Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Theres a BRIAN COX who is the original HANNIBAL LECTOR from the original Hannibal Lector film MANHUNTER,This is all before ANTHONY HOPKINS. But aside from the murdering canibalistic monster that Brian Cox is ,theres another BRIAN COX whose dead dead nice, always smiling and dead dead clever 'cos he's a proffessor of physics and is on the telly every twenty minutes or so. His main shows ,there we go ,not a programme , but a 'show' ...There was 'WONDERS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, and WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE....Both very good ,with lots of pictures of space n stuff, but lots more of him standing atop mountains and spectacular natural big things looking WISTFULLY to the skies. I mean have you ever seen PATRICK MOORElooking wistful? Over the last few nights, Cox and comedian DARA O'BRIAIN doing a stargazing programme, now the BBC have cottoned onto nightly reality telly about nature ,like summer/winter/spring/autumn watchfor animals, etc. They hit on the stargazing and isnt bad. They try and be funny and silly ,as for some reason everything has to be presented by a comedian. O'Briain is a clever fellah, but Cox tries to be funny as well and ,well stick to wistful physics, Brian!
I got a little pissed off the other day, they interviewed the 'LAST MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON.' Astronaut GENE CERNAN. They asked a few inane ,in my mind, questions about the future of space travel, etc. This mans mission lasted for 3 days on the moons surface and he went up mountains and gazed down canyons ,or Rilles as us spacenuts call 'em, he must've seen the most spectacular alien sights and landscapes of any human, it must've been totally mindblowing.


The last unfinished novel by CHARLES DICKENS was 'THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD'....But after extensive research i've found the ending. It was either something to do with Edwin and his lady friend surviving a nuclear blast and riding across the desolation towards the sun to start a new world away from the city of apes. The other is.."And they all lived happily ever after!"...Take no notice of the BBC's made up ending from their costume drama over christmas. It turns out that our greatest dead writer woul've been 200 about now, but he died which puts the'kibosh' on any birthday celebrations friends and fans were planning. My friend Dave, or WEE DAVEY, as he's called having lived up in Glasgow for many years now is a massive fan and he's the reason i drew up the piccie for him. I have to admit to not being a fan, exposed to a little of 'GREAT EXPECTATIONS' at school, as with SHAKESPEARE, i'm totally ignorant ,my only introduction was at school with 'THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.'
I dont know if i'll ever get any further wit Bill Shakespeare, but i may give Dickens a shot. Just recently i've read a few books about the days of BARE KNUCKLE PRIZEFIGHTING from the last century and it's a fascinating story and time . I've also read about JACK THE RIPPER, so with serial killers slaughtering ladies of ill-repute and big fellahs knocking 'seven bells' out of each other for hundreds of rounds, and i like the cartoonists,GILRAY,HOGARTH,ETC of the time ,so it does seem to be an interesting time and place. Theres also the amazing names that Dickens used for his characters, i did look them up on the computer ,but i havent the time to get them at the moment, but some crackers. So i might have a go at Charlie as a birthday prsent ,will he get royalties for book sales up in heaven.


Work is non existant and my benefit ,as i'm a social parasite bleeding the country dry claiming a benefit ,but i was caught by our eagle eyed goverment and dont get a penny not a bean!.....So i was sitting drawing ,or was it writing some rubbish or other and feeling pretty down. The radio informed me that among the things my cancelled benefits were paying for was a new hi-speed rail link so we can get to Birmingham half an hour quicker. Not only that , but a contract to build a pile of new fighter aircraft by the Yanks , it turns out that due to a design 'mistake', the aircraft wont be able to land on aircraft carriers due to the positioning of the snatch hook on the aircraft....Instead of at the rear of the plane ,they've put the hook between the wheels of the undercarriage, so when the wheels run over the snatch cable flattening it the hook wont touch it, so theres a few billion more blown, but i'm doing my bit giving up my paltry 60 quid a week. Theres m,any other things my benefits'll help, even a new yacht for'Her Majesty'....Your welcome, Ma'am!...(can you post me knighthood?)
But another important cost was encrued by paying for a study to tell us how we are happier when we've got a 'few bob!'......I've just checked one pocket and there was nothing in it and i felt a wave of depression, but that was wiped away when i found a fiver in my other pocket. They stopped my benefit to pay for a study telling me i'd be happy with a'few bob'...And its true, so thats ok then, maybe the goverment actually do know what they're doing?

