Teenagers? I could write a book about them. Well, draw cartoons about them anyway…

Two very bright ladies, Janey Downshire and Naella Grew, approached me a couple of years ago to commission some Duncan cartoonery. I did a couple of quick sketches at the time, one of which was a puzzled parent staring into the brain of a stroppy teenage lad as far as I remember. And that was it. The cartoon visuals disappeared into my computer under the title Teenagers or some other imaginative title, and I got on with other world saving pursuits, probably drawing elephants in shorts or something. Maybe elephants drinking shorts – I get confused.


Anyway, all forgotten until a few months ago, when a publisher got in touch to ask me if I would do some cartoons on the subject of… teenagers. Bells range in that dormant cell I keep on top of my head and, within minutes I was looking in wonder at my archive material. No surprise then when I heard that the writers of this tome were the self same Janey and Naella. ‘I know them!’ I cried before I had time to turn my interestingly cool and indifferent tap on.

So it was arranged. We all had a good laugh about the budget, and I put pen to paper. I met up with Janey at a service area (because I know how to treat a woman) and got a lovely reaction to my efforts. Suddenly I decided the budget didn’t matter anymore, in the words of Buddy Holly, and a new book with my name in it (there have been quite a few) was underway.

Result? A fab parcel arrived with two copies of Teenagers Translated in it. Check the spelling of my name. Check the reproduction of the cartoons. Check when the launch party is.

It was last Tuesday. The ladies were delighted that I turned up – in Notting Hill, at one of the most beautiful bookshops I had ever seen – and I was delighted that the place was cram full of punters, all itching to get their hands on a signed copy (or maybe itching to be away from their teenagers for a few minutes). I even signed a few copies.

Happy time. I bought some Winnie the Witch books to complete my little boy’s collection (illustrated by the truly brilliant Korky Paul, who I had lunch with recently) and took my leave, wishing I could stay longer and get stuck into the white wine instead of being stuck on the A40.

Good book. Great ideas and tips for parents of these strange pubescent creatures, and some stunning cartoons. I drew them. Did I mention that?