Author/Illustrator of 'Bone' and 'Spot the Similarities'
Once, when I was young, I ran away from home. My childhood was full of love so I guess I was angry about some silly thing not worth remembering. I do remember how far I got. At the end of the valley lived a goat named Ned who spent the summer days mowing through a patch of waist-high, wild grass. There I sat hidden with a lunchbox containing the essentials… Crayons, paper, no food.
I can’t recall what I drew, possibly an angry beasty to express my feelings, then perhaps a mum to cuddle him. Before long I started on the journey back upstream to show my efforts to my own mum.
The reward for drawing was in the reaction I got from my family audience. In this case that was overshadowed by the realisation that nobody even noticed my absence. So I sat in a cardboard box and declared “While in this box, I AM NOT HERE!”. I was still a runaway, just in front of another childhood love, TV cartoons.
The most important motivators for me to draw for a living were my grandad's laughter at my corny gags and my mum's suggestion to submit them to the newspaper. My doodles went from newspapers, to magazines, to books, onto walls and sometimes into TV cartoons. I no longer live in a valley, but by the sea with my new supportive audience... my wife and kids. I still run away from home but only for fitness and, as right now, to draw and write in my local cafe.
The following really got my attention when I was 10/11 years old.
Books and Comics
Anything by Ralph Steadman
Asterix & Obelix comics by Rene Goscinny & Albert Uderzo
Calvin & Hobbes cartoons by Bill Watterson
The Far Side cartoons by Gary Larson
Roald Dahl’s books
Art instruction books published by Water T Foster
Art and animation instruction books by Preston Blair
The Neverending Story
The Wizard of Oz
These days favourite artists and books include:
Mary Blair, Shaun Tan
Old Golden Books, Benji Davies
Jolby (Josh Kenyon & Colby Nicols’ Multi-Disciplinary Creative Studio: jolbyandfriends.com)
William Wray, John Berkey, Bill Peet, Quentin Blake...