Month: October 2016

Cowboys on The North Circular 1988


God bless Margaret Thatcher’s Enterprise Allowance Scheme. In 1988 I moved out of library work for a while and took Maggie’s Shilling ( or equivalent of the dole as was then) for the dubious title of ‘Self-Employed’ illustrator. Of course the whole thing was a farce. Indeed years later the Tax Office informed me that part of the scam was that my stamp not paid that year but they didn’t tell you at time. It was just an easy way of massaging dole figures downwards for a while.

I set about my task with as much enthusiasm as a dedicated fine artist, musician with time on hands could be and spent most of my time reading about obscure blues men ( see below) and trying to be the next Nick Cave…which came to nought.

I ambled around a few commercial places like Cosmopolitan offices ( power-dressing 1980s remember) where a load of high-heeled vixens fuelled my fantasy life but ignored my pleas for work. Indeed they thought I something from stone age in my dungarees…yes dungarees..paint-splattered fro added authenticity. I looked like fucked up refugee from the Fun Boy Three.

What I produced to keep the inspectors of the E.A. happy was a set of cartoons/illustrations which 30 years later I still proud of if only because they so bonkers…

Base on my Uncle Brian’s very minor country-singer career and my weird David Lynch like obsession with backwoods Oxfordshire (Berkshire really) I produced these dumb arse images….

Looking back I should have produced total mad Crumb like sexual fixation nonsense and probably would have been a young cult and be more famous than Alan Moore now but with less Lesbian partners:-)

So here you are the artist image above is an accurate reflection of my state of mind and body in 1988….

Then came the great storm and then the crash…

Here the full set. (minus one architect image which my friend Donald acquired at the time)

My Secret Comic Past


My reading of comics started in early 1960s. My country Grandfather was not schooled and therefore had problems reading. He used to get copies of Victor magazine from the farm he worked for and I used to read them too….so started a lifelong love of war stories and films and football (both covered in The Victor).

I then progressed to Commando Magazines which I consumed avidly.

Finally my mother in an attempt to ‘educate me’ started buying me ‘Tell Me Why’ weekly which I loved. In fact most of my art historical knowledge started in there…I remember learning about Vincent Van Gogh and Picasso there!





I now find out that some serious comic artists were involved in all this ‘kids stuff’..


Alf Tupper was drawn by Peter Sutherland:


His creation has his own website: http://www.toughofthetrack.net/index2.htm

And Tell Me Why employed the Italian artist


I quote:

Some of the content of Tell Me Why was presented in picture strip form, and illustrated by some artists that readers would be familiar with. One such talent was Italian artist Ruggero Giovannini, known for his work in the early 1960s on Olac the Gladiator for Tiger comic.

Fascinating to find this out nearly 50 years later!

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