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Harry Bruce knows where to draw the line in comics

A MAN who is a master craftsman at putting a comic twist on things throughout the year is cartoonist Harry Bruce.

The former teacher walked out of the classroom about 21 years ago and has been behind the drawing board ever since.

It's a job he enjoys, though he admits there are some tough assignments out there. We caught up with Harry to chat about favourite faces of 2012.

"There are some faces to draw that are quite easy, because they have particular facial features that stand out, like Julia (Gillard) with the big nose and Tony (Abbott) with the big ears," Harry said.

"But some are certainly harder to caricature.

"Deirdre Comerford for instance. Deirdre is a pleasant looking woman, and I don't like being cruel to women ... except Julia.

"I had trouble with (former mayor) Julie Boyd too, so good looking people, women especially, are difficult.

"And the closer you are to them (geographically) the harder they are to caricature. I don't want to upset them and then meet them in the supermarket."

Along with the tough gigs, there are some tried and true favourites.

"Locally, the best one is obviously George (Christensen)," Harry said.

"George has got the gap teeth and the full figure, the big bones, but he's a colourful character.

"Anyone who can get chucked out of parliament on a regular basis is great for a cartoonist. He's like the naughty boy in class, who always attracts attention. Whereas the ones that sit there and do their work well, and keep their heads down, like Ted Malone and Tim Mulherin, don't feature as often."

Mr Bruce said it was mainly politicians who featured in cartoons. "(Mike) Brunker, he was good too. Col (Meng) was good," he said.

"I hate it when my favourites get knocked out, because they're easy to draw."

On the state scene there are challenges as well.

"The new Premier (Campbell Newman) is a bit harder; it's hard to get a handle on him, to find the right balance.

"There's the bald head and big lips but it's taking a bit of time to get the balance right.

"At one point I was toying with the idea of drawing him as Napoleon all the time, the little dictator with the hand in the breast pocket."

He said other favourites were Bob Katter and Clive Palmer.

"Often it's more their character than their appearance, and you can tie it in together.

Harry said there's a lot to look forward to in 2013. "There's an election (federal) coming up, plenty of fodder there."

Topics:  cartoonist, editors picks, harry bruce, politicians


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