Our neighbour leaves them on the doorstep, paper-bagged against the sun. We peek inside and inhale their faint, wine-sweet smell. You mix the colour in the lid of your paintbox – red and blue blended with a whisper of green. I check my thigh and admire your skill – the paint’s the exact hue of yesterday’s deep-pinched bruise.
Rolli is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist from Canada. He’s the author of two short story collections (I Am Currently Working on a Novel and God’s Autobio), two books of poems (Mavor’s Bones and Plum Stuff), the middle grade story collection Dr. Franklin’s Staticy Cat and two forthcoming novels – Kabungo (Anansi/ Groundwood, 2016) and The Sea-Wave (Guernica Editions, 2016). His cartoons appear regularly in Reader’s Digest and Harvard Business Review, among others. Find him at rollistuff.com and follow him on Twitter @rolliwrites.
Kettle’s on. What can I get you?
Coffee. Or failing that, very strong tea.
What made you want to become a cartoonist?
I never wanted to be a cartoonist, funnily enough. I did early on want to be an artist—maybe like Van Gogh only with both ears—and a bit later a writer, but cartooning was never a desire of mine, burning or otherwise. I could draw, though, and believed I was clever, and on a whim doodled a few things and sent them off and had success straightaway.