Beano cartoonist Steve Bright conjures up magic with John Holt with new book, “Just Us Then?”

Just Us Then? - Cover


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on the idea of combining their talents in the form of a book, bringing together a collection of Brighty’s previously unpublished cartoons alongside Holt’s one-liner gags from his other great passion for stand-up comedy, in the explosion of humour and colour that is Just Us Then?.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…

• You can find Steve Bright at or follow him on Twitter @Brighti

• You can find John Holt at or follow him on Twitter @johnholtmagic

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Collections, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News

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