Real horror

I can’t wait for GoComics to restart and to return to drawing three times a week. Then I can go back to constructing stories rather than producing one offs, which at the moment are tending to react to the day’s news and just get a little grim. I’m using Scrumpy, who is very much the manifestation of my cynical pessimistic side far too much these days… I want to produce more zany Jonesness, or gentle Chumleyness.

Incidentally, we’ve heard gtom GoComics towers, and there’s no chance Sherpa is going to relaunch this year. They still have no idea when it’s going to begin again, only that it will. Eventually. So it looks like Smith will be returning to it’s three-a-day schedule sometime in early summer 2018, as that’s when the daily reruns on Tapas are going to catch up with real time.



Assault and battery



smith-pilcher-868-151026Note the pumpkin-orange background, a colour normally only ever used on Alison Ward. It’s that time of year again.

Scenes from the Sherpa Halloween Party

Smith-Pilcher-714-141031Mutter mutter… when I was a kid… mutter mutter… commercialisation of Halloween… mutter mutter… racks of flammable Halloween costumes made from petrochemicals in supermarkets… mutter mutter… Haribo bogies… mutter mutter… imported American customs bastardising our perfectly good European ones… mutter mutter… trick or treat… mutter mutter… I blame ET… mutter mutter…

Cats have plenty of connections to Halloween, so it’s fine for them to celebrate October 31st. But there’s no need for them to wear a costume.

Note that Chumley, bless his gentle hearted soul, doesn’t quote get the idea of Halloween and is wearing a pair of Mickey ears, mainly because Alison Ward is wearing them at the Halloween party in her strip.


a575-131027This year’s Halloween cartoon is another one inspired by that weird cat calendar on my desk at work. This is one of those facts that the calendar throws at you, but worded in such a peculiar way that this was the first thing I thought of. I think what they mean is that cats have the power to see ghosts, rather than identify them.

So, who are the cats Jones mentions in this strip?

Humphrey – the Downing Street cat, chief mouser under Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Named after Sir Humphrey Appleby, the leading civil servant in the TV series “Yes, Minister”.

Skimbleshanks – the railway cat, from TS Eliot’s, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. You’ll find him in act II of the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical.

Custard – a pink cat who lived next door to a green dog called Roobarb. Appeared in a show with the best theme tune ever.

Thomas – the full name of Tom, the antihero of the Tom and Jerry cartoons, though only the housekeeper ever called him that.

Mr Jinks – a later Hanna Barbera cat, this one starred with two mice called Pixie and Dixie. Mr Jinks and Pixie wore bow ties, while Dixie had a waistcoat. Why?

Prudence Kitten – a forgotten British Children’s TV puppet from the 1950s. It predates me but I remember my sister having a Prudence Kitten book. She was a glove puppet of a kitten who wore a voluminous flowery dress, and I think she was a spin off from the Muffin the Mule show.

Felix – a black and white cartoon cat from the silent movies. (This ones from 1919).

Angus – an eccentric persian domestic cat from the movie ‘Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging’, a British teen movie filmed down the road in Eastbourne and Brighton. Recommended.

Michael – of What’s Michael by Makoto Kobayashi, the best cat comic ever.