Dave Ell – A Legend In His Own Lunchtime

I first got in contact with the illustrator Dave Ell in September of 2009 after seeing the work he had performed for the now retired model and blogger, Emma Bishop … I was impressed and a quick Google revealed that he had produced a fairly extensive portfolio of spanking related toons including his own Sammy Simpkins series … I also learned that he was an artist for hire.

Over the years I had developed a pretty strong mental image of the characters from the Woody Back to School Unit saga and had often wished that my artistic tendencies extended to drawing but sadly those particular talents are right up there with my singing, which is abysmal … so I contacted Dave.

He responded quickly with his schedule of rates which I thought were quite reasonable … what was far more alarming was the information that he was a Scouser living in Phuket in Thailand … being a natural born Londoner this threw up two enormous red flags for me … firstly it is well known that dealing with Scouser’s can be a very dodgy proposition … I had personal experience when, some years ago (1971 to be exact … shows my age), I was leaving Wembley Stadium after the Arsenal versus Liverpool FA Cup final when I was surrounded by a group of disgruntled Scousers, Liverpool had lost 2-1 after extra-time … due to a recent piece of financial good fortune I had been able to acquire a pair of crepe soled shoes with ox-blood leather uppers and massive clown toes … these shoes were the bomb … anyway the lead Scouser informed me that he liked my shoes and after duly thanking him I attempted to hurry on my way … they rather rudely stopped me … “No,” said the leading Scouser, “you don’t understand I REALLY like your shoes!” … I have had an inherent distrust of Scouser’s ever since … the second alarm bell was his choice of residence … generally Scouser’s don’t travel well and the only time they like to be more than a mile from Anfield is when they have been forced to have it on their toes from Plod for dodgy dealings.

Nonetheless, I put these concerns to one side (even sending him an advance payment) and sat down and drafted out my first ever cartoon briefing … the first toon was not a story per se but an attempt to establish some of the central characters and set a bit of context … despite my reservations Dave delivered promptly and had followed the script … I decided to risk another punt and sent him second briefing … this time with a story-line … once again he delivered and we’ve been at it ever since.

The complete collection of our toons to date are hanging in Gallery I and some extracts and various odds and sods hang in Gallery II.

I think that it’s pretty obvious which are the earlier works when I was still learning how to write briefs (Rule Number One – limit the dialogue! It’s a toon stoopid!) and Dave was still learning the characters … once we both got confident in our own role in the relationship and I began to trust that he wasn’t about to steal my shoes it really began to come together and I think we are both pretty proud of the body of work and hopefully he has enjoyed the experience of collaborating with me as much as I have with him.

I am about to send Dave my latest briefing so we should have a new Woody toon out this week but in the meantime here is Dave’s latest Sammy toon … it’s Saturday so join me for Bloody Mary’s for brunch and have a good old rummage around in the libraries and galleries, there’s plenty to read and see and best of all … it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE and even better its all Commercial Free … Enjoy …. Bottoms Up! … RH