Thursday, 30 December 2010

'Tis I, LeClerc

Thought I’d have another go at some none cartoony drawing this week- here's one of the efforts- it's an attempt at a fashion type illustration- although it's probably more René from ‘Allo ‘Allo than René Gruau.

It’s done using an inky digital pen on the PC- any attempts to use real brushes ink and paper leave me looking like I’ve done battle with an octopus.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Ctrl Alt Delete

Do kids still get bikes as presents these days? Or are they really all gadget addicted gameheads- venturing beyond their darkened rooms only when the craving for pizza gets too much? Probably not- but such stereotypes I help to encourage with the following- in the Xmas issue of Private Eye.

I never intended this as a Christmas cartoon- the original has a banner above the doorway with 'Happy Birthday' writ upon it- the Ed decided that it would fit in the Christmas edition, and so they scrubbed the banner- I hope it's still obvious that it's meant to be a present

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Getting plastered

This one was a surprise- The absurdity of the idea tickled me, but the subject is rather obscure so I wasn't sure anyone would take it- but, Reader's Digest did, and it's in the latest issue.
Have I ever mentioned that I once did a bit of studying of art history, and some of that in Florence? (Yes, several times- shut up!)
The Palazzo Vecchio in that town is a rather marvellous building- most people might recognise it as the place where Anthony Hopkins killed the Italian police chief in the movie Hannibal-but it is also where some people believe, hidden behind frescoes in one of the halls, is a long lost masterpiece by Mr Da Vinci.
So- here's my take on it.

The Palazzo Vecchio has a lot of things worth seeing that aren't hidden- I particularly liked the map room, which contains maps for the world as it was known in the 16th century. I was rather taken by the map of the UK, and how, for some reason, one of the most prominent towns marked on it was Basingstoke. I thought that perhaps the Medici family were shareholders in the AA (the Automobile Association headquarters being based there). But then one of my chums who seems to be an expert in that metropolis pointed out that it was probably to do with the wool industry at the time- but he's originally from Norfolk so he can't be trusted.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Keeping things in perspective...

I think I’m finally getting the hang of this cartooning lark- it's only taken 20 odd years.
I've managed to get another one of the cartoon clichés into print. So far I've had the desert island and psychiatrist gags- but now I can also introduce the 'businessman on a window ledge'.
This one's in the latest issue of Prospect magazine.

Friday, 10 December 2010


My hometown is a rather average sort of place- not a lot happens- a few movies have been filmed here, but other than that life carries on in its unremarkable kind of way. Pop down to the local shopping precinct, and huddled within the 60's brutalist architecture you'll find groups of the new young hip generation, and their offspring.
They get a bit of bad press, these unemployed youths and their hundreds of children, but I don't know why- after all, isn't there some statistic about how the population is getting older, and this is a 'bad thing'? These guys are trying to make a difference- they should be applauded!
This one’s in the latest Spectator magazine.

Friday, 3 December 2010

ho, ho

Christmas comes but once a year...
October through to December it seems, if you look at the shops.
So- to keep up with how the modern world works, here's a Christmas cartoon 3 weeks ahead of schedule- It's in the latest Reader's Digest.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bin there done that

Mankind stopped being hunter-gatherers for a reason- it's so much easier to go to the local shops and pick up a meal you can zap in the microwave- which gives you more time to watch cooking programmes on telly.
And yet some people still persist in picking stuff off the floor and eating it- when I were a lad that was called being a tramp- these days it's middle class and known as 'foraging'.
This one is in the latest Private Eye.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Hand Held in Black and White

The zombie was in front of me at the supermarket self service checkout- there had been a promotional discount on brains at the fresh meats counter- all the local undead were stumbling over themselves to take advantage. This one was getting on my nerves though- kept dropping his change as he tried to insert payment into the automatic till. Honestly, some of them could be worse than pensioners.
I pulled out the phased plasma rifle (in the 40-watt range) and took aim...SHTOOOOMMMM!!!
"Unexpected item in bagging area..." said the self service machine- I kicked the zombie's corpse to one side and scanned my items...Yorkie chocolate bar...bip!; packet of dream topping...bip!

What I have described above is what I imagine computer games are like these days- I don't really know- I gave up on them years ago- but it's the impression I got from the slack jawed chumps I used to work with (hello!), and their "ooh- look- I’ve pre ordered 'Dance Zombie II- The Apocalypse'- it looks ace!"

