Shirtheads - featuring Ross Robinson

It’s the age old question… quantity or quality?
In the case of Ross Robinson

what happens if you have both?

I had a virtual smorgasbord of designs
to pick from, but this one

screamed to me with a very simple gag, so let’s get to it!

If a robot and a monkey had a child in this day and age, map out that unfortunate love child’s life for us…

I actually think a robot/monkey hybrid would be a very lucky child in this day and age. People love robots; people love monkeys, so a combination of the two would be insanely popular. He would be the cool kid in class, the one who always got picked first when choosing teams and the first one to get laid. Later on, he would be the singer/songwriter/lead guitarist in a kickass insanely popular indie band that never loses its credibility despite outselling Mariah Carey and the Beatles combined. After a brief stint as a leading man in many blockbusters and acclaimed arthouse films about gay robot cowboy monkeys, he would turn his talents to politics becoming first the governor of Wyoming and later the first non-American, non-human President of the United States of America (let’s face it, he’s got a better chance of winning than a woman or a black man). In his two, four-year terms he would end war, eradicate poverty, solve the global warming crisis and invent not one, but two new flavours of twinkie. After retiring he would write a series of books so bloody good that James Patterson and Dan Brown would hang themselves to the overwhelming relief of the literary world.

What is the best toy ever invented?

Mego dolls. (Check out I had a Batman and Robin from the age of 4 and along with my Six Million Dollar Man were my favourite toys in the world. Unfortunately my mother gave them away when I moved out of home and I have spent quite a bit of money and time replacing them on eBay.

Mego were great. They did Superheroes, TV Shows, Movies, you name it. They were wonderfully crap with their odd ‘real hair’ and ‘real clothes’ but the amount of love kids had for them was undeniable. The company went bust in 1983 after turning down the offer of making the Star Wars figures. Stupid stupid stupid.

Your work has a strong satirical edge to it. Why all the satire?

Art Buchwald said ‘You can’t make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you’re doing is recording it.’ Which unfortunately is true. Satire used to be about holding up a distorted mirror to society to exaggerate things to make a point. These days however you don’t need the mirror to be distorted, you just need to get people to thinking past their attenuated attention spans. That is the difficult part. This is not something new however; the extremely talented satirist and musician Tom Lehrer said in 1973 when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize, “It was at that moment that satire died,” says Lehrer, “There was nothing more to say after that.” I was one year old at the time.

I think satire has survived – I was raised on Pickering, Paul Rigby and Patrick Cook cartoons, not to mention Kenny Everett, D-Generation and Fast Forward which has influenced the way I look at the world. When you look at the public figures today – politicians and celebrities alike, they are humourless, gormless hollow men (and women). That’s why we need humour. And gorm. Lots and lots of gorm.

If you could be responsible for one big thing, but no-one knew it was you, what would it be?

The assassination of Céline Dion. I don’t think I need to explain this one. I know though, if I pulled it off I wouldn’t be able to help myself at parties.
“You know that shooting of Céline Dion?”
“Yeah! Wasn’t it brilliant?”
“That was me.”

What are you stark-raving passionate about?

I am not a naturally passionate person. I get quite angry at stupidity and hypocrisy and am well on my way to becoming the ranting old curmudgeon I wish to be when I’m 80ish. A friend of mine has called me ‘the angriest man in Stanmore’ (a la Nick Hornby’s ‘How To Be Good’).

What are you guilty of?

Technically, nothing. I was acquitted on all charges. I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it, you can’t prove anything. More generally though, I would say the big 7 – pride, envy, greed, wrath with an emphasis on lust, gluttony and sloth. Those last three are definitely the best. Especially if you can combine them. Rather like the Romans did. The vomitorium didn’t just invent itself you know.

How did you find the bubble? What made you stick around? What made you take to tshirting?

I was introduced to RedBubble by my good friend David Gilliver who has his photographs on here. (Please go and check out his work now. Well, not right now obviously – finish reading about me, and then go and check out him.) I took to making shirts like a duck to knitting. Seriously – I have been a graphic designer for years but a very lazy one. It was only last year when I came across a one colour t-shirt design contest that I did my first shirt (the decidedly unpopular ‘Robot Monkey Love’). It didn’t win and it wasn’t until RB that I did my second shirt ‘Evil Naked Dolls’. I sold one within a week (much to the chagrin of Mr Gilliver) and have been hooked ever since.

What’s your favouritest tshirt you’ve ever worn?

It was a shirt I got for my birthday back in 1998 – there was a drawing of a cow floating in a tank with bubbles emerging from its rear end with the words “Arty Farty” underneath. I assume it was taking the piss out of Damian Hirst which was great because I think he is one of the biggest frauds ever to inflict themselves on the art world. Unfortunately it is now quite worn and full of holes. I have never been able to find a replacement. If anyone sees one and wants to send it to me, I take an XL.

My other all-time favourite shirt I had when I was five. It was free dress day at school and my mother made for me a Batfink shirt which was basically just a big red “B” on a yellow shirt. I was in heaven. Say it with me now, “My wings are like a shield of steel!”

Where and when do you get your ideas?

A combination of 30+ years of absorbing popular culture like a large ADHD sponge and an intrinsic need to create new stuff all the time. The ideas usually come to me when I should be doing something else – e.g. paid work, sleeping, driving which is bloody inconvenient. I think I need to trade in my muse for one with a better sense of timing.

If you could resurrect one person from history to have a day time talk show, who would it be?

I’m going to have to say Caligula. Not only was he mad as a hat full of badgers stirred with a crazy stick, but his carrying ons would be a perfect match for the sort of guests you get on Jerry Springer.

“So you slept with your brother’s wife and are now going to have a sex change to be her lesbian lover? Big deal! I’m a god who had sex with three of his sisters and made my horse a consul and a priest! You’re going to have to lift your game mate.”

The Tom Cruise interview would be television gold.

Thanks Ross :o)

Ok. Now you can go check out David Gilliver folks

Leave a message here first though, if you like, and do come back next week.

Caanan. :oD

Memory lane…

The Original Strip BigFatRobot Chris Richards Paul McClintock David J Cunning Johdie Tambatoys Simon Sherry Ross Robinson Natalie Tyler thickblackoutline rubyred Liesl Yvette Wilson Chris Wahl Jaywalker sparklehen jemimalovesbigted purelydecorative nofrillsart Superteam: Non-Stop animo Tabita LilyM bahgoesthesheep LuckyVegetable o0OdemocrazyO0o MuscularTeeth

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