Friday, 31 October 2008


Somewhere in the far flung reaches of the galaxy, on an alien planet, on a B.B.C.-owned rock quarry, the quiet and stillness is broken by an asthmatic wheezing sound as a blue 1950's police telephone box materialises on the rocky floor. The doors open and from the amazingly large interior, loud schoolboy squeals n' giggles can be heard. Then a tall man with a strange tight suit and a very loose haircut stumbles out. This exiled wanderer(without pay) in space n' time is, Doctor Whossy. He isn't alone he has a black hairy alien assistant/ pet with him, skipping along waving his arms about manically, this is a Russell from the planet Brand. They make an odd couple in this seemingly deserted alien B.B.C. backlot. They are giggling as they have just brought the universe to the verge of war, as they have been leaving obscene messages to the DALEK answer phone on the Dalek homeplanet of Skaro. The Emperor Dalek was particually upset with references to a sexual encounter the Doctors hairy pet is supposed to have had with DAVROS, the creator of the Daleks. The repercussions have reverberated throughout the known universe, complaints have poured into the Time Lords on the Doctors home planet of Gallifrey from all kinds of various lifeforms;Cybermen,Sontarens, Sea Devils, even conservative M.P's. The spaceways're filled with bandwagons that various howling (political,not intelligent) lifeforms are all jumping on. While all this goes on the TARDIS(Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) vanishes off into the vortices of space and time manned by two other TARDOS'S( Tossers And Real Dimwits On Suspension). Maybe oneday the Doctors lost wanderings and mischiefmaking will end and he will finally return home to the chatshow from whence he came. As for Russell, give him a venusian banana, that should keep him happy for a good while and inspire some odd jokes to pad out the material for the sketch that this will all become when he takes it 'on the road for his next tour.

Thursday, 23 October 2008


JAMES BOND'S cold grey eyes gazed unblinkingly straight ahead, even as the room echoed to the sound of explosions; Rockets firing and the so familiar sound of machine gun fire."Thunderbirds". Bond hissed impatiently through tightly clenched teeth and pressed the cold plastic button on the Sky T.v remote control. He'd seen this one, where Thunderbird 3 has to rescue a ship which is flying straight at the sun. He turned through the channels from the Sci-Fi channel to the ridiculosly named 'Dave' channel where the new Aston Martin DB9 was being reviewed by Jeremy Clarkson on 'Top Gear'. Bond was a little irritated that this 'so-called' expert who never made any mention of the cars inbuilt armoury of twin Vickers machine guns:Rocket launchers or ,even ejector seat.
Bond took a bite of his toasted Wharburtons bread; Buttered with 'I can't believe it's not butter', using the clean side of the knife. Sipped at his Yorkshire tea made with 30 second boiled warrington tap water and 2 heaped spoons of sugar. He opened his sealed orders from 'L'. He had to hoover the living room and clean the kitchen; Walk the dogs and pick 'the little 'un 'up from school. Bond swore. It had been almost a fortnight since his last adventure when he had to travel the world; Bed beautiful women and commit various acts of mass destruction, murder and genocide, all washed down with a fine wine and dinner. It was his own fault, he had to admit if he was honest with himself. Bond had began to wonder if he'd had enough of the constant danger and always having to be' on the edge'. He had said, at one point that he needed ,just a, Quantum of Solace". A tiny piece of peace and quiet. Then those filmpeople that lived their life making films about him pounced on the phrase and were due to make another killing with yet another film about his killings.
Tim Leatherbarrow, cartoonist and would be agent, spy and goverment 'blunt tool'. said that if he wanted a Quantum of solace, he's got buckets of solace. He had so much peace n' quiet he didn't know what to do with it. So, if Bond wanted some of that he could help himself. So Tim is off somewhere causing untold destruction murder n' mayhem.The dinner suits a little loose on his small but perfectly formed frame; He's got to watch it with the ladies as 'L', The lovely Lynne'd kill him; And, he's got to take it a little easier on the 'pop, due to medical reasons. So, it's down to destruction and food, for agent00.7, (Decimal fraction of 007!). Bond sighed and plugged in the triple suction, ball roller Dyson hoover to make a start on the living room carpet, "Damn", he snarled to himself. As the Dyson started pulling at the carpet fibres,and a page of the Warrington Guardian wrapped around the hoovers front roller.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


