Thursday, June 21, 2007

RIPs All Round - Bud Handelsman and David Myers.

I started drawing cartoons for Punch Magazine in the 1980s when I was about 20 years old. In that respect I am still moderately young, but old enough to have been around when my cartooning heroes were being published. Sadly, within the last 7 days, two of my favourite fellow Punch Old Boys, cartoonists with whom I would imagine, in those fledgling days, talking endlessly about cartooning, have passed away; British cartoonist, David Myers, and, American cartoonist, Bud Handelsman .

Handelsman was the sort of cartoonist I aspired (and still aspire) to be, he was sharp, witty, sophisticated, political, socially observant, and laugh out loud funny. I wouldn't just read Handelsman's Freaky Fables, I would actually copy it, from the magazine, onto a page of blank paper. I also copied his gag cartoons and tried (unsuccessfully) to catch his use of tone. He was to me, the perfect cartoonist. I spent hours and hours trying to draw as well as, and to be as effortlessly funny as Bud Handelsman. I didn't succeed, but I learned a lot just trying to be like him.

David Myers on the other hand, inspired me in an entirely different way. His drawings were awful, but they were so funny that I had to flick through the magazine to see if he had any cartoons in it, and if he did I wouldn't eat or drink while I was reading the thing. I kid you not, I have jettisoned food and liquid through my nose at the same time,from looking at a Myers cartoon; especially if it contained a dog, because they are just so funny. His humour not only carried the drawing, but caused you to realise that the drawings were in fact perfect and shouldn't be any other way. From studying David's cartoons I realised that as long as I was daring enough to try, I might just get by as a cartoonist by being myself.
I'll try to find my favourite David Myers cartoon and post it. I'll also look out some full page Freaky Fables so we can enjoy some authentic Bud.

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