About the author
The author of Footrot Flats is Murray Ball. He lives on a 550-acre property near Gisborne, New Zealand. He began the Footrot Flats comic strip series in 1975 which became a big hit in New Zealand and many other countries.
Before beginning Footrot Flats, Murray Ball worked in various jobs including a dodgem car attendant, teacher, pinball game operator and journalist. It was after some success as a freelance political cartoonist that he created what has become his most well know creation. He also created another comic strip named Stanley (see an example of a Stanley comic). Recently, he released a new comic called "The Flowering of Adam Budd" about the trials of teenager.
Foortot Flats is largely inspired by events, animals and people on his own property. Some characters, such as Horse the cat, are based on real life characters. Many of the female characters such as Aunt Dolly, Cheeky Hobson & Cooch's cousin Cathy were inspired in various ways by his wife Pam Ball. Many of the situations depicted in the comic stem from Ball's keen observations of the little things in life.
Well he's certainly familiar with farm life. On his property, he keeps dogs, deer, sheep, horses and many of the other farm animals common in the comic. His property, Mikas, is named after Mikas Theodorakis who wrote the music for Zorba The Greek. In 1993 he was featured as the celebrity gardener on the popular Australian tv program Burke's Backyard.