Monday, 23 December 2013


Hope you all have a shockingly debauched and disgraceful christmas that will cause you shame and embarrassment for many years to come......All the best Tim ,The Lovely Lynne ,the Little(?) 'un Elara n' Charlie the dog xxx

Thursday, 19 December 2013


The other day i was guzzling yet another mug of tea watching an old 'original STAR TREK' HD....I couldnt see the difference, STAR TREK was one of those 60's series that wasn't grainy ,but more slightly blurred. When we went up market once upon a lifetime ago and got our first colour telly . One of the features of colour telly was the lack of grainliness, but the increase in blurriness....The new HD just makes it more blurry ,so back to the first colour telly ,but watching it on our new 'Flat-Screen'. 

CAPTAIN SHATNER and the crew were on an alien paper mache surface ,with SPOCK,McCOY and a couple in the RED shirts who you always knew were going to get killed, all got the order ,"Set phasers to stun!" get some rubber alien wandering about . Just after i took the dog out for a ramble in the woods and as i shuffled along as the dog pee'ed n' sniffed on every bush n'  plant in the whole wood, the squirrels opened fire and i could hear a few nuts thudding to the floor and 2 clacked off my skull, i couldn't believe it!...They'd opened fire and set their phasers to 'NUTS', dyslexic squirrels i s'pose! 

Friday, 29 November 2013


The rough ,gruff scotsman COWLEY, who some of the angels at the bar in Heaven thought looked like that famous scottish actor from films and 'UPSTAIRS ,DOWNSTAIRS!'.....GORDON JACKSON ordered "Another large malt!" and proceeded to guzzle it down after hobbling over to his table . He was clearly troubled by a bad leg, but got down to the 'paperwork'....He was head of C.I.5....'The big boys!'; The'Heavy mob!'; The 'Hard men' of criminal intelligence. On Earth in his life he fought criminal,spies and terrorists ,but in Heaven the Devils minions from 'Down there!' were the problem.

When he was alive he had two men who were so good and hard and tough ,even though they were only actors they were what he needed. They were called 'BODIE and DOYLE!' .....Doyle played by MARTIN SHAW was a thespian and was ok, but was the sensitive character to LEWIS COLLIN'S....BODIE! Lewis Collins born and brought up around Merseysides posh part ,on the Wirral ,playing in the MOJO'S during the later Mersey beat times.  He started acting and played in bits and pieces and ,ironically considering his 'hard man' character of later years was a dab hand at comedy.

SHAW and COLLINS were spotted in the terrible 'NEW AVENGERS' and were remembered when the PROFFESSIONALS was put foreward....Lots of kicking in of doors ,gunfights and all kind of fights were crammed into each episode ,with lots of naughties ,SHAW was often 'in love!', but BODIE was 'a lad!'.....Always in big collared jackets ,flared pants looking dapper n' smart ,well for the 80's ?????....They both had a terrible sense of direction because whenever they got an emergency call ,it was always when they were going in the wrong direction ,thus entailing a handbrake turn. 

I always liked COLLINS ,although he fancied himself as a 'hard ,mans man', which caused tensions during the early days of filming between the two leads ,there was, i always thought , a good bit of scouse tongue in cheek.....A favourite moment was when BODIE thought he was being followed and swung the car to a screeching halt with the usual handbrake turn. He leapt out of the car vaulted the bonnet ,another staple of the series, and pulled his gun waiting for his pursuers, who never showed ...He'd been mistaken. But a line of shoked people stood at the bus stop gave him a rousing 'round of applause', he gave a wry smile and a slight appreciative nod!

After the series finished ,after the S.A.S. and the IRANIAN EMBASSY SIEGE ,the 'latest thing' was the S.A.S. And Collins leapt in for his first stint as a special forces daredevil sort in 'WHO DARES WINS!'...Not a classic, but 'good fun, as were most of his tough guy B-film type stuff ,after ,although he acted with some well known faces. He even ,actually tried for the S.A.S. But ,apparently was knocked back ,as his face was to 'well known'....Cubbt Broccolli knocked him back for BOND as he was too 'aggressive'..That could've been interesting, but 'ah well!'

But Cowley smiled as he heard the car crashed through the pearly gates and gunfire followed....."Och!,..Bodie where the hell have you been ,i need a good man!"....."Sorry ,sir i've been living it up in Los Angeles and fighting cancer for 5 years!.."......"Och ! enough of that we''ve work t'do!.....Another two malts over here, bar angel!"

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


A few weeks ago my good tall grey wispy haired Geordie mate Simon Malia treated me to a ticket and a lift to Manchesterland, although it is the wrong end of the M62 for me there is times when situations demand this selfless sacrifice of my geographical principles ,this was one of those times. We had tickets to go and see a certain Mr PETER GABRIEL.

I had his 'SO!' album for quite a while, but never really played it ,as i had a couple of his GENESIS albums and never really played them. I used to play a lot of music, but tended towards RADIO5 and RADIO4 extra these days, old fartdom setting in i s'pose!...But i slowly got to like the 'SO' album and GABRIELS tunes and slightly gravely voice and listened more and more ,until fairly recently delved into the realms of early GENESIS and confess to loving them. Even the silly bits ,but the sweeping melodic bits are wonderful ,frustrating even ,as you cant really whistle them as your washing the dishes or walking the dog as us 'living life on the edge' cartoonists do!

But GABRIEL was replaying a few acoustic bits he was working on ,all very good ,then some electric pumped up bits and finally the whole ,but not quite! of the 'SO'album.....And very excellent t'was too. The only piss off factor for me ,and when i'm having a drink one day with Mr PETER GABRIEL i will be mentioning it ,is that he never played a favourite of mine SAN JACINCTO!....Swine!

But it was a great night and he seems to be a nice bloke as well and if he's round the right end of the M62 i might even drop in and tap my toes to him again!

Friday, 22 November 2013


Whenever anyone says 'where were you when Kennedy was shot/'....Some of us know exactly ,as we couldn't give a shit about American politics and shag happy American presidents from mob friendly ex-bootlegging anti-British families, and we were only snotty kids , were watching 'Doctor Who!' Kennedy's assassination did admittedly have far reaching effects the main one being that the DOCTOR WHO pilot was reshown the following week after being lost in the 'Hu-Harr' of President Kennedy's exploding head.

