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Fifteen years of Doc Rat

Fifteen years of Doc Rat published on

Doc Rat made its first webcomic appearance on 26th June 2006, and in 2021 it will celebrate its fifteenth birthday. In that time, the good doctor has had to deal with swine flu, computerisation, Medicare, violence, tragedy, parenthood, bushfire and now COVID-19. And all he’s asked to do is to cure the sick and bring about world peace. Fifteen years and thirty-seven hundred strips. A big thanks to my readers and supporters over this epic journey.

What about the eBooks?

They are still on the way. This is all a technical learning curve for me, and it’s quite a challenge. Keep the faith, people, they will happen.

What other Doc Rat news is there?

For those of you in Australia, I had a table at FurDU, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, from 7th to 9th May 2021.

I was reminded, by seeing it on sale at a neighbouring table, that it’s still possible to buy the short story collection What Happens Next, edited by the late Fred Patten and published by Furplanet. It contains my short story Pickup at Hanging Drop, in which Doc Rat, Phil Krubnuckle and the young Simon Jaegermond (later to be given his adult name Quarrydog Schlag) go fishing. There’s life/death drama and jazz music in equal measures. It’s an important hidden chapter in the Doc Rat saga. Click the link to find out how to buy a copy. 

Fifteen years of Doc Rat

Fifteen years of Doc Rat published on

Doc Rat made its first webcomic appearance on 26th June 2006, and in 2021 it will celebrate its fifteenth birthday. In that time, the good doctor has had to deal with swine flu, computerisation, Medicare, violence, tragedy, parenthood, bushfire and now COVID-19. And all he’s asked to do is to cure the sick and bring about world peace. Fifteen years and thirty-seven hundred strips. A big thanks to my readers and supporters over this epic journey.

What about the eBooks?

They are still on the way. This is all a technical learning curve for me, and it’s quite a challenge. Keep the faith, people, they will happen.

What other Doc Rat news is there?

For those of you in Australia, I’ll be at FurDU, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, from 7th to 9th May 2021.

And a shout out to the comic Gaia, written by the German author Oliver Knörzer (Novil) and drawn by the Indonesian artist Puri Andini (Powree). They also created the comic about a girl and a raccoon, Sandra and Wu. (Do I love that comic? Well, Daniella’s GP is Doctor S. Wu. I rest my case.) Check out their Gaia printed anthology Kickstarter campaign.

Get ready for Doc Rat eBooks!

Get ready for Doc Rat eBooks! published on

Hi. Jenner speaking. At long last I’m allowed let out a very exciting secret: Doc Rat is about to become available as eBooks!

It will start as Volumes 1, 2 and 3. More will follow after that, until you’ll have the chance to build up an entire library – 24 volumes and counting. To begin with, they’ll be out on Amazon and Kobo, which you can read on a Kobo reader, Kindle, iPad, phone or computer. iBook versions will follow soon after that. 

Stay tuned for more details.  See the cover illustrations below. When these links become active, they’ll take you to the Doc Rat shop, where you’ll find portals to the major sites of your choice. 

There will still be print versions of the books. Currently, those are not available on mail-order until I can fix a glitch in the mailing cost function. But anyway, here is a taste of what’s to come:

This is the cover of eBook Volume 1. Coming soon!

Volume 1. Strips DR-0001 to DR-0132

This is where it all begins. We’re introduced to the family doctor Ben Rat and his practice staff: the gentle, caring nurse Mary Scamper and the emotionally labile receptionist Gizelle Thomson. Jarrad the scared little numbat boy has to have his injections. Phil Krubnuckle the local pharmacist helps Ben when he falls sick with a cold. Wilbur Fuzz plays the role of perpetual joker. Rufus, the Animapharm rep presents his wares with the new wonder drug Zappo. And as a finale, there are the increasingly bizarre Twelve Days of Christmas.

This is the cover of eBook Volume 2. Coming soon!

