Cartoon stereotype

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

Just Amazing: the Frenchman who ate everythingJust Amazing. TV Times 1984. More art from the miketoons dusty archives. An illustration to accompany programme details in TV Times. Apparently the man featured in the programme ate bottles, bicycles and even a light aircraft. Cartoon stereotype of a Frenchman? I admit I’ve never met a Frenchman dressed like this.

Thanks to Elliot Elam for pointing out the Frenchman was Michel Lotito – Monsieur Mangetoute!

Art in a Rainy City

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

Manchester Illustrators Exhibition

Art in a Rainy City, 1980s: Illustration in Indian ink for an exhibition of work by illustrators based in the Manchester area. A one night stand with the art buyers and creatives of Manchester. I don’t remember getting any commissions from that evening but it was good to work with other illustrators in putting it all together.

Any other ‘oldies’ remember it?

Unseasonal Greetings

Art, Cartoons

Frozen Robin Xmas Card

I know it’s a warm June day but I couldn’t wait to add this cartoon to the miketoons blog.

A Christmas card drawn in 1988, the first Christmas I was living in Devizes. It shows the old Coate Bridge (demolished to build a new wider bridge a few months later) over the Kennet & Avon canal. Son Owen and friend Neil are on the bridge. Don’t know whether the bovver-booted robin was a reference to Swindon Town football club.

Odd isn’t it. Well, 22 years on it strikes me as rather odd.

Roger Frames: rediscovered pencil rough

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

Roger Frames - Batfink and gargoyle - 1st rough
While rummaging through a pile of old pencil roughs (I call it my filing system) I discovered, or rediscovered, this first pencil rough for a Roger Frames cartoon.

It was for the third of three cartoons where the theme was Roger acting out a Batman fantasy triggered by his favourite ‘Budjit Game’ of that month.

As you can see below I changed the drawing completely for the final version, much simpler and more dramatic, prompted by Art Editor Ollie Alderton’s valuable contribution.

Roger Frames - Batfink and gargoyle - 2nd rough

Here’s the final printed version.
Roger Frames - Batfink and gargoyle - printed proof

Roger Frames buys Budjit Games

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

Roger Frames - masthead

I’ve been scanning in old art commissioned by Commodore Format magazine in the early 1990s. At the time, Future Publishing was probably my best client and I was producing artwork for many of its magazines.

The regular project that I enjoyed the most was illustrating the pages where the low-cost (Budjit) computer games were reviewed by the fictitious young, accident-prone kid – Roger Frames.

Issue #1 of the magazine saw Roger in basic black and white line but very soon – by issue #4 – a couple of full colour illustrations of Roger’s antics appeared every month. This increased to as much as four illustrations in some issues.

I’ve chosen a few of my favourites: some are scans from the printed magazine because the artwork was either not returned or been lost.

Roger Frames - snotty nose

Roger Frames: Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside

Roger Frames: Commodore 64 sand sculpture

Roger Frames: Computer Sand Sculpture

Roger Frames: All at sea

Roger Frames: All at seaRoger Frames - Hospital VisitRoger Frames: Hospital Visit

Roger & Debit watch the Chancellor's Budget Speech

Roger Frames: Roger and Debit watch the Chancellor’s Budget Speech

Roger Frames: Arrested for Begging

Roger Frames: Arrested for begging

Roger Frames - Asleep in the sun

Roger Frames: Asleep in the sun

Roger Frames - Sunburn

Roger Frames: Bad Sunburn

Roger Frames: The Untouchables

Roger Frames: The Untouchables

Roger Frames - Batman and the vicar

Roger Frames: ‘Batman’ and the vicar

Roger Frames - Batman and the vicar

Roger Frames: ‘Batman’ and the vicar

Roger Frames - Hanging on

Roger Frames: Hanging on

Roger Frames - Beach Treasure Hunt

Roger Frames: Beach Treasure Hunt

Roger Frames - Bath Tub Sub

Roger Frames – Bath Tub Sub
Originally posted on – Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Quick Brown Fox

Art, Illustration

Quick Brown Fox
…and Lazy Dog.

Scraperboard illustration in a woodcut style which was used as the logo for Quick Brown Fox (typesetters and pre-press company in Manchester, UK). It was based on a colour painting by another artist, whose name I don’t know.

It was done in my first years working as a freelance illustrator. Back then, if anyone asked “Can you draw wildlife?” (or virtually anything under the sun), I’d answer “Sure!” and worry about how I was going to do it when I got back home with the brief and the purchase order.

Apologies for the intrusive copyright notice. I’d prefer a lighter touch but I’d like any rip-off merchants there might be out there to have to work for their ill-gained goodies.
Originally published on

Roger Frames and his dog Debit watch the Chancellor’s Speech

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

Roger Frames and his dog Debit watch the Chancellor's Speech

This is a blast from the past. An ink and wash illustration commissioned by Commodore Format magazine in the early 1990s.

I illustrated many “Roger Frames buys Budjit Games” for the magazine involving the penny-pinching antics of Roger, who acted out his computer game role-play with disastrous consequences.

Working with Ollie Alderton, the art editor of Commodore Format, on Roger Frames has to be one of the most fun things I ever did.

Originally published on