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


hen i were a snotty kid and loved spies and all kinds of guys who shot baddies and blew up secret bases, JAMES BOND,obviously....GARRISONS GORILLAS a wartime telly version of the DIRTY DOZEN....But another favourite was the adventures of ILYA KURYAKEN and NAPOLEAN SOLO in the MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and their unending battle against the evil organisation THRUSH! The main character was NAPOLEAN SOLO,but ILYA KURYAKEN,originally a side character became an equal team. Solo was played by ROBERT VAUGHN who has appeared in every film and television show ever made....A real Hollywood star, currently he's been on a ruck of British telly stuff ,most recent being 'HUSTLE',which i have to confess never seeing. But he'll always be NAPOLEAN SOLO,THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. to me.

I don't know if its a move ,up ,down or sideways for a Hollywood star to become a member of the cast of ....CORONATION STREET!!!!.......I can see him outside the corner shop, or the 'Rovers' speaking into his little pen radio, saying those immortal words,"OPEN CHANNEL D"....Every show title was 'the something ,or oher AFFAIR!'.....So this is 'THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. in the CORONATION STREET AFFAIR!'

Whats next?......WILLIAM SHATNER/CAPTAIN KIRK in EMMERDALE(its life,Jim,but not as we know it!).......ADAM WEST/BATMAN in EASTENDERS,he managed GOTHAM CITY,but could he handle ALBERT SQUARE?

Its totally insane, but wonderful!


I always thought TIM LEATHERBARROW was a bad enough name, but i take my sympathy hat off to a guy called BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. He's an actor who plays somebody else with a cracker of a name...SHERLOCK HOLMES!....We all know the name ,but if you were given the name as your mum n' dad were fans of somebody else with a ood name, an author with the mouthful of a moniker ,SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, well you wouldnt be too happy. In a world were hardly anybody has a name with more than 3 letters unless its a nickname, the kids in your class at reform school wouldnt let you getaway with a name like Sherlock.

The other night we were watching the updated remake of the SHERLOCK HOLMES epic ,THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES in the BEEB series 'SHERLOCK'. I thought it was really good ,savage dogs and magnifying glasses replaced by animal testing, clone research, nerve gas and I-PODS. But it worked. The funny thing is ,its gotten me watching the old JEREMY BRETT excellent traditional adaptations of the original stories. I've been reading the new JAMES BOND book ,which name ive forgotten for the moment, but is actually very good,but i've also found myself watching the originals on DVD again.

Theres nothing wrong with trying to update our favourite heroes, there'll always be those fans who'll think of it as a form of heresy, but they can stand alone in their own right and expand the popularity of the originals, a new generation go back to the'source material 'to see what the fuss is all about. My daughter loves 'SHERLOCK' and loved the GUY RITCHIE, SHERLOCK HOLMES films, at least it gets her away from HARRY POTTER.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH,is a fine actor with that 'odd' look about him that a character like Holmes demands, i cant help thinking he'd 've made a good DOCTOR WHO. MATT SMITH has that 'odd' look, but is too young and the writers seem to be going very weird and could destroy one of the greatest fictional characters since SHERLOCK HOLMES.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

RONALD SEARLE (R.I.P.)....Chiz,chiz!!!

When i was a snotty kid long ago i remember around christmas they used to show a couple ofilms on the telly most years. They were "THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES." and "MONTE CARLO,OR BUST(Those brave young men in their jaunty jalopies!)",which were just silly fun-packed films and i still love' em. But the thing that caught me ,originally was the opening title sequences. One about these madcap planes and the same sort of thing about cars for the other. I saw the name RONALD SEARLE and it was a long time later until i found any of his work. I saw the original ST TRINIANS films, but didn't realise that they were from his cartoons.(i wont mention them f***kin' remakes!) But my introduction was a literary masterpeice called 'BACK IN THE JUG AGANE!"....These were the adventures of the gorilla of ST CUSTARDS, the inimitable NIGEL MOLESWORTH. I loved the whole series of books crammed with Searles scratchy dip pen drawings and even today still sit and read the wisdom of MOLESWORTH in his observations on life ,the universe, skool sossages and the skool dog!

I now have a good collection of Searles books as his work as a cartoon illustrator covers everything from the plain silly to travel reportage for magazines all over the world for every kind of major event, war zones , even the ADOLPH EICHMAN trial and heaven knows what. His work was ,clever ,funny ,nice to look at and very powerful.

He was a prisoner on the BURMA RAILWAY for most of the war, managing to amass a heap of sketches showing the conditions in the camps,which he managed to smuggle out when they were released and are well worth having a look at. There is a RONALD SEARLE BLOG called PERPETUA and is definitly worth having a look at.(ronald

Ah well, he was my hero and in a world where there is few real legends,theres one less!