Saturday, 22 December 2012

Happy Holidays!

A big thank you to everyone who's followed the Gum Girl blog and read the Gum Girl books this year. We're back in March 2013 with Gum Girl: Countdown to Destruction with three new villains, including the fiendish Doctor Tick Tock!
Can't wait. Until then, Season's Greetings and see you all in the New Year.


Monday, 10 September 2012


Lovely news. Gum Girl: Catastrophe Calling has been nominated for the Young People's Comic Awards. You can read more about it here and take the time to check out all the nominated books. Congrats to Lizzie, Ben, Mark and everyone at Walker who work so hard to bring you the best Gum Girl comics possible.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Sick St Nick

Layout for page 3. You can see the line art here and the finished page here.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


A bunch of thumbnail-sized sketches for the Tentacles of Doom! cover.

Unused cover rough

For Gum Girl: The Tentacles of Destruction. On this one I wanted to have all the main villains and an exciting GG pose.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Prep sketches

Of Sick St. Nick. I needed a design that looked like a seedy and disreputable Santa.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Dust Bunny page 2

Thumbnail. You can see the black and white page here
and the finished version here
and another unused cover design here.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Gum Girl: The Tentacles of Doom!

When designing a cover for Gum Girl, we don't use one idea and then draw and colour it. We come up with a few different ideas and then choose the best one. This is an used cover rough using the idea of Octopus Prime as a prison for Gum Girl.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Sick St. Nick page 3

Enter Sick St. Nick. Thisi s the last of the sneak preview pages from Gum Girl: The Tentacles of Doom! Hope you've enjoyed them.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Sick St. Nick page 1

Sick St. Nick is the third story in Gum Girl: The Tentacles of Doom! and it kicks off with a bang.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

8-Armed Bandit page 2

Billy can't seem to shake off his bad reputation.

8-Armed Bandit page 1

The second story in Gum Girl: The Tentacles of Doom! is called "8-Armed Bandit" and has Grace and her class go on a school trip to Catastrophe aquarium. Can you spot the aquarium on the map?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Friday, 10 August 2012

Gum Girl:The Tentacles of Doom! page 1

The first story in Gum Girl: The Tentacles of Doom is called "Dirt & Loathing" and features a new baddie called Dust Bunny. The idea came from seeing the floor of my daughter's room. I don't know if you're the same and sometimes "forget" to put things away?


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Gum Girl: The Tentacles of Doom!

Gum Girl: The Tentacles of Doom! is out now. 64 pages of colour mayhem featuring Grace, Billy, Octopus Prime, Dust Bunny, Sick St Nick and Gum Girl!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Here's a layout page from the Salad Daze adventure in Catastrophe Calling. I like the kids choice of five-a-day.


Monday, 2 April 2012


After I've written a script for Gum Girl, but before I draw the layouts, I scribble out thumbnails.
These are very quick workings out of what each page might look like. I see if there's too much going on in a page, or too little, if I need to push panels onto another page, or if I need to work a story point around a page turn. They don't look like much they're an important part of the process. It's much better to recognize and solve problems at this stage than after you've finished drawing the story.


Friday, 30 March 2012

Thursday, 29 March 2012


Here's a comparison between the layout for the SPLOTCH page (Grace's chemistry set accident)
and the final line art. I moved some of the panels to an earlier page and tried to make the finished thing as dynamic as possible.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Prof Roboticus replaced another villain in the first Catastrophe Calling story. Kelpto-Maniac was going to rob the Pick 'n' Mix on his pogo stick. Titanium Dioxide and the other ingredients were lifted from a real pack of sweets. Nothing tastes sweeter than Diglycerides of Fatty Acids. Yum!


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mad Dog

When the playground bully was replaced by Prof Roboticus in Catastrophe Calling I reworked those pages and had to lose some fun snippets of dialogue.

CHERYL: Don't mess with Mad Dog Tyler, he's psycho.

GRACE: His nickname kind of gives it away.

CHERYL: Mad Dog's his actual name.


Friday, 23 March 2012


A very rough attempt at the final Catastrophe Calling cover.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Cover designs

These are some of the early cover designs with rough Gum Girl poses and logo idea. It's the kind of thing I can endlessly play with, eventually though, the book needs a cover.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Where's Professor Roboticus?

In an earlier version of the Welcome to Catastrophe story Grace was thrown into the deep end of life at Calamity Primary. She immediately faces the school bully in the playground. That was okay, but it wasn't Gum Girl enough. I introduced the Titanium Avenger as the playground bully. Giant robots will make any story better!


Monday, 19 March 2012

Sample Pages

Another sample page from early on, this time using pen rather than a brush. The upper case lettering is still there, better, but not good enough. From here I switched to lower case.

I had to get out of the habit of using dull colours, as Gum Girl needed to be bright and fun.

A bit better but I sill needed to work on the colours so they popped a lot more.


Friday, 16 March 2012


After I've written a story, but before drawing it, I make rough pencil versions with lettering of every page. They're called layouts because it's a chance to figure out the size of each panel, how many speech balloons there are and where they're placed on the page.
If things aren't working out then I try another layout to solve any problems. It's quicker to re-work a pencil sketch than a finished page.
As a comparison between the layouts and the end product, you can see the coloured page below.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

More logos

A few more of the many logos I messed around with for the Gum Girl books.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Here're some of my different attempts at a rough Gum Girl logo. Designing logos is a lot of fun, so I did quite a few. In the end, Ben the designer came up with the best one, so we used that on the cover.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

More try outs

Another look at some early Gum Girl pages. Grace and Gum Girl have been designed but the lettering is still rubbish.
The colours are improving, though.


Monday, 12 March 2012

Try Outs

  When I first began Gum Girl I needed to show what the book might look like, so did a couple of try out pages. Here's a very early example using a brush and capital letters in the speech bubbles. The capitals looked rubbish, so I scrapped that. Also, after these test pages I decided against using the square caption boxes to explain what was happening in the story, choosing to rely on what the characters said.

Here's what the page looked like in colour. The palette is a bit dull so we decided to use brighter colours later on. The school is a modern design here, later I thought it'd be fun to have an old looking Calamity Primary that was falling apart. This is also the first mention of villain Octopus Prime. He doesn't appear until August in book 2, Tentacles of Doom!


Friday, 9 March 2012

Calamity Primary

This was early attempt at Grace's school, Calamity Primary. The basic design is based on the school around the corner from where I live. As you can see, I don't have any of the fun things that are in the later version, bomb shelters and robot teachers and stuff like that.