Volume 2, Strips DR-0133 to DR-0260.

The second book in the series, with a further miscellany of the strange things that can happen in a family doctor’s practice. Receptionist Gizelle experiments with New Age music in the waiting room. A pig has hair removal treatment from a giant spider. There’s a song and dance number. And we meet the Jasmine and Flopsy, the unlikely married couple, in a short story that culminates in a mad dash to hospital.

This is the cover of eBook Volume 3. Coming soon!

Volume 3. Strips DR-0261 to DR-0392.

More antics from the crew working hard to run a family medical practice. Ben treats coughs and colds in the rainy season. A clever use of fleas to cure an alcoholic dog. Jasmine the rabbit keeps her baby bunnies safe. The latest Harry Potter book release craze. The doc starts a daily exercise routine but fails to steer clear of video game addiction. And there are helpful examples of how to decipher Australian language. 

The pandemic: Doc Rat versus COVID-19

The pandemic: Doc Rat versus COVID-19 published on

Being a doctor, a nurse or a receptionist in a medical practice has changed a whole lot since March 2020. We’ve fallen into a completely different world, and it’s going to be difficult or impossible ever to go back completely to the way we were. The coronavirus pandemic – COVID-19 – has been the biggest global medical shock for generations. 

Why hasn’t Doc Rat been battling the pandemic from its beginning? Well, first I had to finish the tail end of the story about the bushfires, set in January.  With that done, and looking just a little bit late into the events, I’ve taken the chance to step back and condense a month or two of recent history into a short recap then set it going from April. So now we’ll get back to finding out how the virus is affecting Doctor Ben Rat, Nurse Mary Scamper and Gizelle Thomson, as well as Daniella Hood-Rat, Phil Krubnuckle, Jarrad Dryandra, Quarrydog Schlag, Flopsy and Jasmine Jaegermond and all the rest of the gang of friends. 

Some of you currently have a lot of enforced spare time. Whether you are bored, anxious, grieving or going stir crazy, I hope you’ll take a few of my recommendations of lockdown reading.

Endtown Topsider, from Aaron Neathery’s Endtown

Endtown, a webcomic by Aaron Neathery. If Pogo-Meets-Tank Girl were co-written by Arthur C Clarke, Neil Gaiman and Spike Milligan and directed by David Lynch, you may get some idea of where it’s going. In a post-war desert, biosuited humans try to hunt down the last remaining cartoon animals to cleanse their apocalyptic world of contagion, little knowing that the mutagenic virus is really a breach in the fabric of reality itself. It’s masterful writing and masterful art. Five stars. Endtown will enthrall you. Read it free on-line. Physical books can be bought.

The title characters from Bill Holbrook’s Kevin and Kell

Kevin and Kell, a daily comic strip by Bill Holbrook. It’s been around literally since the beginning of webcomics as we know them. A world of anthropomorphic cartoon animals in a semi-civilised world, where the predator-prey relationship is a matter of survival, until some of them prefer to buck the system and fall in love.  It looks like an innocuous comic, but the creator has been doing it for a quarter of a century, crafting an internally consistent world that’s quietly subversive in its message of tolerance and goodwill. Kevin and  Kell will cheer you up. Read it free on-line. Physical books can be bought.

Book 1 in the Travellers series by Paul Kidd.

Any of the books of Paul Kidd. They are fantasy in a variety of genres – Victorian steampunk supernatural sleuths, Japanese samurai ghost hunters, space-faring sword-duelling fortune seekers, magical mice and centaurs in the time of the English Civil War… they’re cracking good stories and gleeful fun. Paul Kidd novels will take you to happy worlds. Buy the ebooks through Kindle, Lulu and IBooks. Physical books can be bought. 

Try them out. 

2020: the Year of the Rat

2020: the Year of the Rat published on

A new year opens, for both the West and the East. On behalf of Doc Rat, I wish you health and success. I hope you attain your goals and surmount your problems. I hope you open your eyes, ears and minds to people with opinions that differ from yours. I hope you cut a little slack, compromise and learn how much common ground there actually is for all of you to stand on.

