Roger Frames’ farewell

I’ve been trawling through cobweb-encrusted areas of computer hard drives and come across the cover artwork for the last-ever issue of Commodore Format. Featuring Roger Frames and his dog Debit doing the classic walk into the sunset.

The sun set on the C64 in 1995. Ah, but did it ever, really?

Uniquely, this Roger Frames artwork was produced in Adobe Illustrator instead of the usual ink and watercolour on board. I can’t remember the reason for this.

It might have been my reluctance to get out the inks to airbrush all that background area: my home studio in 1995 was a very small room in which most of it was taken up by a computer system!

Roger Frames and Debit

Roger Frames: rediscovered pencil rough

Roger Frames - Batfink and gargoyle - 1st rough
While rummaging through a pile of old pencil roughs (I call it my filing system) I discovered, or rediscovered, this first pencil rough for a Roger Frames cartoon.

It was for the third of three cartoons where the theme was Roger acting out a Batman fantasy triggered by his favourite ‘Budjit Game’ of that month.

As you can see below I changed the drawing completely for the final version, much simpler and more dramatic, prompted by Art Editor Ollie Alderton’s valuable contribution.

Roger Frames - Batfink and gargoyle - 2nd rough

Here’s the final printed version.
Roger Frames - Batfink and gargoyle - printed proof

Roger Frames buys Budjit Games

Roger Frames - masthead

I’ve been scanning in old art commissioned by Commodore Format magazine in the early 1990s. At the time, Future Publishing was probably my best client and I was producing artwork for many of its magazines.

The regular project that I enjoyed the most was illustrating the pages where the low-cost (Budjit) computer games were reviewed by the fictitious young, accident-prone kid - Roger Frames.

Issue #1 of the magazine saw Roger in basic black and white line but very soon – by issue #4 – a couple of full colour illustrations of Roger’s antics appeared every month. This increased to as much as four illustrations in some issues.

I’ve chosen a few of my favourites: some are scans from the printed magazine because the artwork was either not returned or been lost.

Roger Frames - snotty nose

Roger Frames: Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside

Roger Frames: Commodore 64 sand sculpture

Roger Frames: Computer Sand Sculpture

Roger Frames: All at sea

Roger Frames: All at seaRoger Frames - Hospital VisitRoger Frames: Hospital Visit

Roger & Debit watch the Chancellor's Budget Speech

Roger Frames: Roger and Debit watch the Chancellor’s Budget Speech

Roger Frames: Arrested for Begging

Roger Frames: Arrested for begging

Roger Frames - Asleep in the sun

Roger Frames: Asleep in the sun

Roger Frames - Sunburn

Roger Frames: Bad Sunburn

Roger Frames: The Untouchables

Roger Frames: The Untouchables

Roger Frames - Batman and the vicar

Roger Frames: ‘Batman’ and the vicar

Roger Frames - Batman and the vicar

Roger Frames: ‘Batman’ and the vicar

Roger Frames - Hanging on

Roger Frames: Hanging on

Roger Frames - Beach Treasure Hunt

Roger Frames: Beach Treasure Hunt

Roger Frames - Bath Tub Sub

Roger Frames – Bath Tub Sub
Originally posted on miketoons.blogspot.com - Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Roger Frames and his dog Debit watch the Chancellor’s Speech

Roger Frames and his dog Debit watch the Chancellor's Speech

This is a blast from the past. An ink and wash illustration commissioned by Commodore Format magazine in the early 1990s.

I illustrated many “Roger Frames buys Budjit Games” for the magazine involving the penny-pinching antics of Roger, who acted out his computer game role-play with disastrous consequences.

Working with Ollie Alderton, the art editor of Commodore Format, on Roger Frames has to be one of the most fun things I ever did.

Originally published on miketoons.blogspot.com.