The star rebels…

bofb nativityvblogI recently had this drawing turned down for very understandable reasons. Written by my long standing collaborator Mr Thorburn, the piece was about Christmas Nativity plays at small school.  Here is the bit I chose to draw:

“Then there was the proud mum who went to watch her darling little girl in the leading role. All went well at first, but as soon as she got into the stable, she sat on the straw bale, put her feet up on the crib and spent the rest of the play picking her nose.”


I so enjoyed doing the drawing that I chose to finish it and even colour it, a rare thing for me these days, and here it is.

I hope you enjoy it too.

More about Mr Thorburn:
More about me


“The facial expression they are waiting for should have its own brown sign on the motorway”

This is one of Mr Thorburn’s best lines in the book and I much enjoyed doing the drawing for it.
What a wonderful name for a pub instead of all those faux trendy slug and lettuce places.Brand managers take note, this one’s a winner.

The Surly Old Git

….is exactly as it was when its purpose in life was to cater for the eager, laughing crowds coming off shift from the drop forge. Now, hidden away on the canal bank, mid city, between the back of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Yeung Chow Chow Fan Wholesale Warehouse, it has two sorts of customer: regular and unwary.

The regulars, mostly journalists, are there in the hope of witnessing a Heritage Moment, when a stranger walks in and catches one of the last genuinely baleful glares left in the British leisure industry. The facial expression they are waiting for should have its own brown sign on the motorway.

Infallibly, it is induced in the eponymous landlord by a new and insensitive customer’s recitation of the following lines.

‘Ah, mine host! A foaming pint of your finest draught mild, if you would be so kind. Very well then, I shall have bitter. Yes, the smooth will be fine. And a spritzer for my good lady here. Dry white wine and soda. Ah, right, well, a cider would be excellent. Or, indeed, as you say, a half of smooth. And what flavour crisps do we have this fine day? Two packets of pork scratchings, of course. Could you just top that pint up for me, please?’

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For more of Gordon’s golden words take a look at
and for more of my stuff go to


Yet another of Gordon’s golden words, this time he’s talking about artists…

I suspect that Mr. T is not a great fan of the abstract and having just visited an exhibition in London by a German artist who is almost exactly the same age as myself, I was want to think that his life cannot have been much fun. In contrast to mine which has, for the most part, been one of cheerfulness and chuckling to myself. Some cartoonists that I have had the pleasure to meet have not been a pleasure to meet, miserable people with a gloomy outlook. Others cannot be serious for just one minute! So just like everyone else really.The good, the bad and the bloody miserable.

There’s been a fashion lately for ‘public art’ where local councils and developers have a budget built into a project to accommodate public art. I love this idea though like anything to do with art it can be a bit of a risk, results vary from the really engaging pieces to the laughable. My drawing this week might just be a comment on that.


Evolution has produced a more belligerent species, Conceptual Artist (Con Artist for short), whose young have pretty well eliminated Artist, the dignified predecessor, from natural habitats like boozers and brothels.

Although still distinguished from Con Artist by the ability to paint and draw, Artist has become shy, reclusive and largely nocturnal, and so is rather difficult to spot among all the other drunks, neurotics and sex maniacs.

Gone are the days when the least attentive naturalist could hardly fail to stumble across the telltale signs of Artist: paint, brushes, canvas, nude models, charcoal and empty beer crates. That has all disappeared because Artist’s only survival strategy, the talent for depiction, has become almost irrelevant.

As with so many other endangered animals, here we have a complete failure to adapt to changing circumstances. While Artist continues to attempt to emulate or surpass previous artistic achievements, Con Artist has realised that there is no point in trying to paint something better than, say, The Odalisque, when you can video a beautious naked female sitting on the toilet. This is doubly effective because, when you get tired of looking at the woman on the bog, you can record an episode of The Simpsons over the top of it.

Con Artist may have no obvious ability and may look like any other pasty-faced, body-piercing degenerate but the hypnotic call makes him/her more successful at grabbing whatever money there is knocking about.

Thus, Con Artist will easily persuade a squillionaire or a borough council to give a massive grant so a room can be filled with chicken noodle soup. Indeed, the hypnosis lasts so long that the same source will happily pay again next season for Con Artist’s Cabinet maker’s mother knits a dining table in purple and yellow wool.

