The Comic Strip Doctor Who

With Doctor Who back on our screens and a brilliant new Doctor in the Tardis it seems like a good chance to share this again. Here is an article that was originally published around this time last year in Doctor Who Appreciation Society's spin-off fan art publication 'Cosmic Masque' You can read the original article here It features a few pictures not published here taken from a 2012 comic I made called 'The Dalek Invasion of Keighley'

Article as printed in CM.....
It was in the dark days of 1990, the year after the shows original run had ended that  I, as a Who obsessed thirteen year old decided to create my own Doctor Who comic strip. The fact that the show had recently been axed and this was the first year that it had not been on TV since the 85 hiatus was surely no coincidence.  If I was unable to watch new episodes of Doctor Who I’d have to make my own!

As a youth in those pre-internet days it was impossible to know that others out there were also producing what is now termed ‘fan art’; no less companies like Audio Visuals and later Big Finish who were to take this to a whole new level in the nineties and beyond.
The audience for my comic was mainly my mother and sister who it has to be said were pretty indifferent to the comic and to Doctor Who in general (though mum was polite and encouraging) Attempts to show it to some school friends proved disastrous and the strip was met with ridicule. By 1990 the show was not a hip proposition amongst Britain’s youth (not at my school anyway) and one could argue that for various reasons the show was at its lowest ebb of popularity (though this was unjustified based on the quality of Sylvester McCoy’s excellent last season ) A few copies were run off priced 10p each.

My Doctor Who comic strip featured my own self-created incarnation of the Doctor. The idea was that this was who the seventh Doctor might have regenerated into. My Doctor wears a red bow tie, stripy trousers reminiscent of those you might see on some Cambridge punters in the twenties. He wears a purple velvet dinner jacket with question marks on the lapel. His character is good natured, stoical and he has a friendly, grandfatherly manner about him. He is old looking with grey hair and a moustache. His assistant is Adrian, a tank top wearing fop from the fictional town of Pennyworth.

The comic strip doctor met various derivative monsters including Killdroids, Insecticides as well as Daleks, The Master, Cybermen and The Rani in a story that was very similar to ‘Time and the Rani’ Story titles included ‘The Factory of Fear’, ‘Revolt on Castle Zynak’ and ‘Faceless People’ He had eleven adventures in total spread across nine one off issues, plus two more included in the 1991 annual.  Most of them were created in 1990 with two more and a few unfinished stories being produced in 1991 but by then, with the show still off our screens my interest was waning and the comic fizzled out after the completion of a spin-off magazine. An attempt to revive it in 1993 with a second incarnation of the comic strip doctor was spurred by some re-runs on BBC2 but was not completed.

With Doctor Who largely AWOL from our screens for most of the nineties and into the mid noughties my enthusiasm for all things Doctor Who went with it to some degree. It was not its revival in 2005 that reignited my interest in Doctor Who. It was in fact the viewing of some vintage classic era DVD’s including ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ ( a masterpiece of dystopian sci-fi by any measure) that got me thinking  about my childhood fascination with the show and about my own Doctor Who comic.

I dug out the original strips and decided to make an all new story for old times’ sake. This resulted in the spoofy ‘The Dalek Invasion of Keighley’ in 2012. Keighley is my home town and the story was a kind of meta-Doctor Who story featuring me and my family members as characters visited by the Doctor and his assistant Adrian just in time for a Dalek invasion. I made the comic at a time when I was getting back into making comics , partly as a fun exercise that would serve to re-familiarise myself with the process of creating  sequential narratives..

It was a lot of fun to make but ended up taking much longer than I originally planned. It was also created partly a s a nostalgic Christmas gift to my sister who was once again pretty  non-plussed by the whole thing. I still have all the original drawings from my original run of home-made  Who and I cherish them (though they reek of my parents cigarette smoke) Doctor Who clearly  has the power to spark the imagination in all kind of ways. For writers and artists it provides an open circuit platform from which to operate. A place where any idea, no matter how idiosyncratic can be  explored within the framework of  Doctor Who.

