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Gauld, Tom

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Artist.

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(1976-    ) Scottish illustrator, cartoonist and author, active since the beginning of the twenty-first century; he is perhaps best known for a weekly strip cartoon published in the Guardian, a full representative assembly of this material being You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack (graph coll 2013); Baking With Kafka (graph coll 2017) also contains material from other sources, often directly using sf imagery and themes; Goliath (graph 2012), about the tragically reluctant warrior, is based on the biblical story. Many of Gauld's cartoons make direct use of sf material, an example being a more recent strip (13 October 2018 Guardian), in which the Booker Prize is awarded first by an AI, then through gladiatorial combat inside a thunderdome. Department of Mind-Blowing Theories (graph coll 2020) assembles science-based and frequently sf-flavoured drawings for the magazine New Scientist.

Of direct sf interest is Mooncop (graph 2016), a superficially winsome but subtly and implacably melancholy Graphic Novel set in the Near Future on the Moon just after attempts at settlement have clearly proven unprofitable. The protagonist, a policeman who is the last non-Robot representative of government on the Moon, mets a young woman who seemingly through corporate error has been delegated to upgrade a Lunar Donuts food dispenser into a Lunar Donuts Minicafe. They discover they are the last remaining humans on our satellite. Together, they gaze upon the great globe of the Earth. There is little sense they will become Adam and Eve. The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess (graph 2021) is a gently skewed fairytale.

Gauld's minimalist style clearly evokes Edward Gorey, but as well shows a clear understanding of the work of Hugh Lofting. [JC]

see also: Basilisks.

Tom Gauld

born Aberdeenshire, Scotland: 1976

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