Castle Greyscale

The Penned Guins by Alan Henderson

I can only surmise that at an early age Alan was taken to Edinburgh Zoo. He marveled at the meercats, was terrified by the tigers and reveled in the rhinoceroses. Then as one o’clock struck he saw an amazing sight. A line of small creatures wobbling towards him, dressed like waiters and smelling of fish. Waiters in a fish restaurant presumably then? No. These were penguins undertaking their daily parade.

Transfixed he made it his life’s work to tell their story. Well there are plenty stories to tell no doubt, after all one of them – a certain Nils Olav – is Colonel-in-chief in the Norwegian King’s Guard. OK, this is probably not the actual source of inspiration.

The Penned Guin uses the classic three panel newspaper strip to celebrate our penguin friends and their silly and often hilarious jokes. Puns abound but also sometimes politics or poignancy or maybe a philosophical take on online shopping:


The style of The Penned Guin is simple and minimalist, with our monochrome friends putting the focus squarely on the gag. But, as anyone who has seen Alan’s inktober contributions know, he is a fine artist. Doing something apparently simple, and doing it consistently is not easy – it takes real skill.

My personal favourites are those that play with the three panel format – with penguins popping out of the panel because they have lost their keys or ripping the panel in half to get some alone time.


You can get a daily dose of antarctic fun from Alan on Tumblr or catch him on Twitter.

The collected editions of The Penned Guin including The Big Blue and To Coldly Go are available here. Catch Alan at a con to purchase original strips.


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