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Davy Francis

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Tales from the Xth Dimension, 1990

Davy Francis (b. 14 March 1958) is a cartoonist from Belfast with a style that tends towards whimsical humour. As a child, he drew Beano-influenced comics which he sold to his family for an old penny each. He was part of the first flowering of small press comics in Belfast in the 1970s, contributing to the Belfast People's Comic and self-publishing his own comics, including Tsst! and Gripping Tales (1978). He drew regular cartoons for the Shankill Bulletin community paper in 1978-c.1982, including sharing the strip "Screw the Bap and Head the Ball" with John Kindness.

He was a regular contributor to Ximoc in the early 1980s, drawing most of the editorial pages and creating sci-fi comedy "The Crazy Crew of the Saucy Sue", tall tale series "Loose Chippings", the Indiana Jones parody "Rakers of the First Order", and, in the final issue in 1985, his parody superhero "Ciderman". Ciderman also appeared in Davy's zine Funny Ha-Ha, which included interviews with comedians and comics artists as well as comic strips. Also in the 1980s, he drew for Ivor Lavery's anthology Blast, as well as editing its seventh issue.

In the later 1980s he began to get work in British humour comics, beginning with Monster Fun for IPC. He was one of the regulars on IPC's Oink! (1986-88), an anarchic fortnightly which translated the adult humour of Viz into kid-friendly form, for which he created strips such as "Cowpat County" and "Greedy Gorb". He also worked for some of the adult comics that followed Viz, including UT, Brain Damage, Gas and Electric Soup, as well as for The 3-D Zone and feminist magazine Spare Rib. In 1989 he co-wrote, with fellow Ximoc contributor Hilary Robinson, a Future Shock for 2000AD, "Fast Forward", drawn by John McCrea, and wrote "Anger" for Knockabout's one-off anthology Seven Deadly Sins, drawn by fellow Oink! contributor Jeremy Banx.

In 1990 he self-published Tales from the Xth Dimension, a collection of science fiction stories. He drew the first issue of Malachy Coney's Belfast-set series Holy Cross for Fantagraphics Books in 1993, and an unpublished fourth issue, as well as a back-up strip in Tommy Sommerville's Hoof Hearted and strips for the Red Dwarf Smegazine, and in 1994 drew "Mystery Tour" for Paradox Press' Big Book of Urban Legends. In 1995 he returned to Ciderman, writing a one-off, The Amusing Ciderman, for Seán Doran to draw.

After some time away from comics he contributed to Sancho in 2006, drawing "82 Comeback Special", written by Alan Nolan and Ian Whelan, in the third issue. He is working on two forthcoming series with Nolan: The 4 Fathers, about a group of singing priests who are also paranormal investigators, for publication on the web; and Thunderbags, about a group of retired superheroes, to be published by Berserker Comics.

Davy lies in Belfast with his wife and daughter. He draws live caricatures, and self-publishes occasional children's books starring his character Jim the Elephant.

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