Alan Henderson talks The Penned Guin

The first weekend in May will see a double-whammy of pun-filled antics from Penned Guin creator Alan Henderson as his latest collection launches surrounded by an exhibition of his art…..cue the questions…….cue the answers……cue the puns!!

Where did the idea come from for the exhibition?

The idea started from a chat with my good friend Bob Turner (of Castle Rock Comics fame). But I realised after the BHP event at last year’s Edinburgh Book Festival that there is a whole group of people who would like the Penned Guin but would never come to a comic con – so the idea of an exhibition will hopefully reach out to some of them.

What can we expect from the exhibition?

In the exhibition there will be almost 50 of the original art pieces all framed up for people to see (and buy if they’d like). The event also marks the launch of the second Penned Guin Treasury Edition that collects together a number of the smaller books that have gone out of print.

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The exhibition seems like a great way to showcase your idea but was it easy to put together?

The process of putting the event together has been pretty easy on the logistics side – the hard part has been selecting the pieces to frame.

Do you have a favourite piece in the exhibition?

For a few of the framings I’ve put 3 pieces together into a single mounting – but to do this involves picking three strips that link together. I’m really pleases with the set that runs form how to draw the Penned Guin through to the printer.

How does it feel having a second collection of Penned Guin out?

As I publish the strips on-line their numbered, the new book ‘Don’t Judge Me’ covers daily strips 500 – 1000 plus several of the weekend strips. I’m not sure I expected to do 100 strips let alone 1000 (or 1500 as we’re approach with the daily release).

Where does the inspiration come from for Penned Guin?

I’ve always loved newspaper strips and hope the Penned Guin acts as an online version of that. In this I’ve been inspired by Dilbert, Garfield and Calvin & Hobbies – but the advantage of being online, rather than in a newspaper, is sometimes you get to play with the form and step out of the panel boarders.

Do you have a favourite Penned Guin strip if that’s possible?

I’ve got several favourite PG strips – but always liked the penguin with the megaphone “What do we want?”, crowd “Four panels!”, “When do we want them?” …. To be continued.

What’s next for you and the Penned Guin series?

What next …. Well I don’t know how long the Penned Guin will keep running but I’ve not planned an ending just yet so who knows maybe we’ll make it to 2000 strips!.

Big thanks to Alan for taking the time to talk about all things pun-related and if you’re in the Edinburgh area get yourself along to the book launch and exhibition, click the pic below to take you to the Facebook event:

Head over to the title’s Facebook, Instagram & Tumblr for more Penned Guin shenanigans!  You can also pick up the book itself and the previous releases over on Alan’s online store.  His titles are also available through the Comichaus website and over on the Comichaus App too.


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