I have beef with an Australian cartoonist. It’s not Mark Knight, with his ardent support of the Herald Sun’s 2010 “sterilise the underclass” campaign. It’s not that trembling whimsymonger Leunig, with his toilet-calendar Babylon built of tea cosies and spiritual introspection. It’s not even the charming Larry Pickering, with his anti-Semitic rants and fetish for drawing Julia Gillard toting enormous strap-ons. No, the wretched sketcher who is my nemesis prefers but a single name – Roy.
Roy. The Guy Who Does The Little Cartoons In The 50/50 Section Of The Herald Sun Letters Page AKA Chris Taylor AKA the Southbank Doodler AKA Knight’s Squire. What could I hate about this pillar of unremarkability, who isn’t quite unfunny enough to be funny and isn’t quite unoffensive enough to be offensive? What has Roy ever done except bring slight smiles and mild winces to people all over the country? What is his sin?
I wish I could do the noble thing and not tell you, because once you’ve seen this you’ll never be able to unsee it. It will never end, and the irritation it spawns will corrode and corrupt you from within like a million black termites gnawing at the walls of your veins. But I am weak, I am tired, I cannot do this alone any longer. Know, at least, that this honey trap of a blog is mingled with my tears. Now you must share in my rage.
Chris ‘Chris “Roy” Taylor’ Taylor uses the same stupid device in every cartoon he ever draws, like Ted Bundy leaving his killing signature on the bodies of each of his victims. I like to call it Roy’s Three Little Lines of Surprise. See if you can spot Roy’s Three Little Lines of Surprise in these insipid cartoons and guess who is surprised.
Answer: The Major is surprised because the Manager has three money medals.
Answer: Julia Gillard is surprised because somebody has put a fire danger advisory billboard in her pants.
Answer: The men are surprised because Moses is pissing on them.
Answer: The Tattslotto Division 7 winner is surprised because a woman is spoiling his brief moment of happiness for no clear reason and it’s ambiguous as to whether he has to go to back of the extremely long queue he just noticed.
Answer: The hoodlum is surprised because his accomplice is reconsidering his life of crime and has confused their anticolonial activism with their recreational cricket-based graffiti in a breathtaking display of historical ignorance.
Answer: Oscar Pistorius is surprised because the Judge is making a joke while sentencing him to prison for murdering his wife.
Answer: The journalist is surprised because Roy has already used this pun as a threadbare punchline.
Answer: The Carlton Football Team are surprised because Mick Malthouse’s breath has a force of at least twelve on the Beaufort wind speed scale and he could kill them easily if he chose.
Answer: The patient is surprised because the Doctor has performed a horrifying experiment on him while he was undergoing routine elective surgery and now he cannot eat, speak or kiss his loved ones ever again.
These are just a few droplets from the vast ocean of Roy cartoons featuring Roy’s Three Little Lines of Surprise. If you played along at home, count up your scores and see how you went:
1-4: You’re no Roy.
5-8: Keep on Roying.
I’m onto you, Roy, and when your house of cards crumbles and burns around you there will be nothing you can do but emit three little black wedges of astonishment from the back of your falling head.
Also, what the fuck was with yesterday’s Ginger Meggs?