It is the 50 th anniversary of the shooting ,but it is also the 50th anniversary of DOCTOR WHO and  the world has gone into a supernova size frenzy over, the fact that this time travelling time lord is celebrating his 50th anniversary on his 900th odd year ....Time lords must have age a little like Earth dogs ,but they age 18 years to our 1 year.

We live in times were everything is shown by advances in technology leaving no place for a certain brain function that once we all had and cultivated ...IMAGINATION!!!! Imagination was a wonderful thing ,where whole worlds and universes could exist in the mind of anybody and pictures from radio series  ,books and comics came to life ,but with the advent of things like CGI imagination has taken a serious battering. In the long far off days of the birth of DOCTOR WHO when all was filmed in a BBC warehouse full of draughts and fire sprinklers going off mid-scene and where everything was mad from cardboard ,old loo roll holders and ream upon ream of duct tape ....All of time and space was made .....Now that is imagination...The viewers watching through tiny screens at snowy black and white images were held spellbound .....Imagination running free!

The story of an old scientist in a time machine, well thats ok!...A little H.G. WELLS'ian ,but good stuff, then he's in a police telephone box from the 1950's ,which ,when you step inside is vast in size compared to outside ,not only the control room, but corridors and other rooms, DIMENSIONAL DISPACEMENT iseem to remember it being explained as ,there thats reasonable enough!....Why a police telephone box , for gods sake? Apparently ,so the 'ship' wouldn't stand out on alien landscapes it was equipped with the ,now famous 'CHAMELEON CIRCUIT',which changed it 's shape, but 'got stuck' and 'got stuck' as a police box...Aliens all over the universe now know what an English 1950's public police box looks like from the planet Earth.....And it even had a name the T.A.R.D.I.S.(Time And Relative Dimensions In Space)....Sounds 'Whizzo-super,but it was knackered and although they could whizz through time and space they had no control of where they were going, all added to the fun and gave you companions who had reason to grumble with the idiot of a Doctor who couldn't take them home. Nowadays the bright blue lovely clean TARDIS can turn on a stopwatch and go anywhere ,to the second and all the companions are bright young things loving the wacky ,zany doctor and looking for adventure.

The inside was wonderful too. In the beginning the walls were a mass of cicular globes ,apparently photographed pop out tablet holders by the special effects people ,but with a hexagonal control panel plonked in the middle it gave this sparten, but mysterious, etherial look to it ,totally alien. It was like that ,basically until TOM BAKER the 4th Doctor ,at one point ,gave it a captains bridge on a victorian sailing ship ,dark wooden panelling and all. The last couple of 'new boys' have gone all 'retro' and smoke,sparks,and lots of pumping and turning wheels drives the 'old girl'...I doubt they could flush the T.A.R.D.I.S. toilet without sparks and smoke.

The other huge grounbreaking part was the sound and music of the opening titles . Composer RON GRAINER  of the BEEB's famous ( once ) RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP by looping sound tapes and film got audio and visual distortions that became the original opening titles for years ,possibly more frightening then the show. The T.A.R.D.I.S. engines were created from these techniques the hissing and ashmatic wheezing sound of take off when the central column started 'pumping' was made from the sound of scraping a key on the chord strings of a piano lying on its side in the corner.....Those sound effects , opening titles of breaking and joining blobs ,the music ,hissing, etc still blows me away!.....Anybody who says they prefer the new whizz bang CGI  effects of today just don't know what they are talking about!

Originally ,no 'Robots ,B.E.M.s( Bug-Eyed Monsters) were allowed....All historical adventures to educate the kids and develop a love of science and history. The first story was a dodgy one about cavemen and their quest for fire, but after that.....Well, after that a gentleman by the name of TERRY NATION gave in a script called THE MUTANTS and introduced to the world a 'bug-eyed robot which went by the name of THE DALEKS!!!!!!.....And nothing would ever be the same again!....The BEEB had audiences through the roof , merchandising and even two films remaking two of their stories, as the DALEKS had to be brought back, ad infinitum...Scriptwriters have gone nuts with the DALEKS and all they scream ,which in itself is odd for emotionless creatures is ....c'mon, all together now .."EXTERMINATE!" Again and again and again....In the first story i dont think they even said it ,possibly once. The first story shaped the rest .....They arrive in a strange place and mystery and drama as they explore ,then meet the baddies ,get taken prisioner than drama becomes adventure as they have to escape and foil the baddies plots which ussually involves lots of running around. then back to the T.A.R.D.I.S. in time for a tube of dinner from the food dispenser.

The first Doctor was hard man actor WILLIAM HARTNELL his Doctor was a grumpy old man with his beloved grandaughter SUSAN. He was alien, bad tempered ,crafty ,but mellowed over time with his accidental companions IAN and BARBERA. Hartnell became ill and his co stars had left and changed so he couldn't go on. Neccesity being the mother of invention, it was then that REGENERATION of the Doctor was thought of. WILLIAM HARTNELL'S Doctor ,was dying so regenerated himself into another version of himself with all his memories, but totally different character and features, this new 'cosmic hobo' was played in an equally mysterious manner ,but with a more gentle brighter side ,even humerous by the excellent character actor PATRICK TROUGHTON. His Doctor lasted with great success for 3 more years.

The BEEB in its wisdom and non stop attempts to save money wiped the tapes of many of Hartnells and Troughtons episodes ,most arelost but turn up in sheds and carboot sales. A few months ago ,the DOCTOR WHO world erupted with the news 106 episodes had been found in ETHIOPIA, they might have little food and supplies ,but they wont be hungry for classic sci-fi, but it turned ot to be a heap of newspaper shit and about 12 surfaced ,a few new DVD's for the x-mas market will be released.

