situation to international readers who were not as exposed to the more complex inner workings of UK politics, but it also needed to be useful to those in the UK who were unsure how to vote. I wanted to be as fair and as balanced as possible, presenting the facts and opposing sides clearly – while not being afraid to state my own opinions and disingenuously pretend I didn’t have a bias. I wanted to make sure the comic was honest.

There are all sorts of issues I didn’t cover, and some that I couldn’t spend as much real-estate on as I wanted, but I’m proud of how this came out and hope it’s helpful to people. I hope it provokes deeper dives into some of the issues and concerns it raises and I hope it, at the very least, encourages some more voters to get registered now we have a slightly extended deadline.

If you’re annoyed the comic didn’t discuss a particular issue or skimmed something you think deserved more interrogation, I hope you’ll appreciate that I probably spent days agonising over whether to include it or not, but in the end had to create the EU comic I wanted to see.

Thanks for reading and sharing it if you have already done so.

There are still a few hours left to register to vote if you haven’t yet – the website is here.

And if you want to stay in the EU and want to help out, but don’t know where to start, you could do worse than check out The In Crowd – it has a handy function that helps you find the best way to get involved.



Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on November 21st, 2014

Additional to my Hostile Environment comic which very broadly paints a picture of the far right in the UK, here’s a little more info about asylum seekers. This was created for the 2013 Thought Bubble Anthology. It feels appropriate to be posting it now.

hostile environment

Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on November 21st, 2014

Waking up to another Ukip win today, I thought I might throw this 5 pager online that I produced last year for Matt Bors, on behalf of Pando Quarterly. I pitched it as a guide to the rise of the far-right in the UK. It tries to fit a lot into 5 pages but I’m happy with how it came out in the end. I’m less happy that things don’t seem to be getting any better…

a century of silent helpers: part three

Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on August 21st, 2014

The third part of a 50 page, interactive comic about development aid (drawn by me) is now online here. A dutch translation can be found here. The comic was written and researched by Tjeerd Royaards.

Part one is online here if you missed it.

Part two is here.

All chapters are finished and we’re putting the finishing touches to a printed version that should be available in October/November this year. Part 4 should be online next month.

a century of silent helpers: part two

Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on July 2nd, 2014

The second part of a 50 page, interactive comic about development aid (drawn by me) is now online here. A dutch translation can be found here. The comic was written and researched by Tjeerd Royaards.

Part one is online here if you missed it.

I’m starting work on Part 5 of the comic this week. Part 3 should be online next month.

a century of silent helpers: part one

Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on May 21st, 2014

The first part of a 50 page, interactive comic about development aid (drawn by me) is now online here. A dutch version can be found here. The comic was written and researched by Tjeerd Royaards.

This was the comic I mentioned at the start of the year here.

I’m starting work on Part 4 of the comic next week. I think the chapters are going online monthly, but I might have that wrong.

projects in 2014

Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on February 6th, 2014

While working on the New Statesman comics, I’ve also been working on some other projects this past month…

1. I was commissioned by European Movement to produce a four page comic about the EU (and the UK’s part in it) which will be published online and as a physical pamphlet. It was written by Peter Luff at EM. That’s all finished and should be going to print soon I think. Here’s a small preview from page one:

2. And now that’s completed, I’ve just started work on a 48 page comic about the past, present and future of humanitarian aid – on behalf of Cordaid. The comic will be divided into 5 chapters which should be going online over the next few months. The comic is written by Tjeerd Royaards (editor and founder of Cartoon Movement) who is travelling around interviewing people and digging into archives as I type. When the chapters are finished, the comic will be printed as a physical book.

I’ll update the blog when all these go online and are available to read in their entirety. In the meantime, I’ll continue posting new NS comics here every Friday!

hostile environment

Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on December 21st, 2013

Earlier in the year, I produced a one page comic about asylum seekers and refugees in the UK for the Thought Bubble anthology. It was related to my TB residency last year when I taught comics to the community at BAfR. The comic was called “Sanctuary”, and hopefully it wasn’t too much of a tonal shift from everything else in the TB anthology! I wrote a bit more about it here. But here’s a little preview:

Working on it made me want to produce a longer comic about the far right in this country. So when Matt Bors, comics editor at NSFW Magazine, asked if I wanted to pitch anything to their December issue, I went with this. It still tries to fit too much into a 5 page comic but I’m happy with a lot of how it turned out despite that.

In-between completing the comic and it going to print, NSFW Corp sold to Pando and the issue will now be published in the December issue of Pando Quarterly. I’ll be honest and say I have no idea what this means and I had no idea who Pando Daily were but there you go. I produced the comic for one company and it’s being published by another.

Here’s a preview of the first page:

female superheroes

Posted in comics,illustrations,news,other by Tom on December 21st, 2013

Butch & Sundance Media, in association with Cartoon Movement, produced a multi-media game/story/thing that focuses on the lives of three women in difficult environments (Egypt, Sudan, and Burma).

I was asked to produce around 6-7 pages of comic art for each protagonist (written by the Butch & Sundance team) that act as informative story interludes and sometimes as prizes for getting further in the game. I also designed some of the UI elements.

This was a big project which I worked on over the summer and I’m glad to see it’s online and out there now. Proud of my work on it. You can play it here. Here’s a couple of screen-grabs of the game:

And here are the cover images I made for each story:

london olympics comic

Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on July 25th, 2012

Now, this is probably the first you’ve heard about this but this Friday, London will play host to the 2012 Olympics.

I have mixed feelings about it. There’s a lot to be cynical about but I was trying to remain optimistic because I still intend to watch some of the sport and I don’t want to sound like I’m disparaging the hard-working athletes involved. Or fall into the moaning British stereotype.

That said, when Cartoon Movement agreed to commission a ten page comic from me about the event, I found myself becoming increasingly angry and disillusioned as I did more research. Being against the Olympics but pro the sporting achievement is a little like being against the Iraq war but supporting the troops – a lot of people conflate the two and I have to add caveat upon caveat in any discussion I have about it.

Regardless, I feel I managed to get most of my reservations about the Olympics across in this piece which went online this morning. Ten pages is long enough to deal with the topic in a certain amount of detail but not quite long enough to tackle everything. I think I managed to strike the right balance but I have to admit it was the toughest comic I’ve had to write. I wanted to cover a lot – make it accessible, illuminating, balanced and completely accurate. I realised very quickly that I am not an investigative journalist. I’m a strong believer in the power and potential of comics journalism but I’m not quite sure I’m there yet.

Having said that, I’m extremely proud of how this comic came out and think I enjoyed the inking process on this more than anything I’ve drawn for a while. There’s a reason for that. I’ve been reading comics on my way into my studio every morning (I’ve had to move recently so have a much longer commute than usual). I’ve been burning through Hellboy libraries on a daily basis and found myself gleefully tackling each page of this comic with a joy for the inked line that only people like Mignola can inspire. It used to be that I had to stop looking at comics while I worked on mine, but I’m now finding the opposite to be true.

That little tangent aside, please direct your browser to to read the full Olympics comic.

A huge thanks to Matt Bors and Caroline Bins for making sure I didn’t make myself look stupid and to everyone who agreed to be interviewed.