Every fan has their own personal history with Doctor Who, their favourite Doctor, favourite companion. My formative memories of watching Doctor Who (beginning with early eighties Tom Baker) are mixed with the ideas it sparked in my imagination and ultimately my own version of the Doctor.  Though he is known only to me, he is in a strange way as much a part of my relationship with Doctor Who as the character depicted on television and truly ‘My Doctor’.
 Here is a previously unpublished list of the entire Comic Strip Doctor bibliography listed in order of publication.
'The Killdroids' (1990)
'Insecticides' (1990)
'The Factory of Fear' (1990)
'The Deadly Time Trap' (1990)
'The Masters Mastermind' (1990)
'The Ranis Plan' (1990) Title later changed to 'A Hole in Time'
'The Snowman' (1990)
'Joint Destruction' (1990) Part of annual.
Faceless People' (1990) Part of annual.
Annual 1991 (1990)
'Revolt on Castle Zynack' (1991)
'Cyberpower' (1991)
'The Professors Revenge'(1991) Unfinished.
'The Tunnels of Terror' (1991) Unfinished. Featured a second incarnation of Doctor.
'The Salvagers' (1991) Unfinished. Returns to first Doctor incarnation.
'The Timelord Times' (1991) Spin-off Magazine.
The Best of....Volume 1 (1993) Featured 'The Killdroids' and 'Revolt on Castle Zynack'
'Robot Rampage' (1993) Unfinished. Featured second incarnation of Doctor. 
'The Best of...Volume 2 (1995) Featured 'The Factory of Fear' and 'The Ranis Plan' (title changed to 'A Hole in Time')
The Complete....(1995) Compiled unfinished stories.
'The Dalek Invasion of Keighley' (2012)

Pics below from 'The Killdroids', 'The Factory of Fear', 'The Ranis Plan', 'The Masters Mastermind',
'Joint Destruction', 'Insecticides', 'Robot Rampage' , 'Doctor Who Annual 1991' and 'The Dalek Invasion of Keighley'


Memories Mix on Spools Out 26th September

I was recently asked by Tristan Bath to create a mix for his resonance fm show 'Spools Out'; a show which celebrates and plays tracks from the thriving underground cassette scene. I have tentatively entitled it 'Memories Mix' as it sprawls across almost twenty years of my recordings with a focus on more recent sonic adventures and some parts recorded especially for the mix. I created the picture below to illustrate the mix in some way and I have also penned a rough guide to the music included in the mix. Spools out will be broadcast at 11pm on the 26th September.

Spools Out.....
Spools Out Blog at the Quietus....
Memories Mix Track Guide
1. Night Teams (instrumental excerpt) From the cassette album 'ICU on Telephono 1986'

2. 'Stock Market Crash' from the cassette reissue release of the 'Museums EP' originally sent out as a demo in 1999. This version of the song is actually a re-recording from 2012. To save repeating myself you can read the full Athena story here The end of this mix features an excerpt from my radio musical 'Clapton Pond' broadcast on resonance earlier this year. Tristan Bath reviewed it on his Spools Out blog with these kind words ''In a parallel universe, Athena were the 90s equivalent to Silver Apples or Suicide, using synths in their search to disregard standard song syntaxes.''

3.'My New Image' recorded 1999 from the 'Museums EP'

4. 'All I Know' excerpt (2002) From 00 to 10 I recorded three albums under the name Cogs. 'Laughter and Footsteps' (2005) and 'Afternoons' (2009) were mainly culled from a bunch of homemade albums that had been given out to friends. 'All I know' was from an unreleased album called 'The Red Album' did not feature on these and is previously unreleased. Another album 'New Primitive' (2008 was recorded in a studio.

5. 'Career Moves' excerpt recorded 2012. This is another re-recording of an Athena track (original version thought lost) It was recorded for possible inclusion on reissued 'Museums EP' but was not deemed strong enough but this excerpt is quite fun.

6. 'Simon on the Stairs' (2018) A short, bleak poem inspired by the character 'Simon' from my radio musical 'Clapton Pond' but was not included in that recording.

7.'The Song from Inside the Pipes' (2017) from by musical 'Clapton Pond' which was broadcast in March this year on resonance. You can listen to it here....
Some background here....

8. 'Ouija Board' (Excerpt) from the 2017 tape 'ICU on Telephono 1986' Background and track by tack guide here....

9. 'Hey Music Fan!' (2016) is from a collaboration I did with Mats Davidsen of Norwegian pop band Painted Romans. It was recorded in its entirety by sharing files over the internet. Have yet to meet or speak to Mats in person. You can listen/buy the EP here....

