Tuesday, 6 July 2010

On a lighter note...

The lesson for today is, "Let sleeping cardboard boxes lie.".

Otherwise, you may just stumble across a newspaper clipping in your garage from over 30 years ago that makes you cringe, and your family fall about in utter hysterics.

Against my better judgement, and for any UK comic historians out there, I've decided to share. Just this once. Let's play 'Spot The Office Junior'...

Okay, let's not. I'm the really cute one on the left, 19 years old, and about nine and a half stone (look at that 30" waist! - I played a lot of sports back then). Next is current Beano Editor, Alan Digby, who will no doubt never speak to me again. The young Paul McCartney lookalike is Andy Sturrock, who (I seem to recall) eventually left comic writing behind to take up mussel fishing in the Western Isles. Then there's little Kirsten, whom it is hoped survived the ordeal with no major psychological trauma affecting her adult life. Sitting on the desk is Dave Donaldson, then chief sub editor of The Beano, but who went on to create the Nutty comic with a little help from yours truly. And the imposing figure on the right was, of course, Beano Editor, Harry Cramond, my first boss, and a huge influence on all that was to follow for me.

The door just behind Harry led into the Topper office, but it was permanently locked, and you had to go the long way round if you wanted to blow raspberries at their staff. You can clearly see our half-hearted attempt to cover up the dartboard for the photographer, and my desk was just to the left of where I'm standing. There were pages and pages of original artwork scattered upon every desk, a very different scene to the virtually paperless, computer-strewn offices of now. Happy days!


  1. Ha! Brilliant. I have to say, that is a rather fetching hair-do you have going on there ;o) Martin and I have decided though, that if you had shorter hair and a leather jacket, you would be the spitting image of John Simm in 'Life on Mars'!

  2. Happy days, indeed, Steve, you young whippersnapper!
    Scotty, in a weird bit of coincidental nonsense, I've had several beers with Marshall Lancaster (from "Life on Mars") while also in the company of Alan Digby (the aforementioned editor of The Beano). It was a long and enjoyable night in Leeds a couple of years ago. Marshall is now the owner of a signed Andy Capp original and I'm now the owner of a Life on Mars DVD, signed by the entire cast. No question---I'm quids in!

  3. That Roger Kettle is such a name-dropper. He'll be telling us next he's met Bill Clinton. ;-)

    Scotty, I have a leather jacket, and recently cut my hair (it was even longer than than in the old photograph, above). Sadly, it wasn't enough to transport me back to the 70's, like Sam Tyler in "Life On Mars", to recapture that John Simm look. Pity, 'cos my own Sam(antha) fancies him rotten!

  4. Just you hang on a minute there Mr.Kettle!- You mean to say that I have been stressing all week trying to come up with a decent enough gag and to draw it well enough to try and win one of these originals you speak of, and now hear that you are giving them away willy-nilly to the 'Life on Mars' crew! I am outraged! ;o)

    Brighty, maybe you should get the newspaper cutting blown up to full size, then photoshop in an appropriate haircut and leather jacket,... I'm sure that would do the trick for Sam.

  5. It could have been worse, Steve. What if you looked like Keeley Hawes?
    Um. I'm having conflicting emotions now.

  6. As am I, Brendini, as am I! :-/

  7. I showed this to Mr. Digby last night. As you anticipated, he's never going to talk to you again.

  8. Oh, dear - has he still not yet come to terms with the fact I was the really cute one? I'd have hoped the passage of time, and all that...