Last week, I introduced Glasgow and Edinburgh, who are not the characters already from Britain Boys, but instead two completely new characters for Edinburgh & Glasgow, a then-new series satirizing Scottish society. While I kept Edinburgh’s design mostly intact from when I first started sketching him, Glasgow was a bit more volatile in both his looks and even personality.
Eventually, I settled on his finalized make-up, and the Glasgow of Edinburgh & Glasgow is the one seen directly above – with Edinburgh and three other new characters created for the series.
The ‘famous five’ big cities of Scotland all get personified, each reflecting the popular perceptions of their hometowns (with the possible exception of Inverness). Although I have been to Scotland, it was only one part of it (it was a small village called Kelso near the English border), so I used as much of the knowledge I’d accrued from popular culture about Scotland in the process of creating these characters. I drew them roughly according to their geographical location, a technique I would use again for many later artworks.
A 26-year-old comedian. He is an eternal funnyman, always making jokes even if people don’t necessarily approve of his humour. His wisecracks annoy his ‘frenemy’ Glasgow, who envies all the attention he’s getting and sometimes tries to steal his limelight – literally. He performs at festivals and gigs around the world, including his very own Festival. In the 2014 Scottish referendum, he campaigned (of sorts) for Scotland to remain a part of Great Britain, since he prefers working together to breaking apart.
A 28-year-old former dockworker. After the global economical crash, he lost the very job he cherished so much, and he has become depressed and pessimistic about everything ever since. He regularly drinks and smokes to temporarily relieve his deeply-entrenched stresses, and busks on the streets by playing the bagpipes to collect some coins just to get by. He hates anything funny, which is why he often gets irritated by Edinburgh’s jokes. His favourite food and drink are fried Mars bars and Irn-Bru, and was a passionate supporter of independence for Scotland in the 2014 referendum.
An oil-rig worker. He has ‘Alba’ (the Gaelic word for ‘Scotland’) and a Scottish flag tattooed onto his left arm. Due to his riches in oil, he’s always wondering where the next barrel of oil will be found, which has led to him becoming somewhat materialistic. Like Glasgow, he also supported Scottish independence because he thought Scotland would then be able to keep more of its oil riches for itself, rather than having to share it with England.
A journalist. He always carries a notepad and pencil around with him, so whenever he thinks he has a potential news story on his hands, he will immediately begin excitedly jotting down details, which he then types up into a full-on article. When not breaking or making the news, he loves to make his own marmalade to use for scones and toast.
A detective. He always carries a magnifying glass with him, usually in his pockets. When he’s caught on to a case, he keeps track of clues in his notepad, and uses his phone to inform his colleagues and record the voices of people who he thinks are suspects. He seems to have an unusual resilience to the harsh cold Scottish winters, since he doesn’t wear any kind of leg covering, or socks inside his boots. He is popularly called the ‘Sneck’ when he is being called, or in the popular media.
I included these character bios in the first issue of the official Edinburgh & Glasgow magazine, which I ‘published’ roughly every month. Each magazine included puzzles, fun facts about Scotland, comic stories, and even a mailbox (with letters and pictures ‘sent’ in all drawn by me).
(Click on the link above to open the book in your browser. You will need Adobe Reader installed to view the magazine. If you don’t have it, you can download it for free at https://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/)
I’ve also drawn other artworks of the Famous Five together, with one even being drawn by someone else for me out on impulse: