“A Day in the Life” with Vancouver-based Cartoonist Graham Harrop

Graham Harrop began his working life at 16 as a copy runner at The Vancouver Sun with the conviction he could one day be drawing for the paper. Graham has worked at the mill in Powell River, moving on to pizza delivery, cab driving, helping at a seniors’ centre, clerking at a paint store, to becoming a freelance cartoonist and then editorial cartoonist at The Vancouver Sun. (Let’s face it, the man can’t hold a job).

After more than 26 years now as an editorial cartoonist, Graham’s work still elicits a chuckle from Sun readers as his gentle satire focuses on upheavals major and minor and their effect on the lives of British Columbians.

Graham also creates the online comic strips UFO and TEN CATS which appear daily on the Go Comics site. TEN CATS has won a prestigious Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society, while UFO is the fulfilment of another of Graham’s boyhood dreams. For more than two decades, Graham’s “BackBench” comic strip ran daily in The Globe and Mail, and two BackBench books have been published by Harper Collins and Ronsdale Press.

His off-hours find him doodling with coloured inks on glossy card stock, creating his whimsical, freefalling “inklings”… Or if a camera is handy, his slightly skewed view of the universe finds its expression in the Potpourri critters he enhances from found items or leaves, twigs or discarded plastics… A tattered dishcloth becomes a spirited little bluebird; a washing machine agitator becomes an overworked laundress… Graham occasionally posts them on his website.

A number of whimsical collections of Graham’s cartoons are available on Amazon. His t-shirt designs and cards are often donated to a local animal advocacy group for their fundraising efforts.

His friend and fellow cartoonist Dan Murphy has said: “Graham Harrop has… an unfettered imagination, a sublime silliness and as graceful a way with words as with pen and brush.”

-Written by Annie Birthistle, best friend and assistant

Graham Harrop
Primate cartoon is from Graham’s long-running BackBench comic strip in The Globe and Mail
Graham Harrop
The Stanley Park cartoon appeared in The Vancouver Sun in August 2013
The ‘cow’ is created from watercolour ink on art board, then scanned and digitally enhanced by Graham – part of his “inklings” series
BC Ferry system is a favourite topic for BC cartoonists, as evidenced by this one of Graham’s from June 2021
Graham at his drawing board in his home office – he loves the 15-second commute from couch to desk!
“Bluebird” is one of Graham’s Potpourri creations, made from tossed and found items
Graham Harrop
UFO has just joined the GoComics site as of July 10th! Can be seen here.
Graham Harrop
TEN CATS has been on GoComics since 2012


Which ’hood are you in?

Born in Liverpool, raised between Burnaby, Egmont and Saltery Bay, now living and working in North Vancouver.

What do you do?

I create editorial cartoons and greeting cards, comic strips and presentation cartoons. Try to help. Try to make people happy. “That’s what it’s all about,” my Uncle Bill used to say.

What are you currently working on?

Right now I’ve just self-published a new collection, So You Thought You Could Retire! It’s about retirees returning to the workforce, for whatever reason – staffing shortages, inflation, or the need for their expertise. It is a follow-up to Living Together After Retirement.

Where can we find your work?

You can usually find me laying on the couch, but my books are available on Amazon, and here you can find the UFO and TEN CATS comic strips. I also post on my website.



About Demian Vernieri 510 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.