Pen and pun perfection

CPO2 Chris Fraser draws his next cartoon.

CPO2 Chris Fraser draws his next cartoon.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Chief Petty Officer Second Class Chris Fraser is making us giggle by releasing his private collection of single-pane pen-and-ink cartoons.

Cartooning, he says, comes easily because humour abounds in everyday life and he doesn’t need to look too far to find it. 

“My art work is really about the process of looking around at the world in front of me in Dockyard, being well versed in common puns, and being able to twist them into a naval situation to add some levity,” he says. “The navy has its own language and sometimes it’s easy to take some of the words, names, and acronyms and make them humorous.”

On his list of influencers is legendary cartoonist Gary Larson and his The Far Side comic strip, and classic British comedy television shows Monty Python and Allo Allo!

Most of his humour has a “naval, but certainly not a navel” bent, he quips.   

He’s let his artistic talent be known in the past; in 2005, while working aboard HMCS Whitehorse, the commanding officer selected CPO2 Fraser’s artwork to appear on the gun shield of the Kingston-Class ship. He has also designed morale patches, crossing the line ceremony certificates, and tattoos.

Cartoons are a recent addition stemming from stay-at-home orders because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During his off-time, because he couldn’t get out and socialize, he worked his imagination and art skills.

“Other than my family nobody else has seen my drawings. Whenever my son Andriy takes a look he knows right away it’s just my sense of humour or what he calls ‘Dad jokes.’ Meanwhile, my wife [Natalia] isn’t as enthusiastic and normally just rolls her eyes, shakes her head, and walks away.”

The 50-year-old says drawing cartoons helps him relax after a hard work day or even a gruelling workout. 

He’s a seasoned athlete, primarily a marathon runner. Last year, he ran the Goodlife Fitness Victoria 42.2 km Marathon in full firefighting gear including a heavy breathing apparatus and oxygen tank as a fundraiser for the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre.

His cartoon series is called Sundowners, but he hopes they inspire the opposite reaction.

“Even if it’s a different form of artwork from the usual portraits and landscapes, it has the potential to entertain people and pick up their spirits,” he says.

SUNDOWNERS---Cap-Sizing SUNDOWNERS---Paddle-Sale SUNDOWNERS---Rabbits-Marching SUNDOWNERS---Turkey-Recruit SUNDOWNERS---Caesar-Salad


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