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Dandy cartoonist talks about rejection and doing the job he loves
REJECTION is commonplace when you are a cartoonist, tells Dandy newcomer, Wilbur Dawbarn but it is worth it to be doing the job he loves.
The 43-year-old from Coningsby Road, High Wycombe has been a full-time cartoonist for the last four years drawing gag cartoons for Private Eye, amongst others, and more recently Mr Meecher, the Uncool Teacher in the Dandy.
But it is not all plain sailing.
He said: “I really started in '98. It is really just a question of sending stuff out to editors and hoping for the best.
“You have got to persevere- you have really got to come to terms with rejection as a cartoonist.
“When you become more established you still get rejected on a regular basis. There are so many people producing cartoons for so few slots.”
When Wilbur started out Punch was still in print which he said gave regular work but over the years there have been fewer options.
He added: “Things come and go- new markets open up. For the modern cartoonist in this day and age the internet is an expanding area. You always need to diversify”
As well as drawing cartoons he also does illustration and has recently been commissioned to draw his first book cover.
But comic-work is his passion- one of his favourite cartoons was in the now out-of-print magazine, the DFC, called Bodkin and The Bear.
The Dandy was relaunched at the end of last year with an X-Factor kind of feel by introducing new cartoons.
His strip, Mr Meecher The Uncool Teacher, was commissioned for 10 weeks and was voted in the top four in a new poll. He has since been commissioned for another 12.
But he said a lot of it is speculative work with drawing gag cartoons and sending them out to publications.
He said: “You get an idea and draw it up.”And although ideas come from day to day life he does have one of two techniques.
Dawbarn added: “I have always been obsessed with comics- I always knew I wanted to be a cartoonist. I just stubbornly refused t do anything else.”
The advice could be well-noted by Peter Stagg, who is hoping to see his own cartoons published one day.
The 35-year-old tiler from Downley has designed his own character called Flig.
He started drawing two years ago about things that he found funny, and begun to send them to various publications, with no luck as yet.
He said: “I have always liked comics. I like the simplistic ones- the things you see in Viz. With bright colours and simple facial expressions. I find it very relaxing to draw after work.”
For more information about Wilbur go to www.wilburdawbarn.co.uk
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