How Word-Of-Mouth Spread the Geekiest Of Caricatures

Andy Radbourne writes,

I’ve wanted to draw comics for as long as I can remember (bear with me) and spent years nervously pushing my work in editors faces at UKAC, sending off submissions, working for small press and even self-publishing once, right when the recession hit, typically. So whilst having momentary success, like drawing some pictures for a Thundercats Annual way back in 1985 as a callow youth, I constantly hit brick walls.

My caricatures evolved somewhat more organically. I did the first one over 30 years ago on the request of my manager after he saw me doodling whilst on the phone. A few months later, another colleague asked for one and before too long word of mouth and a small article in the company newsletter, was keeping me busy

I love doing them: the challenge of capturing a likeness then creating a story with humour and wit by tailoring each drawing to the persons interests or hobbies. Combining sometimes quite disparate ideas into a whole and coherent composition.

Now, I’m pretty reserved by nature and was worse when younger. I found it difficult to deal with the reaction to my work or take compliments so would wait until someone wasn’t at their desk to deliver a drawing or give it to them and quite literally run away. It wasn’t until years later when a friend convinced me to have confidence in my art that I started putting my self out there more. I had stalls at cons to try and promote the aforementioned self-published comic, I entered work into exhibitions but still I kept the caricatures as word of mouth commissions.

After doing more caricatures than I can count, featuring such delights as parrots, dogs, numerous cars and motorbikes, football shirts and various landmarks my friend asked me to do two caricatures featuring elements from Star Trek TOS. As much as I enjoy drawing caricatures, it’s even better doing geeky ones, marrying two passions. She loved them and suggested I get a stall at a con to promote them. I had a lightbulb moment.

And that brings me up to date and the Recent London Film and Comic Con, where I was selling prints of the celebrities I’d drawn and taking information for commission. I still internally cringe slightly at every compliment, as nice as they are to hear and desperately wanted to cancel my table only two days before. I’m glad I didn’t though, it was a fabulous experience.

So if you’ve ever wanted to see yourself fighting a xenomorph, travelling through time and space with the Doctor or battling the Empire in the Millennium Falcon just give me a shout, send me a picture with your ideas and I’ll make it a reality.

You can contact Andy Rad in the following ways: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website.


About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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