Joseph Wright obituary

By Alison Clink

Cartoonist and children's book illustrator who brought to life the adventures of hapless puppy What-a-Mess

Joseph Wright, who has died aged 70, was a popular cartoonist and illustrator of children's books. His humorous, off-the-wall and sometimes contentious cartoons featured in newspapers including the Guardian, Times and Independent. He illustrated books by Bamber Gascoigne, Michael Aspel and Paul Heiney, and is probably best remembered for his collaboration on the What-a-Mess children's series with Frank Muir.

These tales about an extremely untidy, gauche and accident-prone Afghan hound, extended to more than 20 books and were adapted for television in both the UK and US. Many of the pictures included tiny images of Joe's two young sons, Sam and Peter, who loved seeing themselves featured among the mayhem.

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