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Tim Hunkin trained as an engineer, but then became a cartoonist, drawing the Rudiments of Wisdom for the Observer newspaper for 14 years. His next career was in television, writing and presenting three series called ‘The Secret Life of Machines’ for Channel 4 (see www.SecretLifeOfMachines.com). He now works mainly for museums, building interactive exhibits and curating and designing exhibitions. You can find more about Tim, and a full record of his work, at www.TimHunkin.com

Copyright. All cartoons and images on this website are copyright Tim Hunkin 1973-2001. All rights reserved. All other aspects of this web site other than the cartoons and images are copyright Tim Hunkin and Shane Frazer 2000-2003. All rights reserved.

Tim writes: The cartoons appeared in the Observer newspaper from 1973 to 1987. The very first ones were drawn for a Cambridge student newspaper called Stop Press in 1972. The idea for the strip occurred to me after looking through the university library catalogue. Under the words like ‘odd’, ‘strange’, and ‘peculiar’ there were a number of books like Strange but true and Oddities of Animal life. These books were full of obscure advice, odd facts and ridiculous information. At first, the cartoons were not meant to be taken at all seriously (the first one contained advice on how to draw cows). About a year after leaving college, the Observer took them on for a trial period of 6 weeks – I stayed for 14 years! As I continued doing new subjects, the research became more and more enjoyable. I quickly began to mistrust books like Ripley’s Believe it or Not, with such dubious facts as ‘the horse who was court marshalled’ and ‘the first man to wear trousers’, and took to more reliable sources. Over the years the research became more difficult as I ran out of obvious subjects, but I carried on, enjoying the challenge (there aren’t many jobs where you get paid to investigate anything you like). After I left the Observer Hamlyn’s published the complete set as an Encyclopaedia called ‘Almost everything there is to know’. After selling 50,000 copies this finally went out of print in 1998. Now the cartoons are on the Web, we are updating the facts, and hope to publish a new hardcopy edition in 2004.

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Acknowledgements.
We'd like to thank Sarah Angliss and Pip Barnes. Please click on their names and visit their web sites!

 

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Disclaimer: The information on this site is presented as an informative entertainment. By using this site you agree that you will not base any decisions purely on the information found here.  Minors agree to always get the permission of a parent or responsible adult before trying any of the experiments found on this site.  Copyright: All cartoons and images on this website are copyright Tim Hunkin 1973-2001. All rights reserved. All other aspects of this web site other than the cartoons and images are copyright Tim Hunkin and Shane Frazer 2000-2005 All rights reserved. Site launched 10th January 2001. Major modifications September 2003 - 2006. We hope you will visit our sponsors who pay for hosting this site. Click here for a fine selection of rugs.