Bristow (cartoon)

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Bristow was a comic strip character whose everyday office life was recorded in over 10,000 "Bristow" strips created and drawn by Frank Dickens. According to Guinness World Records "Bristow" was the "longest running daily cartoon strip by a single author" since its first publication in the Aberdeen Press & Journal in September 1961.


The cartoons follow the daily life of a buying clerk who works in the monolithic Chester-Perry building. He is a fantasist and has delusions of grandeur, wishing he were a brain surgeon and a writer. His epic tome Living Death in the Buying Department has yet to find a publisher, but he is not discouraged. He lives in a small bedsit in East Winchley and commutes to work by train, invariably arriving late. Bristow is surrounded by co-workers, Fudge (his overbearing manager), Jones, Hewitt, Dimkins, hapless typist Miss Sunman, master chef Gordon Blue, the Postboy and the ever-gossiping Mrs. Purdy the Tealady. Bristow has a crush on routine visitor Miss Pretty of "Kleenaphone". Another regular visitor is the pigeon who sits on a window ledge. During the winter, the bird travels to a warmer climate where she visits Bristow's counterpart, a black man in a white suit. Bristow invariably holidays at a beach resort known as Funboys Sur La Plage.

Frank Dickens is often credited for "inventing" a cartoon device whereby he wrote the words of the action next to the character, such as "flinch flinch", as he was unable to draw expressions well enough to fit in the comic-strip boxes.


The strip was widely syndicated in Great Britain and in Australia. It appeared in the Birmingham Evening Mail and, between 1962 and 2001, appeared in the London Evening Standard newspaper. The Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald published the strip from the late 1960s. Since 1966 at least eleven Bristow books have been published in the UK, as well as editions in Australia.[1] A number of collections were published in Italy with the captions translated.

Radio adaptation[edit]

Bristow was made into a BBC Radio 4 series[2] starring Michael Williams. There were 14 half-hour episodes made from April 1999 to July 2000,[3] with frequent repeats on BBC 7.[4]

The series was written by Frank Dickens, the creator of the cartoon strip,[5] and starred Michael Williams as Bristow and Rodney Bewes as his colleague Jones.[6]


  1. ^ "Bristow in Print". Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Lavalie, John (10 June 2006). "Bristow. A Titles & Air Dates Guide". Retrieved 5 October 2008. 
  3. ^ "Goodbye Bristow; Londoner's Diary.". Evening Standard. 11 April 2001. Retrieved 5 October 2008. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Bristow Radio Programme And Cartoon". Retrieved 5 October 2008. 
  5. ^ "Frank Dickens Biography". Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Radio: They're sinking fast in the typing pool". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). 25 April 1999. Retrieved 5 October 2008. 

External links[edit]