Martin Chatterton – Master of the Caricature

Martin opened the session by telling the children that we should all have a nap.  That idea was ditched when Martin pointed out that I was a spy and would probably tell on everyone.  He then went on to say that he really doesn’t like children, and that he likes to get revenge on them by drawing funny pictures.  He said that he was not like other authors and illustrators in that he prefers to ask for applause.  He also had the kids bow down and say all together, “we are not worthy”.  Martin said he would be asking for volunteers for him to do a drawing of, but gave the following warning.  He repeated that he was mean and nasty, and that any kid who volunteered to be drawn would have to make sure they were not going to burst into tears when they saw the drawing.  Despite his self-confessed awfulness, there were a lot of volunteers.

A young volunteer came up and Martin gazed into his soul….


The first thing Martin noticed about the volunteer was that he had a head like a coconut.  As Martin continued to draw the kids were absolutely cracking up with laughter.  Their teacher sounded like a broken record asking them to sit down, poor thing.  The volunteer sat in his chair not knowing what was happening, his classmates thoroughly enjoyed being able to see the work in progress.  When the picture was finally revealed to the volunteer he fell on the floor.


It was the girls’ turn next.  He gazed into the volunteer’s soul, warning that she may feel some pain.  Instead, she erupted in uncontrollable giggles.  As the drawing took shape there were sounds of admiration alongside disgust, Martin does gruesome well.  Sweat dripped from Martin and he warned that the kids may be getting some splash back, ewwwwww.  How can I hope to portray the excitement in the room with mere words?!  The picture was revealed to the volunteer and again she erupted in uncontrollable giggles.


One of the teachers was ‘volunteered’ by Martin to be next.  The kids cheered, here was a chance for revenge.  The kids all crept closer to the flip chart, eager to see Martin do his best, or was it his worst that they were after?  As I watched the picture come to life, I really felt sorry for this teacher, I’m not sure if she will ever live this down.  “This is your worst nightmare”, forewarned one of the kids.  Another teacher promised that the picture would be framed and hung in the school library.  This was a seriously awesome session.  The picture reveal went well, but Martin had moved towards the door in case he needed to run for cover.


Martin finished the session by doing a collection of little drawings so each kid had a picture to take home.  Their teacher promised to cut out and laminate the pictures, something they will no doubt treasure for ever.  If you want to see more of Martin’s work, click HERE.



One response to “Martin Chatterton – Master of the Caricature

  1. Martin Chatterton is Martin Chatterton … and a one-off. And for that we should be eternally grateful. 🙂

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