Any shopping precinct in our concrete n' pleasant land ,is distinguished by the shutters over the windows and the sparkle of glass fragments on the pavements. This is a symptom of a virulant virus sweeping our land, it goes by the name of boredom. It affects our youngsters, those cuddly 'hoodies' and bearers of asbo's,and generally brain dead morons, we're meant to feel sympathy for, who, when driven crazy with boredom ,ease these symptoms by stabbing somebody or smashing a bus stop up. When asked. "Why did you do it?"Only illicites the reflex-like reply "cos ,i'm bored, there's nothin' to do'round 'ere!"
When i were' Nobbut a lad', there was sod all on the telly for most of the day, computers hadn't been thought of, so we'd ride our bikes; Play footy for about 18 hours a day ,go home and read some comics, even on accassions a book. We may have hung around and got into 'mischief', but we were never really bored, simple souls that we were. There is a lot of truth in the theory that the little darlings of today with all the 'gear' they have, have lost one vital thing that makes life bearable and fun.....IMAGINATION!
I found a long time ago, if i was 'bored'. Instead of wishing time to pass, so something would happen. I went the other way and sort of made time go slower, taking in all around me, using things to spark thoughts ,ideas and memories .As much as i could ,so every moment became an experiance of its own. I took time and stretched it as far as i could. The memory and imagination fired off each other and became an enjoyable and suprisingly relaxing experiance. The mind is moulded by your experiances and carried by your imagination. The mind is as big or as small as your imagination. If you give your imagination ,memories ,observations and thoughts free rein, you will never be bored ,as such. You will look foreward and enjoy sitting watching the world go by and"Being bored ,'cos theres nothin' to do." Look at it this way, everybody talks about this 'High speed world', we live in. It's not a 'High speed'world, on the whole .Communications ,some forms of transport, etc, etc, But to most of us ,at the end of the day the good ol' Earth still turns sedately ,second by second; Minute by minute; Hour by hour ; Day by day, and will carry on, i'm not going to bust a gut and go 'High speed' for no one .I'm going to sit with a pen and notebook just in case inspiration hits me while i'm sitting bored stiff, watching the world go by.

Monday, 20 October 2008


There is yet another point of bafflement and befuddlement to me,Why Formula One racing drivers are such miserable uncommunitive, boring bastards. How, people who race high powered Formula One racing cars; Earn millions a week( i s'pose to be fair, it's cos they have to work weekends.); Jet set around the world in private planes, meeting wonderful important beautiful people; Have everything laid on for them so that even tho' they can afford everything they'd ever want or need, they don't need to 'spend a penny'(unless they've had 'a few'!). Like many 'who've got it', they never need to spend it.(A little social comment ,there!). But these people who live 'on the edge, racing around,as for example only yesterday, the 'Lace Tlack of the Chinese Gland Plix', adrenalin pounding through their system by the gallon from adrenal glands the size of watermelons. While here on our side of the world, the rest of us drag our tiny withered long drained adrenal glands to B&Q, or Asda .As we empty our shopping trollies after shoving it the length n' breadth of the Asda's three car parks trying to find 'The Lovely Lynnes new car, which i still can't recognise ,yet. But, meanwhile back on the other side of the world the racers get out of the moulded cockpit, built specifically for them ,(different to ours, we just fill our space in the front). They take off their helmet and replace it with something a lot more important..THE SPONSORS CAP! This vital bit of F1 appareil is pulled down ,not only over the eyes, but damn near the whole face. The ad agencies and their designer clients dont want to see young fresh faced racing drivers faces ,they want their designer logo from the neck up. We then have the anthems, trophies and champers.This is where you see the designer label with a champagne bottle sticking out from under. Then what follows is the charade of good sporting lads together having fun spraying each other with the booze, they all face away from each other ,'cos in Formula One, everybody hates each other, just watch the body language sometimes, great stuff! Incidentally thats why you'll never get anF1, Scouse or Irish champion, we don't like seeing good booze go to waste.
Then its time for the lowlight of the day...THE WINNERS PRESS CONFERENCE! I take a twisted pleasure in this, as its so awful, its great! You can take any conference over the last 20 years and you'd almost be able to play it over film of any other conference. "The car handled great, the crew was great ,blah,blah, ad infinitum". Although, yesterday the 3'rd driver was on about how the car was great, all weekend and there was no problems or complaints. Just it wasn't fast enough, in the race! I don't know , but i would've thought that was something to worry about for a multi million pound- F1 Racing car, but maybe thats me being picky.
Then there's the ads. Those on the chest and arms must be 'the Biggies' and i'd assume as you go down the drivers body , the ad space price falls, except, of course when you come to the drivers 'bum'....Thats were research has found ads for womens 'things' seem to work well. Women, being the funny creatures they are don't seem to get excited by the Bridgestone, or whatever tyre logo the drivers display on their caps, there i told you they were funny creatures.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