The much less assertive Artist, pleading weakly for money to buy some paint to do a picture of Exmoor at sunset, will find there is nothing left in the kitty. Even if there were, Artist wouldn’t get any. After all, nobody has thought it worthwhile to knit a table before, whereas loads of Artist specimens have painted landscapes and thousands and thousands of people have pictures hanging in rooms which, more creatively, could be filled with soup.

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Gordon can be found at and you can find more of me at

Thanks for dropping by, it’s odd but recently I have had a lot of visits to this site from Brazil. I’m at a loss to know why but thanks to all you Brazilians.

Pushing the envelope…

Just like many of these corporate sayings like ‘running it up the flag pole’ I’m convinced that no one knows what they mean.In this case pushing the envelope refers to my recent mailing from my day job.

I work for a fine set of printers in wonderful downtown Gloucester and have done for the past ten plus years. I joined the company after a 30 year spell earning my entire living from drawing cartoons and illustration. They gave me a ‘proper job’ where I was paid every month and I started at 8.30 and was allowed home at 5.00 each day. No weekend work or working into the night like the previous ( and parallel career ) Sociable too, I got to meet loads of interesting people almost every week.

Well I am retiring from the printers at the end of the month and to announce this to my customers I send them a letter mailing, and to personalise them had the idea of ‘doodling a quickie’ on each envelope. So to each window envelope I added a little pencil cartoon or doodle to personalise them and they went out to my customers last week.

I got one of the chaps at work to take my photo before they went as with this sort of thing the originals not only went out in the post, they were the post. Perhaps that is the true meaning of ‘pushing the envelope’, lets run it up the flagpole and see how it flies next week.


Not exactly the best of photographs, dull day, had to be taken quickly!

For more info on me you can always drop into
and for more info on the printers take a look at

Newspaper Seller

Back to the book, here’s Gordon’s take on the newspaper seller.It’s one of my favourite subjects!

Where on earth do they come from.I recall there being one in Manchester who, if things were slow, would write out on the headline board: The Pope! No news.

It would improve sales for the day with worried catholics buying, only to find there was indeed, no news about the Pope.

See more of Mt Thorburn’s stuff at

and there’s more of my stuff on


Any sightings should be reported to the Natural History Museum.

There are plenty of people who stand about selling papers but specimens of Newspaper Seller must, by definition, be recognisable in the dusk and rain by their cries alone. Saying ‘Big Issue? Have a nice day’ in a polite, self-effacing tone does not make one a Newspaper Seller, quite honestly.

The real thing was ever unmistakable. Anyone from north east Yorkshire would be able to infer from the distant cry of ‘Baybay! Scabbay! Baybay!’ that they were on the other side of the clearing from a man offering the paper, the Scarborough paper. That it was called the Evening News was a matter widely understood and so unnecessary to mention.

Strangers to the famous port 40 miles south would instantly realise that the man selling the late editions of the Hull Daily Mail was the one crying ‘Hawdiwinnahs! Skinnywinnahs!’ Like everybody else in Hull, with the possible exception of the specimen himself, they would never know the wherefore but would buy the paper anyway and without asking about the undernourishment of victorious horses.

In the Great Wen all those thousands of office mice, hurrying down their holes at the end of the day, used to lift their heads briefly at the familiar call of ‘Tennerh! Ee-inn! Tennerh!’ and, without looking at Newspaper Seller, drop a few coins into an outstretched hand in exchange for a copy of the Standard, the Evening Standard.

On Sundays, no members of the type were ever seen. Nobody knew where they went. Possibly they hibernated for the day, venturing forth only to the corner shop to purchase a copy of the Tie, Sunnay Tie, or possibly the Zerv Erah, or maybe the Noodawer-eh.

Scientists are still trying to prove that Working Men’s Club and Institute Singing Man has evolved from Newspaper Seller, for some reason.

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I’m not retiring, I’m being been re-pointed.

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I’m due to retire from my day job as a print rep at the end of November and there seems to be no mechanism for telling people that you have not expired and that I shall not be spending my days watching daytime TV. So I think it best to say that I am being re-pointed, like a fine brick wall. My grouting is to be replaced with a new mix.

In actual fact, I shall be going back to what I did before and that involves a lot of drawing and only a modicum of daytime TV.

Here’s the latest of a line of cartoons that I do for a chap in Cirencester who is a whizz at the social meedjah. I’m pleased with this one, as his subject of disengagement is so true of a lot of businesses these days.

For more about him look at

For more about what I’m been re-pointed from see

A fine group of people who know all there is to know about print and were blessed enough with a big enough sense of humour to employ me for the past 10 years os so.

So here we go…into the mix!