What are the golden rules or ‘must haves’ of cartooning?
You make sure everyone reads from the left to the right; that’s basic journalism. You always make sure the speech clouds are clear and you lay it out like a stage.
I’ve always tried to draw the cars as they really are. In other words, if there is a major sponsor, I’ve always tried to recreate the logo as accurately as possible. I guess that came from the old days of working for Marlboro.
A signature item of your racing cartoons is the seagull, who in the early days was called ‘Zed’…
Yes, the seagull is my alter-ego. He’s doing what I’d like doing: standing on the hill with a tinnie in hand watching motorsport and making rude comments!
A lot of people say, ‘You can’t get away with what the seagull said’. But when I leave the seagull out, I get complaint calls!
The other bird is a chicken hawk. [ED: Called ‘Wood Duck’].
The 1970s and ‘80s was a golden time to be a cartoonist given the amazing characters on the racing scene.
You’re dead right. I was blessed. You had your Peter Jansons complete with distinctive headwear, like his deerstalker. You had Peter Brock in full flight. These days, boy, it can be a struggle as they are all so pretty and they all dress the same. It’s difficult to make Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom stand out. I quite like drawing Shane Van Gisbergen as he’s such a big boy. But the biggest character on the V8 Supercar scene today [ ED: 2016 vintage Stonie below] is Garry Rogers. I can dress him up in anything. A couple of times I’ve dressed him up and then he’s gone out and bought the outfit and worn it! Like when I dressed him up, when he got the Volvo deal, as a member of ABBA.
You were also a member of Murray Carter’s crew at one stage?
For Bathurst 1976 I went up to give ‘Cuppa Tea Motors Racing’ a hand with timing and was