We spent an illuminating afternoon recently with Ralph Kidson, comic artist extraordinaire and original Wildseed Creator.
When did you first start drawing comic strips?
Probably about 7 or 8 years old…so early 1960′s.
How was school/college for you?
Due to a clerical error I was sent to Badger School. It was in a thicket near the A1081 in Hertfordshire.Quite enjoyed it on the whole, though my best friend Andrew Badger was run over by a Dewhursts lorry in 3rd year. We were both really into Hawkwind. I completed 7 Badger ‘O’ Levels, including Badger Maths, Badger French, and Digging Into Underground Bumblebee Hives To Get At The Delicious Honey.
Are there any major inspirations or influencers we should know about?
Charles Schultz, Gary Larson, Johnny Ryan, Chris Ware, Peter Bagge, Roy Tompkins, Dave Sim, Eric Morecambe, Lee & Herring, Clare Balding, Murderers, The Dutch, Crisps.
Were you happy as a child?
If I had a packet of crisps. And a copy of 2000AD. Ooh, add 2000AD to the above! …oh, too late.
The UK Comic scene is said to be booming at the moment – do you think it is? If so, why do you think that is? Has this boom made any difference to you?
At Badger School we used to make our own comics out of clumsily-stitched-together-big-dried-out-oak-leaves…I ended up doing most of the stitching because of my having an opposable thumb…me and Stephen and this other kid, Desmond Badger, had a big pile of comics that we’d made ourselves, they were pretty good, but one day we went back to our clubhouse and some bloody woodlice had got in and eaten the lot! Bastards. Desmond didn’t like Hawkwind, he liked Stephen ‘Tintin’ Duffy, and Teardrop Explodes, fucking rubbish.
What do you collect?
My own faeces, in carrier bags. Also Royal Doulton figurines.
What’s the last thing that made you really angry?
When you get a slice of cake in Costa Coffee, to have in, they give you a knife with it. Why a knife?! Surely that’s the LEAST USEFUL cutlery item they could give you…you know? I mean if you had a FORK, that’d be useful, you could fork bits of cake off the main body of the cake-slice and prong them up…even a fucking SPOON would be preferable to a knife! And one time I was in there I asked for a Primo Latte, and they said “You mean a Small?” and I was thinking No I DON’T mean a Fucking Small I mean a Primo, that’s what it says on your fucking list at the back there, don’t make ME out to be a pretentious cunt, YOU’RE the ones calling fucking Small coffees fucking Primos in the first fucking place!
Is chocolate over rated?
Crisps piss all over chocolate.
Which of your strips do you enjoy drawing most?
The ones with easily-drawn things in them.