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North Vancouver's cartoon creator
North Vancouver’s Graham Harrop has made a career out of drawing editorial cartoons for Lower Mainland newspapers, but he has a new, more light-hearted idea on his mind these days.
Ten Cats, an online comic he hopes to get syndicated in print, was created to give his partner Anne a laugh.
The cats run a hotel, each with different jobs, says Harrop, and Anne appreciates their unique personalities.
“The cats are based on cats we know, or even people,” Harrop tells The Outlook, while drawing a cartoon cat on a white board. This one is squat with beady eyes and a prominent round nose.
“They live on the top floor of a hotel and unbeknownst to Annie, they run it,” he chuckles, “All manner of creatures come to stay. Last week it was fleas and there was a bellboy dog. Obviously the cats take advantage of the dog.”
Harrop has drawn cartoons since high school and has worked as taxi driver, in a seniors centre, at a mill and in a hotel before landing gigs with the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun.
“I believe I’m supposed to make people laugh, and that’s what I’m doing,” he says in his usual easy going manner.
“I see fun in just about anything. There are situations that occur that could be fun, and I add to them [in my comics].”
In his early 20s, Harrop was given an “extraordinary sign” he was meant to be a cartoonist.
While spending a relaxing afternoon in his speed boat near Powell River, he spotted a huge yacht docked next to an island.
Knowing Walt Disney, his ultimate idol, sometimes vacationed in the area, Harrop hoped it might be him, but had his doubts.
“I tried to meet him before in California but I couldn’t. I went over and asked the man standing there if Walt Disney was onboard.”
To his surprise, the legendary man came to the rail to say hello.
“I looked up at him and asked ‘Are you Walt Disney?’ and he said, ‘Yes,’” says Harrop, remembering one of the best days of his life.
“The sad part was, I had to go back to the mill, I had a labour job, but I knew I loved cartoons and that I’d just met Walt Disney, so it would all work out.”
Fast forward a few decades, and Harrop is making a living with what he loves most. He hopes Ten Cats, his newest comic, will allow readers to see his easygoing side.
To subscribe to Ten Cats visit GoComics.com.