'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 5 October 2013

12 Curly Questions with illustrator Andrew Weldon

1. Can you tell us something hardly anyone knows about you?
I can blow bubbles of spit off the end of my tongue, so they float delicately through the air. I spent my entire Year 12 teaching myself this skill when I should have been studying.

2. Do you have a nickname?  
Different people know me as Weldo, Weldy and Stinkbum.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Parking/driving on a steeply sloped road. True. It’s a phobia that has developed recently. I think ‘Why aren’t we just rolling backwards now? We’re in a huge hunk of metal on wheels?!’ I imagine it’s similar to the distrust of flying many people have. (I’m fine with flying by the way.)

4. Can you describe your writing and drawing style for us in ten words?
I’ve always liked this description I once got in a write-up: ‘… dark and funny and quirky and gentle and sharp as a bayonet’. Oops, that’s eleven. I actually don’t think my work in kids’ books is that dark, but hopefully the others still apply.

5. Can you give us five positive words that describe you as a writer and cartoonist?
Funny, funny, funny, good noses.

6. What book character would you most like to be, and why?
Snoopy. That dog is cool.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
1985. I’d tell myself it all works out OK (more or less).

8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
‘You’re a cartoonist now?! Woah!’

9. Who is your greatest influence?
Cartooning — B.Kliban. Life — my partner, Mary Ellen.

10. What or who made you start creating cartoons?
B.Kliban. I found the very funny and weird Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head in a second-hand bookshop when I was sixteen, and thought ‘Maybe I could try something like this …’

11. What is your favourite word and why?
I like the classic cartoon exclamation ‘Ugh’, which I use often in my drawings. Many uses, but mainly a sort of disappointed sigh. Pronounced ‘uh’.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
What a question! Does that mean I only get one more book before dying? Or I have to read the same book over and over till death? Either way it’s a seriously depressing question. I’d say Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Hilarious, insightful, moving. Also 1079 pages. I get to live longer.

Books 3 and 4 in the Don't Look Now series by Paul Jennings and Andrew Weldon are available now from all good bookshops and online; Allen & Unwin, $12.99 RRP.

If you are an author or illustrator who thinks they are BRAVE enough to answer our questions, 
OR if there is an author or illustrator you would like to hear from, LET US KNOW! 
We will see if they are up to the task. Just email: anouskaATkids-bookreviewDOTcom