Buried in a box, somewhere in my house, lies my favourite cartoon of all time. Not just a yellowing page from the magazine that published it, either, but the original cartoon itself.
There are two reasons why this prized item is not on display about the house. The first is that it is drawn in an ink which will decay if exposed to direct sunlight for too long. The second is that it is more than a little rude and therefore probably not suitable for a house whose youngest occupant can’t even read yet.
I have written before about my longstanding friendship with the cartoonist Steve Way. This isn’t one of Steve’s cartoons, though. However, it is one which he had some involvement with, because it was published in one of the very early editions of Maxim magazine, which Steve was a part of the editorial team for when it launched. When I saw the cartoon I laughed so hard I just had to have it. Steve not only negotiated a fee with the cartoonist, he arranged for the three of us to meet.
I don’t remember much of that meeting. By a curious coincidence, it was in the pizza restaurant on London’s South Bank that Caro and I went to on what became our first date. There was a lot of talk about art – about which I know almost nothing* – and bouts of scribbling on napkins (but not by me). It was a fun evening, though, as evenings with Steve always are.
The cartoonist was Tony Reeve. He and Steve worked together on many occasions, producing strip cartoons for The Times and The Independent as well as the ‘Off Your Trolley’ strip which ran in Private Eye for several years. On Friday, I learned that Tony had died. The world has lost a very good cartoonist, and a very funny man.
*Once upon a time I could identify most cartoonists just by looking at their work, but that is about as far as my knowledge of art goes.