GoComics is thrilled to announce the addition of Whyatt Cartoons to our fine and ever-growing roster of featured comic strips.
As he explains in his funny and enlightening bio, creator Tim Whyatt lives on a remote island about 10,000 miles of the coast of New Jersey that's known as Australia. After a five-year stint in advertising, Tim became a full-time cartoonist, and has steadily built up a worldwide following for Whyatt Cartoons, which have been translated into "German, Polish, Spanish, French, Norwegian and even American."
We got a chance to talk with Tim about cartooning and his move to GoComics (and by "talk," we mean "exchanged emails" - hey, there's a big time differerence between Kansas City and Australia!). Here's what he had to say about Whyatt Cartoons:
GoComics: How did you get into cartooning?
Personally, I blame Gary Larson. I blame him for sparking my love for cartooning. I blame him for inspiring me to quit my full-time job to see if I could make a career out of this. And I blame him that I’ve ended up on this site.
GoComics: Can you tell us a few things about living in Australia that people might be surprised to learn?
Kangaroos don’t hop down the main street, we hardly ever see snakes and no one says “Crikey."
GoComics: How do folks Down Under perceive the current political situation in the United States? Are they frightened, amused, or could they possibly care less?
I think the best word is baffled.
GoComics: Who or what have been the greatest influences on your sense of humor and drawing style?
As for my sense of humor, I would say Mad Magazine, John Cleese, Billy Connolly and Fry & Laurie. As for my drawing style, I would say B. Kliban, Gary Larson, Chris Ware and Clay Bennett.
GoComics: You have a great knack for presenting an absurd situation with minimal words or description. How were you able to hone that, or does it just come naturally?
My first full-time job was in advertising. Fortunately, I managed to escape after five years but I can’t think of a better apprenticeship for anyone pursuing a creative career. It forces you to present ideas in their simplest form.
GoComics: What's the greatest compliment you've ever received about your work?
A few years ago, I got an email from a woman who had bought one of my books online. The book was waiting on her front porch when she returned home from a doctor’s appointment where she had just received devastating news about her health. It was the worst day of her life. She decided to cheer herself up by making a cocktail and reading my book by the fireplace. As it turned out, she spent the evening laughing, which helped her forget about her troubles for a while. I was very humbled that she took the time to let me know that I had cheered her up in her darkest moment. I can’t think of a better compliment than that.
GoComics: Some of your cartoons push the envelope a bit in terms of suggestive humor and, um, people's anatomy. Do you ever catch any flack for that?
It’s true that my work can get a little raunchy at times but most people are fine with that. They can see that it’s all harmless fun. I’d say I only receive one or two complaints per year, and there’s nothing I enjoy more. Complaints make me laugh harder than any of my cartoons ever could.
GoComics: What parts of the world does Whyatt Cartoons seem to have the greatest following? Does your humor translate well into other nationalities/cultures?
Fortunately for me, my cartoons seem to cross borders easily, so I have followers in every continent. However, all the statistics show that my largest audience (by far) comes from North America.
GoComics: Any last thoughts?
If Mel B from the Spice Girls married Richard Marx her name would be Melanie Brown-Marx.