2020 is the Year of the Rat
Doc Rat wishes you a happy Year of the Rat

My country, Australia, and the world in general, faces many grave problems. The prospect of what could come to pass in this year of 2020 fills me with dread. But I remind myself the future is human. We can use our minds poorly, or we can use them well. At our best, we can find solutions to problems and then cooperate to apply them. We have brains and access to expertise that can get us to the answers – perhaps not the ones we want to see, nor the ones that conform to our deeply-held opinions, but the answers that are most likely to be correct, and therefore the ones most likely to work. This is not a game we’re playing, this world of ours. This is real. We’ve got to get it right to save it.

When Doc Rat has to make a decision between appendicitis or a stomach virus, he has to get the right answer. As he says: Diagnosis is king.

In 2020, may we all strive to get the right answer. And it’s a paradox, but to do this, all of us…ALL OF US… have to be prepared to meet a little more in the middle so the majority of us can move this thing together. And that may mean taking journeys outside of our comfort zones. Just the opening of your mind is an act of heroism, and upon my oath 2020 needs heroes.

What does 2020 hold for the Doc Rat comic strip itself? More of the usual light laughs and soulful philosophy: Doc will keep taking broken things and mending them. But there will also be some very exciting news, but more of that later.

 

Keith Howington April 9, 1954 – December 9, 2019

On the 9th of December last year, I lost one of my closest friends, who was also one of the most remarkable human beings it has ever been my privilege to know. In a remote part of California, at the age of 65, David Keith Howington passed out of this life, from the final of many complications of a severe, disabling illness.

 Level Head and octopus in Pittsburgh Zoo, portrait by Jenner

Keith was a dedicated fan of Doc Rat. He loved what I wrote and drew with such a passion that when in 2010 he sent me an email through the contact form about what he thought of it and why, I knew our minds worked on identical wavelengths. He would send some comments from time to time. Then, on a day in March 2011, while I was working in my studio on the latest strip, Keith sent an email with a pun. I punned back, and…well, it led to a reply in verse, to which I gave a riposte in verse, and for the next hour we duelled in everything from limerick to iambic pentameter to Doctor Seuss. Yes, from that day onward, we were firm friends.

Keith was a genius – a polymath, computer expert, systems organiser, writer, and a thoroughly decent person. He was good-natured, accommodating and generous. He had a sparkling wit and an incisive intellect. No stumbling block in the world seemed to be beyond his capacity to forebear with an even temper. A legal colleague once told him he had never seen someone as level-headed as he. So, when it came to choosing an on-line alias to participate in a web comic forum (and for very important practical reasons, a strict alias was necessary), “Level Head” was it. Level Head threw himself into the role of Doc Rat’s greatest advocate until he was, in effect the comic’s United States agent. Our dream was for him to be the mail-order distributor of Doc Rat books for that part of the world. But events changed this.

Keith was a self-made man. He devised software and took commissions in writing grant applications. He made fortunes, and fortunes were taken away from him. From partying in the Playboy mansion to facing down the Mafia, Keith’s level-headedness kept stability. But of all the fortunes he lost, the greatest of those was his wife, his beloved, to whom he always referred as “the lady Anne”. They had had, as far as I can tell, a beautiful relationship throughout the course of many adversities. But it was in 2014 that both Keith and Anne, after a celebratory dinner, came down with severe campylobacter food poisoning. After three days ill in bed, the lady Anne went into cardiac arrest, and all Keith’s efforts to resuscitate her failed. The date was April 4th. To say Keith’s life was devastated would be an understatement. And yet I never heard him feel sorry for himself; rather, he counted himself blessed for the time he and Anne had together. However bad was the down side, he could always find an up side to lift him.

