METRO

Cartoonist

There's nothing worse than a worthy laugh. Take political cartoons, with their embarrassing visual metaphors (here's a small dog that represents Tony Blair here's a bigger one that's Bush that hooded figure in the background represents all that is evil in the world and the bloke with the boomerang is the EU etc). That said, you can't beat a bit of Steve Bell in The Guardian. I'm also rather partial to the work undertaken by our very own cartoonist, Rick Brookes (see right hello Rick wave!). I myself grew up on DC and Marvel comics which I must confess was a little painful and has left me with a flat bottom.

For the purpose of this piece I interviewed cartoonist Gerald Cravat. Gerald has been contributing his cartoon strip, Feeding the Peccadilloes, to The Daily Howl since 1967. Aged 82 and unsteady on his feet, he chooses to walk around on his hands. "Being a cartoonist," he told me, "is like making love to a beautiful woman." Sadly he was unable to expand on this remark, so continued down a different path: "I started drawing when I was very young 36 or 37. I contributed to Marvel Comics for a few years. It was I who came up with Chunder Woman, the lady who sicks herself all over the world at breakneck speed. Later I was lead cartoonist for the popular strip, Alvin Yapp and the Putney Ferrets." After three hours and two bottles of sherry, Gerald began to let his guard down. "There's a chap in India who does my cartooning now," he said. "He's very good. Excellent rates, too. In the early days I did my own work, but it was f*cking terrible. India is a wonderful place. I was stationed there during the war, you know. After Malaya, of course..."

Later Gerald showed me round his studio and we had lunch. Afterwards he took a little drowsy and asked if I would tune his television into Cartoon Network. This I duly did then quietly slipped out the back, an original Schultz comic strip tucked under my arm.

© copyright 2008 Saul Wordsworth
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