This cartoon is one of a series of eight drawn by Cornish professional surfer, Sam Bleakley. The series follows “A day in the life of Surfer Joe”. During his day, Joe checks the surf forecast, leaves early to catch the best waves before heading to work in a surf shop. After work he heads out again for an evening session on the water. There is also an environmental message in this series as Joe avoids the polluted beaches, and becomes depressed over the state of the local environment. The series represents a day that many keen surfers aspire to, leaving the rat race for an easier life enjoying the Cornish surf.
Sam Bleakley comes from Sennnen in the West of Cornwall and regularly surfs there still. Despite being the European longboard champion, and his career taking him all over the world, he still favours the Cornish waters. He is also a freelance journalist, writing regularly for surf publications. He is sponsored by a number of companies and, in many ways, seems to have not only achieved the aspirations set out in his cartoon series, but gone beyond them. In his own CV he writes: “Surfing is more than just a sport, it is a natural lifestyle, addictive and dictated by the ocean. The best surfers embody a dream; driven, clean living, clear thinking, modest and most importantly, happy”
Sam Bleakley’s Surfer Joe cartoons are part of the museum’s permanent collections and may be viewed by appointment.