Bristow - The Beginning

Strange, isn't it, I have written and drawn ten thousand comic strips about a character who works in an office, when my strip was originally conceived as an instruction on motor car maintenance, and only thirteen strips out of the ten thousand have featured both man and vehicle?

Copyright © Frank Dickens 1.962-2.023

People who know about such things would argue that this implies carelessness on my part and looking at the figures it would seem to be so. There are, however, mitigating circumstances, which I will try and explain. Here is a photograph of my goodself and the car in question, taken thirty six years ago.

The vehicle is an Austin 7 Chummy, rebuilt by Colin Chapman of Lotus fame (who went to the same school as yours truly) and in the curiously naive way that lads of my age had then, I hoped to explain, by way of a strip cartoon, the intricacies of the combustion engine and the maintenance and upkeep of a motor car.

Below is the first strip.(A few weeks before it started I had seen a cartoon drawn by Michael ffolkes, in which the name Bristow was featured, and being a rather nondescript name I attached it to the insignificant driver). Bristow is seen driving the car to the office.

Copyright © Frank Dickens 1.962-2.023

My plan was to show the car. The following day the Bristow character was to be driving home and experience a breakdown. He was to explain that the trouble was due to a broken half shaft and he was having to repair it IN HIS OWN TIME. Explaining away a broken half shaft in the limited space of a cartoon frame proved rather more difficult than I anticipated, and while I tried to work out how to present this successfully, decided to delay the action and keep him in the office until the solution presented itself.

And in the office, apart from an occasional foray into the world outside, in search of food, or the occasional holiday, he has remained.


Frank Dickens 2000-2023


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