Were you the kid who drew unflattering cartoons of the teachers?
Yeah and anything else that was going on.
Um. Well. [long pause] I was attacked by a deer once. I used to volunteer at Bays Mountain Park in high school. It was a terrible bloody battle, left my head bleeding. I think I did an unflattering cartoon of the deer.
Do you remember what you drew?
I drew him in the electric chair, something like that.
Do you get out and do research, or just cartoon what you experience in life?
Both. I try to go and feel the wind; I also do a lot of research, reading all the papers, the news websites. Doonesbury’s Gary Trudeau always called that front loading; I do a lot of that.
Why do you draw hands and feet so small?
There are no connotations, it just looks funnier when someone’s weight is not supported. That’s one reason [why] people who draw like they can’t draw have funnier cartoons—things look more improbable.
Did you have some training to become an editorial cartoonist?
Well, I got hit in the head by this deer.
Is cartooning your sole source of support now?
Yeah, and I do occasional illustration work.
Yeah, my style changes. I go back to more the art school look. I’m also about to start a comic strip online that will include characters in a fictional, composite East Tennessee community, Canfield. And I’m working on graphic novels, too.
You once were a police officer in Charlotte, N.C. Do you ever get a yen to up and join the KPD?
Bless their hearts. I really miss police work and I really enjoyed it. It’s like my malaria: A fever that hits me... but it goes away. I feel like I could just walk back into tomorrow and do just fine.
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