Who is Albert?
Albert is a tree. A pipe smoking tree. Quite how he actually smokes a pipe is unknown. No one knows even how he fills it up, as, after all, trees don't tend to have hands. Come to think of it nor do they have tend to have mouths in which to stick the pipes. Perhaps that was the main reason why Albert soon gave up smoking. After all, it was pretty impractical. It's not as if he even had a pocket to put his money in - money he would need in order to buy tobacco.
All these things meant that Albert didn't smoke his pipe very often and when he did, he usually put washing up liquid in it and blew bubbles as this was a lot more fun.
Albert lives in Kathryn Wood. It's a very strange place. Mainly because it is home to a tree whose favourite hobby is blowing bubbles out of his pipe. It also houses a small cottage with a thatch roof and walls made out of red clay. In this house lives an old woman who is eighty seven and has long grey hair which is in a bun. Her favourite television show is Countdown, which she watches every day without fail. But she is irrelevant to this tale.
Albert is a very gentle and sweet creature who hopes you enjoy the tales about his life. He hopes you look at it and smile. And if you don't smile, nor find his life amusing, Albert notices that you have a good sense of humour. Albert knows that anyone who laughs at these pages, is very, very sad indeed...
How Albert came about
Quite how Albert came into being is probably lost in the mists of time. The very first Albert cartoon was drawn on Sunday, July 30 1996 when Albert's creator, Andrew Bowden, was on holiday with his parents, in the Loire Valley, France, during a particularly unpleasant time in his life (as anyone who knew his then girlfriend may just agree!) Where on earth the idea of drawing a pipe smoking tree came from, who knows, but the nameless cartoon tree nearly went off into obscurity.
If there is mystery surrounding the birth of Albert then there is also mystery in his return in October 1997. But reappear he did and a total of 16 Albert cartoons were drawn in the months that followed.
The whole collection was scanned into computer a few months later as part of an exclusive printed version of the Albert cartoons for one keen admirer. In October 1998 those cartoons made it onto the web. The site was revamped in October 1999 and again in October 2000. Amazingly, these dates are all coincidences.
Albert started off as small doodles in the diary of Andrew Bowden - a product of his warped mind perhaps? Albert is a great example of the simplistic cartoon style which we all love, and is no way due to the fact that Andrew can't draw for toffee. Oh no.
Nor did Andrew spend much of his early high school art lessons writing the name of the 'The Bee Line Buzz Company' on anything possible, just to annoy his art teacher, Mr Brown. Amazingly his lack of artistic talent didn't put Andrew's 3rd year art teacher, the guitar playing Mr Palmer, from being truly disappointed that Andrew wasn't going to take GCSE art.
Later on in life, Andrew contributed several hundred articles to the sixth form college magazine of Hyde Clarendon College, Hydra, as well as some cartoons published under the title of 'The Inner Circle'. Later on at university Andrew moved into websites and radio broadcasting, before graduating and eventually joining the new media division of a well known broadcaster.
And so it came to pass that no more Albert cartoons were created again. Well until 14 October 2001 anyway.
After many requests from the public, the first new Albert cartoon for 4 years was unveiled to an unsuspecting public, although it took nearly 6 months for the follow up to be posted on March 31, 2002.
Since then it all went quiet again. But maybe Albert will return once more. If the author can be bothered to think up some new ideas anyway...