10. 'Music Fan' (2009) A recording from the last batch of Cogs recordings and included on the final double CDR 'Afternoons' This track essentially served as a rough demo for 'Hey Music Fan' This is sold out but you can listen to this and the other albums for free on spotify....

11. 'Indie Rut' Another track from 'ICU on Telephono 1986' which you can listen to or buy here.... An earlier version is featured on the Cogs album 'Afternoons'

12. Slap Bass/Uke link (2018)

13. 'The Friendly Song' from 'ICU on Telephono 1986'

14. Organ Link (2018)

15. 'Rusty Old BMX Bike' from the album 'ICU on Telephono 1986'

16. 'Hairstyle' (2000) Originally appeared on Cogs 'Laughter and Footsteps' Probably the most popular Cogs track. A kind of spoofy, experimental poem. It also appears as part of a ten track compilation 'No Hits 00-10' (2013) which is available as a free download at

17. Panpipe Synth link (2018)

18. 'Stuck in a Room' from the Cogs 2008 CDR 'New Primitive' Rather than recorded at home this was done in a studio with my friend Adam Stewart. It has a punk, no wave, industrial feel. I still have a handful of copies of 'New Primitive' for sale.

19. 'Military Fantasist' (2008) An instrumental of a track from 'New Primitive'

20. 'When I was 42' (2003) Cogs track recorded in 2003 and featured on 'Laughter and Footsteps' Improvised with my mother on vocal.

21. 'Stroke' (2003)  Cogs track recorded in a studio with help from my friend Adam Stewart. The text is by my mother and read by my sister , the crime author Sarah Wray.

22. Organ Jam Link (2008) originally part of 'Stuck in a Room'

23. ' Flying Saucer' (Edit) (2001) featured on Cogs album 'Laughter and Footsteps' Recorded with my friend Adam Stewart. This was made up on the spot.

24. 'Night Teams' from the album 'ICU on Telephono 1986'

25. Rocking Chair' (2018) is a cover of the track by Hoagy Carmichael but most indebted to Peter Skellerns version.

26. Lets Go to the Beach (2018) This is a remix of a track from the 'My Big Idea' EP. I took elements of a remix by Audio Obscura and incorporated them into the original track thus creating another remix. You can hear more Audio Obscura music at....

Albums below apart from 'New Primitive can also be bought via bandcamp....


New and Recent Drawings for Sale

Here are some new and recent drawings I have for sale including the 'Countdown' inspired pic that caused a splash in the Countdown orbit when it was kindly retweeted with a nice comment by Rachel Riley. All drawings are A3 and come unframed.


Concoctions and Contrivances by Clive Murphy

I was recently asked by my good friend Clive Murphy to provide a cover picture for his new volume of Ribald Rhymes 'Concoctions and Contrivances'

Clive is an acclaimed social historian and novelist best known for his 'Ordinary Lives' series. You can buy his new volume by cheque via his website and it will be on sale in Foyles soon.

 The cover was drawn to Clives loose specifications and was designed to be a homoerotic take on my own pornographic comic 'Amok' from a few years back. There is a picture from that ans some links to Clives other writings, including a couple of blog posts from the Spitalfields Life blog.

Here also is an extract from the book; one of Clives best ever poems 'A Yorkshire Legend' and it's not even that smutty.

Clives website, 'Concoctions' not on there yet but can be purchased via cheque.


Spitalfields Life on Clives Flat

Spitalfields Life on Clives the Exhibitionist

Patrick Wray Radio Session on Sound Art Radio: The Storer Sessions

I'll be doing a radio session on the 5th of September on Soundart Radio in Devon. Soundart is a station that is affiliated with my old art college Dartington College of Art.The programme 'The Storer Sessions' presented by Charlie Storer is broadcast live on the 5th September.

You can hear a session I did on the Dexter Bentley Show on resonance fm last year here....

The tracks played were:
Ouija Board
Rusty Old BMX Bike

Countdown Inspired Drawing

Here is a new drawing entitled 'The Numbers Game' inspired by one of my favourite TV Shows 'Countdown' the long running Channel 4 quiz presented by Nick Hewer, Rachel Riley and Susie Dent.