With Chris Riddell, it all begins with the supreme quality of his draughtsmanship. A recent UK Children’s Laureate who is also hugely celebrated for his adult books, which have won a series of major prizes, Chris is thus accustomed to capturing a great range of tone and emotion.
In his drawing, this can translate into the cruelly graphic Tory bestiary of ‘Five Go Mad’, produced at the time of the leadership campaign. Or, alternatively, translate into the contemplative Rainbow, which marked the Queen’s death. Chris’s style invites you to linger over detail. He also takes handsome advantage of the illustrator’s privilege of getting away with more low blows than a writer could, or at least doing so more succinctly – witness his Johnson as the Bollinger punk ‘Boris Rotten’. In the context of the ‘paper, where his cartoon sits in close proximity to the serious business of the editorial leaders, such knockabout pleasures are welcome.