Home-made Birthday Cards!

I’m sure I’m not the only arty type who does this, but I thought I’d put these birthday cards that I make for my son Johnny, every year—just for fun.

I’ve always done this for family and friends. I wonder if the ones I did way back, for college pals are still in existence?

My son Johnny is mad into football, Liverpool FC and the Ireland team, so it’s fun putting him into some of those matches!

8th Birthday: Playing for Liverpool FC!

Cassilas was the world’s greatest goalkeeper at the time (or so Johnny told me), so it was only right that I should show him being thrashed by an incredibly talented 8 year old!


Scoring—with his left leg!—against Iker Cassilas! (pens on paper)


Number 1 son! (pens on paper)

9th Birthday: Playing for Ireland against the USA

We took Johnny to see Ireland v USA the day before his 9th brithday. It was also his first ever ‘real’ football match—and what a match it was! He got to see Ireland beat the USA 4-1. Tim Hilton was in goal for the USA and he got the same treatment in this birthday card, as poor Iker Cassilas in the card the previous year.


USA goalkeeper, Tim Hilton is thrashed 9-0 by a 9 year old Irish kid! (pen on paper, then coloured in Photoshop, with additional graphics)

10th Birthday: Playing for Ireland, against… Germany!

Johnny thrashes Germany! What a career this young man is having. In this card he makes the poor Germans just look silly. I got much more ambitious with this one, and crammed loads into it, being in full-on comic mode from making my Between * Wars webcomic.

This was all done on paper (hence the grubbiness). I didn’t much like how the previous year’s one had turned out—in Photoshop. I preferred this old-school Roy of the Rovers look. *Sigh* Those were the days. No computers. You inked it on paper, at your desk, and coloured a few pages with watercolours! And you could make a living at it too!


Front (Pen and watercolour paint on paper)


Inside-front cover (pen and watercolour paint on paper)


Inside-back cover (pen, pencil and watercolour paint on paper). The sponsor logo at the bottom is for ‘John’s Couscous’. Johnny reckons I should start selling my own recipe of seafood couscous and call it that! He LOVES it.

11th Birthday: Johnny’s signed-up by Liverpool FC!

For Johnny’s 11th Birthday he was finally—finally going on his first trip to the town of my birth: Liverpool! So I made a card to fit the occasion! He loves Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager. But then, it seems, everyone does! Even fans of other clubs.

I knew that we’d be going on a tour of Liverpool’s stadium, Anfield. So I fantasised about what could happen if I was Johnny dreaming of playing for Liverpool. It’s exactly the type of flight of fancy I indulged in when I was young: being asked to act in Star Wars, being asked to play guitar in AC/DC…


Front cover (pen and Polychromo colour pencils on crappy paper)


Inside-front cover (pen and Polychromo colour pencils on crappy paper)


Inside-back cover (pen and Polychromo colour pencils on Bristol Board. Not a good combo. The board I too shiny for wax pencils!)


My er… not very modest note on the back cover 🙂

That’s it for now! Please let me know what you think in the ‘Comments’ below.



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