May Blog

Soon it will be my birthday and once again I’ll have to sort through the expensive and extravagant presents I’m always showered with. The Aston Martin Vantage an admirer gave me last year stands, still unwrapped, behind the garage.

I’m just back from the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival – now in its tenth year. As ever, it featured 40 professional cartoonists and caricaturists working live, for free, and whilst its hard work, its very, very funny, which is down mainly to the public.

Every year I note down the things which I hear behind me whilst I’m working on one of the twenty 8foot by 6foot boards in the Market Square, then publish them on the end of my board the following year. “My uncle was hung in a gallery” and, “ That’s not really a cartoon. Its too big” are among my favourites.

Live caricaturing, which features heavily at Shrewsbury is something I don’t do and I take my hat off to those who do. Let’s face it, some people who sit down to be drawn are – how shall I phrase it – visually uninspiring. And yet the caricaturist will produce a likeness which IS like the subject, but doesn’t feature the uninspiring bits too heavily. Amazing. And they do it so quickly. Five, ten minutes max. AND its free. There’s always a queue for caricatures and this year one or two people got stroppy because they had to wait their turn. Ignorant dimwits.

The day before Shrewsbury kicked off I was down in London – on the day of Mrs Thatcher’s funeral. No, not to pay my respects but to be a guest on Libby Purves’ R4 Midweek chat show. Libby is a cartoon aficionado and asked all the right questions. Excellent. In fact quite a few people I met at Shrewsbury had come to the festival because they’d heard the show – including a girl I taught 33 years ago ! I swapped her a cartoon for one of the off the wall [so to speak] clocks she makes. 33 years ! Gordon Bennett !

And my new hip performed well. Nothing fell off.

But its back to the drawing board now. Cartooning is probably one of the few jobs where you can actually say that.

2 thoughts on “May Blog

  1. Happy birthday. I wouldn’t normally say that to a strange man but you have an Aston Martin Vantage, new hips, and you’ve been to Shrewsbury. Next you’ll tell me that your real name is George Clooney… [sigh]

  2. Hello there, Just browed across your website and realised that you were my Art teacher in school. I was at Arundel Comp (1st year seniors) from 1969 to 1972. I remember you had us graffiti paint the corridor outside the classroom and we loved it. Also you had us do a self portrait and I was really pleased with mine. I look back now (many moons later) and realise that is when I started to love art and I reckon you gave me that appreciation. Also everyone thought you were cool and all the girls had a crush on you. 🙂 Hope you are well – keep on scribbling x

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