Interview – F1 Cartoons

Hello MiniReaders!
Today I’m going to bring something different for the Minis fans. 6 different designers decided to unite to make a very special interview, and for making a tribute to Jim Bamber, father of the F1 cartoons.
Would you like to know more about these designers? With myself you will see an interview with Rathbone, Jake Davis, Noe Melián, Héctor García and Jorge P.

Q: What’s the name of your cartoons?
Rathbone: I mainly use #F1Toons, however I also have #RacingToons for when I do cartoons outside of the world of F1

Jake Davis: SpeedyHedz
Noe Melián: F1 Chibis
Héctor García: Grand Prix Toons
Jorge P: Sunday driver (Also called as “일요과속극장” in Korean.)
Adaco: MiniDrivers, MiniBikers and MinEDrivers

SundayDriver – Jorge P

Q: Where did that name came from?
Rathbone: I came up with #F1Toons as it was quite short and catchy, lends itself to a cool logo which I designed, and the domain name was available so I went for it!

Jake Davis: It just lends itself well to the style of my illustration… Specialising in motorsport.
Noe Melián: “Chibi” is a japanese word that describes the manga style draws which characters has enormous heads and eyes with a very small body.
Héctor García: I was looking something like Tiny Toons and the name Grand Prix came as a flash on my mind, and it stayed there.
Jorge P: I know it actually means unskilled drivers but I thought it also can mean drivers who drive every Sunday!
Adaco: If I tell you the truth I really don’t know what to say, I thought something about drivers and I always thought that if something has to be good, it has to be small… or mini.

MiniDrivers – Adaco

Q: Where can we see your work?
Rathbone: I designed and built my own website – which has most of my work on. I post all my work on Twitter and Instagram so follow me @R4THBONE

Jake, Flickr and Twitter @Jakeddcreative

Noe Melián: On the specialized web F1 al Día, I post there a draw of the best of the race, all the sundays when there are Gran Prix. I have also a personal page on Facebook, Noe Izumi.
Héctor García: On or I have also a personal portfolio of my graphic designs on where I include other competition illustrations. 
Jorge P: You may find my cartoons and works at my blog’s Work and Cartoon categories. The URL is []. Thought the blog is written in Korean, I believe there would be no problem in browsing my works. Or, you can also use my Tumblr at [] which includes all memes I made and some Illustration too.
Adaco: At and also on Twitter in english @officialminis and in spanish @officialminisES

GPToons – Héctor García

Q: Where did the inspiration came from to create your cartoons?
Rathbone: I have been a life long F1 fan, and as a kid, I knew I always wanted to be an illustrator and/or graphic designer. I used to cycle up to our local newsagents every week to pick up my dads subscription copy of AutoSport, and the first thing I would do would be to look for Jim Bamber’s cartoons.

Jake Davis: My lifelong passion for motorsport and drawing. It is the best of both worlds!
Noe Melián: When I started to draw “seriously”, at the art school, I was very influenced by the manga style. Joining that style with some little touches of my own creation, I started to draw “chibis” from movies and books. People like it, so with practice I made them very similar to the original ones, making also, without knowing it, a very characteristic style. The original manga “chibis” and anime are made with big heads, simple and adorables; I mix that “adorability” with pronounced features and a more worked anatomy, that make them on a simple draw, more like mine.
Héctor García: When I was a kid I was drawing cars and LeMans prototypes on my school notebook, 20 years ago. At the end of the 90s I thought on making some draws about motoring, where I could bring races a more human and funny face, but I didn’t know where to start. Was on the 2000s when I knew Jim Bamber’s style, I become a fan of his draws and it was my principal inspiration to make my cartoons; his style always been part of me.  
Jorge P: I remember when I first watched a Formula One Grand Prix which was not long before. That was a pretty tough race under heavy rain and wind. I saw those futuristic race cars fighting, burning and finally being destroyed. There, the race, was some stories without any context. And at the same time, there were some fun in some ways. Later, I started to make connections among some happenings that I found interesting, thinking that the work must be much funny.
Adaco: From test-mistake draws to make every character, but for the cars an old friend from a disappeared forum called safety-car helped me. Thanks to 2qwertyu the first words for the series appeared “turn the tyres”

SpeedyHedz – Jake Davis

Q: Why did you create your cartoons?
Rathbone: I do a lot of illustration work and I was originally asked to do an F1 cartoon following the Spa GP in 2011. So I did, lots of people liked it and then I decided I would create one every week, even in the off season!

Jake Davis: To put a smile on people’s faces and to feed my urge to draw.

Noe Melián: It was like 8 years ago when I tried to draw drivers with that similar style (they are not like the actual ones), but it never was more than a try, I remember they were Alonso and Raikkonen. When Kovalainen had his crash in 2008, I made a more detailed one, for wishing him the best. The result was really cute, so I started to make all the drivers from the grid. As more I was drawing, more I was creating my own style, creating situations or making full illustrations, until 2010 that I was proposed to make images for each race, something that I couldn’t refuse. 
Héctor García: I imagined strange situations between drivers that made me laugh, and made my cry of laugh alone and I wanted to share someway. The true is that I’m really bad with jokes, but making as a cartoon was good, at least it worked for me.
Jorge P: My first Sunday Driver cartoon was about “School boy drivers”. Literally, I reflected drivers’ personal and driving styles into typical school boy behaviors such as waiting lunch time, sleeping on the desk, or taking something from another kids…And that was certainly funny thinking of hot feedbacks I received. As you already know, people sometimes take something, especially Formula One, very seriously so that they always talk about who was the best, or whose driving was wrong, endlessly. But even such serious fans just laugh when they see my work and say, “that’s what I’m talking about!” Such feedback always motivated me. Laughing together about happenings that we saw.
Adaco: I always thought that races don’t have to be boring and we can have fun with the news in motorsport, but you start to draw and when you realize it you were doing this for the last five years making the highlights with humor.
F1Toons – Rathbone

Q: During all this time making your cartoons, what is the best thing that happened to you?
Rathbone: There has been lots of proud moments for me since I started doing the F1Toons and I couldn’t just pick one. Just knowing that people see my work, relate to it and like it is the best feeling.