John Lennon was once asked if Ringo Starr was the best drummer in the world, to which he replied, "He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles!"(ouch!). But anyhow the lad hasn't done too bad for himself since those wild crazy days. It was Ringo, funnily enough that the majority of the fan mail went to. Over the years ,it probably still pours through the' letterbox', the great sliding doors that allow the truck loads of mail into the warehouses for Ringo's mail. I'm sure that the lad answers the odd letter and signs a fraction of the requested autographs, or does he have a team of proffessional Ringo Starr autograph signers, to sign the pictures and album covers that flood E-Bay. Esspecially after all these years ,it must be a pain in the arse to still have the love of your fans. I wonder what address they use to send his royalty cheques to, i'm sure that wont get lost among the sacks of pain in the arse fan mail, they dump on him as he's lying in bed eating his caviar butties for breakfast alongside 'The Bond girl who loved him', Barbara Bach(ooohh!!!).

But for some reason, best known to good ol' Ringo, he's filmed himself telling everybody to sod off n' leave him alone .He's too busy or something. Maybe he cant see to write, has anyone seen his eyes since he started wearing sunglasses in about 1965? But the man has my sympathy ,but not many others ,i'm afraid .The fingers were flying all over the place(Knuckles facing in,well most of the time) as he was peace signing, fit too bust and "peacing n' loving" in between telling one n' all to, basically 'piss off. ' I was listening to Terry Wogan and he had me in stitches as at any opportunity ,everyone was doing Ringo," peace n' love . .Now 'BOG OFF" impersonations. I was once told by a friend of how he'd spoken to a guy who was one Ringo's crew a while back. After a few drinks the great man started to cry as he was on a lot less money than t'others in the 'Fab Four', he was down to his last 40,ooo,ooo, or so. So maybe with the downturn in the economy ,financial melt downs ,house prices dropping, Ringo's down to his last 12 mansions ,so some 'cost cutting needs to be implemented. Lay off staff ,yeah thats it, everybody else does it. Get rid of all those highly trained Ringo Starr autograph signers. Ah it's a sign of the times i'm afraid, as ,once when working in a bank was a job for life, but not now. There was a time when being a Ringo Starr autograph signer was a job for life, but not now. But if you could get a job with Sir Paul, or work part time for Sir Cliff, you could keep the fan mail from their door and the not very fan-like wolf from your own. Gosh its tragic the hell that these poor celebrities have to go through....Peace n' luv.....Peace n' luv........NOW BOG OFF!!!!!!!!! Tim Leatherbarrow xxxxx

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Do you know ,there is an unmistakable charm in there ,somewhere!!!!!!!