TROUGHTON was replaced by JON PERTWEE,master of VENUSIAN KARATE/AIKIDO, and ace REVERSER OF THE NEUTRON FLOW!....There was a rumour SIR NED OF WALES, sir HARRY SECOMBE  himself  might squeeze into the TARDIS..." What/ what?what? Thhhhrrrrrppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"...A time travelling ball of blubber as SPIKE MILLIGAN might've put it

Tom Baker curly hair, bulging eyes and 50 foot sca
rf came next ,these were all in colour ,but special effects didn't improve and  you were torn between loving and hating its brilliance and crapness...Crossrads/Acorn antiques in space. Doctors came and went ,all different ,everybody has their favourites ,most go by the one they watched as a kid ,but no matter what the events going on the whole thing hangs on the character of the Doctor ,no pressure there for the actor then?

It occurred to me when JONATHAN ROSS and RUSSELL BRAND got into trouble sending improper phone calls to ANDREW SACHS daughter ,they coud be DOCTOR WHOSSY and his alien companion RUSS!....Causing cosmic mayhem sending dirty messages to the EMPEROR DALEK  about naughties with DAVRO'S daughter.......

Thursday, 17 October 2013


When i were nobbut a lad.....On a Friday evening the local news programme 'GRANADA REPORTS' was on . One night a tall fellah with glasses was introduced standing in front of a huge sheet of paper....And proceeded to draw the weeks news in thick marker pen at dazzling speed as he spoke through the tales of that particular week ,in the 60's ,he was in black and white along with his drawing which in the space of a few minutes filled the wall with this wonderful universe of insanity which was all the more suprising as it was only the news and as every lad knew the news was boring as shit!....But i was hooked ! The following day i found myself drawing in the funny squiggly way that this fellah had done....This fellah was none other than the immortal BILL TIDY !!!!

So on a Friday that was 'IT!'....Whatever happened , tough!..BILL TIDY was on and that was the nucleus of my week....Infact in my cartooning universe BILL TIDY was the 'Big Bang!'....I don't remember much of his 'CLOGGIES' stories , a tale of hard drinking ,clog wearing folk, but his next epic 'THE FOSDYKE SAGA!',an epic tale of tripe making folk, was in the DAILY MIRROR daily....And a few years ago i got a heap of the books and they are wonderful ,BILL TIDY has a sense of humour that isn't so much 'outside the box', but just nowhere near any box ,i look at his stuff and ,obviously some are better than others, but its always a case of "where in god's name did that come from?"......Over the years i learned to love a variety of cartoonists from various sources ,but BILL TIDY must assume full responsibility for what i've become......SWINE !!!!!!!

These pictures are of Bill last week at a private showing of  BILL TIDY...BILL STOTT....and TONY HUSBAND....Arranged by Bill Stott  , the two Bills and Tony did an illustrated talk and very funny they were too. Bill Tidy introduced us to the 'CLOGGIES!' and a very large breasted barmaid which he clearly enjoyed drawing in greater detail than any other character that night.....A few glasses of wine and meeting up with some old friends ensured a very pleasant evening was had by all. I was quite pleased as Bill remembered me and we chatted ,very silly conversation ,he only wanted me to keep his glass filled...Telling me .."If you tell anyone you saw me with an empty glass ,i'll kill you!"....

Stood behind Bill is the other Bill, BILL STOTT seemingly enjoying himself as he should i believe he put a lot of effort into it ,well done ,sir....It was also BILL TIDY'S 90th birthday and they'd made a cake ,a beautiful creation by ANDY DAVEY'S partner ,who i'm ashamed to say ,i can't think of her name ,but she did this cake in the shape of a pair of battered old clogs ,wonderful and a shame to cut into it !

This is Bill ,no doubt giving me some fatherly advice ,or possibly telling me he'd smash me face in if i didn't get him a drink!

Sad to say ,comparing haircuts!!!!

I told him how everything bad thats ever happened to me is because of him and causing me to a cartoonist ,he seemed quite pleased and proud to accept the mantle of blame!

After this ,the boss..THE LOVELY LYNNE  said we'd have to leave as we had to go out the following day so we only had about 12 hours to find our way out of Manchester ,it only took us about 8 hours to find the gallery and the pub where we were to meet CHRIS WILLIAMS  ,he of the CARTOONIST CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN inner sanctum.....Manchesters a swine of a place to get around ,Lynnes sat-Nav gave up and had a nervous breakdown ,started sobbing and wanted to" go home to mummy!"

Friday, 11 October 2013


We've had a stereo system for a number of years now and a fine little set it has been ,until recently when it wouldnt play any CDs' and wouldnt eject any ,so i had 5 at this time favourite dics swallowed up....Nothing i could do would do any bloody good......The other day ,THE LOVELY LYNNE bought a very nifty small compact set from where else ,but ASDA.....One of the funny things is that it only plays one disc at a time which has had a strange effect .....Instead of filling the multi-disc with a heap of discs set to play in any order by the wonder of the wonderful 'Mode' switch, i've found i'm playing one disc at a time in order like playing vinyl records once long ago, then replacing it on the shelf ,which was a habit i'd fallen out of as a heap of disc holders built up alongside the player and stuff left neglected on the shelf gathered dust. But i find whenever i want to play something i'm choosing the stuff i'd not bothered with for ages.

Just recently i've been listening to a lot of PETER GABRIEL and early GENESIS which i've 'clicked onto and just love....A few of them were stuck in the old set with the full concert of THE WHO'S,....'LIVE AT HULL', which is part of the 'LIVE AT LEEDS' box set, so i wanted the stuff back. I started subtley enough with the screwdriver and as time and technology moved on i felt the implementation of brute force was required to get at the discs in a metal box in amongst the electronic 'gubbins ', i felt i was disconnecting the 'LARGE HADRON COLLIDER'....If i wasn't getting my discs back i could've discovered the secret of the HIGGS BOSON and the secret of DARK MATTER in the universe, but i decided that CERN in Switzerland could sort that out and i'd get my discs back, selfish ,i know ,but hey?.....I spend a lot of time alone in the house and i like music and the radio......

As i said ,if you've been paying attention i've been listening to a lot of classic GENESIS lately ,in fact a fair bit of 'PROG' rock , YES ....'GOING FOR THE ONE !' is great. I've also been watching a series on PBS about the history of JAZZ which is quite good and much to LYNNES annoyance i quite like 'THE BLUES', all this "OLD STUFF!!"...She's an 80's girl ...."YEEEUUUCCCKK!!!".....

