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
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?