TurtleHalf & Cumber

Written by Jon Chandler with drawings by Leomi Sadler.

Moomins meets Blade Runner.

A book for nostalgic adults, and maybe even their children.

Opening pages to preview HERE.

Order at the cost of £10.60 

World regional ordering:

*Not available in digital form. Paperback editions only.
**See HERE for current availability of other Bone House Books.

Turtle Half & Cumber & Lera Petrushenko

The eponymous pals photographed in the wilds of Brasielia – Nova Guinea by Lera Petrushenko.

Please contact Mz. Petrushenko to enquire about giving these friends a forever home.
($110 dollars for the buddy pair, plus shipping)

You can find her on instagram HERE.

A Short History of Turtle Half & Cumber by Jon Chandler
(listen to Money Mouse’s Organ as you read (by Christian Southgate))

As a teen I kept a dream diary every morning upon waking.

In the margins I would find myself doodling cartoons of characters summoned up from a mind half-wakeful. Various sprites and gnomes and they’d get names written beside them.

I don’t remember the specific creation of any of them, apart from Money Mouse who I recall was drawn the day after my mother passed away.

At some point the diary was burnt, as I had a wont to do in my past (a novel I wrote in my teen years went the same way).

But I did tear out and keep hold of some of the drawings, of those goblins and pixies from the margins, with names like Jack Catless, Turtle Half, and Cumber.

In my early twenties I repeatedly tried to draw the characters into a comic, yet only managed to complete one, which forms the basis of Cumber’s dream at the outset of this book.

Every so often I’d try again. It never worked out. Then it clicked that what I was trying to draw wasn’t a fit for comicbooks, but instead would work better as a childrens book.

The thought came to me during a particular Outlook Hotel episode in my life, (haven’t we all had those? Right? Agree?) and working on it in that moment probably saved at least my sanity if not my life. I was glad it hadn’t worked out before.

I wasn’t happy with my drawings. There was a sinister edge to them that when applied to a kids book didn’t land right, especially in a story with its share of darker elements.
So I turned to my dear comrade Leomi Sadler.

There is some element in Leomi’s drawings that matches the spirit of the book, not shy of the sinister, but also encompassing of the playfulness of life.

“Cumber isn’t based on me I hope!”

It occurred to Leomi as she worked on the book that the characters of Turtle Half & Cumber were, to her chagrin at that time, also somewhat based on exaggerated versions of our respective characters in those years;
Cumber full of beans and Alive Energy, Turtle Half ponderous and internal.

Looking back over the work a decade later I see that it is unbreakable friendship that is the true story of this book.

“Nothing is worse than having an itch you can never scratch!” — Replicant Leon from Blade Runner

Here it is then. A copy of a relic of an unpublished book.

Jon Chandler
Suffolk 2022

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