In college, I split-majored, in both graphic design and illustration. I’m a cartoonist, but when I graduated high school, that wasn’t a common part of art-school curriculum. In illustration, I learned the most important aspect of rendering;figure studies. After all, there will never come a time when human anatomical knowledge is unnecessary. The skill to draw any part of the body you inhabit will never hold you back.
However, I was naive in my choice of studies. I was so eager to learn all that I could, I didn’t grasp that graphic design requires the left (analytical) side of the brain, and illustration (creative) requires the right. For a green teen, it was too much; I burned out and then dropped out. I couldn’t jockey back and forth across the hippocampus day after day. While trying to ink the sewer grate for the cover of the second Mike The Pod Comix, I had a psychotic episode and hurled my sketchbook down the dorm hallway.
There’s an episode of The Young Ones where they go to a pub, and Madness is performing (“House of Fun”, what else). Rik Mayall asks if the band knows a Cliff Richard song, and Suggs replies “YOU UMMIT, an I’ll smashyafacein.” It’s so horribly delivered, it only makes Rik look like more of a pussy when he backs down.
“Night Boat To Cairo” is probably Madness’s best. The bridge from “Bed & Breakfast Man” was used in bumpers for the ancient “Comedy Channel” show, Stand Up Stand Up.
That story in the second panel is true. It happened in the square behind Oglethorpe House in downtown Savannah. It wasn’t a friendly suggestion, either, it was without a doubt an instance of “haw haw let’s fuck with the weird kid”, delivered after the screeching wail of truck tires braking suddenly.
I’ve been living in Georgia for 25 years. When people from outside the South tell you about Confederate flags, the Civil War, rednecks, racism, and soul food, let me assure you of one thing. They don’t know jack shit about any of it.