who am I? what am I? why am I?


Once upon a time I went by the nickname Retch Russell: Space Pirate, more recently I’ve been using the ‘business name’ Boing, but you may know me as the creator of That’s Not My Merkin or the Nearlymades series?


I make inky pictures for stories, digital illustrations and graphic design for clients, and comic-based art “because it’s there.”

Previously an in-house Art Editor for consumer magazines and Design Manager at the British Tourist Authority (managing publications, branding, photography and cartography around the world), I’ve been freelance since 2004, focussing on illustration and design for ethical companies and charities.

I’m the Managing Editor for David Lloyd’s onscreen comic AcesWeekly and designer of books for clients including the Cartoon Museum, Ralph Steadman and the political cartoon book Draw The Line as well as making my own books, comics and artworks.


Some of my favourite days are when I’m illustrating with children at Little Green Pig  creative workshops or running MyHelm creativity projects or giving talks with my regular collaborator, Jon The Storyteller.


Please enjoy browsing some of the things I’ve worked on over the years. And give us a shout if you have a project you’d like to work on with me.



It’s been a long old road to here!

Many clients only need one job from a design agency, but I’ve been lucky to have a number of the people I work with return year after year, including:

  • Aces Weekly
  • Brighton and Sussex Medical School
  • Britain on View
  • Cartoon Museum
  • Churches Conservation Trust
  • Chinese State Circus
  • Circus Berlin
  • Circus of Horrors
  • Emap
  • England’s North Country
  • Enjoy England
  • EverybodySalsa
  • Hampshire County Council
  • IPC
  • Kent Tourism Alliance
  • Kingsline Solutions
  • London Cycling Campaign
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Mediator
  • Memoryscape
  • Moscow State Circus
  • Museum of London
  • National Youth Choirs of Great Britain
  • RHS
  • Rod Edwards Photography
  • Royal Hotel
  • RsvPR
  • School for Life Romania
  • Seasons Art Class
  • Sequential
  • Spindrift
  • Tourism SouthEast
  • UKTV
  • University of Brighton
  • VisitBritain
  • Visit Flanders
  • Yellow Pages


blogging & blagging

latest blatherings and writings here