Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1980 – Daemon...

Or the Christmas Sketch which decided my career path...

Hi Guys,

I thought today I would share an illustration with you that I produced way back in December 1980, a little over six months after my leaving art college in Blackpool. A small thumbnail example of the piece has adorned this humble Blog for a while now and I thought I would retell its origins with you.

I had been working as a graphic designer for various companies and was looking at getting into a position to do more illustration work than the typographically oriented work I was producing at the time. I had begun to work on various painted pieces and I remember that I went to the drawing board in my bedroom at home at the time – I was still living at home with my Mum and Dad back then not knowing what I was going to do.

As I sat there I decided to look at an old character I had created back in the early seventies, when the major influence on me, was still Jack Kirby. What would I do with the character, if I was to resurrect the character?

The obvious influence was Jack’s character, Darkseid. Back when I had designed him my best friend, Paul and I had been re-drawing the Fourth World comics using our own swiped, or rather mirrored-characters and my own version was a character I called Demon – how ironic that shortly after this Jack would produce a comic using the same name for his new character, Etrigan.

I decided in 1980 to not just redesign the character, but to adjust this name accordingly too, he became Daemon

So it was that during the Christmas break having been working since the summer months that I sat down and decide to recreate the old character from back then.

The illustration accompanying this Blog shows my early use of the brush to ink my comic work and whilst some of the boldness I would use later on with my Marvel work was present, none of the subtle finesse of the fine lines and feathering was.

I had also been using Letratone – the UK version of the US Zipatone, whilst at college and now in my job as a graphic designer, so I decided to use some on this illustration - not too much, as I still wanted the inks to tell the story, but enough to show it was there in the background.

There is also some early evidence of my trademark picture elements, which still have their use today, but hopefully in a much better executed and subtle handling.

Despite the obvious flaws of the drawing itself, I feel the body language and the anatomy where strong enough that they inspired me and realigned my thoughts on my career path – I decided as I looked at the finished drawing that this was what I wanted to do with my working life – I wanted to become a comic artist.

Now all of this took a while from leaving college, as my secondary school’s attitude of me eventually growing up and getting a real job had passed through to the college days too, although they had the attitude I would not make any money in comics and to get established in advertising and marketing, as an illustrator.

This one drawing though threw any doubts and influence of the educators into a cocked hat and I looked at the piece on my drawing board beneath the angle-poise lamps lighting the room and my course was set...

The rest, as they say is history.

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
July 28th 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Joanne & Toby’s Fairy Tale Wedding...

The perfect wedding and the perfect day...
Hi Guys,

Well guys, what a wonderful day we had on Friday the 16th of July this year.

Before you read this missive you may want to get yourself a cup of tea, or coffee, as because it was a Big Day, this is a Big Blog, so I ask your indulgence. I didn’t want to spread this over several Blogs, as I usually do with these kinds of things, but then again I have never written of anything as important as this before in my life.

It has taken me longer to prepare this Blog, then usual, but I have been spending some much needed quality time with Joanne and Toby and my entire family, as it should be.

Anyhow the whole thing had been two years in the planning and the happy couple had asked me to create the wedding stationery, which I designed with Joanne at my side in the studio based on the common theme of Butterflies. These designs were then taken away and viewed by Joanne and Toby and fine adjustments made until they were completely happy with the final artwork.

I have to admit to loving every second of creating it all for them and ran the theme straight through the range, which included, save the dates, magnetic cards, day and evening invitations, envelopes with the butterfly motif, labels, menus (which we forgot to use - luckily the country club used their own), invitation present request slips, seating arrangement signage, butterfly shaped name cards, which sat in the glasses on the tables, table name cards, and soon to be used thank you stationery.

The run up week unfortunately saw me having to work insanely long hours on the children’s book, but I did manage to help out with the final wedding arrangements – things like creating the Wedding Breakfast seating arrangement artwork and having it turned into a vinyl image mounted onto a foamex backing, creating the hand-written calligraphy for the place settings onto the Butterfly name cards, and going along with Joanne to the registrars the week before the wedding when Toby was unable to get there because of work commitments, amongst other things.

One evening the week before the Wedding I did manage to attend a professionally shot photo shoot of my family with Margaret, Simon, Joanne, Toby and two of our dogs, Cocoa and Stella. Bentley was out voted this time around, but I am planning to have a personal photo shoot with him sometime in the near future, if all goes well. The evening was great and we had a lot of fun with the photographer. The shoot was Margaret’s idea and followed an earlier shoot two, or three years, or so ago and was the last series of photos for us with Joanne still unmarried. We all thought it was a great idea and I cannot wait to see the results soon.

Luckily I had had the foresight to write up a series of run up Blogs, which I pre-posted, in case the workload became unbearable and the rush of the week proved too time consuming to write them at the time.

As you know I chose to use the launching of the Apollo moon missions as the theme with the Blogs and carried that over into part of my wedding reception speech, where I chose the first successful atomic bomb test, known as the Trinity Blast on July 16th 1945 and the launch of the first successful manned expedition to the moon – Apollo 11 on July 16th 1969, as the two dates with which to show some other significant events on this date throughout recent history and use the wedding date of July 16th 2010 for no smaller a blast, or launch for the start of the young couple’s new married life together.

