Toggle left Slidebar
View Account View Account

Titus the Newt by Andrew Christine and Roger Kettle

Titus the Newt by Andrew Christine and Roger Kettle ran in the News of the World in the 1980’s.Roger Kettle had come up with an idea of a new strip called "The Travels Of Ant Arthur". This was to be about a soldier ant who was thrown out of the colony for being a pacifist, and what subsequently happens to him on his travels. “The concept just didn't work", said Roger. "Apart from anything else, drawing an ant as a main character has many problems, and Andrew rightly pointed these out. However, there was something about the feel of the idea that I liked and I kept going back to it in my head. One of the peripheral characters in the strip was a newt who was permanently drunk (not the kind of thing you could do today) and this appealed to me and I decided to develop him. One night when I was thinking about the character I thought up a name for him 'Titus' (as in ‘tight as a newt’). The more we discussed the strip with each other, the more we thought Titus should be the central character. It was the kind of strip that, these days, would never have been published. Andrew produced some great artwork for the pond/woodland setting. What I'm saying is, re-look at everything you do. A fresh perspective, after a period of time, can make a huge difference." Roger also said that Titus was a "very frustrating" strip to do because it was totally different from Beau, where a punch-line could be built up. With only one strip every Sunday, he explained, a relationship could not be created between characters, or have a continued story line, as readers tend not to remember what happened from the previous week.