Dave and I at the CCGB Party
Last April I attended the Cartoonists’ Club 5oth Anniversary Party, and had the opportunity to chat with a cartoonist I greatly admire, Dave Parker. We talked about his long career in cartooning and I was amazed to find he’d already been a professional cartoonist for 13 years before I’d even been born! I was also gobsmacked to learn how many cartoons he’s produced. I think the term ‘prolific’ barely describes Dave’s accomplishments in the world of gag cartooning!
When and how did you start cartooning?
Dave: I first started cartooning as a schoolboy. I drew cartoons for the Church Lads Brigade. Looking back they were TERRIBLE but I suppose somebody out there liked them! My father was a bus driver and I was persuaded to draw cartoons for the Bristol Omnibus magazine.
I first began getting paid for my efforts when Julian Phipps started up Cartoon Sketch in the old Daily Sketch and I was paid the princely sum of 10/6 per cartoon! That was around 1954 so that makes it 56 years in all I have been a professional cartoonist!
Were there any particular cartoonists that influenced you?
Dave: I have many favourite cartoonists, among them Sax, Honeysett, Albert, McLachlan, Bill Tidy, Mike Williams, Trog, Larry, etc.
You're known as primarily a gag cartoonist - how has the market changed over the years?
Dave: I don't suppose the gag market has changed much, just faded away most of it!
After such a long career, you must have drawn a LOT of cartoons! Any idea how many?
Dave: Over the years I have appeared in all the National Press and my scrapbooks contain almost 11,000 cartoons. So I guess I may have drawn way over 30,000!
How do you produce your cartoons? Traditional methods? Digital? A bit of both?
Dave: I use digital methods nowadays and I think my stuff looks better for it - although I'm still a novice on the computer!
Out of the thousands of cartoons you've produced, are there any particular favourites?
Dave: My own favourites? I dunno!
Thanks to Dave for the interview and permission to use his artwork.
(You can find another interview with Dave from 2006 by Rod McKie on the excellent Cartoon Fiend blog. Well worth checking out)