Due to the recent workload I was unable to attend Toby’s Stag Night party, but that would be made up later the night before the wedding, which was a really nice gesture from them both.

Joanne’s Hen Party was held the Saturday evening before the wedding at a venue in Manchester called the Birdcage, or at least the main part of the evening was. From all accounts everyone had a great time there and included Margaret and Toby’s mum Bernie and the Bridesmaids and a few other friends. From the photographs on Joanne and her friend’s FaceBook pages I would say that was true.

This last week saw Margaret take time off work and take Joanne all over the place for last minute things to sort out and pay for. Everyday saw them both out and about all throughout the days and it proved to be a very busy week for them both indeed – but it also saw them able to spend some quality time together as only a mother and daughter can and it gave them an opportunity to eat out, whenever they could too, which became a running joke with us here.

On Monday Joanne and Margaret had been out fine tuning things for the wedding and Joanne came around to upload some music from her memory stick to a CD for the wedding. Her choice had some great sentimental stuff on there and one in particular is a favourite of mine, but one that even on karaoke evenings can get me all of a fluster especially with the end verse, so it was I was going to attune myself with it, by playing it to death over a couple of days on repeat. Time would tell if I had succeeded in doing so...

Around 4:00 a.m. last Thursday morning I returned to the web/script computer and pieced together all the notes I had amassed into what I hoped would be a cohesive speech for after the main meal. There was only time for me to quickly write a draft, sub-edit the text with no time to practise it for real. So I figured I would do so sometime later that evening, or during the early hours of the wedding morning. The speech completed I returned to the children’s book.

In fact, the event started for me on Thursday, after sending off the remaining artwork for the Spooky Tales children’s book. My son, Simon and I were to meet up with the Groom, Toby and his Best Man Paul at the Barton Grange Hotel in Barton. Preston, Lancashire.

We were meant to set off hours before we actually did, but the job remained unfinished on the computer and had to be sent off ASAP, so it was later than we should have when we eventually set off in the car to meet up with them.

We arrived at the hotel and went to the reception where we were given the room number we were staying in. Upon arriving at the aforementioned door, we found they were not actually in the room, so we set off down the corridor to find them with the help of the receptionist.

We didn’t get that far though, as Simon with his ultra-sensitive, mutant-like hearing, very reminiscent of Matt Murdock, of Daredevil fame’s, heard the lads downstairs and we soon found them playing pool surrounded by thick wood beamed walls and ceilings and being overlooked by old looking paintings, in a very olde worlde atmosphere. We were in the old part of the hotel and it was quite a contrast to the ultra modern frontage.

We took our bags to the room and then got a drink from the bar, retiring to the “very” comfy seated area, where we chatted for some time, reminiscing about things from the past and generally getting to know each other a little more before the grand day of the next morning without the addition of Joanne and Margaret in tow.

We moved to another barred area, where you could order food, however by the time we did so the kitchen had closed for the day, but luckily the bar staff came over with an assortment of nibbles to accompany our drinks.

The night passed quite quickly, especially as we arrived later than originally planned, but we had a last drink in the original bar area and spent some time outside at the main entrance were we watched the rain falling heavily, as it had done, mainly, for over a week.

It seemed incredible that the weeks previous had seen us experience abnormally sunny, dry and hot weeks of great weather - weather that had seen a complete 360 ̊ turn-around.

We returned to our room to watch some TV and continue the chats and I wrote out the final name cards for the table arrangements. By the time I was done everyone else was asleep, and I joined them leaving the ink to dry for a while.

I awoke a few hours later – the best and most sleep I had managed to have in ages – and set about writing the table names on a series of seven envelopes into which I placed the Butterflies with everyone’s names on, in the order they were sat around the table.

That done I decided to go down to somewhere quiet and out of the way to check through the speech and make sure it sounded right and worked as a speech and not as a piece of prose. I made the necessary adjustments and went back upstairs.

Simon awoke and asked if I still wanted to have him listen to the speech, which I did, so we went down once more to the reception area at the front of the hotel and I read it and described the things I would say, as some of the speech was simply bullet pointed, as I was going to tell the stories from memory, just as I have on occasion when speaking of the events in question before.

I knew there were three, or four parts of the speech, which could and did turn me into a blubbering wreck when looking at the words, but I needed to say them, because I wanted Joanne and Toby, more than anyone else there to know exactly how I feel about them both.

True to form, when I came to read the parts out I became emotional about it and began to wonder if I could be strong enough during the speech to get the words out without completely coming to pieces.

With Simon’s kind words of support and his backing I decided to leave everything in the speech, including the opening hooks, which he thought were funny enough to be included and I prayed everyone would think so and “get” the jokes.

I have to take time out here to thank one of my Fantasy Art Unlimited students, Peter, who lent me a book, which I will now return, entitled “The Complete Father of the BrideA comprehensive guide to your daughter’s wedding by John Bowden. I highly recommend this book to any other Father of the Brides to be and include the ISBN, which is:

ISBN 978 1 84528 282 0

I occasionally looked at the book all throughout the run up to the wedding, but this last week saw me looking at it again and fine tuning what was expected of me in my head. It really helped me to prepare, if only in respect to reinforcing some of the ideas I had and confirming what was expected of me on the day.