Here's a cartoon I couldn't sell-

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Great Egg Race

I'm not the first cartoonist called Len- there was one knocking around 15th century Tuscany. Leonardo Da Vinci's cartoon of the Virgin and Child (National Gallery, London) is a nice drawing, but I've never got the joke.
He wasn't bad at painting I suppose, but what's all that about him being a genius inventor, designing machines ahead of his time?

Sunday, 31 October 2010


Arrr- 'tis All Hallows Even- that ancient festival from ye olden dayes, celebrating the hollowing out of pumpkins.
Here's a cheery cartoon about death to mark the occasion (to be found in the latest Private Eye)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Did a lot of wandering at the weekend- came home via Waterloo railway station. The stage play of 'The Railway Children' is being put on at the old Eurostar terminal- complete with steam train. I'm not sure I've seen the film in its entirety- certainly never read the book- but here's my version of it anyway- was printed some time back.

Friday, 15 October 2010


There I was, moaning about being unable to think of captions for some cartoons, and then Private Eye go and print one of my rare caption less cartoons.
Here it is- from the latest issue-

I think there might be a bit of 'I don't get it' reaction with this one.
It's not that deep- honest.
Or is it...??
I don't know.
Or do I...??

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

It's my blog and i'll post what i want to

No cartoons today- instead a pic from a gardening day when it was unseasonably sunny at the weekend. Two Doors Away Cat came over to lend a paw's help...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I dunno

Sometimes I come up with an idea, and think of a suitable picture, but in the end can't add a snappy and witty caption.
I was reading once about how some brainy female graduates can earn more being a pole dancer in Exclusive Establishments for the Discerning Gentleman (refitted pub on the outskirts of Slough), than they could in industry.
Cue thoughts of someone not wanting to 'climb the greasy pole', so they ended up a dancer.
I know I know- bit corny, but I thought it might work-it didn't- I couldn't sell it.
Here’s the pic- just an excuse to post a picture of some foxy chicks really...

Make up your own caption.

It might be that climbing the greasy pole only refers to politics? I dunno- I thought it meant climbing the corporate ladder too- I should really do some research before attempting to do funny.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Not funny- official

Well- Once again I've been proved less funny than the readers of The Reader's Digest-My original caption for the following cartoon came third in the recent 'Beat The cartoonist' competition.
An explanation of the rules again- the cartoon was published without my caption- Readers are asked to come up with their own- the best 3 or 4, I’m not sure exactly, are put up against my (anonymous) caption- then people vote for their favourite.
The one voted best was:
"You know the old saying- use it or lose it."

My original was "I've cleared away all the cushions and stuffed toy animals- it appears we've never had a bed."

Now, initially I thought, yes, the winner's was probably better- but, then I thought, 'NO!'.
The readers are tagging a gag onto a situation where they know the bed is missing-but they don’t give a reason as to why it's not there- why are this couple just accepting the empty space? Why, readers, why?!
My one at least has some logic behind it.
Yeah- mine was best- shut up.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Vesta Chow Mein

My lack of drawing over the summer has resulted in very little being published recently- but here's one that's just come out- was drawn some time back.

(I was going to make some comment about how they've let themselves go, and name check some female cooks- but other than Nigella and Delia I couldn't think of a third one...
Rustie Lee? Blimey, that was a while back though)

Sunday, 12 September 2010


Things might be looking up -I think I’ve been too moany lately- oh, the pain of the artist as he struggles to create magnificent art...
The sun's been shining- I’ve drawn some cartoons- BBC6 Music is playing more bonkers music (well done BBC bosses for making the decision not to close the station down!)- And a new cat has appeared- to be known as TDAC (Two Door's Away Cat).
He's a bit of a pest, and won't replace NDC, but he makes me laugh- even when he's eyeing up my grub, as per this pic...

Saturday, 11 September 2010

15 minutes

The life of a cartoonist is one of non stop parties, red carpets and champagne- Thankfully the typical cartoonist appearance of hideous troll means we're not bothered by the paparazzi too much.
At least we don't have to worry about coping when our starlight begins to fade.
This one is in the Spectator.

Up to you how deep the message- is it why they're still a couple? Maybe Mr Footie is pondering the meaning of life?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

You can't take it with you

I've slowly been trying to get back into the drawing thing- I haven't been that happy with how my 'style' was developing- So I've been trying to get into a loose, more flowing and simpler way of drawing.
Maybe the ideas will flow easier too.
The following is another one of those toons which is full of drawing, but I’m not sure about the joke- Seems neither were the cartoon editors, cos I haven't been able to sell it.
I'm relying on people recognising that it's the moment when Tutankhamun's tomb was opened up by Howard Carter - and also that it was in a bit of a messy state- well, anyway, whatever.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

R.I.P. N.D.C.

