Tuesday, 7 August 2018


 "No man is an island!".....So they do say ,never quite sure what it means ,but i'm sure its true ....Living alone may be considered as living as an island , shipwrecked aboard the desolate beach that is your life, trying to survive and stop yourself going insane with loneliness. But desert islands as we all now them dont have, tellies,  local ASDA superstores and local boozers.....On my lonely little island in Warrington i haven't seen a single palm tree and havent tasted coconut milk since my days in India !....And that definitly wasn't a lonely deserted island in a painted ocean!
 The old literary classics used to like desert islands as many of those adventures were of our jolly jack tars sailing the oceans fighting everybody and if they didnt have anyone to fight , a good mutiny ,so a fight amongst themselves ensued ,but at the end it would result in some or one getting washed up on a tropical beach .....Palm trees waving, the sort of place we'd pay a fortune to go to nowadays....Never ended up on some rocky barren lump in the north Atlantic, or the Isle of man, or someplace. No , it was barefoot in the sandy beaches eating coconuts and fruit.....Just as well Robinson Crusoe was alone for most of the time and Friday kept out of his way as he must've been farting his brains away with shockin' wind with all that fruit ,veg n' roughage ,i know thats what it does to my guts !

As everybody knows desert island jokes were a staple of the cartoonist . A little lump of sand with a single palm tree with a few coconuts under the leaves and a bearded ragged man sitting against the palm tree , and lest we forget there was always the bottle with his note begging for help bunged in it thrown on the waves to be picked up by a would be rescuer who would spot an empty bottle floating in the Pacific ocean 200 years later!.....

We thought as the Earth was the only place in the universe that had water ,our human cartoonists would be the only life form in the universe to draw desert island cartoons ,but with the discovery that the universe is saturated with water ....Desert island cartoons could be drawn and published right across the cosmos.

Human suffering has always been popular for the cartoonist from some poor soul lost in the middle of the ocean , to the poor soul lost in the desert gasping for a drink of water, deserts and oasis' were another staple in the cartoonists diet, but nowadays nobody is shipwrecked or lost in the desert and lost souls in offices with IN  and OUT  trays have gone with computers, etc , have all these poor lost lonely souls disappeared or is it the cartoonist whose disappeared?.....

Monday, 14 May 2018


It's ironical in a way that the most unsociable activity that the wonder of modern technology has given us is given the name social. Every person on the planet give or take a few odd sorts who haven't got a phone spends their days gazing and tapping text on their little flat screen to send messages or see if theyve recieved messages from someone ,anyone' it doesnt matter. There seems to be an excited urgency if you recieve a message on the phone through ,google ,Twitter ,Facebook ,etc ,etc...They are a lot more important than the people who are actually with you wherever you may be.

As the years have gone on and the social media has taken us over ,the streets are full of people shuffling down the streets and crossing main roads totally concenterating on who likes their latest facebook message instead of the double decker bus trundling inexorably towards them. I remember getting knocked into in Liverpool a few years ago by people on their phones ,texting and getting a little irritated, but a few weeks later i was working in Macau and the streets were filled in the densely populated islands and everyone was on phones . I had been doing some boxing training and just as well as you had to be light on your toes, esspecially when it was raining as they'd have their umbrellas in one hand and be texting with the other , as they were short and looking down i nearly lost my eyes a few times getting cuts on my forehead from the umbrella spokes. Apparently they'd tried to have texting lanes with symbols of people texting on lamposts ,but nobody saw them as they were looking down. When they tried putting them on the ground they were blocked by the phones

I was caricaturing people by request , but as i'd go to their table i'd get a quick glance before their head would drop 90 degrees from a sociable vertical to a social media stare as the caricaturist was forgotten for the joys of social cyberspace. I drew a guy as a black circle with ears i explained it was the view from the top of his head which was all i had to work with. Families would eat and every single one was away somewhere far away on their phone to people far from their loving family and friends who likewise were in contact with other vitally important people on the network....Insane media.  