Thanks so much Peter, I would maybe never have looked at a book like this, if you hadn’t brought it along all those very long months ago and I will be returning it to you at the FAU session this evening.

With a confirmation that I was on the verge of becoming a blubbering wreck during the speech Simon and I returned to the room and found that both Toby and Paul were still asleep, after all it was still very early morning, so swimming shorts in hand off we went to the pool and Jacuzzi, which was Simon’s idea.

We had a great time in the Jacuzzi with some real quality chatting away between us. Recent events have made me rethink my life once more and the realisation that a lot of control over what I was doing had again been lost and had taken completely over my life, both work-wise and domestically too, something which has now been addressed. There had been a return to the days of all work and no play and missing out on things with my family, just as it had back in the days I was creating comic books full time.

My time with my son in the Jacuzzi was the first time in ages I had really sat down with him this way (not in water of course) and spent any meaningful time in discussion with him. Simon asked me to join him in the Sauna, but I didn’t stay in there for long at all, as it was too hot, although I do realise that’s the reason for it. So I left Simon for a few minutes to have a shower and left him to sweat it out in there.

On the way back to our room Simon asked about his role as Usher and I realised then that he was nervous about it all. I explained what he was expected to do and told him any of the questions he had would be answered upon his arrival at the venue, where he could ask the staff everything he wanted to know, such as how many rows of seats he would need to leave free for immediate family, etc. It may not have been anything major that he needed to know, but it was his big sister’s wedding and he wanted to get everything right for her.

By the time we got to the room the others were up and we went down to breakfast which being early still, was a most leisurely and refined affair, with lashings of tea, coffee, fruit juice, and toast, accompanying a full English breakfast amidst a mass of potential other breads, yoghurts, cereals and the like, which were on display but which we chose to ignore.

The food was wonderful and then looking at the time and having had text messages and a call from Margaret asking how things had gone and telling me that the girls and her were all getting the professional make-up and hair dressing done we decided it was now time to take our leave of the hotel and get along to the next hotel, at which we were to witness the marriage. It was now that I realised Toby was starting to feel a little nervous about getting his lines wrong, or fainting, or getting anything wrong, or...

I tried to alleviate these worries, helped in force by Simon, with lots of jokey banter, along the way, as we left the hotel and I drove back to first drop Simon off at home, discretely avoiding any contact with Joanne, and then on to Darwen.

Best Man, Paul had an appointment, which meant he left a little before us and would be meeting us at the reception venue following this.

It didn’t take long before we had arrived at the wedding venue, Whitehall Country Club in Darwen and we were shown to the room that Margaret and I would be occupying and was to be the place for Toby and Paul to dress and get ready in.

I was going to be leaving my car at the hotel and went back home to re-write the speech (thank goodness for computers) pick up some of our things needed for the day and the morning after for the girls and I, things like clothes, and toiletries, but most important of all, for me, my speech.

The house seemed to be in some kind of organised chaos as everyone milled around with the photographer’s assistant constantly taking photos and make-up and hairdos being worked on all around in the rooms downstairs, whilst others were getting dressed upstairs, including Maid of Honour, Vicky and Best Man, Paul’s newly born son (the week previous – it was touch and go whether he would arrive in time for his parents to act at the wedding) there in his miniature version of our morning suits. He looked fantastic!!! It was a nice final touch from the couple who are the Bride and Groom’s best friends.

So it was that I set off to return to the hotel to drop off the paraphernalia. About half way there I saw a white stretch limo heading our way and checked the car clock and then my watch, we still had a little over a hour left before Joanne and I were supposed to leave for the Wedding and thought it was too early for it be our limo. Simon, having already driven up to there, drove me back home to get ready before returning to the country club to get himself ready and then perform his duties as Usher.

Once back at home the chaos, which was organised, was almost finally finished and the same massive white limo was waiting at the bottom of the drive. Margaret, her Mum and the bridesmaids were off without nary a cheerio to me at least, although I could hear, as I was upstairs at the time, everyone wishing Joanne good luck and that they would see her up there soon.

When I had tried the morning suit on at the suit hiring place the gentleman we spoke to helped me to fasten the shirt. When I had received the suit earlier that week I had asked Margaret to help me fasten the shirt and also my cufflinks through the double fold cuffs.

Now here I was standing much like Steve Martin with no one to help and I wasn’t 100% sure how to sort the cravat either...

Eventually I was stood at Joanne’s side and saw just how beautiful she looked for the first time - I had to fight back the tears for real for the first time. She was stunning and looked every bit the Princess she played the part of when she was younger. I had always known she would look lovely and she and Margaret had always said that the wedding gown was absolutely gorgeous but nothing had prepared me for the sight of her in all her glory. She really did look to all intents and purposes like a seventeenth century Princess, straight out of a fairy tale.

In true Joanne fashion, despite her big day ahead of her, she managed to straighten me out, making sure the cravat was sorted and that I looked the part too.

