Crippen breaks a taboo

Ok. I know that we’re not supposed to talk about our impairments, because obviously that would be colluding with those followers of the medical model understanding of disability. But hey, I’ve got issues that are affecting my ability to be a disabled artist and I need to share them or at the very least air them.

Having reached what my granddaughter calls my twilight years, as well as the usual aging deterioration that’s taking place in my body (and some would say my mind!) and which has resulted in multiple replacement joints, fusions and bits of Meccano screwed to my skeleton, I also have a lung decease called Bronchiectasis. Interestingly, they reckon the damage was done during my early childhood in the heavily polluted environs of Leeds (the white town hall and the lions were soot black in the 1950’s as a result of the pollution in the air). Also, both parents were heavy, and I mean heavy, smokers.

So, where was I, and why am I sharing this with you? Oh yes (I see what they mean about my mind!), this condition unfortunately manifests itself in extreme shortage of breath whenever I experience a change in my environment, usually to do with temperature change. The result is that I get a reduced flow of oxygen to the brain, and I start to shake as if I’m into full blown Parkinson’s. Not a pretty sight I can assure you.

Now, as a cartoonist this has a direct impact upon my ability to hold a drawing pen to the page, never mind getting as far as being creative with it! I’m slightly better at holding onto the computer mouse during these periods but the Crippen style really goes right out of the window whenever I try and create something the ‘normal’ way.

What’s to do? I hear you ask. Well, I’m now resorting to cutting and pasting characters from my existing cartoons into new scenarios and thus keeping the flow of Crippen vitriolic flowing. I’ve also learned to use some software that allows me to draw with the mouse, which although produces a less free form type of art, allows me to keep most of the Crippen style.

So, if you’ve notices a change to my drawing style and a slight repetition of some of the characters I portray in my cartoons, that’s the reason why.

Just thought I’d mention it …

BTW the cartoon accompanying this blog is one of the ones that I’ve been resurrecting from my old 1980’s grey-scale archive and has been drawn with the mouse.

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

A middle-aged white male in a suit is sitting at a table flanked by another white male in a suit and a white female. On the table is a statement from GMCDP that reads ‘declaration of independency’ alongside of another that reads ‘profit and loss predictions’. On the wall behind them is a large sign which reads ‘Federation of businesses who are doing it to the disabled’. He is saying with a glum expression: “This insistence on independence will be the downfall of the disability industry!”

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