Anthony SmithPauline: The ‘Learn to Speak Cat’ series is a phenomenal success. What made you decide to start creating cartoons about cats?

Anthony:  Cats are a great source of humour. And I was interested to develop a series from their perspective. There's been some very good 'cat and owner' cartoons, but I wanted to do more of a 'world of cats' take on things, where humans are referred to, but not seen.

Pauline:  Are you a cat lover/do you have any cats of your own?

Anthony:  I love cats, but don't have a moody of my own, at the mo.

Pauline:  Are the characters you draw based on our own cats and their antics?  If you don’t have cats, how do you come up with the ideas as they are spot on?

Anthony:  My ideas are a combination of observation and imagination. A lot of my cartoons are based around cat behaviour, but I like having the option to go more 'surreal' with the cartoon on occasions.

Pauline: Who or what inspires you?

Anthony:  Too many things to list…. Good British comedy, American comic-books and life as we know it!

Pauline:  What did you do before ‘Learn to Speak Cat came into being?

Anthony:  I have been doing cartoons for publications since leaving school, although I have also worked in advertising as a Writer/Art Director.

Pauline:  Did you always want to draw/illustrate or did you set out to do something else originally?

Anthony:  I think I always wanted to draw… and particularly cartoons. Comics were a bigger thing when I was at school and there was something quite edgy about them. It seemed anything could happen in a comic or cartoon. 

Pauline:  If you could change one thing about other people’s perception of cats, what would it be?

Anthony:  I'm not sure… I think cats have a very unique attitude. They aren't so much pet, as things that co-exist with us.

Pauline: If a global catastrophe occurred and all the domestic cats the world over were wiped out how would that make you feel?

Anthony:  I suspect any global catastrophe of that magnitude would take us with it!

Pauline:  Which specie is better? Cats or dogs?? (Or you can abstain from answering this question!)

Anthony:  I wouldn't say one was 'better' but they are very different. That's actually something good to exploit in cartoons.

 

My thanks to Anthony for taking the time out to answer my questions.  You can read a review of Learn to Speak Cat, the Purrfect Guide and Learn to Speak Cat, the Latest Mews here on these links.

 

 

 

In the Middle of a World...

"In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

Roseanne Anderson

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