Yesterday was Simon Furman’s birthday. Anyone who has been following the blog’s Instagram feed for the last six years will be very familiar with that name as Simon wrote all but the first of the UK Transformers stories. My read through is still ongoing at the time of writing as I make my way through the final year of that superb, epic comic in real time. Regular visitors to the blog itself will also have read a couple of posts recently about a character he co-created for that 80s/90s comic with artist Geoff Senior, yes?

Yes indeed. Death’s Head has joined the ranks of the real time read throughs on the OiNK Blog, with a special introductory post and a review of the first non-Transformers strip he appeared in, namely Crossroads in Time from Doctor Who Magazine. While we wait for his next appearance, I thought I’d share something a little special with you all. To mark Simon’s big day fans of the Freelance Peace-Keeping Agent have taken to social media for the ninth year in a row to mark the occasion.

Under the hashtag #DrawDeathsHeadDay across various social media sites and apps, fans of this unique character put pen to paper, fingers to touch pads and digital pencils to iPad screens to create a vast array of fan art to celebrate Simon’s birthday and their love of the character. I thought I’d show you some of my favourites, along with links to each talented individual’s account if you wish to follow them. This is the first time I’ve been aware of #DrawDeathsHeadDay and I was mightily impressed with what I found!

Above is probably my favourite piece of all the ones under the hashtag. It’s by David Cousens (@davidcousens) whose work you really should check out, especially his Transformers art. I think this really encapsulates the look and feel of classic Death’s Head art. Below, OiNK Blog follower, and thus pig pal, Simon Williams (@simonwilliams.comicartist) used a MacFarlane-inspired Grey Hulk in his image.

Above, Ben‘s (@blacksquareart) caption was simply “It’s the boy! 💀” and his scratchy pencil shading brings a moodiness to the character, then below Sami Sadek (@skullgrin140) took inspiration from Death’s Head’s earliest appearance and the comic he was created for in the first place.

Above, artist Nomi Rana (@nomiranaart) looks like they’ve lent that helping hand Death’s Head was asking for above, and below was the first image I came across when searching the hashtag, a gloriously coloured piece of art by librarian Jacob Turner (@jacobturnerart) who completed it in only one hour! (He says he had to rush it because he was also fighting a book ban that day. Good on you, Jacob!) Then, below Jacob’s detailed art is the exact opposite from Phil Smith (@ununseptimus) and I have to say I genuinely laughed when I saw it. A great way to round things off.

I’ll definitely be looking forward to this day every year from now on. Speaking of things to look forward to (tenuous, I know) the Dragon’s Claws real time read through will be starting in May right here on the OiNK Blog, during which Death’s Head will be a major guest star just in time to promote the premiere issue of his own comic, so watch out for that later in the year. Don’t forget you can catch up on the Death’s Head: In Real Time, Yes? and Readying Death’s Head posts which detail the character’s exploits in Transformers and Doctor Who respectively. This is one read through I’m particularly excited about!

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