The photographer’s assistant, who had been taking photos all morning of the girls and who had, I soon realised, taken shots of me about the place too, took Joanne outside as the first sign of sun on a horrendously wet day shone through the clouds and took shots of her standing at the bottom of the drive and then with me at her side too in the same place then shots of her getting into the white stretch limo and then some of us both inside.

A few of our neighbours came to the door and waved us of and then we set off and the inside of the limo leapt into life with a glittering array of lights, which changed accordingly with the music emanating from the many speakers. Joanne was a Princess and this was her carriage taking her to the castle in which her Knight in Shining Armour, her Prince Charming, Toby, awaited her.

There were again a few specks of rain, as the weather continued to insist on being lousy and the drops of water dribbled down the windows. Joanne said that for the first time she now felt really nervous, so I leant forward kissed her lightly on the cheek and told her she looked beautiful and had nothing to worry about, which got a big smile, even if the nerves were still there.

We arrived to a small gathering of guests and hotel staff outside on the front steps of the hotel and I could feel the excitement coming from Joanne. The photographer was shooting us from outside the car and we could hear the cheers as the limo drew up the hotel drive and to a halt outside the main doors. The Chauffeur opened the door for us and after giving me her bridal bouquet and have me help her with the long train of her dress, she stepped out of the limo onto the drive and the clouds parted.

For a short while the Photographer, Richard Jones took more photos of us both and then we went inside the Hotel where we were greeted by the registrar. The forms were filled and then it was time for Joanne to catch her breath and give last second instructions to the bridesmaids about the order they were going to walk down the aisle. She was breathing heavily now and looking very nervous and I again kissed her lightly on the cheek and told she had nothing to worry about and to wait until everyone saw how beautiful she looked, especially Toby and again she smiled.

The hotel manager asked her if she was ready and she said yes - the chosen music began to play – “A Moment Like This,” by Leona Lewis and the tears welled up in her eyes and she said “Oh no I’m going to cry,” which got the bridesmaids tearful too and I found it hard to hold them back myself and I had a lump in my throat, making it hard to speak, but I remember saying to her that she would be fine.

Curtain-like drapes separated us from the guests and were still drawn across the back of the room, hiding us and the two little bridesmaids, her little cousins, Chloe and Laura were ushered round them and they walked down the aisle, followed by her bridesmaid, Sam and then her Maid of Honour, Vicky. The manager looked at Joanne and asked he if she was ready, as they would draw the curtains back for the first time, so the guests could see her and she could of course see them. She said yes, the curtains drew back and I remember hearing gasps from the guests, as they saw her for the first time.

Toby’s face said it all; he was totally amazed at his bride in her amazing dress.

I continued to fight back the tears, something many guests later told me they did and many didn’t and their sniffs said it all as we walked down between the guests towards the floral arch with its butterflies on it. Joanne was trying hard not to sob a little and trying to stop her make up from running and then just as the registrar had told us I let go of her arm for her to join her groom and stepped back to my seat, where I was joined, thankfully, by my wonderful and much needed wife, Margaret.

The ceremony was brilliantly executed by the bubbly registrar, who ensured, as she had promised the previous week to Joanne and I, that the couple were able to recite their lines okay.

The beauty of having the actual wedding ceremony held inside the hotel, as well as the day and evening receptions meant that the distance between Joanne and Toby and our guests was much less than in a church and meant it was much more intimate. We could all hear them both recite their vows and I was literally a few steps away from them both, so I didn’t miss a thing.

Between times Joanne’s friend and bridesmaid, Sam did the first of the readings and Margaret did the second. Both were beautifully self-written and spoke in moving ways about this new road and relationship that was about to blossom and again, you guessed it, old blubberer here fought back with his tears.

The couple recited their vows and I could hear folks around the room sniffing and I fought back the tears of joy constantly throughout the ceremony. When asked who was giving this Bride away I stood as instructed, said I do and offered her hand to Toby and sat back down, again fighting the tears back. Then, declared as Man and Wife, Toby was told he could kiss his bride and the whole place erupted with cheers of joy and applause.

We followed as the very happy couple lead us out of the room in a mini procession, so it could be prepared for the Wedding Breakfast. Outside in the main hallway Joanne and Toby met their guests and proceeded to receive hugs and kisses aplenty. We moved into one of the side rooms and one of the barrooms where everyone received the complimentary Bucks Fizz drinks. My best friend, Paul admitted to me that he filled up when he saw us both begin to walk down the aisle and wondered why it was, something lots of the guests admitted to even the men, as I would hear at various parts of the day.

Then it was time for us to take our places at the tables for the Wedding Breakfast, which was totally out of this world and had folks commenting on the excellence of the meals. I would like to pay my compliments to the chefs on an absolutely wonderful gourmet feast.

As the meal progressed I could tell that both Toby and Paul, his Best Man were nervously anticipating the end of the meal and the speeches and so, for the first time in my life, was I.

Well the meals finished and a little wandering to greet and introduce myself to guests later and the master of ceremonies told everyone it was now time for the speeches and introduced me as the Father of the Bride, to which folks applauded. I started the speech with a couple of intended funny miss-starts, which I had hoped would break the ice and, which Simon had agreed I should keep in.

