Many years ago now, a man came into the Mail offices with some black and
white cartoons. He showed these to Dr. Iain who immediately convulsed with
laughter. He and Mike Baird have continued their relationship, so when
Mike’s latest book was given to Dr Iain, complete with dedication on the
flyleaf, he passed it on to me for review.
Mike Baird was well known in the UK for his ability to ‘touch up’ paintings,
sometimes old masters, needing restoration in the original style. He was
also a fan of Norman Rockwell, and can generate original work in Rockwell
style. One that comes to mind is one of Father Ray Brennan, which can be
seen in the orphanage. To be able to do this and be a copy artist, he needs
a very critical eye, as well as a talent in working with brush, crayon and
Mike did not draw cartoons until coming to Thailand to live, where he could
indulge in his favorite ‘sport’ called ‘people watching’. Even a brief
glance through Mike’s cartoon books will demonstrate just how well he has
captured some of the foibles of life in Thailand.
Many of the cartoons highlight the comparisons between the expats living
here, and their previous lives in the UK. The back cover is a diptych with
an expat holding an umbrella in the rain in the UK and the same expat
holding a parasol to keep the sun off.
The lack of training in many jobs can be seen in the cartoon showing the
change between a farm boy and a security guard the next day. And you feel
secure in your gated community?
The cuisine for native Thais is not one that farangs will often indulge in.
Chicken’s feet may be an Isaan delicacy, but not for the expats.
Ladyboys get their fair share of mentions. Cartoon man Mike does have an eye
The clerics in the Go-Go bar is not as far-fetched as some people might
imagine, there having been more than one gentleman of the cloth associated
with some of the more salacious ends of town.
If you would like to get in touch with Mike Baird himself (and not a copy
one) check his website www.amuzingthaicartoons .com or email
The books are available through amazon.com.