A Ruddington illustrator and amateur footballer is paying tribute to one of his team mates with a series of amusing comic strips about the colourful player.
Defender Kev Brett (pictured top) has embarked on a fun project to capture “The Adventures of SIMMO” – illustrated cartoons featuring the antics of Jake Simmons, one of the stars of Ruddington F.C.‘s squad.
So far he’s created SEVEN comic strips featuring Jake, which you can see below. (Just click pause on the image until you’re ready to see the next one). We’ll keep adding more, as time goes on, so please keep checking back…
Kev is quick to point out that this particular village squad is a relatively new soccer team that plays at Sellors’ Recreation Ground in the EMPAL Division 4 Sunday League – as opposed to the slightly more famous Ruddington Village FC who play at Elms Park in the Samba Nottinghamshire Senior League Division One.
“During the summer Alex Moss decided to set up a football club in Ruddington (at first for local dads needing that escape) and within two weeks we had a team, were registered with a league, had a local sponsor (the Red Lion pub) and a new kit” explains Kev. “Getting to know the players, it became instantly apparent that one of the characters of the club was Jake Simmons and his antics. These quickly sparked the idea for the comic and I had a LOT of material!”
Manager Alex agrees: “The club formed after the first lockdown and was originally a kick about for locals at Sellors’ Field (‘Gruffalo Park’). It brought different people from the village together and the team was formed. One person to join was Jake Simmons. We soon learned what a character Simmo is and having Kev in the team, who is great at making comics, it was a match made in heaven. The comics are hilariously accurate of the antics that Simmo gets up to. Joking aside, he is a delight and brilliant character on and off the pitch!!!”
Jake himself (the real one is pictured below) definitely seems to be enjoying the notoriety, and says: “I think it’s awesome. Love Kev’s work and pleased to be the star every week.”
Kev says: “I’ve always loved drawing growing up, but never took it seriously until my son was born in 2008. It was really a way to get some artwork in his room. I spent a lot of time from then drawing fun cartoon style pictures and when my daughter was born in 2010 I decided to create a weekly comic strip about them both, ‘The Monkey and the Mouse’. I managed to create about 200 comic strips and a 40 page comic story of the two characters.”
This is a slight change in career direction, since Kev’s background is actually in other media:
“I went to Uni in Stoke to study Film and TV, where we made a number of short films. I just love telling stories, which has been a great help when it comes to making comics, and the two media work hand in hand. A comic is simply a silent, still movie. The comics started really with ‘The Monkey and the Mouse’ back in 2010. Since then I’ve been able to put together about 12 comic books ranging from 12 to 60 pages telling different stories and encompassing a wide range of characters. The illustration has gone hand in hand and I’ve been really fortunate to have a number of big clients who keep coming back for more.”
His corporate clients include The Nottingham Hoods basketball club, Wargames Illustrated magazine and McDonald’s. “I’ve also created comic strips for a number of businesses to help market specific products and even for Jamell Anderson, the GB basket baller (from Nottingham)” says Kev.
The video above, about Jake trying his hand at being a linesman, shows how Kev works in stages to create his final comic strips. “I work almost exclusively these days digitally – on the iPad and in the Procreate app.” Kev, who has lived in Ruddington since 2016, doesn’t rule out creating artwork inspired by other village characters and places in the future.
Meantime, though, he’s working on more ‘Simmo’ stories, even though his subject has had some of his favourite activities curtailed by COVID-19. With the doors to Ruddington’s pubs firmly closed to drinkers during the latest ‘lockdown’ Jake admits: “I miss the Red Lion like mad, mate! I have nowhere at the minute I can meet the ladies and talk football with the lads whilst drinking champagne! I’m really missing having a pint with the lads!”
However, Kev’s business is still going from strength to strength: “I’m currently working on a number of illustration projects alongside The Adventures of Simmo, including private commissions, another comic book idea and a board game that I’m creating the artwork for” says Kev. “The board game includes a lot of illustrations including, the board, box and over 60 playing cards. This should be seeing the light of day later this year. As well as my illustration work I’m also working on tabletop games rulebook layouts and logo designs.”
The village based illustrator promises: “I’m looking to get at least 17 Simmo strips done to put them into a 24 page comic with some other artwork. I have the material. It’s getting it down on paper that takes the time. From there, depending how the season goes, we’ll see what happens.”
You can see more of his work on the Kev Brett Design & Illustration website >>HERE<<.