Cartoonist Nick

A familiar background and a reference to current traffic problems, captured by Nick's pen
A familiar background and a reference to current traffic problems, captured by Nick’s pen

Earlsdon based cartoonist Nick Shingler has been featured regularly in the Coventry Telegraph recently after the Telegraph invited cartoonists to submit their work to be considered for publication. Nick’s creation the Cov Kids has proved popular with readers.

Nick, who moved to this area from Wolverhampton in the 1980s, is a building surveyor by profession, and has recently been elected a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers, but has been drawing and painting all his life.

After winning a children’s art competition when he was a teenager Nick had a painting featured in a London gallery, which led to national coverage in the Guardian newspaper, and in the 1980s had paintings exhibited in Coventry Cathedral and the Herbert. Drawing cartoons has also been a long term hobby and he particularly admires the work of the hugely popular British cartoonist (Carl) Giles of the Daily Express and the American Jack Kirby from Marvel Comics.

At the Leeds Thought Bubble Festival a few years ago Nick exhibited a full comic strip of an airborne Angel of the North and has supplied a cartoon for the Sky Blues Trust but the nine cartoons that have appeared in the Coventry Telegraph are his first such work published in a newspaper. The Coventry Music Museum charity admired his 2-Tone cartoon and requested he donated a signed copy which Nick was happy to do.

Nick draws using traditional pen and ink, creating an A4 image which is then reproduced at one third the size. He uses recognisable and realistic backgrounds, including some clearly identifiable in the ECHO area, and then puts his Cov Kids characters into those scenes. The drawing process itself takes 2 to 3 hours but extra time is required in preparation, seeking suitable backgrounds and taking photos that he can work from later.

Nick lives in Earlsdon with his wife Nicky (“Yes, it does cause confusion”, he says) who used to teach at Earlsdon Primary School and now gives private tuition in English and maths, and their sons Ben, 19, and Joe, 17.