Round these parts the period between christmas and new year is a time for turning the house upside down and trying to get rid of most of the rubbish that we’ve accumulated over the previous twelve months. My part in that is often going through the piles of paperwork in the study, filing the stuff that needs to be filed and getting rid of the stuff that is no longer (if, indeed, it ever was) needed. If I have time I’ll also engage in a spot of paperwork archaeology (do I really need all those credit card statements from 1998?)
This year I got deeper into cupboards and drawers that I have for several years. And I found some old stuff that brought back some memories. I particular, I found a green notebook that I was using in 1983.
In 1983 I was unemployed and living in Hackney. I had dropped out of my first attempt at a degree and I wouldn’t start my second (ultimately successful) attempt until the following year. I had a lot of time on my hands.
So I started to draw a cartoon. About a tortoise. We actually had a pet tortoise at the time so I wrote cartoon strips based on his antics. Or, at least, the antics I thought he’d be getting up to given half a chance. These cartoons are all in the green notebook that I have just found.
I wanted an break from sorting and shredding paperwork, so I’ve started to scan in the cartoons in order to preserve them (notebooks don’t last forever). And because the internet gives me a global audience, I’ve started to put them online.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Humphrey the Happy Hippy Tortoise. I’ll be publishing the strips over the next few weeks. There’s also a page with more background on the real Humphrey.
Randall Munroe has nothing to be worried about.