Friday, 17 September 2010
I've always had the good fortune to have a dream job- I mean, drawing comics all day- come on, what could be better?! But a real high spot came in 1991 when I read that Fleetway were starting a new Thunderbirds comic and that none other than Alan Fennell was to be editor! I knew he'd not only been editor and writer at TV Comic and then TV21, but had written a large percentage of the Stingray, Thunderbirds and Fireball XL5 TV shows too, and had gone on to start Look-In! Wasting no time I bluffed my way into Fleetway's then-HQ at Mornington Crescent and asked to speak to him. Alan was a great character (sadly he died early, and on his birthday in 2001) and knew what he wanted. After all, he'd discovered Mike Noble! Luckily, I did a few things for him over the next couple of years and we met up quite often. Two phone calls from him are preserved on my old cassette answerphone- the first: "Nigel- just opened your first page- what the hell are you playing at? This is like ...Popeye. I mean, I love you like a brother, but this is very poor" and the second: "Nigel- just opened your two cover images- the artwork is.......[long pause]......outstanding. Very good. Nice work". Anyone who knew Alan will hear his cheerful London manner in those words! I trawled the internet but couldn't find a photo of him- so I've posted these two, one from 1970, the other from the time I knew him, 1992.