TOY SOLDIER COLLECTING I have always had toy soldiers. As an only child in the 60s I played plenty of solo games with them, on the floor and in the garden. When my friends came around we made up the two sides and mowed them down with marbles, rubber bands etc.
Of course my hobby evolved since then. It occupies several rooms. I paint the figures in great detail and for wargames use various detailed rules, complete with dice, probability tables and so on but I still sometimes shoot at them with toy cannons!
I have always liked drawing; I never got bored as a child, so long as I had paper and pencils. I also borrowed all the how to draw and how to draw cartoons books from the local library and copied the drawings. At a point in the 80s my Mick and Hoppa characters started to emerge and they have been adventuring for years now. My influences are my old hitchhiking days and trips overseas, comics such as Felix, Disney, Harvey and the cartoons of Robert Crumb, especially Fritz the Cat.
The ThreeStooges and the Marx brothers also have an influence. My characters are really 'Two Stooges'. The Australianisms are fairly strong, thanks to the suggestion of my Uncle Des. 'Mick' is sort of a combination Paul Hogan, Charlie Chaplain, and a bit of myself. Mick was the name of my patrilineal great grandfather and my father's nickname. Hoppa is also a part of me as both characters follow in my traveling footsteps and do either what I did or what I would have liked to have done.
My other interests are reading obscure books, growing vegetables, camping and swimming.