Next Door's Cat is no more-I had it confirmed that he was put down last month-I had my suspicions- he didn't look well when I saw him last.
He could be a bully, but was also a bit of a softie- most of the time when he snuck into my house he'd curl up and have a nap on the rug.
An excuse to repeat the drawing I made of him last year.

Saturday, 28 August 2010


Another day in London, and to avoid the crowds that were being thrown out of the British Museum due to a fire alarm, I took refuge in a comic book store. I've mentioned before on the blog how I don't 'get' comics/graphic novels, so I thought I’d give them another go and have a browse. Unfortunately I think I picked up the same book over and over again, but they all had different titles and covers- odd.
I then saw some original artwork on a wall, with a brief explanation of the writer's vision-I had high hopes- surely something different and original to justify the exhibition of work- let's see..."blah blah, cyber punk pirates, blah blah, post apocalyptic New York..."
Oh, for f....
OK- so, there might one day be some natural or man made apocalypse- but, do you know what it would look like? What shops would be looted? The big ones- like Tesco and Marks and Spencer’s- the post apocalyptic world will be all Blue Harbour elasticated denim slacks, and Florence and Fred pastel cardigans.
Where do these cyber goth pirate punks get their outfits? Do they spend all their time with sewing kit and scissors- feverishly sewing on studs and sequins- I expect they get their mums to do it for them.

Rant over- here's my only comic book related drawing so far- was published a week or so ago.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Stick around

Not posted much recently, so here's another head-on-a-stick cartoon to make up for it- to be seen in the current Reader's Digest.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Lady Marmalade

Finally, after two and a half months of not thinking of cartoon ideas, I've managed to come up with some stuff and send them off to one of the mags. They were rejected, but at least I'm drawing again. Interestingly (to me anyway), I was told by the Ed that a fellow cartoonist had got in before me with a toon similar to one of mine. This is why I tend to steer clear of topical stuff- too much competition. Anyway- here's the one I came up with...

Thursday, 12 August 2010

one more than 99

I noticed the other day that I'd reached the 99th blog post- so, what to do for the 100th?
As Mike Yarwood used to say-

"and this is me..."

Monday, 9 August 2010

It used to be all slums round 'ere

I had a wander around London at the weekend- up to Hackney/Hoxton- it's where a lot of creative types live- I wonder why creatives all strive to look the same, eat in the same caff's and ride the same distressed bicycles. I suppose being creative is so exhausting you can't extend that creativity to being an individual. I’m not sure I fitted in. I can't squeeze into skinny jeans- stripey shirts make me look even fatter- I threw away my National Health spectacles before they became ironically hip.
I left the creatives to creatively bathe in their collective creative aura, and headed off to Hackney City Farm to say hello to the farm animals and the 3 leggedy cat. They were cool, and they weren't even trying.

Ah well- it's all about image and fitting in I suppose- every generation has their tribes...which brings me, rather clunkingly, to this cartoon in last week's Spectator.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Così fan tutte*

Unlike most cartoonists I don't go beyond the magazine 'gag' market, which is rather limited in the UK- so I was pleased to recently find another magazine that does take gags- and even more pleased with them taking some of mine-here's one (biting satire it is not...)

*i'm sure they're not really

Monday, 2 August 2010

Win things

It's that time again where I try to explain the rules to the Reader's Digest 'Beat the Cartoonist' competition- cos one of my cartoons has been used for the current one.
If you go to their website you can see the following cartoon (drawn a while back when I used pen n paper instead of computers)- my original caption is not shown. Readers can come up with their own caption- 3 of the best suggestions are eventually posted online along with my (anonymous) caption. People then vote on the best one. Does that make sense? It's all explained better on their website:

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Where'd I put that trumpet?

As mentioned previously, I’m stuck beneath the weight of a creative block right now. So, I was rather encouraged to find myself mentioned in the introduction to the Spectator magazine's cartoon special (8 page section in the current mag). It's a selection of some of the best cartoons from the last decade, and quite understandably, when looking at the brilliant cartoonists featured, none of mine were included. But...! In the introduction by cartoon editor Michael Heath, where many of the gag cartoon greats get thanked for their contributions, he also writes, "Readers should keep a lookout for the smart new kids on the block: Len, Wilbur and Murray."
I ought to stay cool and aloof, but...Woo yay!!

