Just Us Then? is the first book collaboration from the respective talents of Brighty & Holt (Steve Bright and John Holt). If it’s also the last, then you won’t hear them complaining. Their plan in producing this book was purely to have fun putting it together, and in that regard it’s already a resounding success. That anyone else might derive pleasure from it, they say, would be icing on the sponge.
John Holt is a man of many talents, trailing a chequered route to becoming one of the UK’s finest magicians, via many career stops including radio presenter, casino croupier, timeshare salesman and social worker. Steve Bright, on the other hand, has only one forte – producing cartoons. He has, however, done this in a career spanning four decades, working prolifically for illustrious publications from The Beano and The Dandy to the Sunday Times, and many others besides. Currently, his editorial cartoons appear in The Sun newspaper every week. Aged just 19, he was largely responsible for the creation and writing of Bananaman, still providing laughs to this day.
Brighty & Holt met by chance 18 months ago, whilst both were performing live to a convention of orthopaedic surgeons in Birmingham; Holt entertaining in his capacity as a professional magician, whilst Brighty drew caricatures of the assembled medics. A common bond was forged that evening, through humour, and the coincidence that they lived not far from each other.
Early morning meet-ups at a mutually-convenient garden centre restaurant ensued, soon extending to lunchtimes, as they hit on the idea of combining their talents in the form of a book, bringing together a collection of Brighty’s previously unpublished cartoons alongside Holt’s one-liner gags from his other great passion for stand-up comedy, in the explosion of humour and colour that is Just Us Then?.
The book contains various chapters, attempting in vain to organise the assembled chaos, and also includes sections devoted to Brighty’s celebrity caricatures and Holt’s own cartoons.
“Not so much a coffee table production as one for the top of the bathroom laundry basket.”, say the authors.
“You’re not leaving that thing there!”, say their better halves…