brain cartoon


I can’t really claim a deep interest in manga as the inspiration for this and much as I like Japanese artists like Hokusai (my toilet wall is a giant mural of the Great Wave) neither is his influence evident here. I’m afraid the reality is that I was a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and was pretty handy at the original arcade game. Shinobi was another big favourite. The actual trigger for this was the chopping boards I sell through my Etsy store. My first design (below) was called ‘It’s not brain surgery’ and quickly sold faster than I could make them (they’re all made individually by hand, not printed or laser etched). I thought about diversifying the theme of chopping up the brain and so axotomy immediately came to mind. The word literally means ‘cutting axons’ (see How to Build a Brain for more on axons) and is often done deliberately in experiments to understand what happens to nerves when they are damaged by trauma and how to stimulate regrowth. Various other choppers came to mind – butchers, lumberjacks, chefs – but the dynamism of a ninja wielding a katana leapt out. Deadpool has something to answer for here. Of course all I need to do now is find time to actually burn this into some chopping boards… In the meantime, it’s available on loads of different cool products at my RedBubble store.

One of my chopping boards sold under my ‘Drawn to the Sea’ alter ego

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