Subsequent months saw Keith developing very severe metabolic abnormalities. I helped with advice from a distance, as I could. Keith’s comments were that this helped him a lot.

I had met Keith in person in July 2012 at Anthrocon in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Along with cartoonist Aaron Neathery (Endtown), the three of us had a wonderful union, some may say historic. I had wanted to meet up again with Keith as I passed through Los Angeles on the way to Anthrocon in June 2014, but he was in the middle of moving house, so he was on the road. I was able to phone him from the airport, and I was surprised by what I heard. Not only did my friend tell me his arms and legs were becoming weak and numb, but also his speech sounded unmistakably slurred. This turned out to be the start of a rare, severe neurological illness, a progressive, insidious auto-immune condition. His body was reacting to the campylobacter infection earlier that year. He sought medical care on the occasions his health insurance covered it (the insurance industry was going through great changes, and there were moments his coverage fell through the cracks, to the cost of his life savings), and this took him to a neurologist. When the neurologist diagnosed Guillan-Barré syndrome and reassured him there was no treatment but to expect it with time to clear up completely, Keith in his inimitable fashion did his own research and insisted it was chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), which will never clear up without immediate and expensive blood-modifying therapy. He was right. He got the therapy. And as far as it went, it worked.

Keith lost the use of his legs, most of the use of his arms but none of the use

A get well card from 2016

of his brain. He could still type, only very slowly. Amazingly, then, he was still able to work, albeit to a limited extent. He continued to post and comment on Doc Rat strips in the Cross Time Café forum. Severe muscle spasms would wrack him with pain. Severe enough and he could pass out, only to be found slumped in his chair a few days later. Keith came near to death many times. But on every occasion that he resurfaced, he would make light of it. Friends helped him set up a motorised chair lift to help him negotiate the two floors of his residence, but a series of blows to his health and finances saw him relocating to a single-room accommodation in the Morongo Valley, in the Californian desert.

At the last count, Keith reported that feeling was starting to return to his legs and his seat. Although it was good news, it also meant a return of pain, even more pain than before, which made it impossible to sit. He had to recline, and meant that eating and drinking put him at constant risk of pneumonia.

I have no doubt that, given the option, Keith would have preferred pain to death, as he battled – and maybe at long last would have prevailed over – the illness that had robbed him of a functioning body. Feeling and power would return to his legs, dexterity to his fingers, the ability to stand and walk, and the ever-present prospect of his brain interacting with the world for one more day, and then a day after that, and so on. Keith wasn’t the sort of man to let agony stop him when there was work to be done.

The final get well card from 2019

Against my better judgement, I started to think of Keith as indestructible. But even the most remarkable being is still flesh. Keith went into hospital and never came out. It was hard to contact him, and the best I could do was to draw a card and email it to a friend of his, who showed him the picture from his phone. I regret I could never have final words with him. I hope he knew he was in my thoughts and of course loved. In Keith Howington, the world lost one its most remarkable inhabitants.

Keith and I both followed the web comic Endtown. In 2011, just for fun, I started to write fan ‘filk’ lyrics based on popular songs and post them on the GoComics site in the comments section. By and by, I was producing them more frequently, and Keith started chipping in with his own. The trick was to see the latest Endtown strip, write as quickly as possible a song to fit the latest episode, and post as soon into the new day as possible so the entry would be near the top of the queue, in full view. Keith and I were vying with each other, each producing five new songs a week. I admired his creations as he did mine. Someone aptly called Jenner and Level Head “the lyricist and the bard”.

Level Head has appeared occasionally in Doc Rat as the eagle Lev Headland.

Keith wrote, during the lady Anne’s lifetime, a wonderful treatise on the secrets of a happy relationship. I hope I can make this available for people to read and consider.

