When I do school visits, the Q&A often includes the question: “If you had not been a writer, what would you have been”
The answer, usually, is “a cartoonist”. (More accurately, I suppose, a cartoonist is what I would have liked to have been, rather than what I would have been.) The inspiration for this is Leo Baxendale, the Beano comic artist who died this week, aged 86.
I possess a modest talent at drawing. Had I pursued it, practised it, honed it, I daresay I could have made more of that talent than I ended up with, but I didn’t.
I got Baxendale’s joyously illustrated memoir, A Very Funny Business when I was about 16. It’s a great book, crammed with stories about his time with the Scottish publisher, D C Thomson, and very generous assessments of his fellow-cartoonists. At about the same time, I conceived and drew a series of…
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