Only a week or so ago, if you've been paying attention you will have known about my adventure at a comic fare down in 'Brum', with that fine physical wreck Hunt Emerson . On the night i arrived for the musical opening in a boozer in the city, i was waiting for Hunts lovely lady Jane, as she being the fine Irish girl she is doesn't like to see a travelling cartoonist without a drink. But as i sat there, a very attractive young lady came over to me and said those words that all us egotistical bastard who draw(hopefully) funny piccies for a living want to hear..."Excuse me, but are you Tim Leatherbarrow?"
In response to this welcome inquiry, a small tsunami of smugness swept over me, and i raised a nonchalent eyebrow, that Roger Moore would've been in awe of ,in any opening of an episode of the saint. I could almost hear the music, and took it for granted there was a halo over my head. She told me she read my blog and enjoyed it,( going well, so far!) Then...." I recognised your face from the caricatures you've done of yourself. The eyebrow dropped dragging the other one with it ,to a point midway down my nose, yes ,i know thats a long way for an eyebrow to drop. This movement caused a suave smug Simon Templar to become Urko, the bad tempered gorilla general off Planet of the apes. And the halo dropped over my head and tightened around my neck.
But i managed ,by sheer force of will to haul my deep frowning eyebrows back over my eyeballs and once again those sparkling blue Leatherbarrow eyes beamed out on the world again. So, this lady had recognised my twisted, distorted, ugly, monsterous caricatures i did of myself . So the question must be asked am i twisted, distorted and monsterously ugly, or am i an excellent caricaturist? I'll let you decide.(loud bang, as Tim shoots himself in foot!) I know, joking aside ,what you all think ,,Yesss! ...Thats it i'm a wonderful caricaturist.
Every silver lining has a cloud, or something like that ,but this has been an excuse to put some of those excellent caricatures on display again, "You lucky people!"

Friday, 10 October 2008


Last week i went to my very first comic festival, and a very strange affair t'was as well. The fine Hunt Emerson and his lovely lady Jane let me stay in their humble home and fed n' watered me , so thanks for every thing.(the cheques in the post!). There was an opening night party at a pub in 'Brum' city centre and Hunt and his band 'Let rip' ,he's a fine 'Little plucker' is our Mr Emerson. Then they were followed by two editors from DC, a brit n' a yank who hadn't rehearsed, but they were quite good. They were followed by a bit of a heavy rock band who weren't bad, they played some unusual songs, given a rock twist and came out quite well. (e.g. 'The avenues and alleyways and Delilah',as heavy metal songs.) I got upset as they did a version of The Osmonds 'Crazy Horses', turned into the Who's 'Wont get fooled again', then from The Who back to the Osmonds' Crazy Horses'....hmmmmm?????!!!!!!

The following morning i was booted off the very comfy settee i snored the night away on. A gallon of tea and a loaf of toast and off we jolly well went to the Millenium point ,i think it was called, a very impressive building with one floor full of comics. We set up Hunts stuff and i got coffee for Hunts friends and guests, (arent i wonderful?..Didn't i mention i was wonderful?); Tony, the publisher and salesman, Paul, a canadian artist and Steve ,who Hunt does work for. All nice guys, not as wonderful as me, but who is, eh? I went out to get the drinks and passed a very long queue of very strange looking people, for it was they, the comic fans. A lot in fancy dress and some real weird dressed ones who became weirder when i found out they weren't in fancy dress. Finally the doors burst open and the hoards powered in ,i dont know about bulls in china shops, but herds of buffalo's in comic shops. Lots of comics ,maybe not too suprisingly. But i was made up to find an IPC stand with sheets of original artwork from all the British comics ;Lion,Valiant,even the Eagle ;Robot Archie; The Steel claw,etc, etc, No Dan Dare, but the Eagle stuff was great. It was all very enjoyable .There was artists drawing away, a couple really good guys i managed to view past the crowds queuing around them. I was sent for coffee just as a slightly recovered Jane made a showing. It had taken a couple of gallons of strong tea at her friends breakfast table to attempt to drown the 'Hangover'(never?). But she was her usual cheery self soon enough. Poor ol' Hunt's suffered tho' ,he's done his back in and lost a filling the day before on a plate of muesli(there ,i told you these health foods'll do you no good. But does anyone listen?)....So, that was giving the 'lad' a bit o' gyp. But our hero ,beared up manfully, he wasn't going to let a busted tooth get in the way of making money.

