It’s Banksy Week in squash! The squash-loving cartoonist David Banks will be issuing a new drawing every day this week to promote World Squash Day.
Passionate squash fan David, from Colchester, England, is delighted to be back on court after the long coronavirus lockdown and his first cartoon in the series shows the coronavirus getting a good whack from the world of squash.
David is keen to support World Squash Day’s massive social media campaign that features the hashtag #whyilovesquash.
He is interviewed below by World Squash Day founder Alan Thatcher.
Watch out for a Banksy original on social media every day this week!
11 Points with Cartoonist David Banks:
Interview by Alan Thatcher
1: David, thank you so much for drawing some brilliant cartoons for the World Squash Day #whyilovesquash campaign. When did you become a professional cartoonist, and what were you doing for a living before?
A: I worked as a journalist first and then had a brief spell in advertising in London.
2: Where can we see your work published?
A: I’ve drawn daily cartoons for The Daily Telegraph and the Independent and work for several regional papers, The Spectator, Private Eye, The Dandy and The Beano (and Punch way back). I draw daily cartoons for a Police magazine, have a syndicated strip cartoon in the States and do book and magazine cartoon illustration, advertising and cartoon videos as well.
3: Let’s talk about your love of squash. What club do you play at? And what makes it such an important part of your life?
A: Lexden. I’ve been freelance and working from home for most of my working life. Squash gets me out of the house for exercise and to see other people (much to my family’s relief).
4: Lexden has a record of staging some excellent community events on World Squash Day that have involved cycling from club to club to raise money for deserving causes and ending up with a party back at the club. Please tell us a bit more about those occasions.
A: A close friend of mine, Chris Wheat, has set up Florence’s Heroes. This raises money for Colchester Neo Natal unit, ANTS (Acute Neo-natal Transport Service) and The Royal Brompton Hospital. Events have included, amongst others, a couple of 90 mile bike rides (playing squash at five different clubs along the way), 24 hour racketball marathons and long distance walks.
5: What about your own playing standards? Apart from beating me 12-10 in the fifth in a friendly in Kent some years ago, please share some other career highlights.
A: I think that was probably the highlight, Alan. Although it’s not quite how I remember it! Other than that teaching Owain Taylor everything he knows…well, at least until he was eight and I could still beat him.
6: What have you missed most about squash during the lockdown? And how did it affect your mood, your weight and your productivity?
A: Actually … not as much as I thought. It was the longest I’ve been without playing since who knows when but I did a lot of cycling and walking. The social side was more difficult to replace, however, but I’m pleased that things are beginning to return to some semblance of normality. I suspect it will take a lot longer before everything is back to how it was pre-Covid though.
7: Have you started your own “Banksy Bubble” now that you are allowed to get back on court?
A: Yes, absolutely and very pleased to be able to do so too. ‘Sides’ was okay, but no one needs to knock up for more than three weeks at a time!
8: It was lovely seeing Lexden packed to the rafters when I popped up to help out at the exhibition night starring James Willstrop and Daryl Selby a couple of years ago. Obviously the lockdown caused the postponement of another fun night with Daryl and Gregory Gaultier. How much have you missed the pro game during the past few months?
A: It was a shame not to see Daryl and Gregory Gaultier play and we need the pros back playing and promoting squash as much as possible.
9: Which players do you enjoy watching the most?
A: James Willstrop. He was great in “An Inspector Calls”.
10: With your artist’s eye, which players produce the best facial expressions for possible artworks?
A: Daryl Selby, when he gets a hotdog shot wrong.
11: World Squash Day will soon be with us. If you could dream up one crazy, funny (hopefully legal) publicity stunt outside of a club setting to gain publicity to promote the big day, what would it be?
A: Any stunt is a good stunt! Squash needs as much plugging as it can get to attract the next cohort of players.
David: Many thanks for some brilliant answers! For Question 11, I was hoping you’d say something like “climbing Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower dressed only in a World Squash Day T-shirt, boots and a helmet” …. but that could form another cartoon, perhaps!
Follow David Banks on Twitter @bankscartoons