Artist Mike Webb pencilled in for a brush with the public with Diss Corn Hall exhibition
Artist Mike Webb is hoping his first exhibition at the recently-renovated Diss Corn Hall will be a big draw.
More than 40 pieces of his work – from watercolours, drawings, and cartoon-style pictures – will be on display, and will kick-off with an open evening in the main gallery, from 6.15pm to 7.30pm, on Saturday, November 25.
Visitors will be able to peruse and purchase some of his art, which has not been displayed in the town before, until early January.
Mr Webb, who lives in Palgrave, is perhaps best known to readers as the creator behind the Diss Express cartoon Mere Quacks.
“I do enjoy putting my work out there – it is what pictures are made for, so people can see them,” he said. “It’s like if you play music, you want people to hear it.”
Mr Webb said he began drawing when he was about four-years-old. Suffering with asthma, he was often chair-bound.
My uncle used to draw and I would watch him do it. He would copy Walt Disney characters out of old film magazines
“Drawing was the one thing I could do – that and reading,” he explained.
“My uncle used to draw and I would watch him do it. He would copy Walt Disney characters out of old film magazines.
“I was aware of these characters and they seemed like a different world to me. I started copying the drawings he did. It was good grounding, because it showed you the logic of cartoons.”
He has made a living out of art – which he put down to “a bit of luck.” He had various roles, mainly in silk-screen printing, before turning self-employed in 1980.
Mere Quacks first appeared in the Diss Express in 1974. The editor at the time was Kay Hunter.
Mr Webb said: “A friend of mine was working here as a reporter and he said ‘do you want me to ask if they want a cartoon?’
“They had just gone tabloid format then, and that was the right time to think about doing it.
“I was asked to do something about the Mere and the ducks – and when it appeared in the paper, it was called Mere Quacks.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it last as I’d never had to think up jokes before – that was the hardest bit.”