Q&A: Elizabeth Bricquet, Metro Pulse editorial cartoonist and honoree in Pelican Publishing's 'Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year 2011'

Were you the kid who drew unflattering cartoons of the teachers?

Yeah and anything else that was going on.

For example?

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.

Unfunny illustrations?

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.

To order the book: pelicanpub.com