Good Reading : July 2015
GOOD READING JULY 2015 13 What did you enjoy reading when you were a child? Enid Blyton books. Biggles books by W E Johns. Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopedia and various accounts of World War II. Did your parents read to you as a child? I can’t remember them reading to me very much, but they certainly conversed with me a lot and told me bedtime stor ies. Do you write in the margins of your books or turn down the pages to mark your place? I don’t usually turn down the pages to mark my place. Sometimes I get in a muddle trying to find where I was upto,butindoingsoI reread passages and discover important things I had overlooked, or misunderstood, in the first reading. It’s rather sobering. Just occasionally I write in the margins using a 2B pencil. 2B is my favourite pencil. When you were a child, what career did you think you would have when you grew up? I can’t specifically remember, but I felt I wanted to do important work that was useful to the world. Who are some cartoonists whose work you really admire? Bruce Petty was the cartoonist whose work spoke most strongly to me in my formative years. He demonstrated that newspaper cartoons of a political nature could be profoundly moving and effective in the development of one’s philosophical character. There are many cartoonists – too numerous to mention – who I encountered and was affected by. These days I don’t look at cartoons very much, and I feel that contemporary cartooning is too twee and clever, too insipid, or too brash and overworked – sins of which I am often guilty. What inspired you to take an interest in cartooning? My early drawings at school had a distinctly cartoonish nature, as do the drawings of most children. It was my English teacher, when I was 15, who told me I would grow up to be a cartoonist when she found me drawing in my English exercise book instead of wr iting. At the time I didn’t really understand what a cartoonist did. The wild graphic cartoons of Martin Sharp, in the early issues of OZ, were quite a revelation to me. Suddenly the cartooning possibility seemed exciting, bold and glamorous. You said once that you have an obsession with telling the truth about life as you see it. Can you tell us about any books you’ve read that are particularly good at telling the truth or revealing hypocrisy? No, I can’t think of such a book right now. There are many old sacred texts in the various ME MY SHELF I What inspired you to take an interest in cartooning? cartoonish nature, as do the drawings of most children. It was my English teacher, when I was 15, who told me I would grow up to be a cartoonist when she found me drawing in my English exercise book instead of wr iting. At the time I didn’t really understand what book instead of writing.