Sean O’Connell of Wānaka Signs has been doodling for The Wānaka Sun since 2008 under the stage name Penbroke – a play on the word ‘Pembroke’.
O’Connell has a degree in Industrial Design (Engineering) from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and takes his inspiration for his, mainly hand-drawn, cartoons from the newspaper’s articles each week.
Throughout the years the cartoonist has been influenced by a variety of other illustrators and cartoonists, such as Brendan McCarthy and Carlos Esquerra whose work he came across in his collection of 15-20 years’ worth of 2000 AD, a weekly British sci-fi comic.
O’Connell said, “Gerald Scarfe, the English political cartoonist and caricaturist, is amazing. He did all of the stuff for Pink Floyd’s The Wall album and film. Tom Matthews and Leunig are excellent Irish and Australian cartoonists and illustrators respectively, and of course, here in Otago, Garrick Tremain.”
O’Connell’s all-time favourite is Ronald Searle, the artist and satirical cartoonist most renowned for creating St Trinian’s School and his collaboration on the Molesworth book series.
O’Connell added, “a good cartoon should be clever, strike a nerve, make you think and not necessarily be funny, although I prefer them when they are.”