Sad news to report from Jamie Smart: Egmont's TOXIC have dropped his competition-winning Count Von Poo strip.
"The Count has had four adventures so far in their pages, with maybe seven or eight left to print," he reveals on his blog. "These however won’t be shown."
Regular downthetubes readers will recall Jamie won a competition to have a comic strip in TOXIC back in April (see news story), beating off stiff competition from the likes of Lew Stringer and Laura Howell.
"The reasons why CVP has been dropped, were an unease with the kid-playing-with-poo interface," says Jamie, "which I always anticipated but we’d been tweaking the strips so as to be careful, and I thought we’d found a nice groove.
"CVP was an immense amount of fun to write and draw, obviously. It’s a vampire who has imaginary adventures with faeces. How could that not be fun?"
Jamie's a bit mystified as to its cancellation. "A fair few people I’ve mentioned it to have suggested the recent wacky e coli outbreak over here in the UK this weekend, making the subject of kids handling poo maybe a bit sensitive. I dunno. What I can happily say is that TOXIC said there’d been no complaints about CVP. None. Again, it’s a vampire. Who has imaginary adventures with faeces. and no one complained? Brilliant."
Despite the loss of the Count, Jamie is discussing other potential ideas with TOXIC. However, given that Egmont own the copyright to other strips in the competition, perhaps they'll also look at those. As well as Lew and Laura, other contenders in the poll included creations from Luke Paton, , Paul H Birch, Steve Harrison, Paul J Palmer, David Hailwood, Paul Harrison-Davies, Shane Oakley, John Erasmus, and Stuart Arrowsmith.