Well known as a cartoonist and illustrator, Simon Bond became phenomenally popular in 1981 with the publication of his international bestseller, 101 Uses of a Dead Cat. The charming linear style of his drawings made the tone of his comedy seem all the darker. Simon Bond was born in New York City on 19 August 1947. He was the second son of British parents: Terence Bond, a political secretary at the United Nations, and Hilda Everett, a civil servant. He had an older brother, Timothy, and a younger twin brother, Nicholas. The family returned to England when Simon was four years old, and settled first in Nottingham, where he attended Forest Fields School. They then moved to London, where he attended Preston Manor County Grammar School, Wembley. Simon Bond studied graphics at West Sussex College of Art and Design in Worthing (1965-68), but was expelled before completing the course.
He worked briefly as a paste-up artist for Tatler and other periodicals (1969-70), and as the manager of a jewellery shop in Luton, Bedfordshire. In 1970, Bond returned to the United States, and spent more than a decade living in Phoenix, Arizona, where the climate was better suited to his chronic asthma. He worked in a variety of jobs, including dealing in antiquarian prints and pictures and performing as a stand-up comedian. At the same time, he developed as a cartoonist by contributing to many major American magazines, including Esquire, Men Only, National Lampoon, The New Yorker and The Saturday Evening Post and Vole. In 1976, Simon Bond published his first book, Real Funny, and soon afterwards developed the idea of macabre cartoons about dead cats, prompted by Bernard Kliban’s surreal book, Cat (1975). They first appeared in the pages of Esquire, but were not collected as 101 Uses of a Dead Cat until 1981, once his friend, Terry Jones of Monty Python, had recommended it to the British publisher, Methuen. The book became an immediate and worldwide success, and was followed by many and various publications, beginning with the cartoon collection, Unspeakable Acts (1982). In 1982, Bond returned to London, and began contributing to Private Eye and Punch, while also producing 101 More Uses of a Dead Cat, with tie-in calendars appearing in 1983 and 1984. During the 1980s, he also illustrated two books by Alan Abel: Don’t Get Mad, Get Even! (1983) and How to Thrive on Rejection (1985), among others, and published and edited the book, Sherriffs at the Cinema (1985), on the subject of one of his favourite caricaturists. In 1985, Simon Bond married Linda Marshall, whom he had met in 1982, while she was studying engineering at university in her home town of Phoenix. They settled at Great Addington Manor, a Jacobean house near Kettering in Northamptonshire. Here he began to produce the ‘Teddy’ series of children’s books and continued issuing collections of cartoons, including Totally US (1988), Holy Unacceptable (1990), Uses of a Dead Cat in History (1992) and Everybody’s Doing It (1993). He also published and co-edited the comic magazine, Squib (1992-93). In 1993, Simon and Linda Bond moved to Langar, Nottinghamshire, as the result of a house swap with the buyers of their Northamptonshire manor house. They returned to London in 1995, but went back to Northamptonshire in 1999. In 2001, Methuen celebrated the twentieth anniversary of One Hundred Uses of a Dead Cat by publishing Complete Uses of a Dead Cat, incorporating all three volumes. Then, six years later, it celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary by republishing the original volume with a new foreword. Simon Bond died in Northamptonshire on 22 June 2011. Further reading: Mark Bryant, ‘Simon Bond’ [Obituary], Independent, 26 July 2011