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Better to have flown and lost than never to have flown at all

First published in The, 8 January 2014.

I drew this cartoon (drew? wrote? created? I never know which verb to use about making cartoons. Yes they are drawn but for me the idea is the most important thing so lots of writing is involved and…Hang on – should I even say verb there? Perhaps I should say past participle? Aaagh! I’m getting distracted. I’ll start again.)…


I manufactured this cartoon the night before it was published. I was at work in my occasional day job when I received an email from the Guardian saying they didn’t want to use the cartoon I had proposed.  My previous cartoon had been published on Christmas day, for which I had fabricated 2 Christmas themed cartoons. I liked them both so I submitted the second as my next one. “Er…”, said my editor “You know it’s not Christmas anymore.” This was a very good point, and very well made.


So after finally getting my daughter to bed I frantically went through my notebooks and found this idea. I had been toying with it but had got stuck, thinking that the way forward was to find a married couple of famous pilots – not so easy. I now realised that the two people could be anonymous and it worked fine. A long night. The next day I went back to work, feeling quite unrefreshed.


It may surprise you to hear that an internationally famous cartoonist like myself has a day job. I often go partying mid-week with Madonna, David Beckham, Steve Bell, Cheryl Cole and a bunch of others but I am not in their wage bracket so at a certain point I have to leave, saying that I have to get up for work in the morning. They are normally very nice about it, except for Sting, who sometimes says things like “I hope the batteries in your alarm clock don’t run out, you £*@% loser.” I laugh along of course, but, you know, these things hurt. I guess that’s why they call him Sting.


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