Results tagged “John Royle” from Birmingham Mail - Speech Balloon

CARTER'S COLUMN The Princess of Tsyzac storyline concluded last Sunday but not everything about the series had been revealed.

Carter Sketches_0003.jpg

Before the series began John Royle did several character designs, that were featured here prior to the series commencing.

Carter Sketches_0004.jpg

However, one particular page was left out and one had been slightly edited to avoid giving the plot away completely.

Here they are exclusvely revealed to the public for the first time after countless years gathering dust in an old envelope.

We trust you enjoy this little behind-the-scenes interval before the next saga begins.

For more information on the creators visit:

For Paul H Birch:

For John Royle:

Make sure you don't miss out next Sunday as we feature some behind-the-scenes information on our new Carter's Column saga and other Speech Balloons exclusives during the week by subscribing free via the RSS feed!

Carter's Column Episode 8

By Paul Birch on Sep 27, 09 06:07 AM

CLICK ON Episode 8 of The Princess of Tsyzac below and it will expand to fill your screen.
Thumbnail image for cc_08.jpgFor further information on the creators visit:

For Paul H Birch:

For John Robbins:

For John Royle:

For Mats Engesten:

Make sure you don't miss out on next Sunday's episode and other Speech Balloons exclusives during the week by subscribing free via the RSS feed!

Carter's Column Debuts Today!

By Paul Birch on Aug 9, 09 12:18 AM


STARTING TODAY Carter's Column in The Princess of Tsyzac!

Click on the comic strip and it should expand to fill your screen.

For further information on the creators visit:

For Paul H Birch:

For John Royle:

For Mats Engesten:

Don't forget to return for Episode 2 next Sunday!

You can make sure you don't miss out on it and other Speech Balloons exclusives by subscribing free via the RSS feed!

Carter's Column sketch J. Royle 2009.JPG

CARTER'S COLUMN will be appearing at Speech Balloons every Sunday starting next week.

Before that happens, here are some exclusive character sketches, previously unpublished, along with some background material on the comic strip...

So welcome to the comic strip world of Carter's Column that takes place somewhere in the absurdity of an uncertain near-future. It's a strange world, made even stranger by the fact that Carter himself hosts his own hit show for the popular investigative news channel known as The Daily Discovery Vid-Station.

This irrepressible reporter comes on like Harrison Ford with unexpected undercurrents of Cary Grant.

He gives off a gruff exterior, with a hint of sexual charisma. Carter is possibly in his thirties, well built and taken to a smart appearance.

Carter Sketches_0001.jpg

His interview technique is that of the "Bull in a China shop" variety and while his actual reporting is hardly profound it comes from the heart... Even if, on occasion, it takes a few upper cuts to someone's jaw to make it so!

Most reporters in this future world use flying cam-droids to film their work but Carter can't get to grips with inanimate objects and is partnered by Lauren.

She is not only attractive on the eye but physically adept too. She's a more than admirable Emma Peel to his gruff Steed and when not arguing they flirt constantly.

His editor, Joe Stone, hates him but puts up with him due to his success... But then Stone has enough enemies to launch an army so he also as an alien called Chunky as his own personal bodyguard!

Carter does the best he can on a world where Loony Tunes plays as background muzack, aliens visit Earth on vacation, the environment resembles the nicer parts of Bladerunner in a bargain basement sale and absurd scientific experiments are believed to be undertaken at a university called The Wilde Academy.

Carter's Column was created by Paul H Birch and originally serialised in the British newsstand sold magazine Gamesman. The series was subsequently featured in colour on the award-winning Cybernet 2000 website in the 90s, and has since been syndicated elsewhere since both in print and over the internet.


The comic strip series has now been digitally remastered to appear exclusively online at Speech Balloons, the Birmingham Mail newspaper's website dedicated to comics and there has also been interest expressed in it being optioned to other media.

"A lot of creators live with the dream that Hollywood will come calling and turn their ideas into films or television shows, but I live in the real world," said Birch. "If something like that happened then great, but I get a personal kick writing Carter in the format it is and seeing how the artists interpret that visually."

The stories are unashamedly classic sci-fi adventure romps. Each strip uses the 4-5 panel (generally 2 tier) newspaper style system that was popularised in America by Gil Kane on Star Hawks and Al Williamson on Star Wars, and ends with a cliff hanger. The series has been described in reviews as: "Classic sci-fi delivered with great style, spot-on dialogue and quality storytelling."

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The first 12 part series is titled The Princess of Tsyzac and was pencilled by John Royle. John is best known for having drawn comic books such as Wolverine, Excalibur, Ultraforce and others for Marvel, DC, Acclaim and Malibu over in the USA. More recently he has been drawing for publishers on these shores, including everyone's favourite wall-crawler in the Panini UK edition of Spectacular Spider-Man plus a forthcoming G.I. Joe comic.

British newspaper cartoonist Steve Harrison (The Sport, Fast Car Magazine), is responsible for inking and lettering duties on the first six of those strips, with the late Joe Ahern and James Hodgkins (Batman, Superboy) collaborating on inks for the remainder of the first series.

John Robbins and Mats Engesten rounded out that series courtesy of some international flavour with exquisite Irish hand lettering and some Swedish computer colours respectively!

Playing various roles from editor to writer, Birch himself has been involved in the Eisner Award-winning Gumby Comics for younger readers, and Dead Ahead and Dr. Phibes for older readers in the USA; helped bring about the return of cult British comic strip character Werewilf for the best-selling UK boy's magazine Toxic; and has scripting graphic novels for Asia.

Carter Sketches_Lauren.jpg

"We've got more great thrills and bad puns aplenty with some cool end-of-episode cliff-hangers in the storylines that follow that," Birch revealed of strips that will feature art by Gary Crutchley (2000AD) and Garen Ewing (The Rainbow Orchid). "And we've some other surprise guest star artists lined up whose names I can't wait to reveal, but for the moment I'm just going to have to!" he revealed.

Carter's Column is back with a bang!

Loud, proud, and online at Speech Balloons...

Make sure you don't miss out by subscribing free online via the RSS feed!

G.I. Joe

By Paul Birch on Jul 30, 09 06:27 PM


G. I. JOE will be making its ways to British newsstands this summer.

This all new new Panini-Hasbro comic will be out in mid August to tie-in with the new action G.I. Joe film.

A monthly title, the cover for its first issue is featured to the left.

It is being scripted by Ferg Handley with art on the first two-part story arc pencilled by John Royle, inked by Lee Townsend and coloured by James Offredi.

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