They went down well and then I proceeded to run through the speech, which strangely became less of me looking at the words and more of me saying the things I wanted to based on them. Each time I approached a potential blubbering part I had to reach for a glass of champagne and used that as a hook to get me through in a bid to get through the bits.

The main bits where I told everyone about how beautiful Joanne was, how proud I was of her, then of them both and how much I loved them both were hard to get through and I ended the speech with my explanation of the day’s incredibly, inexplicable weather, which defied all the forecasts and a toast to Joanne’s Granddad, Ralph, who passed away three years ago this November, which did just about everyone in.

To explain and put this into context, nearly three years ago now Margaret's Dad, Ralph died. He was a fantastic bloke and had this knack of going on trips with Margaret’s Mum, Mary (he didn't drive) to the seaside, or wherever, when the weather was bad - in fact despite it...and yet the weather was always fantastic when they got to wherever they were going always did this and never failed him once, as long as I knew him and the family have said it was always like it.

On the Friday morning of the wedding it was, as it had been for over a week up here raining, but this time, in the morning, heavily. Now bear in mind Toby had already mentioned the weather to me and now it was Joanne’s turn to mention her concerns. She simply said to me, as we stood in our lounge just prior to me getting ready, “I wish it would come sunny, Dad”. As with Toby, I assured her that she had nothing to worry about and that it would change, although the sky said the complete opposite with clouds all around as far as one could see. By the time I was ready and stood with Joanne outside the house ready for the limo, it started to inexplicably brighten up.

By the time we got to the Country Club it was even better...

By the time we were shooting the first photos it was still bright, but clouds were all around us...

Then inside we started to have the main photo session inside the venue the clouds were still looming...

I had said all along it would be fine for the photos - despite seeing such torrential rainfall...all morning...

Joanne then said to me once again that she wished the sun would come out for the main photo shoot, so she could have her photos outside and the place became bathed in sunlight, not just a bit, suddenly there wasn't a rain cloud in sight...seriously, was like magic.

The rain didn't return until after the photos and the main meal and the night do was about to start...

I mentioned that in the closing of my speech and there wasn't a dry eye in the place - it was hard at three parts of the speech, not to become a blubbering mess and I am tearful now, as I write this, but I am convinced that it was all down to her Granddad, Ralph...

If this was in a film it would be looked on as simply had to be there to witness it all.

I am sure he is so proud of his family as he looks on from where ever he is now.

The strange thing about all of this is that I really did know it was going to be fine, that was the strange thing, it never occurred to me that it could be any wasn’t just a hopeful feeling I just “knew” for some reason and felt good about it all

I think Toby was the most amazed, as he couldn't see how the day could get better weather wise and ALL the forecasts were bad.

I thanked a few people, namely my wife, Toby’s parents, the staff of the hotel and the guests telling them that Toby and Paul would be thanking other folks there for their parts in the wedding.

It was then the turn of Toby to deliver his speech and an excellent job if it he made too, despite his obvious nervousness, which he didn’t show at the time. He and Joanne also kindly gave out all the immediate wedding group some really wonderful presents...I will always treasure mine. His speech spoke of how happy he was and how lucky he felt having such a wonderful young woman as his bride. Yes, you guessed it I had to fight back more tears here, but his words made me smile broadly I can tell you. To me his words came from the heart and as I had given him pause to become tearful with my speech, he had returned the favour.

It was with some relief I feel that he then passed over the reins, as I had with him, to his Best Man, Paul. Paul’s speech had some humorous moments and had the entire audience in stitches at times, nothing rude, just things that everyone has done at some point in their lives, but taken out of context proved highly hilarious. There were some more tender words spoken and then more thank you comments to the guests and then it was time to party and relax for everyone.

We returned to the side rooms, where more photos were taken. By now the weather was absolutely glorious and the scenario could not have been better planned if it was in a film.

So with that in mind the photographer asked everyone to accompany him for more photos of the Bride and Groom and all the guests, which were to be taken outside in the gardens of the hotel. The sky was ablaze now with sunshine, despite the forecast for the opposite and the day was then complete for the couple that had worried scant hours previous that they would have to content themselves with indoor photos only. Some fantastic photos were taken and I cannot wait to have the photographer, Richard, contact us with the results.

In fact everyone seemed to be taking photographs of the happy couple and the guests. My brother-in-law, Andy has taken some superb shots and with his permission I will post them up here once I receive them from him. Joanne’s friend, Kelly, creator of the fantastic Butterfly encrusted Wedding Cake also took some great photos and I have included a few here amongst mine. Joanne has lots, which I took using her camera too and will post some of those too at a later date.

The afternoon was spent in the garden and patio areas with brief forays into the hotel itself, whist the staff transformed the main room so it was ready to become the venue for the evening reception and the remaining guests. The mingling seemed to be done by everyone, with both sides of the family having a great time chatting and getting to know each other, having only just met in some cases.

As the evening reception began to take place and the newly arrived guests began to arrive the outside was no longer needed and it looked like Ralph’s need for his granddaughter’s Wedding photos was complete – the weather changed back and has not been cloudless, or indeed dry since, until yesterday morning.

