Jim‘n Alec marked the 30th anniversary of their popular weekly cartoon by taking a night ashore for a celebratory drink in the Harbour Bar, where, as ever, they were in the company of Sweaty Betty.
The idea to run a weekly cartoon in Fishing News emerged when cartoonist Bill McArthur sent some sample illustrations featuring Jim‘n Alec to editor Tim Oliver, who was immediately attracted to the idea.
The first Jim‘n Alec appeared in Fishing News on 12 February, 1988, when the two erstwhile fishermen, unsurprisingly, were discussing the CFP in derogatory terms. Since then, Jim‘n Alec have expressed typically cynical views on a wide range of topics, as the weekly cartoon quickly became the popular light-hearted feature it continues to be today.
Bill McArthur said: “When I drew the first illustration, I didn’t think that three decades later I’d still be turning out Jim‘n Alec for a whole new generation of fishermen. Fishermen today don’t differ all that much from those of my own generation. Likewise, the problems and difficulties they face are also mighty similar, be it politically inspired bullshit, as with the CFP or the more basic issues of hacking a living in life-threatening conditions from unforgiving elements.”
While the characters’ wry sense of humour has retained a finely honed cutting edge for 30 years, the techniques used to produce the enduringly popular cartoon have evolved, with the original hand-drawn black and white illustrations being superseded by computer graphics and colour, although, as ever, the cartoon owes everything to the unique skills of its creator.
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