The other week we went to see an 80 year old living legend PETULA CLARK and she was great...I''ve been whistling ,humming and singing 'DOWNTOWN' ever since. As an experiment ,gently hum 'Downtown!' and everyone around you within minutes will be humming, whistling or singing that 'damn song!'...I guarantee it....

Listening to it ,i've been kicked off again ,i'll be Downtowning for another week, at least ....She had a lovely voice ,clear as a bell ,ya gotta admit!....Listen to it and with the aid of a calendar see how long it is 'till you can get the tune out of your head!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


On my way to Ireland the other week to take part in the COOTEHILL CARTOON FESTIVAL....After an intensive period of therapy and various drugs to cure me of a series of mental problems following my multiple attempts at booking a return ticket ,online with RYANAIR!....I had just about recovered from the multiple breakdowns and had been out of the straitjacket for days by this time, as my beloved missus ,the Lovely Lynne dropped me at JOHN LENNON airport ,or as the Scouse still call it SPEKE AIRPORT to get the plane i had suffered so much to get.

We were shuttled through quite quickly ,seated and before we knew it ,off and upwards into the great grotty grey with touches of blue yonder. The stewardesses were very friendly and drinks ,etc were on tap almost right away ,the coffee was nice and the chicken salad butty was lovely. Much to my annoyance the dreaded flying cattle wagon i had imagined was turning into a pleasant flight. Liverpool to Dublin is a veritable 'hop skip n' a jump!' So as we got our food and drink it was almost time to make our approach so the seatbelt sign went on and we had to put our tables up even though we all had our food and virtually full drinks, we had to juggle the two and listen to the usual totally indecypherable  message from our smooth sounding Captain.....Then silence!

.......As the plane swooped down ,i was feeling quite relaxed ,not one to enjoy bumpy landings ,but i was quite calm, then this deafening bugle call boomed out of the speakers ,every passenger on the plane jumped ,what that weighty passenger instantaneous bounce did to the flight path on its approach i dont want to know.....This heart stopping 'Charge of the Light Brigade .'TARA,TARA,TARA!!!!!..... Was followed by an announcement which i thought said.."THANK YOU FOR FLYING RYANAIR!...Where 90% of our flights land?".....I had an image of 10% of RYANAIR aircraft scattered across the land and seas....It was later i realised they were telling us that 90% of their flights landed, ON TIME!....Then off ,straight through the area and to the bar , quite relaxed and dissapointingly pleased with my journey!

The reason i was dissapointed with being pleased and satisfied was because of the hell i went through trying to book on line a few weeks earlier ,it was an absolute bastard of a job and took me a number of shots to get there ,but in the end i got there and tried to print off my boarding pass and couldnt as the printer just gave up and has never worked since, not only did i find myself on the verge of losing my mind, but the printer couldnt stand the strain and gave up the will to print. The flight worked out at a respectable £41 ,but i ticked a low weight for baggage and was automatically hammered for £50 ,as it turned out the bag i took i could've brought on board for free, instead of getting hammered for £90-odd, so much messing with the questionairre i didn't realise 'till too late...(sob, whimper!)

A cartooning friend JON BERKELEY saw the suffering and pain i was going through and forewarded me this bit of FASCINATING AIDA performing 'CHEAP FLIGHTS!' a wonderfully funny skit on the cheapo flights and very ,in fact too close to the truth.

Friday, 4 October 2013


  About a year ago i got in touch about the possibility of a cartoon festival in the town where my family hail from in Ireland, with a family friend JONATHAN SMYTH who lives that little town in COUNTY CAVAN , called COOTEHILL, A name which caused much amusement of the cartoonist / caricaturist MARK NESBITT, (LUKE WARM). Infact he's doing the poster next year if it goes ahead again ,as we all hope....A lovely part of IRELAND  very green with grass and cow dung ,off road....On road ,gravel and stones, the area  is widely credited for inventing pot holes make driving an interesting and breathtaking experience....It is also the town where my mothers family come from and i spent a good chunk of my life visiting and loving every minute 'roughing it' with a mass of cousins on my 'Grannies' farm ,sadly no one is left there and the old house is falling to 'rack n' ruin....I always wanted to go back ,but suggested in passing about hosting a cartoon festival ,which they pounced on and before i knew it we were up n' running.

I got in touch with the ,mainly Irish cartoonists from the old and partially remembered wild insanity of the RATHDRUM CARTOON FESTIVAL organised by the late great TERRY WILLERS and his amazing wife ,that force of nature VALERIE, in the 90's. A few English lads jumped on board ,but i had to keep numbers down ,as money ,etc was at a premium... 

As the year wore on ,there was a few bumps along the road as they say and at one time communications were few and far between and nerves started to fray and people started to pull out. When things were back on track and various suggestions were made and taken on board and we 'wuz cookin' on gas' and some of the crew were ,thankfully 'back on board'...And we were off!

The 13 September, Friday afternoon a group of us met up in ,suprise ,suprise !!! The bar at Dublin Airport!...Our lift and one of the organisers HARRY KEATING picked us up to take us from 'the Dirty awl town' out into the 'bogs' and the Craic was well and truly 'on' after not really seeing each other in a long time...But as with anytime friends get together even after a long time the conversation, piss taking and general bull shit carries on as if it had all been only yesterday!....Very soon our warm feeling was replaced by a full feeling eminating from out bladders, something to do with the bar in the airport! And a roadside emergency stop was urgently called for.....As we went about our 'business against some farmers gate, for some reasons ,of which i am not going anywhere near, the conversation turned to horses!...We had arrived!!!!!!!

