Brother Blott

          The older brother who does the artwork for my covers was introduced here, at Authors Electric a few days ago.

Brother Adam, at the PriceClan Xmas do
     The brother who does the Blott cartoons is Adam, the younger brother, who is left-handed and, virtually from the time he could sit up, showed a strong abiiity to create in 3D.
     As a toddler he was never without a lump of soft plasticene, and astonished me one day, when he was about 4, by showing me a model he'd made of our budgie. It could have served as a silhouette for a book on identifying birds: it was unmistakeably a budgie and nothing else.
Art work: Adam Price
     He wasn't much older when, strongly impressed by an afternoon screening of 'Jaws', he took up his little blunt-ended scissors (which also rarely left his side) and cut, free-hand, a perfect silhouette of a Great White. I was 15 years older, and fancied myself observant, but I couldn't have drawn such a perfectly observed shark, right down to the ventral fins, gills and tail-flukes.
     He'd take the left-over bits of plastic from the airfix planes he used to make, and construct odd, imaginative little robots, with engine-cowlings for heads, bits of fuselage for breast-plates, and long lances of sprue.
     He is still drawing, painting, carving and writing, but I interrupted him to ask, rather superfluously,  How did you become such an accomplished artist?
Samurai and mouse by Adam Price

      Adam: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? - Practice, and being open to absolutely everything you see, being a visual magpie. So if I see a piece of graffitti art that I like I copy it - not the image itself but its way of expressing its ideas. I studied American Indian art and Mayan art and Hindu art and stole little pieces of their method of expression, the way they draw a hand or the fold of a cloth.
      S: How did you get your cartoons published?
      A: It was absolute blind luck. I've since read all kinds of dire statements about how impossible it is to get a cartoon published in today’s market - but I just blithely went ahead, developed a strip based around the pair of armadillos on Noah’s Ark, and sent it round to people. Of course everyone turned it down, but one local paper in Devon said 'We're looking for something with a more local flavour,' so a week later I presented all the same jokes but between two rabbits on Dartmoor! Sold!

     (Adam doesn't mention that a cartoon appeared every weekday, but on Saturdays there was a large spread featuring the bunnies in a rather fine drawing of a local beauty-spot.) 

      S: How did you get the idea for Blot?
Wentworth, by Adam Price
      A: Some time ago I was working on a strip based around a kind of gangly stray cat called Wentworth. Wentworth lives rough and loves music - the bongos being his favourite instrument - and is haunted by the ghost of one of the many mice he has eaten in his lifetime. Periodically Wentworth would be drawn to a particular house where he would spend all night singing (and playing the bongos) to the woman who lives there. When asked by the mouse why he did this, Wentworth would say 'I have to – she’s my mews'. This rather weak pun was where Blot originated and his blank stare and smooth shape was developed from the ghost mouse.  
      S: How do you produce the cartoons?
      A: I've tried a number of ways. I have used a graphic tablet, and various high-tech bits and bobs but I find it’s quicker and more
intuitive to draw Blot on paper in black ink. He then gets scanned and cleaned up, then I colour him on the computer before his lettering gets added.
      S: Is Blott going to be published?
      A: I've toyed with the idea of producing a self-published collection - but I'm so busy with other things.

       One of those things is marriage, in May, to his longstanding partner, Patti, who we all love - hi, little sis! - and we're all looking forward to dancing at the wedding!

No Blott this week - but something different...