Andrew King is best known around town as a painter. His District 15 show and imaginary, monster condo The Wellboron shook things up in Wellington West last year and brought some much needed satire to a place where real condos seem to spring up every six months.
King has been an artist his entire life but he hasn’t always been putting a brush to canvas. He started his career as an animator, and has brought along his muse to share: a Mad magazine. This particular one, printed in 1969, is still in mint condition and is kept in a clear, plastic sleeve.
“I would buy these back in the 80’s with my allowance at the used book store, there would be stacks of them,” says King. “This is what inspired me to start cartooning, Mad magazine.”
King spent a decade working as a cartoonist and animator on a number of Canadian television shows. He left that medium in 2006 when hand-drawn art finally made way for computer animation. He’s spent the decade since developing a unique style of painting that is rooted in the architecture of the past here in Ottawa and his home, Prince Edward County.
And all this started with Mad. “I’m a huge fan of satire, I love the humour in here, it’s my humour,” says King, “Some of the best cartoon work ever was done in Mad.”
If dirty jokes and parodies aren’t your thing, you can check out King’s new column in The Ottawa Citizen. His bi-weekly entries focus on the lost history of our own city. King is out to solve mysteries that even those of us who have lived here our entire lives may know nothing about.
“There is so much cool history around here and it’s fun uncovering it and bringing it back to the surface for other people to see,” says King. “It’s maybe not the best journalism, but it’s how I see our history and I want to present it to people in an exciting way.”
This post is part of our annual KT summer reads issue. Read all of our other profiles right here.
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