The evening went as successfully as the day had and the guests had a great time. I have to admit that as a proud father I became a little tearful, throughout the day and evening, just for a split second whenever I saw Joanne, looking so lovely, not out of sadness, but happiness, but when I saw her with Toby I knew she was going to be in good hands – it was my time to step back and let my daughter be looked after by her husband and I couldn’t be more happy with her choice, as I know they will be happy together.

The Evening Buffet was as amazing as the Wedding Breakfast and had most guests commenting positively about the menu, which was outstanding. I would have gone for more had it not been for the fact I had had such a huge breakfast and a Wedding Breakfast before it. Again the chef and staff of the hotel should be thanked for their roles in the big day.

Then the photographer prepared to take the last photos of the day with the cutting of the cake and the first dance. The music they chose was “Greatest Day,” by Take That, again a moving choice, or at least it was to me, the blubberer.

I tried, like Steve Martin in his role of the Father of the Bride, to get to dance with Joanne, but there was always something that stopped us. Eventually I managed to get part of a dance with her and it felt so wonderful. I looked into my daughter’s eyes and saw so much happiness in them, it felt fantastic.

The music I chose was from the CD that Joanne and I had made earlier in the week, “Everything I do, I do it for you,” by Bryan Adams, from the film, Robin Hood with Kevin Costner in the lead role. I love this song and often sing it at karaoke nights, but it was a special time this time and once again I fought back the tears, as I know the words off by heart.

I have never danced with a Princess before, discounting my wife at our wedding, but here I was dancing with the only Princess I ever wanted to on her special day. My son, Simon abruptly took her away from me to dance with her himself and they looked good together, the little brother and his big sister, at least in age...another proud protector and as suddenly as she was whisked away, I found myself whisked away with the other love of my life, my wife Margaret, without whose help, none of this would ever have happened.

I guess Simon did me a favour really, because of the lyrics in the last verse of the song, which can move me in the best of circumstances, even at karaoke nights, so thanks son you did me proud on the day, despite your telling me you felt like your knees were going to buckle as you watched your sister saying her vows at her side. It must run in the family, kiddo.

The evening ran its course with lots of fun and frolics with friends and family at the bar, on the dance floor, at the tables in the hallway and everywhere was electric. It also gave me time to reminisce and chat with new people and those I hadn’t seen in a while, as these kinds of events do.

The wedding, as well as recent events here at the Keep, has made me reassess things work wise and also family wise, so expect some changes from me – not major ones, they will be subtle, but they will be there – now is the time for quality time for both, balanced evenly.

The excitement is still here with us all after the wedding and the best thing about it, for Joanne and Toby and their future together, everything lies before them and all of us, their family and friends - we’ll all be there with them for the ride.

And now some Photos of the day and evening:

Breakfast at Barton Grange Hotel - Morning of the Wedding:
Best Man, Paul & Groom, Toby

Usher, Simon & Best Man, Paul

Joanne & Toby and Friends - Whitehall Country Club

The Happy Couple

Joanne - The Happiest Young Woman Alive

Film Star

Joanne & her Bouquet

Joanne on the Wishing Tree

Two Rings to Bind them Both and in the Darkness Protect them

Cutting the Cake - Evening Reception

The Kiss

The First Dance

Striking a Pose - 006 and a half and his Bond Girl

Breakfast - The morning after the Reception - MJ's Restaurant Whitehall Country Club 

I'll post some more in a future Blog.

Thanks for sticking with me on this one.

I hope you will understand why the Blog was not split and why it needed to be written.

I am the proudest man on this planet, not in an arrogant way, but in a fatherly way.

I have one more thing to say and I ask you all wherever you may be in this world to raise a virtual glass, one more time to:

The Bride and Groom

To Joanne and Toby


Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
Wednesday 21st 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Joanne & Toby – Wedding Bells Ring...

Congratulations on your Wedding Day...

Hi Guys,

Just a quick line, or two today to say the big day has finally arrived and along with your Mum, Margaret, your (not so) little brother, Simon, Nan, Grandma and Grandpa and all your family and friends I would like to wish you and your Fiancé, Toby all the best wishes in the world as you celebrate your wedding.

May you both enjoy a joyful, happy and prosperous life together.

All our love always...

Bride, Groom, Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid on holiday...

Just in case you are thinking...I am actually at the wedding...thank goodness we have the Internet for setting these things up in advance.

Below: My Princess and her little Lucypie... 

I’ll have lots of photos of the wonderful event to show you guys soon.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6,

Main Engines running!
5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
Lift Off!
We Have a lift off at 13:00 hours GMT on July 16th 2010.
Perkins and Rothwell are really moving out now...
Control to Blog Readers we have 18 hours before an L.O.S. 
She's looking good for an over hill and we'll see you in Darwen... 
Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
Friday 16th 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Final Countdown: T-Minus 24 hours and Counting...

The wedding of the century is almost upon us...

Hi Guys,

Well my speech is more or less the final draft now, phew and The households Perkins and Rothwell, are beset with all things matrimonial.