Oh, and on top of that, the same magazine has used one of my cartoons in a set of greeting cards currently advertised for sale within their pages. It’s a colour version of this one.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Beautiful plumage

Thought of this one ages ago- Inspired after I put out some bird feeder things when that 3 inch dusting of snow managed to cripple the country.
It's in the current Spectator magazine.

Pensioners- beware them! Who knows what goes on behind that blue rinse...

Monday, 19 July 2010

You're gonna need a bigger boat

Still haven't thought of any new cartoons- think it's the 8th or 9th week of blankness. I blame the summer-I’m out surfing and beach partying all the time. I can't be stuck indoors thinking of silly pictures when there are rays to catch...
Still got a few doing the rounds though, and this one appears in the current Spectator.

In the mag the colours have gone a bit wonky though- the sharks are pink. I probably shouldn't worry too much about realism-I don’t think in real life sharks speak English and have middle class concerns about ‘seasonal foods'.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

It's OK, I'm a professional

I'm very sad- Almost as sad as this Sad Kitty...
I broke my laptop the other day- My nice Sony Vaio.
It had a bug in it- literally. A small crawling insect was inside the screen.
I waited until it crawled beyond the edge of the visible screen and 'squished' the surrounding case, to try and end its stupid crawly life.
"Crack!" went the screen.
"Oh Bol**cks!" went I.
20 odd years I've been in IT support- you can't buy talent like mine.

Anyway- Sad Kitty was an attempt to come up with some sort of design to put on T Shirts and Mugs. I uploaded some images to one of those online 'print on demand' services. For those who don't know- people look at the online shop, choose a design and get it printed on mugs etc and receive it by post. I used to have a link to it on this blog. I stopped promoting it after I found out that after postage and packaging costs a single mug would be about 20 quid. I felt a bit ashamed at expecting people to shell out that much, so I haven't bothered with it again. The products are still up there though, and I think 2 items have been sold-netting me a grand total of £1.50 in profits.
Who needs a pension, eh

Friday, 9 July 2010

It's an enigma, Matron, an enigma

Here you go- one with not as much ink as the previous one, but it got published (in the current issue of Prospect), so I suppose there must be more think behind it. You can always rely on the old clichés with cartoons- desert islands, psychiatrists, and the lesser spotted ‘person in full body cast in traction’.
It's sort of about how stuff goes 'viral' on the internet-and one person’s pain is another person's entertainment n all that. Who was it who said- “If I fall over it's a tragedy- if you fall over it's comedy."

I’ve no idea if these sort of body casts and traction things exist in real life- I get all my knowledge of medical procedures from the Carry On films.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Less Ink More Think

I believe it was the cartoon editor of The New Yorker who once said, "It’s not the ink—it’s the think that makes a cartoon."

Well, I think I've used too much ink in this one- I couldn't sell it, despite hearing that people liked the drawing.

It's supposed to be about the cheesy glossy mags, and celebs selling their images for people to drool over. But, the reference is probably too obscure- After all, how many people these days are aware of the Cottingley Fairies scam from 1917?

Friday, 25 June 2010

OK Brain. I Don't Like You And You Don't Like Me...

Hmm... It's been a month now since I've thought of, and drawn, a cartoon.
Perhaps I'm going to enter one of my 10 year cartoon hibernation periods.
Today I took the day off from trying to upgrade email server antivirus solutions, in an attempt to have a thinking day. But, the sunny weather meant I ended up wandering along the Thames path near Marlow. V nice, but I didn't feel inspired cartoon-wise.
And now the BBC has wall to wall coverage of the Glastonbury festival- not much chance of me sitting down and thinking funny while that's on.
Ah well- Perhaps I shouldn't dwell too much on it. I still have a few toons doing the rounds, and some I drew a while back are just coming out in print.

Here's one in this week's Spectator

Saturday, 19 June 2010

It's all in the breeding

Last day of the Royal Ascot races today. I went on Wednesday, and have decided that giving money to bookies is not a good thing. Still, despite managing to pick the horse that would come last in every race I  had a good time. It's an excuse to dress up (I put on my best dungarees) and watch the pure bred fillies trot around.
Here's one...

Monday, 14 June 2010

The 27 Club

'The Week' has chosen some of my cartoons again. Just to explain, in case you haven't seen an earlier post about The Week- they pick out bits of the world's media and condense it into one handy publication, which comes out every, er...week. I had no idea they'd chosen them. I only found out after I queried a mystery payment (which is going to come in handy in a couple of days time when I throw money at lame racehorses).