I'm not the best when it comes to spelling and punctuation ,but typing on the lap top has done me no favours, but i do try. I try and write relatively normally ,but refuse to go into text speak and refuse point blank to join the LOL brigade.

It amazes me how people get so upset when they havent got their phones ,kids and adults behaviour is identical . The most important item in any house is the chargers ,of which there are a number scattered about the house. The phone is now becoming the only bit of technology that people can work. I wonder will anybody have the scientific knowhow to invent anything new other than phone APPS and hi-tech things like SELFIE STICKS ?

The TWITTER phenomena is something that totally pisses me off, every body has an opinion ,but as soon as JEREMY CLARKSON screws up on a question on 'WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE' or The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES has something to spout they and 50 billion others have to have their limited character say. All the news programmes and newspapers now see fit to broadcast and print these twits tweets , i don't think i've ever read one i liked , a few words in amongst a heap of twitter symbols and twitter addresses. At least an e-mail is a sort of traditional letter(ish) ! 

Anyhow i cant waste all day writing this crap....Ive got to go onto FACEBOOK to tell everyone what i had for my breakfast !

Thursday, 12 April 2018


Ahhh our cousins across the pond !.....Americans , or as we affectionatly refer to them 'The Yanks !'
They are an odd bunch . Relatively speaking only a few years ago a huge lump of land virtually covering one side of the planet Earth was discovered. It was over the far side , the back side ,the arse end of the planet ,if you like and as its turned out it's just as well. Millions of years ago the Earths land mass wass virtually that!....one huge land mass, we were all loving neighbours, borrowing animal skins and dinosaur recipes from each other.
Geological forces being what they are caused earthquakes and faults as the ill fitting land mass fidgetted and squirmed like a partner sharing your bed and like many partners started to drift apart and the bit that became north and south America inch by inch ground across to the other side of the planet leaving a huge 'pond' in it's wake the awesome Atlantic ocean.
For much of the time it was occupied by buffaloes and grizzly bears with a few rattle snakes thrown in and the Indians , or in these enlightened times the NATIVE AMERICANS,which is ironic as they are treated as a totally alien race. The irony is ironic as the yanks really do not have a sense of irony.
The problem started as everybody on the planet who was pissed off with their shitty lot in life were encouraged to seek their fortune in the open land of the free , then way out west gold was discovered and everybody ploughed west to seek their fortune. Facing it has to be said terrible hardships and suffering and as every schoolboy knows indian fights and the 6th cavalry coming to save the settlers ,who as every good settler learned ....Had their wagon train in a circle !
This is what became American history ...THE WILD WEST. Where uneducated dirt farmers ,outlaws ,gamblers ,killers, etc lived in poverty in the shanty towns like ,TOMBSTONE,DEADWOOD, DODGE CITY ,etc...Says it all really....Lots of not so much historical fact as legends built up all just waiting for the invention of film a few years later. They had nothing really to film about so the cowboy was created and the cowboy became the the American psyche , to this day.
Like the famous 6th cavalry storming over the hills to fight off the nasty indians the Americans are the 6th cavalry. I might be wrong , but their first attempt at 'WAR' Outside the American war of independance when , basically all they had to do was fend of a relatively small body of men who'd sailed for months to man small garrissons about the place, by dirty fighting ....Spilling our tea supplies into the sea !!!!!????.....Aw c'mon !.....Then it took over 10 years and we were fighting in colonies all round the place....Their first attempt at a real war was jumping in half way through the first world war and we had to supply rifles.
The next time was 'The big 'un!' ...Round 2 ! WORLD WAR 2.
Funnily enough they weren't happy about jumping in that one either, but the cowboys over the pond , aside from being tough ,hard drinking hombres ,are hard nosed business men and quite happy to enjoy the increase in work and labour after their depression when we Brits needed their help and they did for a hefty price, happy days in good ol u.s. of A !
Then one sunny morning those nasty Japs bombed an American base in a place nobody'd heard of , PEARL HARBOUR !
Well!....."Godamn it too hell !....Those 'sons o' bitches.....!" and the good ol US of A joined in to fight for 'TRUTH ,JUSTICE N' THE AMERICAN(ooops!....That was later!) WAY!....Only 3 years late , but the numbers tilted the scales. Generals with jodpers and cowboy holsters with pearl handled revolvers leading the charge....Definitley military quantity over military quality !....And more important HOLLYWOOD got an endless supply of films to keep 'em going for years and it had to as this was the nearest the American military ever got to a victory !...Actually if the Japs'd 've attacked Australia and NewZealand they'd've won, we wouldn't have had our cousins in 'it' with us, quite simply we would've gotten battered .
In the years after they charged into Korea , Vietnam and recently into the middle East in the rather vague 'WAR AGAINST TERROR'....Hasn't done the world much good, esspecially us ,their allies who they very kindly blow us to bits with their affectionattly dubbed FRIENDLY FIRE' !??? ,but lots of action heroes have made the American soldiers in to pumped up , snarling ,cigar chomping navy seals, who're 'dead'ard!' as the yanks hate us as our special forces the S.A.S. are better than theirs ,so STALLONE, ARNIE, etc make films about special force ,'black ops' rescuing prisoners kept in these sites of defeat !
Money is the fuel that powers the land of the yank. Fair enough ,it is everywhere ,but not to the extent it does there. Politicians aren't there for their policies its the money and funds they have. Which has an effect on the quality of people running the self styled most powerful nation on earth! The beloved Kennedys made their money as gangsters ,bootlegging....And one their days off , filled their boots with famous sexy film stars. Nixon, a gifted politician ,which meant he was bent n' twisted ,bugging everybody ,breaking just a few laws; Carter ,a peanut farmer who i think was related to the Waltons in the little house on the prairey ,eating a diet of 'mom's apple pie!' ; Ford, who must've had money as he had no brain; Reagan ,a senile ex hollywood actor ; Clinton ,who blew his saxaphone while his secratary blew his horn: Bush ,who couldnt string a sentence together ,but managed to  put them n' us into war all over the Middle East.....And the TRUMPMEISTER !.....The richest , most extreme person to rule , crazy enough to be the ideal American president !