Later today will see my son, Simon and I head off to the spa hotel at Barton Grange to meet up with the Groom, Toby and his Best Man, Paul.

Margaret and Joanne are kicking Simon and me out, as I have mentioned in a previous post here and are occupying the old homestead along with two of the Bridesmaids, Vicky and Samantha ( the little bridesmaids, Chloe and Laura are arriving early morning tomorrow) on this the night before the wedding, so it will be early tomorrow that I get the chance to emulate that great scene in Father of the Bride, when Steve Martin and his daughter play one last hoop in their backyard.

As you guys are by no doubt aware now I am so proud of her and I couldn’t be happier with her choice of husband, who is a friend, to us all, as well as the new addition to the family.

NASA Control is predicting fine weather for the launch, OR ELSE...with all systems green for GO, ready for the final countdown.

T-Minus 24 Hours and counting...

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
Thursday 15th 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Final Countdown: T-Minus 2 and Counting...

The wedding of the century is fast approaching...

Hi Guys,

Joanne and Toby are positively buzzing with excitement as the big day looms for them. All conversation between family and friends is concerned with all things matrimonial, as it should be, so close to blast off.

The phones, emails and visits are constant and many thanks must go to those not on the guest list, but wishing the happy couple well for the day and indeed their new lives together. There have been a constant flow of folks that know me only through my work and the Internet that have asked me to pass on their good wishes, which is wonderful, so thanks too to these people too.

With only two days to go now, before Friday, time seems to be speeding up in manic fashion.

NASA Control is predicting fine weather for the launch, with all systems green for GO, ready for the final countdown.

T-Minus 2 and counting...

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
Wednesday 14th 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Final Countdown: T-Minus 5 and Counting...

Excitement mounts for the wedding of the century...

Hi Guys,

This is NASA Launch Control at T minus 5 days and counting. We are still Go with our countdown for the wedding at this time. We are aiming toward our planned T-zero of 13:00 a.m. GMT Standard Time.

Well, now the week of the wedding is finally upon us and the excitement mounts, as everyone busily makes sure all the final tweaks are in place. Joanne is now showing off some photos of her Hen Party on FaceBook, which will probably never be the same after this...

Folks are jetting in from all over for the big day and the guests are as excited as us.

Only five days to go now and the big day will be here before we know it.

NASA Control are predicting fine weather for the launch, systems are green for go and final checks are being run down.

T-Minus 5 and counting...

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
Monday 12th 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Final Countdown: T-Minus 6 and Counting...

Excitement mounts for the wedding of the century...

Hi Guys,

Just a quick line, or two today to say that the atmosphere is electric here and that last evening saw my wonderful daughter, Joanne, her Mum, Margaret and friends, or her "lil hens", as she called them, on her Hen party.

I for one cannot wait to see the photos, as it was in the early wee hours of this morning that they arrived home. She assures me there will be photos aplenty on FaceBook, which will probably never be the same afterwards...

Only six days to go now and the pace is picking up as everyone gets ready for the biggest event of our lives since the birth of our two children – now no longer children, at least in size.

NASA Control are predicting fine weather for the launch, systems are green for go and final checks are now in place.

T-Minus 6 and counting...

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
Sunday 11th 2010

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


The second Maltese Comic Convention...

Hi Guys,

Just a quick Blog, as the Spooky Tales artwork continues for me here at the Keep and Joanne’s wedding gets closer by the day, where we are at T- minus 11 Days and counting and looking good for go.

Hopefully the children’s book spreads will be finished this week, which then gives me time next week for the run up to the big day, hence the quick Blog today. There is still a massive amount of work to get through though and I may have to call upon Bentley’s help once more.

Exciting Comic Book News is that the Malta comic convention organisers announced the first guests in this year’s line up, late last week.

Confirmed guests going along this year, up to press, are Liam Sharp, Gary Erskine and I. This year I am pleased to be able to have Margaret accompanying me on the trip.

The dates to remember are October 16th and 17th – a little earlier this year than last.

The venue is the same as last year, the magnificent Saint James Cavalier Centre for Creativity.

Here are some links you may want to check out:

Malta ComicCon2

Wicked Comics – Malta Comic Web Hub

You can find out all about my time out there last year in by reading my Blogs on the event below:

1st Annual Malta Comic Con Part 01
1st Annual Malta Comic Con Part 02
1st Annual Malta Comic Con Part 03

Well it’s all hands to the deck now as I try to complete the paints on the children’s book, so I better sign off.

Just to say, before I do, the next job on the agenda, aside from two pieces of work commissioned for two books for the convention, will be Worlds End once more, as I get back into the swing of things once more, set to complete the book finally this time around.
Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
Tuesday 6th 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Countdown to the BIG DAY...T-Minus 14 and Counting...

My Daughter, Joanne & Toby’s wedding...

Hi Guys,

Well the final countdown from NASA central for the big launch on July 16th as my Daughter and her FiancĂ© get married began yesterday and to say things are now getting exciting is an understatement. It is my daughter Joanne’s wedding day soon, and it’s getting nearer and something, which we are all excited about.

