Gary is probably best known for his Derek the Sheep strip from the Beano and his work for the DFC/Phoenix Comic, but he has also illustrated Horrible Histories and other titles, including Pandemonium Fiction's Stories of the Smoke.
Stories of the Smoke was launched at an event last Wednesday, held at the Betsey Trotwood pub in Farringdon, London. Once everyone was suitably lubricated (with alcohol) Jared Shurin welcomed everyone and introduced the guest speaker for the evening from English PEN. A number of us penmonkeys who had contributed to the 17 stories in the collection then read samples from our stories.
My good friend Rebecca Levene went before me and got lots of laughs (but then her story is very funny) and I went last, and didn't get any laughs at all* - which was good because my story isn't funny. At all.
What followed then was an evening of diverting conversation with friends, the defacing people's beautiful hardback editions of the book, and the drinking of beers with evocative names like Dragonfire. There was also a silent auction of Gary's art, in support of English PEN, which raised £300!
A great evening has had by all (check out the blog post here about pro-celebrity author walrus-wrestling) and a great book was made even better thanks to Gary's skilled penmanship.
You can find Gary's website here. Gary is also part of The Fleece Station collective, who can be found online here.
(You can see some photos from the Stories of the Smoke launch here.)
* Not including the impromptu one about steampunks. ;-)