He was a thoughtful person, and of the many things I learned in a decade of association with Keith was the ability to share commonality even in the presence of difference. Keith would describe himself to the right side of politics, while I lean somewhat to the left. That’s if labels were actually mean anything important, which I argue they don’t. We both agreed on finding the factually right answer to a question, and in that we were cooperative. Keith wasn’t much for following the news cycle or social media, so he didn’t parrot the litany of ‘conservative values’. He just believed in reward for personal effort and endeavour, and he thought his country’s media misrepresented that sound principle. I believe a nation functions best and most cooperatively when it feels socially secure, and any reasonable media will reach that conclusion. Without saying it overtly, Keith and I knew these two tenets were not mutually exclusive, therefore there was no point in falling into arguments over it. We knew our friendship was dearer than that, and squabbling was a waste of time. Yes, we did have some issues that were irreconcilable – we put those to one side and got on with the job of getting good things done. “Make right happen,” as Doc Rat would say.

Keith and I shared a decade on planet Earth. He will not learn what happens in the story of the decade to come. He lived his life in a way that will inspire me to get the best out of every day. He would have wanted me to commemorate not what never got to do, but all the achievements he did. He was, in a very true sense, a humble hero. The best way we can honour him will be to look at his ethos, learn from it and add it to our lives

Caption winners and the Nov/Dec 2019 Caption Competition

Caption winners and the Nov/Dec 2019 Caption Competition published on

Here are the last two winning entries, for all of you who entered. The first is a seahorse receiving a shot (of what?) The second is Doctor Bill, a social media celebrity medic, who happens to be an unbelievably gorgeous peacock. Ben and Daniella were following his videos on EweTube (here). So what did you all think Doctor Bill had to say for himself when you met him in person?

The real-life inspiration for Doc Rat's Doctor Bill
Doctor Mike

Sep/Oct 19
Joshua Morris caption competition winner CC-84

(Doctor Bill was inspired by Doctor Mike, who can be found on YouTube. Check it out, to see what all the fuss is about. To help identify him, I’ve drawn a useful caricature. Doctor Mike is a family physician, like me, so he gets my vote of approval.)

Jul/Aug 19
Nathan House caption competition winner CC-83

Click on the picture to be taken to the competition page. Then send me the funniest caption you can think of, and if yours makes me laugh the most, you’ll win the actual picture itself. Get to it.

Use your imagination and come up with something funny to complete the cartoon. The competition winners have usually been those whose caption adds more to the joke than just a recap of the picture. Pertinent, off-the-wall or sometimes just surreal in a perfectly-focused way. So go ahead – try your luck. You could be the next person to find some free, original Doc Rat artwork winging its way to your home. 

Caption Competition 085

Sep/Oct 2019 Caption Competition

Sep/Oct 2019 Caption Competition published on

Here’s the latest competition for you to enter. It’s Doctor Bill,  a social media celebrity medic who happens to be an unbelievably gorgeous peacock. Ben and Daniella were following his videos on EweTube (here). So, what does Doctor Bill have to say for himself when you meet him in person?

Caption competition 084

Use your imagination and come up with something funny to complete the cartoon. The competition winners have usually been those whose caption adds more to the joke than just a recap of the picture. Pertinent, off-the-wall or sometimes just surreal in a perfectly-focused way. So go ahead – try your luck. You could be the next person to find some free, original Doc Rat artwork winging its way to your home. 
 
Click on the picture to be taken to the competition page. Then send me the funniest caption you can think of, and if yours makes me laugh the most, you’ll win the actual picture itself. Get to it.

Caption competition updates! See below.

Caption competition updates! See below. published on

But first, Shirl Dryandra

Shirl Dryandra, the Aussie battler

 

Here’s a portrait of Jarrad’s long-suffering mother.

And not on a good day.

Now scroll down to see the caption competition news.

 

Caption competition for July/August 2019

Caption competition 083

What’s with the doctor giving the seahorse a shot in the arm? Does a seahorse even have arms? Maybe in the weird place called the Jennerverse they do. But from this, with a clever caption, I’m hoping you’ll add the missing ingredient and turn this simple picture into a very funny single panel gag cartoon. That’s all the help I’ll give you – the rest of the joke is up to you!