Here's one of the gags, which was originally in Prospect.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

ee(book) bah gum

I think I'm getting to that age where gadgets just confuse me, rather than engage me. Seems to me that most of these new handheld devices are just fancy ways of watching telly.
So what if you've got a long train journey ahead- why not switch off and let your mind wander for a change.
And ebooks- what are they all about? Try dropping one of those in the bath, or half burying it on the beach, or forgetting to recharge it.
"Yeah- it's got 30000 books in its memory...can't read any of 'em, mind- battery's run out."

This one is in the latest Private Eye magazine

Friday, 4 June 2010

That's a nice a-donut

I don't normally double post on the same day, but one of my favourite films, The Godfather, is on telly right now.

Here's one I couldn't sell anywhere.

I shoulda made the cartoon editors an offer they couldn't refuse...

Starry starry night

I couldn't sell this one for ages, but thankfully the Oldie took it and it's in their latest issue.

Friday, 28 May 2010

I have no idea what's going on

This is one of two in this month's Prospect magazine.

If only IT support issues were as simple as this...
Glad this week's over.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

(I've Got A) Golden Ticket

I’ve this one in the current Private Eye. It refers to the state of a popular UK confectioner- Well, it used to be UK based.
I believe it’s called progress. I’m sure that’s what the shareholders think anyway.

But what would I know- I just turn computers off and on for a living and do colouring in when I have spare time.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

When all else fails

It's comforting to know that the old cartoon clichés still manage to make it into print occasionally.
Here's one I have in The Oldie

Thursday, 6 May 2010

cat drives bus

A couple of cartoons in this week's Spectator- I came up with the following one when there was a news report about how smoking could be banned in all sorts of places- including cars. The news story dropped out of sight after some other trifles took over the headlines-such as Icelandic volcano armageddon, UK Government elections, cat drives bus 30 miles without passengers noticing (OK, that last one was just a local story, so not everyone might have heard about that). I thought it worth putting this pic online as in the magazine the smoke hasn't come out terribly well- I guess some subtleties can get lost in the process- I draw the original on my PC and print it out to send by post- it then gets scanned by them and is eventually printed again by the magazine presses. What a palaver.

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Changed me profile picture- Winter is over so I’m no longer wearing my bobble hat indoors- thankfully Photoshop enables me to tweak the pic so I don’t look too much like I do in real life.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


I had a cartoon appear in the Australian version of The Spectator recently. I thought it might be interesting to compare it with an older gag from the British Spectator- the settings are similar (family members in kitchen), but I think the styles are quite different.

I used to try and get a lot of details in a scene, as I thought that was the correct thing to do.
Here they are-

older toon
(you’d never guess I used a photo as reference, would you)

newer toon. I quite like the newer style- just a few strokes of the pen to suggest the background- signature looks a bit better too i reckon.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Jeff Albertson

Found myself in a comic store in London the other day (looking for some old Private Eye mags). Majority of the shop obviously devoted to modern comics and graphic novels…I’m not a fan, I must admit.

Odd, really- after all, I work in IT and draw cartoons- you’d think I’d be the archetypal fan ( I do have the belly you’d expect though).

(Edit- just changed one of the comic titles as I realised it was unpleasant)
(Edit edit- realised the amended pic was missing the caption, so changed it again- (far too much effort this for a cartoon that probably only appeals to me)

Saturday, 17 April 2010

But it's my dream, Simon!

Oh dear- Britain's Got talent is back on telly.

I wonder if they'll have more children bursting into tears on stage like last year.

Still- it's all in the name of entertainment (and the parents' retirement plans), so that's alright then.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


And the Pussycat, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Approaching menace

Professional Scotsman Sean Connery has appeared in a couple of films which feature the small town in which I live. One of them is the rather bonkers, but brilliant, Time Bandits.
At the end of that film the child hero's parents are destroyed by a piece of pure evil. In the film it resembles an overdone piece of Sunday roast. In real life the evil would take the form of a pussy cat.

NDC (next door's cat) has been on the hunt in my back garden again- about an hour ago he was seen running off with a mouse in his bewhiskered jaws of death.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Glue Factory Boy to win

It's the Grand National tomorrow- who's going to win? Probably not this horsey- unless you stick a pin in his backside- watch him fly!

I liked the daftness of this gag, based on the book by Mr Orwell- so was disappointed to see it get rejected by mag after mag (I drew it back in August). But! Never give up. It made it into this week's Spectator magazine.