Hey Jeremy! Thanks for “joining” me on SA Rocks. You asked me to interview you on SA Rocks and how could I possibly say no?! I couldn’t so here we are.
Ja, I wanted the interview because I need all the publicity I can get. Unless you’re famous, it’s really difficult to make a living out of being a cartoonist. I’ve considered stripping in gay bars, as a form of extra income, but I’ll need to have a penis-reduction first.
So why don’t you start by telling me exactly what it is that you do?
I’m a cartoonist. I draw two daily comics for various publications around SA, Namibia, and the UK. Urban Trash is a typical Garfield-type strip, with themes and regular characters, and normally features in the Classifieds (the section of the paper that houses cartoons; crosswords; and all the hippie crap that nobody cares about) while Ditwits is an editorial comic which features on the front page of The Times. I also write a daily blog post (about whatever), but it’s really only to fill up the white space on the page.
Drawing comics may seem a bit fluffy to some with more “regular” jobs. Do you manage to pay the bills every month?
Ja, but only just. I left a decent salary in the corporate world, for almost no salary in the creative world.
Your comics are being used pretty widely at the moment. Exactly who is using them, for what and what on Earth were they thinking?
I don’t know who is using them, to be honest, other than the paying clients. I often receive emails from people I’ve never heard of, who are sending my strips around. I simply happen to be one of the many in the “CC” list.
You are trying to become “more famous than Danny K”, is this a big aspiration of yours?
Yes. Danny K is the most famous musician in the world. He even appears on SABC 3 (since he’s white, and because white people watch that channel).
A self-proclaimed “King of Kak” means exactly what? And why the King of Kak if I may be so bold as to ask?
Well, Michael Jackson is the “King Of Pop”; Elvis is the “King Of Rock”; and Prince is the “Queen Of Pop”. I also wanted a cool title, so I chose something that represents me accurately. And is South African. Because that’s how I roll.
Recently your fame has picked up and you are right on Danny K’s heals. How did your rise happen?
By “heals”, do you mean “high-heals”? I started drawing professionally in 2005, and found that having no money meant that I needed to be creative with the distribution of my work, and getting noticed. The internet became a powerful tool – I was able to email stuff around, and that sort of thing. In fact, it was BECAUSE of my work being emailed around, that I was offered the front-page (Ditwits) job at The Times. But more than anything, it’s been very hard work and a lot of coffee. I love drawing comics, and I hope that my passion shines through, making others want to enjoy it too, and pass it on and tell others about it. Google has proven that viral marketing is the strongest. I like that philosophy. And it’s been my greatest aid in building up to my approximately half-a-million readers.
What inspires you to draw?
I don’t know. Perhaps it’s the pretty colours. Perhaps it’s because I’m ADD. Perhaps it’s because I hate traffic and cubicles. Perhaps it’s because it’s artistic expression. Perhaps it’s because I can comment on society without getting into too much trouble (God bless my Editors).
You need to be pretty on top of things locally and abroad so that you stay topical. I bet current affairs weren’t in your plans when you started out?
No they weren’t. But I’ve always been a keen follower of important stuff, like the news and Zoo Weekly.
Zapiro is definitely one of SA’s most renowned comic writers (is that what I call you guys?). Do you aspire to his level of exposure? With that comes legal action against you, are your ready for that or have you been sued already?
Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been sued. Zapiro is a superb cartoonist, and I obviously aspire to his level of exposure. But more importantly, it must happen as a result of readers enjoying my work, rather than hot chicks (with big boobs) in high places, at Media 24, being excellent in bed.
Where to from here?
Books. But since South African publishers believe that publishing comics – other than Zapiro and Madam & Eve – is a failed notion, going independent is probably the way to go. You have to be at the top, otherwise they won’t give you a chance. And the people at the publishing houses are certainly not sexy enough to sleep with.
I hear via the grape vine (you told me) that you are giving away a Wii, tell the SA Rocks readers how they can win this great prize?
It ends this coming Friday. You can find out more at HERE.
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