Wednesday, 14 March 2018


The king of comedy has popped his tickling sticks and gone to play possibly the only venue he has never played......KEN DODD  is dead !

They say you should never meet your heroes as you will undoubtedly be dissappointed as they'll never be what you wished and imagined them to be, even if your not sure what that is.
I met Ken Dodd on a train to London when he made a trip down to THE CARTOONIST CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN for there once legendary AGM/CHRISTMAS piss ups. He'd been voted 'Jester of the year' an award given to celebrities who'd been a major target of the cartoonists that year. Doddy'd been getting it for his slight problems with the tax man. Totally happy to be the subject of all this stick he quite happily came down to the long lost CARTOONIST PUB and unlike most other recipients of that great honour who arrived said "Ta lots" and pissed off ....He stayed the whole day ,laughing, joking ,talking, even being collared 'to get the ale in!' And letting rip with his acceptance speech in true Doddy style....It was wonderful. 
I travelled with him at his insistance and we talked all the way ,what impressed me most was ,he was a nice bloke easy to talk to, but unlike most celebrities he was a listener and fascinated in me being a cartoonist.
He was pestered by well meaning fans constantly ,but he made time and a quip for them all . It was possibly one of the nicest days in my life. I met a personal hero and he was more than i expected or imagined as all the cartoonists who were there that day will probably testify .
Well the angels in heaven should be ok for laughs and jam butties!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


What did my ol' mam do to encourage my  slide from grace into the dark dingy world of the cartoonist?.....In the beginning ,quite frankly ,not a lot !

My dad was the fellah. He used to be a graphic artist in the days when adverts were ink drawings and he was superb with ink . As an artist he was great , a damn site better than i ever grew to be . In his days in some intelligence unit in the RAF after the war he travelled all around Western and Eastern Europe and had beautiful ink drawings of buildings and churches and cathedrals which he gave to a thouroughly unimpressed young son. 