I have to admit to feeling a little like Steve Martin’s character in Father of the Bride and I keep looking for Frahnk and his flipping swans in our gardens here. Joanne has been very organised and most of the arrangements have been done for ages, so now it is just a case of fine tuning and making sure everything is still on for the big day.

I keep looking at my speech for the wedding breakfast and adding little snippets to it, but with all that has gone on these past few weeks this has not been easy to achieve, so these next few days on the run up to the big day will see me finalising that and really enjoying the feelings of the moment, again a welcome change for me at the moment.

I purposely haven’t seen Joanne in her dress yet, as I want it to be a big surprise on the morning of the wedding. I have been kicked out of my own house to accommodate a bride, bridesmaids, and bride’s mother only household on the evening before – can you see where the appreciation of the Steve Martin character is coming from yet guys?

I am resigned to staying in a rather posh hotel in the rural area of the Ribble Valley here in Lancashire along with my son, Simon, who is an usher, Toby, the bridegroom and Paul, his best man. It promises to be a rather sedate evening the night before with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and bar area, somewhere to share a few thoughts and laughs before the next morning, when I, at least, will be leaving early to get togged up and ready for the big event.

I am likening it to the feeling we had as comic fans back in the early 70’s when Jack Kirby released his “Big Bang” and “Mountain of Judgment” stories for his Fourth World series.

I have promised myself I won’t be emotional on the day, you know the kind of thing, tears and stuff, but I’m not sure I will be able to honour it, as I am feeling pretty emotional as I write this little Blog for you guys.

There will be photos aplenty here and on FaceBook to show everyone the fun we had on the day, which I promise to upload after the wedding.

So here at NASA control it’s T-minus 14 days and counting.

We’re looking good for go and hopefully the weather will not delay the launch...

We’ll be running down more checks as we get nearer the final launch.

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
Friday 2nd 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010


The one that got me in the doors...

Hi Guys,

It seems amazing to me now that it is 26 Years this month since my entry into Marvel UK’s hallowed halls and into a part of UK comics history – fours after leaving Art College and starting a career in illustration and design.

I was meant to post a Blog to celebrate 25 years since my first ever published work through Marvel UK last year, but events and scheduling back then meant I missed the spot to do so. As a result I figured that this year we would celebrate 26 years instead.

By the time I had managed to see print in the Mighty World of Marvel issue #14 - Cover Date: July 1984, I had already written and drawn and printed several comics for myself during 1984. There was of course no payment for the work in MWOM #14 with it being an offer by Marvel UK at the time as a spotlight for potential new talent and to be truthful I didn’t really care at that point? For me it was good enough to have a foot inside the mighty comic publisher’s doors.

This would be followed by my first actual commissioned work by Martin Lock of Harrier Comics fame, whom I was introduced to at a London Comic Fair. I was offered work, perhaps due to the fact I had managed to see print in a Marvel comic, or maybe it was on the merit of my portfolio itself, who knows – I guess only Martin himself.

It was whilst I was working for Harrier, whose page rate at the time was the princely sum of £9.50 per page for pencils, inks, and lettering (hand lettered of course in those days) that I managed to get work for real with Marvel UK, through the back door of their offices, so to speak, via Barry Kitson with inking on Transformers issue #50, which should have seen an earlier mention and Blog for me in March of this year, which saw 25 years pass by for that event too.

Had I not sent in the Metempsychosis story back in early 1984 after conceiving it in 1983 and completing it following my earlier attempts at creating comics for real then I may never have had the opportunity to follow the career path I have since.

I thought it may be nice to show any potential students of comic art with a desire to enter the business the script and a larger size of the double page spread of which the story comprised for the very first time anywhere outside of the actual comic itself.

So without further ado here is the said script and the artwork...

It is a nostalgic look back for me, not without a few cringes, which all artwork brings to us, when we look back at it, but I also thank the heavens that editor-in-chief at the time, Ian Rimmer and assistant editor, John Tomlinson both saw enough merit with the story and art to see fit to include it as one of only a handful of other pieces of such work during that short period of time whereby they had a showcase of new material from people on the fringes of the UK comics industry back in the early/mid eighties.

This is how they prepared the way by way of introducing my work and I back then...

"Tim Perkins is a 24 year old freelance illustrator, who for some years has harboured a dark and shameful obsession, a compulsive desire to enter the world of comics.

With the exception of this sad aberration, Mr Perkins seems otherwise to be a remarkably sane and reasonable man. He's a graphic designer, a member of the S.I.A.D. (the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers) and if his pathetic smokescreen of modesty is anything to judge by, has garnered some little reputation for himself in this field. Why, he evens understands huge, unwieldy words like 'Metempsychosis' (which, incidentally, means the migration of a soul from one body to another).

The Tim Perkins story has all the ingredients of a classic tear jerker...power, pathos, and a great man brought low by one tragic flaw in his make-up.

Read it and weep..."

The above introduction is typical of the working environment back in the mid-eighties of the Marvel UK offices...madcap mayhem and lots of fun.

I hope you have enjoyed this look back with me and can forgive any bad anatomy, drawing and storytelling, as I began to learn my craft.

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
July 1st 2010