 

 
Click on the picture to be taken to the competition page. Then send me the funniest caption you can think of, and if yours makes me laugh the most, you’ll win the actual picture itself. Get to it.
 
 
 
 
 

We have a winner for March/April 2019

Mar/Apr 19
Bruce Griffin caption competition winner CC-81

The winner of the cartoon with the gnu and two birds is Bruce Griffiin, of Warrensburg, Missouri, USA
Well done, Bruce.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

…and a winner for May/June 2019

And the winner of the cartoon with the doctor , the patient, the X-ray and the pizza is Daniel J. Drazen, of Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA. 
Good on ya, mate.
 
May/Jun 19
Daniel J. Drazen caption competition winner CC-82
 
May/Jun 19

May/Jun 2019 Caption Competition

May/Jun 2019 Caption Competition published on

The winning entry is Daniel J. Drazen, Berien Springs, Michigan, USA

 

SPECIAL MENTIONS:
 
“Yes, now that I have your attention, if you’ll just move your gaze a little to the left…”
– Reid Giles, Alabama, USA
 
“As you can see, neither of these is humerus.”
– Jeremy Ryan, Malden, MA, USA
 
“And on the right, this is what your cartilage looks like.”
– Jeffrey Angus, Ranger, Texas, USA
 
“The X-ray shows no fracture, but I am concerned about your taste buds.”
– Aaron Fernandez,
 
“On the left is an X-ray of a degrading bone.  On the right is an example of a calcium source.”– Henry Gutman, San Jose, California, USA
“The leg looks fine and my lunch is finally  hot.”
– Kevin Vanderhoef, Seattle, Washington, USA

“See? Anchovies do have bones, but they’re very, very tiny.”

– Jenner

Convention update

Convention update published on

I (Jenner) will at FurDU in Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland, Australia from May 31 to June 2. I’ll be there to meet Doc Rat fans and sell books, including the as-yet-unreleased volume 21.

Caption competition for May/June 2019

Caption competition 082

As you can see, Ben is interpreting an X-ray for the benefit of a bystander. That’s all the help I’ll give you – the rest of the joke is up to you!

 
Click on the picture to be taken to the competition page. Then send me the funniest caption you can think of, and if yours makes me laugh the most, you’ll win the actual picture itself. Get to it.
 

Gnu Caption Competition Mar/Apr 2019

Gnu Caption Competition Mar/Apr 2019 published on

Okay, that’s a bad pun, but start as we mean to go on. The even-toed ungulate in this picture is a blue wildebeest or brindled gnu. You can use that play on words as a jumping-off point, or take it in another direction entirely. But if there’s a funny caption that can round this off into a screamingly funny joke, then that’s where your job comes in!

Caption competition 081

Use your imagination and come up with something funny to complete the cartoon. The competition winners have usually been those whose caption adds more to the joke than just a recap of the picture. Pertinent, off-the-wall or sometimes just surreal in a perfectly-focused way. So go ahead – try your luck. You could be the next person to find some free, original Doc Rat artwork winging its way to your home. 
 
Click on the picture to be taken to the competition page. Then send me the funniest caption you can think of, and if yours makes me laugh the most, you’ll win the actual picture itself. Get to it.
 
 
 
 

Convention update.

I (Jenner) will at FurDU in Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland, Australia from May 31 to June 2. I’ll be there to meet Doc Rat fans and sell books, including the as-yet-unreleased volume 21.

And we have a winner for the Jan/Feb 2019 contest.