I decided it was time to retire to 'The Bog', so without a second thought i found a cubicle to accomodate my very specific requirements, and set too fulfilling those requirements. As i sat there, listening to a sexually orientated convoluted conversation, which i felt i should let them finish before i showed my face. So after a good flush i walked over to the sink( you've got to be seen to make the effort, haven't you.) I just happened to glance up and the speaker was Batman! Not a crappy Adam West schoolboy vest version, but the whole moulded suit, i'm sure Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman dressed him that morning.Thoroughly 'gobsmacked', i walked out desperatly needing a strong drink.

When i said i was going to the comic 'do', Elara ,the daughter ,when she found i was seeing Hunt, "Hunt Emerson,COOL!"....Hunt through the years gawd bless'im has done bits of work for her, and shes a big fan and never misses the Beano, for Hunt Emerson. But i bought a couple of Hunts more 'Artistic' Stuff ,shall we say? Firkin the cat ,etc I don't think i'll show this stuff to 'My little angel', cos at the end of the day "your a very sick/strange/weird man, Mr Emerson, but we love ya!"

Thursday, 2 October 2008


At the end of the day ,as today slides into tomorrow and in the quite and darkness we retire to the comfort and tranquility of our bed. This peace is only disturbed by the rustle of the quilt, the turning of book pages, the gurgling of stomachs and the passing of wind from those same stomachs, but, also the sound of toenail clippings ricochetting around the bedroom. The lovely Lynne is a (sob!)......Nail picker and a... (Sob!)....Nail biter (sniff, i'm ok now, thanks...she'll always be perfect to me.) . She has a highly stressful job and when shes concenterating will nibble away at the keratin based talons of her fingers .She keeps trying to stop, but with limited success. From time to time she'll let em grow , but she slips back to a good chew , she even chews false fingernails, i kid you not.
I remember my mother worrying about me, as i was biting my fingernails. She kept asking if anything was wrong/was i alright? after a while ,i exploded "yes i'm fine ,ok ,super ,dandy, tickety boo!, for christs sake why? "Well, your biting your finger nails."I had to explain there was nothing mysterious, just that my fingernails seem to grow quickly and i nibble them just so they stay below 4 inches or so. I must admit if i'm lying on the couch watching the telly i may start picking at a toenail and end up splitting my bloody fingernail and having the toe nail split down instead of across. So, 'effin' n' blinding ' i've got to go and find a pair of scissors to cut them as short as i can ,as the nail will catch in my sock over the next few days. This messing around may lead to another unwanted result. There will soon be a shout as my beloved Lovely Lynne finds the heap of toenail clippings i'd accidentally left on the arm of the setee, before becoming distracted in my suffering .Women don't understand that men feel pain too. We do, they just enjoy it more.
As the cartoon shows ,even our heroes and superheroes need to cut their toenails, i wonder how Superman, the man of steel cuts his. With kryptonite laced scissors brought in when he arrived as a baby from the planet Krypton. Batman and most costumed crusaders would have to be careful and have regular pedicural work done as the fate of the innocent and weak could be decided wether Batman n' Robin ,Spiderman, etc, etc had a ladder in their tights/stockings. The fate of the world could not only be in their hands but on their fingernails and toenails. I mean you can't go out battling the Joker or the Green Goblin worrying wether you've got ladders in your stockings/booties or even sleeves and gloves, this distraction from the fight to the death could be the clincher for the forces of evil.