Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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The Seven Ages of Posy

For people of a certain age and, let's face it, class, Posy Simmonds will always be one of the cornerstones of British cartooning. My mum admitted recently that I had had 'a very Posy childhood'; something I had been claiming for years, only to have it roundly denied. Certainly Posy was equalled only by The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a source of family quotations and in-jokes, while phrases from her speech bubbles ("Momma's Fault!"; "This urban rot is quite appalling!") were a useful shorthand which could bypass whole conversations.

Last night I went to see Posy speaking and sketching at Foyles as part of the Comica festival. She was exactly as I'd imagined: well-spoken, obviously well-educated, funny and self-deprecating.

By the magic of modern technology - a webcam taped to a mike stand - we were able to watch live drawing appear on the screen in front of us. It was a strange feeling to see characters who were as much a part of my upbringing as Bagpuss and Postman Pat take shape before my very eyes while Posy talked us through their design and evolution. (At the end of the talk, the Posy originals were whipped quick as by eager fans.)

We got to see some works from Posy's childhood: a strip cartoon called BULLET VENGEANCE created when she was nine and inspired by the comics her classmates gleaned from the local USAF base, and a women's magazine pastiche, Herself, from a few years later. I used to do this sort of thing, too, but eventually realised I should confine myself to the writing side of it.

In the signing queue afterwards, I was afraid the man from Foyles would be cross that I'd brought a yellowing Pick of Posy rather than forking out for the new collection, Mrs Weber's Omnibus, but he just said "Oh, you've got an original!" Posy herself was similarly impressed and checked the publication date: 1982.

While my name was being blocked out on the title page and Wendy Weber drawn underneath it, I seized the opportunity to name my favourite Posy strip: the one that ends with Wendy and George on Wendy's scooter, because it's so rare to see a woman rider with a male pillion. Posy said "Oh yes - going to the Partisan!", so she is as familiar with her own work as the fans are, which is somehow pleasing.

I will leave you with the sobering Word of God thought that Benji, last seen rejecting traditional gender-lined roleplay while picking his nose, is probably 'forty and an options broker'. Or, indeed, a software developer...
Tags: comics
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