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by Royston

The cartoonist as writer

November 20, 2011 in News

Every cartoonist is also a writer — you have to be able to write the joke before you can draw it. But some take it further than creating gag cartoon captions, or dialogue for strips, and end up writing novels.

PCO cartoonist Clive Goddard is one. He has a book out for children (“It says 9-plus on the book but I’d say 8 to 12-year-olds could enjoy it,” Clive tell us) called Fintan Fedora, the World’s Worst Explorer.

Clive is well-known for illustrating books for Scholastic, such as the Dead Famous series, but this one is all about the words. Even the cover illustration is by someone else (Mark Beech).

The book is the story of 14-year-old Fintan who sets out to find the elusive chocoplum, the rarest and most delicious treat in the world. He travels to South America, little suspecting that there are kidnappers on his tail as well as an evil business mogul who also wants the chocoplum. Sounds like a set-up that only a cartoonist could create!

Fintan Fedora is available in bookshops and at Amazon

by Royston

Illustrator is new Children's Laureate

June 10, 2009 in News

PCOer Royston Robertson writes:

Anthony Browne has been appointed as the new Children’s Laureate, a post awarded every two years to a children’s writer to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. Here’s the story, with accompanying video clip, on the BBC website.

As a cartoonist, I was pleased by this appointment because Browne, like Quentin Blake, who was the first Children’s Laureate in 1999, illustrates his books as well as writing them. But as a dad, I was even more chuffed, because in our house we love Browne’s books, such as Gorilla and Zoo. He’s one of the country’s best children’s illustrators, his images packed with hidden jokes that you often only see on rereading (did you spot the world map above?)

Just as significantly as the books, Browne has given us “The Shape Game”, which we found out about via the book of the same name, and which he talks about in the BBC clip. The game, which has got us through many a long train journey, involves one person drawing a random shape and the second player using their imagination to turn it into something else, be it an animal, object or whatever flight of fancy you can come up with. It’s incredibly simple, but very rewarding.