I remember he arranged for comics to be delivered to the house in the days of paper boys in the 60's and on a Tuesday evenin ,i was breathless with excitment waiting for the VALIENT, the LION, and esspecially the TV21 to thud to the mat along with the good old LIVERPOOL ECHO. Then one day he came home with a big bundle ...Only 4 years supply of the VICTOR comic, spent the next couple of weeks lying on my belly on the floor transfixed with the 'TOUGH OF THE TRACK'; 'BRADDOCK OF THE BOMBERS'; KILLER KENNEDY'....And on it went, jeez!..I was a 'pig in shite!'...Some of his co-workers in FORDS heard about the comic mad son and gave me dad bundles of comics ,ah happy days. I think my mum liked it as i was the quietest she'd ever known me to be .

I discovered the cartoonist RIGBY  in the SUN newspaper with his hidden little boy and bird in every drawing , dad'd help me to find them ,he helped me put a RIGBY scrapbook together. BILL TIDY used to draw the weeks news on GRANADA REPORTS  on a Friday teatime, me n' dad loved it as he zoomed through his drawings as he talked through the events of the week in minutes flat . Thats when i went from drawing spitfires and Lancasters as well as spaceships to silly squiggly cartoon characters. Dad even brought a few MAD  magazines from the lads at the factory. And i discovered DON MARTIN, ARAGONES, DRUCKER, et al !

These were the glory days when every newspaper and magazine had cartoons. Dad encouraged me to draw 'gags' as i made him laugh and he used to have some good ideas and he encouraged me to send stuff off and when i got stuff published  he encouraged me to hawk my stuff around FLEET ST !...Not the most fun packed experiance if your not used to rejection, but that was one way of getting used to it.

The potential cartooning genius had become a compulsive doodler while still at school , people still remember pictures i did of teachers in between Thunderbirds and Interceptors from UFO And Eagles from SPACE 1999. This period of honing my skills unfortunatly coincided with an intensive supposed period of study ,so maybe not too suprisingly my reports and exam results left something to be desired ,culminating in me getting my arse kicked out of a bloody good school. I could've salvaged something and done art, but chose Biology instead , no i don't know why !

Not too suprisingly dad was dissapointed ,but mum was raging mad !....Did some 'normal ' jobs and got stuff published  so eased the parental disgust over the years, but my teens and the following years got me lots of trouble and sackings from jobs . MAGGIE THATCHER started the govt enterprise scheme and i became my own boss as i'd started the live caricature work and i was doing studio work before the computers screwed it all up. Mum had eased up on me and was quite proud when customers were telling her how good 'her Tim' was !

Her brothers in Ireland working on farms and building considered drawing and esspecially drawing cartoons as nothing like a job and i was dismissed as a lazy waste of time much to my mums pain. But i started doing well, i had a daily newspaper strip and started on a range of greetings cards and for a few years was raking it in. I was on more money than 'the workers' who were knocking me ,i even bought the family home off my mother much to her disbelieving joy.

I think the main moment for my mum when she was proudest and able to show me off was one day in the RATHDRUM CARTOON FESTIVAL during the late 90's, she'd fought in my corner when anybody put me down ,apparently, but she came into the village and i was sitting there with the other lads drinking and banging out the caricatures to a long queue of people and spreading joy and wonderment to the visitors as we do. My uncle the builder couldnt believe his eyes and his ears after mum put him right on a few things. After that mum didn't have to put up with her lad getting stick. Ever since that day ,i think she was shocked and suprised and realised that i wasn't quite the useless deadbeat she suspected i was and ever since shes backed and supported me through the ,has to be said 'drought -ridden years we all suffer through. 

She says she always had faith i would be ok and successful, but i remember it slightly different, when she saw i was giving it a go she thought 'just maybe!', but she wouldn't stand for anyone putting me down and when i was earning and she saw us hammering out work and even doing jobs abroad she was amazed and suddenly proud..I'd won her over, eventually !