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The History of The Wizzo

September 30, 2012

 

Today has been a day of looking back at the past. I don’t know what triggered it but all I’ve been doing today is reading old blog posts and looking back at how far The Wizzo has come. So here is a blog post dedicated to my comic. The comic I am so proud to be such a major part of. The comic I share with many others. The comic which has changed my life.

So here is a history lesson which I will always remember and be proud to have been a huge part of. Enjoy…

The History of The Wizzo Comic

2008:

In September 2008, myself, along with two of my friends created something which I am now incredibly passionate about – almost to the length of it being my life in a sense. This quite clearly being my co-creation, The Wizzo.

The idea came around after my friend suggested it. In early development, we originally had the idea of it being an action comic called ‘Hero’ – however, it was quickly decided that with myself being far more into humour comics – the idea was soon stuck with humour and work began almost immediately.

It was just an ordinary walk home from school – just three little kids from year 7 with a big idea. I’ll never forget that walk home as if I had chosen not to walk with them – we may never have seen The Wizzo begin.

Stories were fired around the table as soon as we got back to my house. Familiar names like Blong, Zappy, Chav and Joust Joking being quickly mentioned by myself. Soon came more stories like Frank’s Footie Team and Patrick the Prankster.

2009-2010:

During the era of 2008-2010 – we released two issues of our comic and we were mighty proud of ourselves. Back then, they were treasures to us. Now I look back at them and laugh. Whether that’s a good laugh is arguable. But hey, what we had there were the makings of something which I absolutely love.

Sadly, things wouldn’t last – artists quit, some dropped out while others realised they weren’t good enough to be in the comic. It was a sad time for The Wizzo and soon there were only three of us, me, Hannes Smit and Kieren Gillespie. I was close to announcing the end to our unknown comic, all hope lost.

Then came the moment which I will always remember and will always be grateful for. The day we decided to revamp.

November 2010, thank you so much for what you’ve done to our comic. The Dandy revamped for what was recently announced to sadly be its final revamp in October 2010 and we were inspired. Very inspired.

The idea of revamping triggered off during the most boring of Maths lessons. Kieren and I were sat at the back of the class whilst the teacher went completely off-topic and told some sort of story. I suggested we revamp. That is pretty much it. There was no build-up whatsoever. I announced we were going to revamp and no one disagreed.

The first character to be designed for this new-look Wizzo was Robert Robot. Possibly our most famous and most popular creation of the revamp – and also my favourite of my characters. Next came Tall and Small, then we decided to revive Joust Joking and reduce him down to a mini-strip and discovered deviantART and hired our first ever Wizzo artist who we had never met. Jonathan Barham.

He introduced us to Tornado Tommy, The Weather Man, The Mud Fighters and Bill the Buyer and in they went. This marked the beginning of a whole new Wizzo Team.

Sam Jones and Sue Nicholls rejoined Team Wizzo with new stories and new ideas we were keen to put into print!

2011:

Soon we had Rose Edwards, Josh Champion, Max Champion, Stuart Bourne and Tom Southall all joining us.

The Wizzo was forming. And it was looking brilliant!

2011 was the year we made Issue 3. March 2011 to be precise. We finally released the issue in March 2012. Yes, that’s correct – it took a whole year to publish. A whole year.

This was never explained too clearly I felt. Many thought Issue 3 was drawn and edited in 2012 (which was annoying on our behalf as it made us look less able than we actually were. Many commenting on our art styles being weak in places and so on).

Originally, Issue 3 was going to be hand-printed. Photocopied and stapled. Exactly like Issue 1 and 2. Oh dear.

Printing cost a ridiculous amount as we were soon to realise. So we were stuck. With no way to print the comic, it seemed like all would be over. Then we discovered Ka-Blam…

Ka-Blam is a brilliant and fairly cheap printing company based in the USA – finding them was really that huge stepping stone between being a small, ugly comic to becoming a semi-professional comic! And the results after many months of editing and printing whilst doing our first few GCSEs was truly magnificent.