After finding a very nice holiday home we were crashing in we stocked up on lovely Irish bacon ,sausages and eggs to keep us going in lovely greasy Irish breakfasts and late night butties as well as gallons of tea and coffee......Then!.....Into town and ....THE PUB!.....SMITHS BAR!.....Run by a highly disreputable character whom i knew years ago when he was slim, handsome with thick dark hair having 'a thing' with my sister.....As everybody in Cootehill told me they were aware as Don had told them , secrets never get kept or die the just get repeated and exaggerated over the years. Don is the official looking fellah next to me ,with the chain,seated 2nd from the right. Don ,gawd bless the swine was great with us all over the weekend ,everybody was great ,i've never been treated with so much friendliness as over that weekend!...
The guy on the left seated was another organiser ,Malachy Magee, a really nice enthusiastic guy who was so up for the festival to work.
The tall blonde lady in towards the middle was another organiser ,the lovely Elaine Grills who was ,again ,absolutly great ,god bless and thanks to them all. This was at the library where we were up to do a cartooning workshop ,noone had a clue where we were going with it ,i said "just wing it!".....Which is what we did and all of us contributed  and the points ,techniques and ideas ,just bounced around like a pinball machine and was a great success ,the librarian MARGARET BANNONwas delighted and ,apparently a great time was had by all.

The 'HOLE IN THE HEAD GANG' consisted of ME..(of course,..Looking good after the excesses of the previous night!)....HUNT (The guv'nor ) EMERSON.....MARK ( Luke Warm ) NESBITT......ROGER ( I'm not dead yet!) O'REILLY.......JON ( Fries the best irish breakfast in Spain ) BERKELEY......GRAEME ( I didn't invite him ) KEYES.........AIDAN (Pain in the arse ) COONEY...And little Daniel  kept hostage until they tore up our bar tab !...This is one of the last photos as Aidan drained the battery on my camera.....There wasn't a clean or nice word uttered over the whole weekend, but plenty of laughing ,mainly at others expense ,but ,such is life ,a good time was had by all and they all worked bloody hard ,which is amazing as non of them are even on nodding terms with hard work!

This is an ,apparently very rare shot of 'Mein Host ', DON SMITH smiling, as he said for me to "Make sure you get my best side!!!".....General hilarity ensued as the locals informed us in highly colourful terms their particular opinions on what constituted 'Dons best side!'

Don was quite annoyed that his entry into the COOTEHILL SCARECROW COMP' hadn't been accepted by the judges.....We asked where it was ,he told us it was just behind us. There was a table with a pair of shoes.......THE INVISIBLE MAN!!!!!!






Over the weekend was  big music festival for a ,now deceased local man who opened a shoe factory in the town his name was GERRY WHELAN and the festival took his name,his daughter CONNIE was one of the organisers, but was away in Australia during the festivities , so except for a few phone conversations, we never met, sadly. Every pub was playing live music and the old town was bouncing. One pub Mullens had a quartet of beautiful young girls who were also an excellent band ,me and Aidan Cooney drew them and a heap of locals then went ,by way of a few other pubs 'back to base' at Smiths bar ,he had a band ,although a great band ,they were the other end of the scale ,old and ugly ,real characters ,a joy to draw ,one guy with an old hat and a beard about 5 feet long, he was wonderful and had me dripping tears of laughter on my drawing.

The following day the weather broke and the wind, rain and cold hit, proper Cootehill weather!!!!...The main street was blocked off to traffic as stalls were set up ,classic cars ,food ,music ,a town marathon race and  local man ,the one and only VINCE PILKINGTON.....THE WORLD TURKEY PLUCKING CHAMPION!!!!!.....Was putting on his very popular crowd pulling display, tough competition, indeed!...Actually ,if i'd 've known i'd've gone to see it myself.  We scribbled in a tent and as the winds increased and the temperature dropped, i  started
 to shiver and had to concenterate on keeping lines steady. Locals started to supply me with hot whiskies, of which i'd never had one ,love Irish coffee's ,but hot whiskies ,definitly warmed the system and steadied the line. The crowds seemed pleased and came from all over even on such a miserable day as the Sunday turned out to be. Then ,finally into the boozer and 'a few!' and once warm indoor pub scribbling...Its a good way of staying sober and helps the Guinness flow smoothly. A few of the lads were nagging over having a rest or going for a bite, but i find that can screw me up more than staying drawing 'on the pop!'

But all seemed to go well and the organisers seemed determined to go ahead next year ,onwards and upwards, bigger and better.....And it only took 5 days to sort of recover !

Cheers and thanks to all involved and esspecially the bunch of cartooning deadbeats i have to call my friends ....YOU WERE GREAT !



HARRY (Our faithful driver ,A star!).....HUNT (Another star )EMERSON.

A happy GRAEME KEYES....A cause for concern ?
An intellectual looking JON BERKELEY....Theres no glass in the lens.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013


well not quite what i had in mind!

       Everybody likes 'scarey movies'.......When i was a lad it was the days of the HAMMER horror in the late 50's and early 60's and introduced to the world CHRISTOPHER LEE and a certain bloke with big teeth and blood shot eyes going by the name of COUNT DRACULA. Later the other original horror creation FRANKENSTEIN,he was a 8 foot fellah with a flat head and a bolt through his neck and introduced PETER CUSHING as BARON VON FRANKENSTEIN and these two fellahs were in every horror film of the series that flogged the vampire and monster to death . But these films were ,on the whole meant to be taking place in  villages in central european mountainous reigions like TRANSYLVANIA, in massive gothic castles on a mountain overlooking villages full of gorgeous busty ladies with fantastic cleavages, i really fancied living over there, just avoid the blood suckers and flat headed monsters and you could be a happy fellah. The films always ended with the villagers getting slightly pissed
 off with mysterious murders and vampires crawling around peoples bedrooms, in fact ,not only flat headed monsters and vampires wandering around making a nuisance of themselves ,there was the WEREWOLVES on the nights with full moons, but this combination of strange sorts always had the peasant waving flaming torches and burning down the castles. The original DRACULA was BELLA LUGOSI years ago in the 30's and the classic ,as i watched it fairly recently and suprised myself how much i enjoyed it ,but FRANKENSTEIN with BORIS KARLOFF. And one of the earliest and still creepiest is a silent film ,based on the DRACULA story called NOSFERATU, an amazing film.

Science fiction became popular and a classic scary films like PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE , possibly the worst not just horror film ,but worst film ,ever made...But the classics were spawned.THE FLY; INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, WAR OF THE WORLDS and a whole heap of creepy and tension filled films. As special effects weren't much kop! they went for tension and creatures in the shadows and used the imagination . Blood and snot made a showing and films were banged out full of blood and murder in the 60's and 70's. 

