Remember the old adage â€“ a picture paints a thousand words?
Recently I had to make a business trip down to London for the day.Â I settled down on the train and as I flicked through a magazine I came across a small cartoon. It featured a character called Mr. Carter, and as I looked at it, I saw just how effective a small picture can be at communicating and raising a smile or a thought.
It was drawn and signed by â€˜nigglesâ€™â€¦
After a little digging, I discovered that â€˜nigglesâ€™ was actually a semi-retired cartoonist called Nigel Spaven who came up with the name by merging â€˜nigelâ€™ and â€˜gigglesâ€™ together, hence niggles cartoons.
I started out by asking Nigel who Mr. Carter was and how he came up with the idea:
â€˜Some time ago, I was helping out with some mini tennis coaching at my local tennis club. The kids are all aged between 4 and 8 years old, and they really enjoy it. One day as I was knelt down tying a boys shoe laces, I felt a small hand tap me on the top of my head. I looked around to see another small boy pointing to the top of my head with a look of shock and surprise on his face.
â€˜Look,â€™ he said, â€˜youâ€™ve got no hair on the top of your head!â€™
I couldnâ€™t stop laughing. Kids just say what they see, they are so genuine. He had been so used to seeing me from low down and looking up that he hadnâ€™t noticed the bald patch. He also thought Nigel wasnâ€™t aware that his hair â€˜had disappearedâ€™ and the little boy needed to inform him straightaway.
Also involved with a beginnerâ€™s orchestra, which has a wonderful mix of adults and children of varying ages from about 7 years all the way up to people in their 70â€™s, Nigel had discovered so many other everyday events and conversations that have humour or just make you smile.
Nigel decided to create a cartoon character and call him Mr. Carter.
Mr. Carter is a teacher at a local village Primary School. Very popular with the kids and parents alike, he teaches most subjects, but his passion is teaching the kids music and making learning fun. He is in his 50â€™s, a little short, a little overweight and slightly thin on top, but a very smiley, jolly person. He has a small dog called â€˜Pipâ€™ who is constantly by his side and often used to express Mr. Carterâ€™s thoughts and observations.
Outside of school, Mr. Carter gets up to lots of exciting adventures in his daily life â€“ including trips to exotic locations like Morocco, Mexico and Japan. He tries out beekeeping, rambling and singing in a choir. Heâ€™s involved in many of the local village and community events: a pub quiz, the cinema, blackberry-picking and walking.
Mr Carterâ€™s wide range of interests ensure readers will be able to get to know him better, relate to him and â€“ just have a momentâ€™s smile or small laugh at the everyday humour
Look out for Mr. Carter popping up from time to time here in future Lothian Life articles.
And a hint – clicking on each of the cartoons gives a bigger, clearer image and does MR Carter justice!
Find out more:Â www.nigglescartoons.co.uk