Scribing about scribing

“Scribing”, otherwise known as “graphic recording”, “graphic facilitation”, etc, is where an event is captured, often in real time, by an artist using words and pictures. You can be employed to do this, though I often do it on paper for my own benefit at conferences or talks I attend.

This year I’ve had more work in this field, so I was asked to speak on a “Graphic Recording” panel at the Australian Cartoonists Association’s Stanleys Conference this past weekend. Because I’m less expert at it than the other participants (Sarah Firth, Luke Watson and Glen Le Lievre), I asked if I could just scribe the panel itself rather than speak. This was the result!

Scribing about scribing - result of a panel at the ACA's Stanleys conference, Nov 2014

Hopefully you get an idea of the content of the panel, which was really well received. The very funny Peter Berner came up and asked me some questions about it afterwards, so hopefully we’ll be seeing him doing some scribing soon (he’d be uniquely well-equipped for it)!

Someone asked if we tend to “editorialise” while we draw. I said that I definitely do (unless I’m asked not to). I certainly did above. The editorial is bound up in the process of understanding what we’re scribing. If we don’t get it (which happens when we’re thrown into a situation with no context and loads of jargon/acronyms), you end up with lots of words and arrows and clouds and stuff but not much rhyme or reason to it. If we understand the topic, you get a better result (and I can start making jokes)…

I’m in (on) MAD!

First issue of MAD Magazine I ever read was Australian MAD, issue 283, with a Derryn Hinch cover by Peter Broelman. I was hooked for years, going back and picking up loads of old issues full of brilliant art by favourites like Jack Davis, Paul Coker, “Duck” Edwing, Don Martin, Sam Viviano… I still have them all. They taught me about important people like Spiro Agnew and Tammy Faye Bakker.

It took 26 years, but I finally got up the nerve to hassle Australian MAD myself. You’ll find my first contribution on the back of the current issue, #487! Here’s how to read it:

How to read my first contribution to Australian MAD


You can imagine how proud I am to have created something that will be visible, scuffed and bent, in dusty closets and on bathroom floors for years to come!

Dugong idiots

Save this silly, dickheaded creature.I wrote an e-mail to my local MP because I read this and I like dugongs. I’m not sure if native hunting of them is the prime cause of their endangered status, but I would like some action and to learn more.

I adapted Animals Australia’s campaign e-mail text and altered it to suit me. You could do the same. Feel free to attach my dugong picture too if you like.

Dear Ms Kelly O’Dwyer.

I was surprised to learn that ‘traditional hunting’ of endangered and vulnerable native Australian animals is legal. This includes beautiful and iconic animals like some species of wombat, sea turtles, dugongs, cassowaries and flying foxes.

Apparently there’s only a few hundred dugongs left around here. They are idiots. They eat shrubbery and smile all the time.

Typical conservative ideology dictates they be turned into hats or ground up to feed more responsible, murderous animals. I hope for more from you, despite, as always, the fact that you have to do little to keep our fabulously blue-ribbon Liberal seat.

I support a change to legislation that makes it illegal for anyone to hunt or kill endangered and vulnerable native animals. That includes idiot dugongs.

Please act swiftly in supporting this important change, and help protect these iconic, blubbery morons.

I want my kids to be able to see them, and more importantly, I want them to be able to have fabulous herbivore sex in places neither I nor my future children are allowed anywhere near. That’s right, I want to be restricted from doing something and/or being somewhere. I am not a libertarian. I am not part of your base. I mean nothing to your life.

Save the idiot dugongs anyway. They deserve to live, if only so we can continue to laugh at them. Do we laugh at dodos any more? No.

Thank you.

We must help the dugong, because they can’t help themselves. Look at their scientific name: Dugong dugon. They called themselves the same thing twice and can’t even spell it.