Jan/Feb 2019
Tim Baverstock caption competition winner CC-80

Out of a difficult and witty field of contributions, I have picked the caption sent to me by Tim Baverstock, of Luton UK. The mental picture it evoked in my mind’s eye was amazing! I don’t need to draw it – just close your eyes and imagine!
Click on the picture to see more entries from our readers.
Nov/Dec 2018

Nov/Dec 2018 Caption Competition

Nov/Dec 2018 Caption Competition published on

The winning entry is Gregory, Olympia, Washington, USA

SPECIAL MENTIONS:
“Call me a ‘fly on the wall’, did you?”
– McKay Manners, Paderborn, Germany

“I’ve been trying to contact web support for TWO HOURS now!”
– Stephanie, Pakenham, Victoria, Australia

 “I’m not on the phone, I’m ON your phone.”
– Henry Gutman, San Jose, California, USA

 “Will you keep it down?!  You’re gonna wake the 200 eggs I laid in the ear….  Oh, too late.”
– Brian Eirik Coe, Lake Stevens, Washington, USA

“Who do you think connects you to the World Wide Web?”
– Lynne Lumsden Green, Springfield, Queensland, Austalia

“I said:  I’m right HERE!”
– Rob Wood, Louisville Kentucky, USA

“Ladder? No, I said I’ve got a very weak…”
– Jenner

New Caption Competition Jan/Feb 2019

New Caption Competition Jan/Feb 2019 published on

I have no idea why this koala is wearing a teapot on his/her head. But if there’s a funny caption that can round this off into a screamingly funny joke, then that’s where your job comes in!

Caption competition 080

Use your imagination and come up with something funny to complete the cartoon. The competition winners have usually been those whose caption adds more to the joke than just a recap of the picture. Pertinent, off-the-wall or sometimes just surreal in a perfectly-focused way. So go ahead – try your luck. You could be the next person to find some free, original Doc Rat artwork winging its way to your home. 
 
Click on the picture to be taken to the competition page. Then send me the funniest caption you can think of, and if yours makes me laugh the most, you’ll win the actual picture itself. Get to it.
 
 
 
Nov/Dec 2018
Gregory caption competition winner CC-79
We have a winner for the previous competition, too. The best caption for the Nov/Dec 2018 set was Gregory, from Olympia, Washington, USA. His contribution is here. Click on this link to see the end result and of course the Special Mentions.
 
 
 

New Caption Competition Nov/Dec 2018

New Caption Competition Nov/Dec 2018 published on

Doc Rat’s surgery is trying out some new telephone headsets. Unfortunately, Gizelle seems to have upset a spider. Just how and why I’ll leave up to you!

Use your imagination and come up with something funny to complete the cartoon. The competition winners have usually been those whose caption adds more to the joke than just a recap of the picture. Pertinent, off-the-wall or sometimes just surreal in a perfectly-focused way. So go ahead – try your luck. You could be the next person to find some free, original Doc Rat artwork winging its way to your home. 
Caption competition 079

Click on the picture to be taken to the competition page. Then send me the funniest caption you can think of, and if yours makes me laugh the most, you’ll win the actual picture itself. Get to it.
 
 
We have a winner for the previous competition, too. The best caption for the Aug/Oct 2018 set was Jonathon, from Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia. His contribution is here. Click on this link to see the end result and of course the Special Mentions.
 
Aug/Oct 2018
Jonathan Caption Competition winner CC-78
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eurofurence bound

Off to see the world – No more blues

Off to see the world – No more blues published on

Here, dear readers, is the update on the Doc Rat (Platinum Rat Productions) studio. All relocated, set up and working. 

Now, I’m on a month’s holiday in Britain and Germany, including EuroFurence 24, in Berlin.

And now, here a fascinating thing. Have you ever wondered just how far back in time Doc Rat goes? Well, I dipped into my vault of early work and made compilations of the single panel gags. They haven’t seen the light of day since their original magazine publications as early as 1995. But you may spot many of the jokes as ones that later reappeared in the Doc Rat strips we know today.

Please enjoy the upcoming procession of gags detailing Doc Rat’s humble origins. And after that, it will be definitely back into new works from the canon.