Science fiction and the HAMMER monsters became more bloody and then the DEVIL made an entrance and the dark arts and devil worship became popular ,like HAMMERS 'THE DEVIL RIDES OUT' and the ,nowadays considered cult classic with the excellent EDWARD WOODWARD gettin burnt to death in 'THE WICKER MAN....Possibly the most horrible frightening thing in that film is ,CHRISTOPHER LEE with a trendy almost hippy blond haircut and 'DANCIN!!!!!'

One absolute legendary 'scarey film' ,which still scares the bejabbers off me is THE EXCORCIST, banned for years and even today some real shocking scenes haven't lost their power. I think the phrase 'Projectile vomitting was invented in the Excorcist, if you dont believe in god ,i think if you watch the EXCORCIST ,you probably will end up believing in the devil!

The power of the imagination can be shown by the fact that in the 70's a series of films were made ,but had to take it easy on the special effects due to money problems. For example 'JAWS'....Originally the shark was meant to be a lot more in the mix, but they had so much trouble with technical problems with the shark ,that its appearences were drastically reduced and as a result the tension was cranked right up and it quite simply became one of the cinematic greats that never fails to scare the 'SPEEDO'S' off you!

ALIEN ,an absolute classic ,the alien was reduced due to finances so the tension and suspense was cranked up and for that reason ,nobody sits comfortably watching that film. Apparently the most famous scene ,you know where i'm going dont'chya?....JOHN HURT and his slight indigestion problems. Apparently when they set the effect up ,the rest of the cast didn't know what was going to happen and the looks of horror, are really genuine...A classic film ,greater than the sum of its parts.

THE THING!.....Another classically scary tension filled film of some kind of polymorph and lots of slime and blood ,as a group of men trapped in a polar base and icey cold suspicion sets in ,with wonderful pre-CGI effects ,horrible and humorous, remember the head running of on spindley spider legs?

Another simple tale, but absolutly terrifying is the magnificent REUTGER HAURE in the excellent 'THE HITCHER', A lad picks up a psychotic murderer on a stormy night and is then on the run for his life , theres the famous scene of a girl tied between two trucks, you dont forget stuff like that , like the water going down the shower plughole in PSYCHO.

Nowadays we're flooded with CGI and the planet and cinemas and telly are swamped with ZOMBIES, totally relying on decaying bodies , no more great stories ,such as HITCHCOCKS ,'THE BIRDS' a story ,of a strange phenomenah ,birds going crazy ,theres no explanation ,just a terrifying film of the world 'going wrong', Birds going nuts . The effect is accentuated by the fact birds actually attacked TIPPI HEDRIN as HITCHCOCK wanted realim and scared the poor woman to death


Wednesday, 31 July 2013


The other day we had a wander in
The other day we had a family day in the scorching sunshine to go to CROSBY BEACH where the MERSEY MUD , meets the IRISH SEA SILT. It is actually a lovely bit of beach .....Famed for the ANTHONY GORMLEY cast iron men ,all 100 of them standing naked gazing out to sea.....They were only recently allowed to stay after complaints of nudity and danger from luring people into the soft mud.

The beach stretched off around a headland and i kept thinking of the finale of 'PLANET OF THE APES' ,where CHARLTON HESTON, as the stranded ,so he thought astronaut ,TAYLOR, finds he's not on an alien planet ,but on the remains of the good old planet EARTH, the give away was he tripped over the remains of the STATUE OF LIBERTY...Always a giveaway......I had visions of tripping across the LIVER BIRDS sticking out of the sand......I did my "GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL ,YOU BLEW IT UP....ETC ,ETC,!!!"oratorio on my knees in the sand,  But the lovely Lynne wasn't too impressed with my oscar winning performance, just no appreciation of the finer things these women folks, i guess. So we packed up and went for a pint and a steak in a pub ,well i s'pose it makes a change from bananas on 'THE PLANET OF THE APES!'

Monday, 29 July 2013


Ah t'was only the other day when the apple of my eye; My reason for living had another birthday.....Bringing her within hailing distance of my advanced years , i'm
 !Hrrruuuummmmpppphhhh!!!!",years of age,  Whereas she's a mere "Koff! Koff!, Koff!"years of age!.......So i did her this picture of her in action with her ska band THE MANCHESTER SKA FOUNDATION....Look 'em up on you tube and face book and all those funny sites that we spend what were once precious hours of our days studying what other rubbish others have put up ,so you can reply with some equally inane rubbish ,but theres some good footage of the band and my eternally young missus parping and tooting away ......I would like to point out this isn't a gastric problem due to her age ,its the sound of her trombone, admittedly it can sound like a gastric problem from people of advanced years, esspecially those with a taste for guinness!.....

For years shes played in brass bands ,swing bands ,orchestras and various groups always reading her music ,so people would ring and she could play for them that night, not a bother! For years she refused to believe she could 'play free', but over the last year with a quality bunch of players around her ,she plays and dances and even writes and plays her own solo's.

 She loves the SKA music now and is always home from her working days in Birmingham to rehearse on a Thursday. I often go ,but get fed up as i'm at the side having a drink getting knocked all over the place by the nutters who follow the band dancing n' leaping around and there is a fair following and it can get pretty wild ,but Lynne living the rock n roll and ska life loves it, ironically the sweaty effort that goes into her performance actually relaxes her and takes her mind off work and the trials n' tribulations of the daily grind.

Her bones might start creaking ,but her spitvalve on the trombone isn't squeaking yet ,so theres plenty of ska tissue in the old girl yet!

Friday, 12 July 2013


Always being a lover of spy films ,books and telly series there are certain requirments of a top class agent, first off ,a good spy'ey name ;NAPOLEON SOLO; ILYA KURYAKEN; CALLAN; HARRY PALMER; MAXWELL SMART; MATT HELM.....ANTHONY BLUNT(" The names Blunt , Anthony Blunt ,dear boy hmmmmm!)?????....And , of course the new kid on the block: JASON BOURNE!

Without doubt though, the greatest ,smoothest ,coolest ,smartest ,suavist ,sexiest ,most ruthless, most dangerous  killing machine and trained assassin ,licensed by her Majesty's goverment 'to kill' ,is ,of course JAMES BOND!

