Lord Mustard

Politically incorrect comic!

mustarddetailFrom 1992, here’s a seven-page strip which I also published as a landscape-format mini-comic of 24pp. The downloadable PDF (8.9 MB) is in the same format. The story was sent to Marc Baines for a comic he was editing at the time, who rejected it; later I sent it to the American publisher Monte Beauchamp for consideration in his Blab anthology. Monte also rejected the story, but said “your strip is very, very good”.

Perhaps I’m being ultra-sensitive, but I feel I need to warn readers the comic is probably best for an audience of broad-minded adults only. It contains some four-letter words, grotesque depictions of drunkenness, and politically incorrect stereotypes. It’s also very funny, if I say so myself.

Fact: Lord Mustard actually existed, a tap-dancing street artist who I saw still performing in Oxford Street in London in the late 1980s. He danced to a portable cassette player and had a hand-lettered cardboard sign describing himself as “The Famous Lord Mustard”. Later I learned that English painters from the 1960s likewise considered him a hero; I think he even have ended up as the subject of a pop-art era canvas. My Lord Mustard – no connection to the tap-dancing street artist – is a resourceful character who likes his brandy, but as a “bindlestiff” he allowed me to make one or two oblique comments on the homeless situation in London at the time.

Download Lord Mustard PDF

5 Responses to “Lord Mustard”

  1. Richard Says:

    Hi

    I had a chat to the real Lord Mustard in a pub in the early 90s – he was fairly incomprehensible. I discovered this evening that he appears in “The London Nobody Knows” with James Mason – his career goes back to the music hall in the 1930s.

    Died a couple of years ago – http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/search/1931535.Tap_dancing_busker_dies_at_97/

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Richard

    Many thanks for the info and link! I had no idea Lord Mustard went back to the 1930s, but it makes sense from what I remember of seeing him in Oxford Street in the 1980s. Everything about his act seemed old school, apart from the fact that he was playing his old-fashioned music on a ghetto blaster. Who knows if he would approve my use of his name as a comic character, but I like to think he would have been as tough and resourceful as my imaginary Lord Mustard.

    Ed

  3. John Enright Says:

    I worked in a pub in Soho in late 1980’s, and Lord Mustard would occasionally pop in. He was definitely a presence, with the dingy morning suit (I think it was mustard-coloured with green trim) and hand-painted sign. You could not ignore him, because he was so strange-looking. He usually kept fairly quiet but would engage in small talk if you approached him. By this time he was decrepit and unlikely to dance very well.

    A customer told me that he had settled a lawsuit with Harrod’s some years back, and part of the agreement was that he was allowed to busk (perform) outside Harrod’s, whilst the store chased everyone else away. Can anyone verify the story I heard?

    Makes more sense that he was working on Oxford St. if I saw him in Soho.

  4. brian bridgland Says:

    Lord Mustard….. I worked opposite Harrods in 1978-80 and Lord Mustard was usually to be found dancing in his old morning suit to the shoppers outside Harrods. In those days he had a battery operated record player.
    He used to come into our local pub in Montpelier St, the Tea Clipper and take free drinks from anyone daft enough to offer. He told me once that an Arab had flown him down to the south of France and paid him £500 to entertain guests on his yacht at the Cannes Film Festival. This story got him a lot of free drinks . He is sadly missed as a bit of old London we don’t see very often these days

  5. Artie Says:

    I remember him dancing in Soho in the seventies. He was very entertaining. He did appear once on TV on a talent show but it wasn’t the same. He belonged on the streets.

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