After returning back from a three week Christmas holiday visiting family in South Africa, after getting back to England, experiencing a bumpy taxi drive I finally arrived at the place I’d missed so much. My home. And when I opened the door I found a newly printed Wizzo Issue 3 waiting for me. It was the greatest Christmas present I received. And I had some brilliant presents that year.

Sadly, one thing let us down. The quality. A huge blunder on our behalf plus a big problem many found with the issue. Damn it.

2012:

We edited a few things in the issue after that and finally sent off the PDF to Ka-Blam – in a few weeks we received the ten copies we had ordered and selling took place immediately. And at first we were very unsuccessful. Then came The Wizzo’s Online Store. Thank goodness we made that…

When we got our first buyer that was when the whole project really kicked off. One impressive blog-post later by fantastic Dandy artist, Andy Fanton and we were off. All nine of ten issues were gone in a single day. A single day.

And the tenth copy of The Wizzo, Issue 3 got sold the next day.

We couldn’t believe it. Two days and we’d sold out. Two whole days. 

2012 has definitely been our most successful year with The Wizzo. Wayne Thompson offered to draw us a Blong guest strip and new, incredible artists and writers such as Jay Townsend, Chris Wilson, George Shiers, Alistair Stuart, Jon Esparza and Faye White all joined us.

2012 was the year The Wizzo went from a small, unprofessional comic to a fun, incredible comic, full of life, humour and young talent!

Issue 4 has been finished and is on its voyage home from America as we speak – and Issue 5 – well, we’re editing it currently!

The Wizzo has further heights to reach yet, new things to experience and has room for so much more improvement – and I know for absolute certainty, that I will be with my little comic until the very end. 

 

– Harry Rickard

 

WEBSITE:  http://wizzocomic.com/

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/TheWizzoComic

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/TheWizzoComic

DEVIANTART: http://wizzo-comic.deviantart.com/

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2012 15:43

    I’m glad to hear issue 4 has finally been printed. Didn’t you have problems with the first printing of that one as well?

    The Wizzo’s really suffering from its protracted publishing schedule, especially as you’ve been trailing new and quite frankly incredible content since before issue 3 was available online, and yet the only comics anybody outside the editorial team can actually read are the 2010-era ones by a much reduced group of artists in issue 3. I hope the gap between issues 4 and 5 is much shorter.

    By the way, are you going to be offering complete runs (like the Phoenix is doing with the DFC) for us sad completists who never read issues 1 and 2? 🙂

    • September 30, 2012 15:56

      Sadly yes, that happened recently. Ka-Blam’s website crashed for a few days so we had to patiently wait and twiddle our thumbs whilst we waited! But not to worry as Issue 4 is coming (and so is Issue 5)! 😀

      Yes, here’s the problem. Turns out GCSEs are a little more time-consuming than I first assumed. My plan is when I leave school in May next year, The Wizzo will become far more frequent. Although something you may like to hear is that The Wizzo is considering to go monthly if possible. Obviously some months have to be skipped for exam seasons and stuff though…

      One thing I really regret and that you touch up on here is the Issue 1 and 2 problem. Issue 1 and 2 really are horrifyingly bad and I really wish instead of calling Issue 3 – well, issue 3 – just calling it Issue 1. A new beginning. But sadly we weren’t thinking at the time…

      Besides, Issue 1 was a complete copy of other stories – we actually copied stories word for word as we had no idea what to write! Luckily we’ve all been writing original stories since the revamp! Issue 1 was fully copied and Issue 2 whilst being more original – wasn’t funny whatsoever.

      What I could possibly do if upload them as digital copies for free with a note mentioning the stories and copied stuff. Sadly, when we were younger – we just weren’t too good at writing…

      I honestly have no idea what to do – I can’t believe my idiocy for not renaming Issue 3 as Issue 1. *facepalm*

      • September 30, 2012 16:44

        If you still have issues 1 and 2 lying around, you can scan them in at some point and send them my way, then I can quickly edit them and make an online version.

        • September 30, 2012 16:51

          I do have the issues actually – we can sort it out soon and post them online for free on our website in a retro section?

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