Edward Monkton amazes me. He is the person behind those badly drawn greetings cards depicting such things as “The Penguin of Death” with statements underneath that express what I would describe as a slightly off-the-wall undergrad student sense of humour that requires very little wit, “when I am in charge, everyone who is LOVELY will get a BIG HAT.”
Edward Monkton appears to have turned scribbling and doodling into a private industry. I have admiration for someone who can make a living out of not drawing very well. In fact, there is something quite brilliant about this person whose naive, homespun philosophy and random musings seem to have captured the imagination of the public. Is his work a true reflection of the spirit of our age, “let us be lovely and let us be kind”?
Who is Edward Monkton? Where does he live? What does he do with all that spare time? Let’s face it, he doesn’t spend much time on his drawings.
Well it turns out that Edward Monkton lives inside the head of the poet and author, Giles Andreae, and he shares that space with another scribbler well known to us by the name of Purple Ronnie. According to his Author Page at Puffin, Giles Andreae has written several very successful children’s books including: Commotion in the Ocean, Dinosaurs Galore, and The Lion Who Wanted To Love. However, Giles insists that Edward Monkton is real enough and he even gives interviews in spectacles and a brown corduroy suit.
It would be fair to say that Edward Monkton’s take on life has not come from tripping from one daisy to the next and in November 2009, his creator wrote a powerful account of his experience of depression for The Times Online. Giles Andreae also revealed that he had survived lymphatic cancer at the age of 22 and has gone on to live a fulfilling life, happily married with 4 children at 43.
From a position of being slightly irritated by the popularity of Edward Monkton and not a little confused about his appeal, I think he has won me over. We could all do with a bit of “Happiness Blessing” in our life.