recovery stories

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on October 28th, 2014

I was asked by AddAction to illustrate a new book they were helping to publish called Recovery Stories. From their press release:

Recovery Stories is a collection of first-hand accounts by people in recovery from or affected by drugs or alcohol. Invaluable for those looking to find new, addiction-free ways to live. It contains insights into the lives of real people who hit ‘rock bottom’ but came back again. Of interest across a wide-range of disciplines, including health, education and social services.

Here are my original front and back illustrations:

And here’s the final design which was handled by Waterside Press:

You can buy the book here.


Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on October 24th, 2014

91. Hallowe’en Costume Ideas

Happy Hallowe’en (or as Julia Scheele likes to call it: Goth Christmas).


in the frame – the real winners

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on October 17th, 2014

90. The Real Winners

I think this every time I see an advert that has someone swiping a tablet or smartphone. Which is pretty much every ad now as every company likes to highlight how easy it is to access/buy/use the product being advertised. Those hand models must be raking it in!

As with the last comic, I’m trying my best to experiment with different panel layouts – trying new things I’ve not yet tried with In The Frame.

ALSO: In The Frame has been shortlisted for this year’s British Comic Awards! Really honoured to make it to the shortlist. I’m in good company – some great comics on that list.


in the frame – the endgame

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on October 14th, 2014

89. The Endgame

This was such a fun one to draw. Eagle-eyed readers will note the comic is a little shorter than previous comics. This is due to the NS getting a slight redesign and In The Frame has a much more prominent position running across the middle of a two page spread. It loses a little height, and I have to be careful about the gutter space in the centre, but it’s a great spot for the comic and has encouraged me to try and be a bit more experimental with the panel layouts.

The concept for this one felt like it had been percolating in my brain for a while. Was really pleased with how it came out.

This was published while I was on a three week holiday across North America, meaning there were two weeks where I didn’t have a comic in the NS. It was my first holiday from In The Frame in 2 years and it felt odd not to have it as part of my weekly routine. Very excited to be back!


in the frame – potential distant memories

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on September 18th, 2014

88. Potential Distant Memories for Scotland

I couldn’t let this week go without doing a comic on the referendum. I wanted to do something that highlighted how all the Better Together campaigning and general media chatter has, if anything, made a better case for the Yes campaign.

Also – further to my little rant about UK satire last week, leave it to John Oliver and HBO to provide some of the better satirical coverage about the referendum this week.


misrepresenting faith poster

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on September 17th, 2014

Here’s a poster I illustrated and designed for an event in November.

The event details:

From #creepingsharia Twitter storms to headlines about women Bishops, questions of faith, religion and belief are a constant feature of the contemporary media landscape. What these media messages say, how they circulate, and what is done with them by whom, are critical issues. How do media and political elites engage with faith and identity? What messages and misrepresentations result? And what are the challenges and opportunities at a time when the under 30s are more likely to encounter news on Facebook than in a newspaper?

Misrepresenting Faith is a one-day interdisciplinary symposium, bringing together academics from media and communications, sociology, anthropology and religious studies to explore the role of media in a plethora of crises, controversies and conspiracies concerning faith in Britain today. We will also hear from practitioners and campaigners working to build better understanding and reporting, and discuss practical steps we can take to build a positive media environment around identities of religion and belief.

You can register admission here (it’s free).

I’ll be updating the poster with names of speakers closer to the event.


in the frame – haven’t i got satire for you

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on September 12th, 2014

85. Haven’t I Got Satire For You

This comic was banked as a non time-sensitive piece that could run when I go on holiday at the end of the month. But the NS are rejigging the Observations section of the magazine and the space for the comic has slight dimension changes so this had to run earlier than planned. As it is, this was a bit of luck as I was moving this week and I’d forgotten quite how stressful and exhausting it is.

I like to watch The Daily Show, Colbert Report, and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. All of which are American shows and all of which satirise the news and media landscape brilliantly. Last Week Tonight in particular, with it’s weekly schedule, gets to deep dive into big, complicated topics – amusing and educating equally. And while I understand these shows have American budgets and thus, a huge team of researchers, assistants and writers, I still feel completely let down by British satire in comparison. Instead, we’re offered variations on tired panel show formats. There’s a reason these don’t make the rounds on social media the day after like their American counterparts – they offer no insight or genuine passion/outrage, just pretty obvious jokes. It’s frustrating because our politics needs some decent satirising and it’s not like we have a lack of politically inclined comedians and writers out there. 10 O’Clock Live gave it a go but never quite clicked for me. The Bugle is probably the best topical satire we have right now and it’s telling that that’s a podcast.

Anyway, I probably shouldn’t throw too many stones considering I have a platform to pass satirical judgement on current affairs with my own comic every week…


in the frame – the unearthly pudding

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on September 5th, 2014

87: The Unearthly Pudding

I think this is my second Doctor Who themed comic. Capaldi is a lot of fun to draw. Hopefully the artistic license I took with the sonic screwdriver projecting a hologram won’t upset any Whovians.


in the frame – the last resort

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on August 29th, 2014

86. The Last Resort

I imagine parachuting Richard Dawkins into massive conflict zones like you would with the Hulk. You wouldn’t want to do it, you can’t control him and he could cause more destruction than you want, but he’s more powerful than a nuclear bomb. I like to think his smug, self-satisfied opinions would either scare everyone away or unite them with a common enemy.

This NS strip is 86 as last week’s comic – 85 – didn’t run due to space. Luckily it’s non time sensitive so it’ll run in a few weeks time when I’m on holiday.


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.