August/October 2018

Caption competition 078

 

On the bright side, I have managed to create a new caption competition. Click here to have a go! 

And… the winners of the three pictures from the past year have now being selected!
Click on each picture to reveal the winners and all the funniest suggestions. 
 

Jul/Sep 2017
Henry Gutman caption competition winner CC-75
Oct/Dec 2017
Roger Chittock caption competition winner CC-76
Jan/Jul 2018
Joe Kesselman caption competition winner CC-77

 

Desperatoin mass production

Restitution blues

Restitution blues published on

Here, dear readers, is the update on the Doc Rat (Platinum Rat Productions) studio. Having moved office from one building across town to another building, followed by another move across corridor from one room to another, I’ve finally got the furniture shifted, boxes re-opened, wires and plugs connected, and am now making a major marathon effort to build up a four-week bank of Doc Rat for your enjoyment. I thank you for chilling out with the past four weeks of character sketches.

But here’s the fascinating part: Have you ever wondered just how far back in time Doc Rat goes? Well, I dipped into my vault of early work and made compilations of the single panel gags. They haven’t seen the light of day since their original magazine publications as early as 1995. But you may spot many of the jokes as ones that later reappeared in the Doc Rat strips we know today.

On August 20, I will be departing for a month’s holiday in Britain and Germany. That explains another reason for the pressure: I’m  hurriedly making my preparations for EuroFurence 24, in Berlin.

Please enjoy the upcoming procession of gags detailing Doc Rat’s humble origins. And after that, it will be definitely back into new works from the canon.

August/October 2018

Caption competition 078

 

On the bright side, I have managed to create a new caption competition. Click here to have a go! 

And… the winners of the three pictures from the past year have now being selected!
Click on each picture to reveal the winners and all the funniest suggestions. 
 

Jul/Sep 2017
Henry Gutman caption competition winner CC-75
Oct/Dec 2017
Roger Chittock caption competition winner CC-76
Jan/Jul 2018
Joe Kesselman caption competition winner CC-77

 

Translocation reconnection

Reconnection blues

Reconnection blues published on

Dear readers, at short notice, the Doc Rat (Platinum Rat Productions) studio has to relocate. This is going to turn my schedule upside down, in the month that will also see me making my preparations to attend EuroFurence 24.

So, with great apologies, for the next four weeks there will not be my usual Doc Rat strips. In their place, I will present you an endearing character sketch a day. Thank you for bearing with me.

August/October 2018

Caption competition 078

 

On the bright side, I have managed to create a new caption competition. Click here to have a go! 

And… the winners of the three pictures from the past year have now being selected!
Click on each picture to reveal the winners and all the funniest suggestions. 
 

Jul/Sep 2017
Henry Gutman caption competition winner CC-75
Oct/Dec 2017
Roger Chittock caption competition winner CC-76
Jan/Jul 2018
Joe Kesselman caption competition winner CC-77

 

Relocation blues

Relocation blues

Relocation blues published on

Dear readers, at short notice, the Doc Rat (Platinum Rat Productions) studio has to relocate. This is going to turn my schedule upside down, in the month that will also see me making my preparations to attend EuroFurence 24.

So, with great apologies, for the next four weeks there will not be my usual Doc Rat strips. In their place, I will present you an endearing character sketch a day. Thank you for bearing with me.

Drawn for FurWAG 2013

Doc Rat – onward and forward

Doc Rat – onward and forward published on

Well, my good people, ConFurgence 2018, here in Melbourne Australia, was an excellent convention. It was good to see such a great turnout and such a spread of ages. 

Thank you for sitting comfortably through the Rat Pause slideshow, in my absence. Now, well get back to the story. Soon, there’ll be the judging of the caption competition and an competition picture.

In the meantime, please enjoy a picture of Ben and Daniella, dressed as pirates. And see if you can see the joke in the flag.

Oh, and I will be at FurDU at Surfer’s Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, from 4th to 6th May.

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