How London geese inspired this cartoonist whose work landed in The New Yorker
London geese can be annoying, their bright eyes following you around and their whistles marking their territory when you try to get around them, but for a former resident of the Ontario city, they are also inspirational.
Gabrielle Drolet, a 24-year-old comic book writer and illustrator, was thrilled when she saw the last copy of The New Yorker magazine in her mailbox. This was his very first printed cartoon displaying a certain amount of London pride.
“It was definitely inspired by my four years at Western [University] where the geese were often terrifying,” she told CBC News between laughs.
His cartoon, which the famous magazine bought him a year ago, depicts a Canada goose talking to its goslings and saying to them “Today we are learning to terrorize the park”.
“I’ve never been attacked… but you know you’re walking, [University College] hill or near the Thames river and you’re just very aware. You get too close and they start chasing you or they block your path and you’re like, ‘Okay, how am I going to get around these guys?'” she recalled.
“I think the geese specifically on the Western campus are more daring. You know, they’re used to seeing foot traffic all the time and they’re not scared of you at all,” she said. declared.
Encounters with geese in Burlington and Montreal are much less scary events, she says.
The Western University creative writing graduate said she was thrilled to see her cartoon in the magazine. Although her illustrated work has been published digitally by CBC and The Globe and Mail, she said being able to keep a physical copy of her work makes it even more special.
“I’ve had tears in my eyes all week since I found out it was coming out. It was really exciting and I’m extremely grateful that they gave me this space to draw my goose cartoon .
“I hadn’t seen him in a while and it made me feel pinched, not sad, but I guess I miss London and I don’t think I realized that until I see the cartoon and remember a bit.”