When IAN FLEMING decided to create the most famous secret agent (known all round the world?)....He speciffically broke the cardinal rule about spies having great names and gave the most famous glamourous agent ever the most boring hum drum name he could find. Ian Fleming gave his creation the name of an ORNITHOLOGIST!...A BIRDWATCHER!! ...A TWITCHER!!....We must be thankful as JAMES BOND  could've been the smoothest ,coolest ,most deadly, trained killing machine .....ODDIE ,BILL ODDIE, Licensed to kill !!!!!!

Although Bill Oddie isn't travelling the planet fighting SMERSH or SPECTRE and all those other nasty evil sorts( I'll gloss over 'the women!).....He wanders through the violence and unrestrained danger of the BRITISH COUNTRYSIDE as part of those SPRING/SUMMER/AUTUMN/WINTER WATCH programmes which fill our telly screens for much of the year with MICHEALE STRACHEN looking windswept and ,er ,interesting! surrounded by equally enthusiastic pain in the arse presenters in knitted hats and sweaters ,kagools and those sleeveless khaki jackets full of pockets always bulging ,but nothing ever gets taken out. 

They film birds and hairy things that live in holes and swim in streams and eat each other . Its always nice to see some rare THROSTLE THROATED BLUE TIT WARBLER laying its eggs ,sitting on them being filmed for weeks and the same camera filming the otter thats snuck into the nest to savage the freshly hatched chicks the presenters have been "Ooohhing n' Aaahhing !"over for bloody weeks as they watch them hatch and ,beaks open wide feed from their mam n' dad, then "Aaahh!" again as the mam n' dad come back wondering where their 8 or was it 9 'effin' kids 've buggered off to. Wherever they go the countryside is bursting with all kinds of weird n' wonderful and plain nasty forms of furry ,scaley and feathered breeds of wildlife . The endless quest for survival is basically what every creature is working 24/7 to achieve, building nests and warrens ,holes and tunnels and even damming streams ,either for water or they've cracked hydro -electric power.

I walk through local woods and hardly ever see a damn thing. Having said that the place is crawling with squirrels .These are American grey squirrels as they've got rid of the British brown squirrel ,probably enticed away by offers of free silk stockings ,cigarettes and candy bars , see, things never change not even in the natural world. 

I did have the shit scared out of me a few months ago ,there was a hugh rustling in some bushes and a fluttering of bloody hugh wings as this massive bird took off ,apparently it was a Heron. With its long neck and long drooping wings i thought it looked like one of those old KLINGON BATTLE CRUISERS from the original STAR TREK, they used to be able to go invisible and drive CAPTAIN KIRK to "Fire Photon Torpedoes ...Maximum spread!"

I did stumble across some wild life ,impressing the females ,with loud swearing ,tatooes and gaily patterned and coloured track suits as they smoked ciggies to impress the others in the herd.  There was also some youngsters in a bit of a frenzy as one had climbed a tree and couldn't get down. "Hey ,Mister can you get me mate down ,pleez?".....So being the upright ,friend to all ,responsibility my middle name ,etc ,i started to climb the tree murmering words of encouragment to the little lad up the tree. The little bastard started screaming and shouting to ,"KEEP THE OLD MAN(?) AWAY FROM ME!".....The little get ,moved up the tree ,so i grabbed him and carried him ,screaming and shouting down to the ground, resisting the urge to kick his scabby arse back up there again ,i turned and with utmost dignity i could muster left the wild untamed woods and the venom of mother nature and  thought i'd watch wildlife on the telly.

Monday, 1 July 2013


                                                On Saturday night came home to a very 'Ho-Hum' ROLLING STONES'Glastonbury gig ,but the following night we went to see the big boys do it properly. THE WHO  were in the fair city of LIVERPOOL. The ECHO ARENA was 'chokka' and the noise was deafening and we had seats only 20 rows back from ROGER DALTREY. The show was even better than last week at MANCHESTER.. QUADROPHEN'YA has evolved into a real live piece after years of trying to get it on the stage to be performed properly ,well they've 'cracked it!'.....The place went mad. 

Only problem is ,being a short arse i seem to attract all the concert knobheads who have to jump about wave arms, phones and holler and scream at every f**kin' word ,sung or said and insist in telling their mates 'how great this or that bit is'....I was stuck beside some girl who was annoyed as i hadn't given her enough room to dance, so in between dissappearing to the bar or the bogs she got her fellah ,this fat big getto have a word , ,i lost me temper and 'The dreaded Leatherbarrow finger came out'....As i politely explained to him how..."I'd paid 70 f**kin' quid to watch them ,not to argue over the 5 inches that i'd been pushed into 'his space' by the crowd , and would he F**K OFF!!!"It seemed to do the job and he shut his gob. But talking after ,everybody seemed to have their own pet knobhead to drive them nuts! 

But that aside the show was magnificent . PETE TOWNSHEND has connections with LIVERPOOL and seemed pleased to be there....He's the only cockney who can come to LIVERPOOL and call us all "BASTARDS!" and we loved him for it. They seemed pleased to be back in the 'MESEY MUD'. as he called it......You'll probably be pleased to know i'll leave the WHO alone for a while as we wont see them again ,'till who knows?

Thursday, 27 June 2013



My old mate HUNT EMERSON....A fairly decent cartoonist in his own right and an okay comic strip artist of world renown recently commented on the above cartoon ..."GROTESQUE, DEAR BOY!"...which coming from the sick twisted mind of mr HUNT EMERSON can be looked on  as the ultimate accolade..... One of the many weird and odd facets of the EMERSON character ,of which there are more than a  lot, let me tell you!!!.....One off the oddest to me being an out n' out carnivor, is that HUNT EMERSON is a  VEGETARIAN.....yes!...A VEGGIE!

A number of years ago i stayed with HUNT  as i was working at the N.E.C. complex in Birmingham. I hadn't seen the old fellah for a wee while and we talked and gulped a fair bit of drink far into the couple of nights i intruded upon his very kind hospitality. He cooked me a couple of very ,suprisingly for me ,tasty vegetarian dishes. Which i thouroughly enjoyed....Until the next day!

The next day as was working surrounded by hundreds of people as i was doing caricatures at some trade fair , i made a shocking personal discovery. Vegetables give me wind!!!....Not just wind ,but shocking wind ,basically i was farting my bloody brains out.

A few years later when we were living in India , i had  a bad accident with a plate glass window whilst warming up a Karate class, to this day i dont know what happened . Did i hyperventilate ,or have a fit???..But a heap of severed tendons and sliced arteries later the students and sensei carried the mess that was me to a local hospital,spurting blood all over everybody within 20 yards basically saving my life. I awoke surrounded by people absolutly plastered in blood. Some in Karate gi's ;track suits ,tee shirts and some in shirts and trousers ,all plastered in my life giving blood. I was rushed in to emergency surgery . While i was getting resusitated three times, apparently ,they all went to a chinese retaurant nearby. I was told much to my morphine boosted amusement the following day that they got some weird looks from the staff and customers. I told SENSEI SUBRAMANYAN that they probably wont get many new students as everybody seeing them all plastered in blood must've said .."...GEEZ!...THAT IS ONE TOUGH KARATE CLASS!"...

The hospital was run by a religious group who were strict vegetarian and the food was strictly basic veggie fare. I ate and lay there with both legs in plaster and in stirrups pointing at 10 to 2...A lot like a pregnant women......
Illiciting more than a few cracks about my contractions and had my waters burst yet ? and when was 'it' due? etc,etc....Aside from the legs my right arm was in plaster held up by a sling ,my left arm although thouroughly bandaged was let hang loose, but it was enough for me to be hand fed for a few days. Then ,it started!!!! The gurgling and the build up of pressure in my stomach as it actually distended before my eyes, as the internal pressure dials rotated'into the red'!

The room was empty so i thought i'd just sneak a little'PARP!' out,to ease the pressure off slightly, c'mon you all do it! But that was not to be ,my insides exploded like a deflating ZEPPELLIN with a sound like the fog horn of THE QUEEN MARY....Just as the ward sister came in through the door and faced me through my  spread legs, which was the sight that greeted everyone who entered. She was pinned  by a mighty horrendous blast of  gaseous pressure to the wall until she dropped to the floor as the pressure dropped and the pressure gauges dropped out 'of the red'. She looked at me absolutly stunned and shocked.....She was attractive in a stern way, but she suddenly burst into laughter and the two of us couldnt stop for ages, every time she came in after she'd duck or skip past my exposed danger area, but it wasn't a one off, even THE LOVELY LYNNEwho originally was going to stay in my room took to  going home and taking the visiting option. When they finally let me out all i wanted was to go for a meal and eat a steak ,a bloody big one!

Monday, 24 June 2013


My olde Geordie mate ,the incredibly tall (going grey) SIMON MALIA.....This maniac is a maaaaaaaaddd, maaaaaaadddd, mad , psychotic WHO fan since before they formed ,i often think. Well his lovely missus in a  moment ofcrazed
 alcohol fuelled love and genorosity treated Simon to a V.I.P. ticket for the WHO's performance of QUADROPHENIA at the MANCHESTER ARENA last night. So this entitled the lanky ,jammy Geordie bastard to be allowed in early to sit through the soundcheck ,get 'nibbles' and a bag of pressies and swap phone numbers with those TOWNSHEND and DALTREY chappies.

When i asked how it went ,he was still stunned . He explained that he expected the soundcheck to be ;ROGER DALTREY doing a little singing; PETE TOWNSHEND  doing a little strumming on his guitar ; A few thumps of the drums; Tinkles from the keyboards; Parps n' toots from the brass, etc......."BUT NOOOOO!!.......THEY CAME OOT ROCKIN' LIKE BASTARDS!!!!!......DALTREY SCREAMING AND TOWNSHEND LETTING RIP LIKE A MANIAC ON THE GUITAR......THEY ROCKED LIKE ABSOLUTE F**KIN' BASTARDS!!!"....( his words ,translated from the original geordie to scouse for all you intellectuals out there.).....So ,Simon god bless his bry nylon socks, was blown out of said socks.

For the rest of us V.I.P.'s (very unimportant people) who had to fight through to our seats in the normal, standard hustling n' bustling pain in the arse way we finally got there in the corner alongside mr PETER TOWNSHEND,which was fine by me. I thought i would try my missus's (THE LOVELY LYNNE) old prescription glasses ,as my far distant vision isn't wonderful ,but these specs afforded this HD vision for the show which was quite revealing. I could count the bristles in Townshends beard , i couldnt believe it....I'm a little off a dog n' white stick, but surely my vision isn't that bad ,but surely its not meant to be that good!

Lynne ,the previous 2 nights had been playing with her ska band THE MANCHESTER SKA FOUNDATION, Friday in a boozer and Saturday we found ourselves in a tent in a bog of a feild at a festival in Stockport. I was given a posh laminated back stage pass to hang round my neck, as i was with the band....Felt dead important. I thought "I know i'll try and use this for the WHO tomorrow, but the bastards at the ARENA wouldn't let me.

But THE WHO were magnificent , fire and passion exploded forth and they 'let rip' and sounded great...Lynne was bouncing, singing and hammering hell out of my thigh...I have a MOD roundel of a bruise on my thigh today. The daughter ,ELARA was typically ashamed of her mum n' dad ,even though she loved the show. Lynne said that the TROMBONIST came in late a few times and she almost had to be physically restrained from running down to offer PETE TOWNSHEND ' Her services for free(?)'....I assume this was her tromboning abilities!

So if your bored with THE WHO , tough shit ,i'm not ,i'm still on cloud 9 and they are on next week in the fair city of LIVERPOOL and ,hopefully we'll see PETE'S little brother SIMON TOWNSHEND in town on the Monday

THE LOVELY LYNNE managed to get some quite good footage on her I-pad ,barring some womans 70's perm in front of us ,but one bit she did get, which if i can i shall put on ,is PETE TOWNSHEND  having guitar trouble after a series of vicious windmills during BABA O'REILLY and ripping the guitar off and slinging it way back stage to wrap around some poor technicians head...If i'd've managed to get back stage with my fancy laminated back stage pass, i could've had PETE TOWNSHEND'S guitar wrapped around my head....Oh the chances we miss in life, hey!