Jake Davis: SpeedyHedz has only been running since October 2013. However, the best thing has been receiving the positive response and support from some of my heroes and figures working in the motorsport industry. I find myself speaking to and discussing Formula One issues with people I never thought I would.

Noe Melián: No doubt, that F1 al Dia wanted we me make images with humor for every Grand Prix or important moments. It’s a honor for me.
Héctor García: The best was the feedback from the people, knowing that they loved my work. Also I met some very interesting people inside and outside motorsport. 
Jorge P: Thanks to my works, I had opportunities to visit Paddock area in order to make cartoon reports or draw drivers’ portrait for pit banners. Everybody wants to see what really goes inside the paddock area and imagine how people work there. I was not an exception. I was really lucky to be there and to watch roaring race cars right in front of me and observe how paddock people work. That was certainly an eye-opening opportunity. All these things gave me much more inspirations not only to my work but also to my life.
Adaco: No doubt, work with some Formula One teams like HRT or actually with a little work with Sauber F1 Team or some little works with some drivers from lower categories that I hope they reach the top soon.
Sunday Driver – Jorge P.

Q: Is difficult to you create some cartoons due a boring or dominant race?
Rathbone: Not at all, no. I create atleast one cartoon every week of the year regardless of whether there is a race or not. I have been a fan of F1 all my life and am always reading articles, blogs etc so I always find subject matter. The hardest part is choosing WHICH idea to do!

Jake Davis: It can be challenging, however there is always something to pluck out of a race, no matter how small or uninteresting it may seem.

Noe Melián: A lot! When the same driver is usual at the podium, being original is something really hard. And if in the same race we don’t see something really exciting, the final cartoon could be something boring. About the same winner, I have to confess that Vettel bored me so much to draw him… It’s not a personal obsession, it’s just that Red Bull’s suit is a nightmare!
Héctor García: Not really, I don’t usually think on just one thing about the race, I love to go ahead and let the formalism of the competition away. 
Jorge P: I don’t think so. If there’s not much action or happening then I can get more flexibility to create more stories about that. It is rather to be complicated when too much things happens in one race!
Adaco: Sometimes can be very complicated, specially when a joke is repeated some times, but you always start to think about it, or you don’t go to sleep and then the crazy idea arrives.

MiniDrivers – Adaco

Q: During these years making your cartoons, tell us which was for your the best year/cartoon you have made and why.
Rathbone: That’s a tough one! I really like the toons I’m doing this year because it is a battle between Lewis and Nico for the championship (unless something crazy happens) so it almost creates a little story like the one I have attached here

Jake Davis: It is hard to pick one, due to the many factors and feedback that contribute to a successful cartoon. I guess it is yet to come… Watch this space!

Noe Melián: I think the best year was part of the last one and this one, because my way to draw is now regularized (when I see the first ones they are too different from the actual ones!). The little mechanics at the background, the recurrent jokes, the most popular drivers… All of them have a clear style and this is something that make me feel proud.
Héctor García: It’s difficult to say which one, I have a lot. About the year or time, I think it’s variable, there were good and bad months where the situations and the creativity were together more than on other months.
Jorge P: I think it is the [Self-diagnosis of F1 addiction] episode I made in 2012. It cast questions to people like this: Did you try to get into slip stream of a car ahead of you when you driving in town? Have you ever complained about understeer of shopping cart at supermarkets? Do you think you need to escape from gas station within 3 seconds? Then you are totally addicted to the race. And everyone said that O.K. I’m doomed. Of course, these people also call SLS as just Safety Car, always.
Adaco: I can’t choose one… For chapters I love Mini for Speed, it was a little parody that I liked so much and was the first chapter that has a second part, but for design, not for beauty, for reason, was the banner that we made for Robert Kubica after his crash and we could give to the team.

F1 Chibis – Noe Melián

Q: Which is your main goal with your cartoons?
Rathbone: Just to keep doing them and to know that fellow F1 fans look forward to seeing them. It’s amazing some of the people who have seen and commented on my work, from drivers, to teams, to F1Blogs and even Crofty himself. I would love to work for a magazine, or even a team, creating toons just for them which hopefully will happen one day soon

Jake Davis: World domination and to retire to Monaco! Of course, with Domino (my faithful sidekick dog).

Noe Melián: To make an image to resume all the race, without losing all the humor.
Héctor García: I love to make cartoons, but my goal is to laugh, and if someone laughs with me, that’s better.
Jorge P: Through my cartoon, I would like to show what I’ve experienced in and outside of circuits, share inspirations I’ve received from races and tell people that funny things can happen always everywhere, even in the heart of such fierce races as Formula One.
Adaco: Reach to all the motorsport fans as possible and who knows if someday I could work for the official sites of Formula One and MotoGP

GPToons – Héctor García

Q: If you could change something of your cartoons or something you would like to do but you don’t have time/way to do it, what would be?
Rathbone: I am proud of my toons and for me, being able to create them and post them while they are topical and relevant is my goal. Ideally I would like more time to create more detailed illustrations like some of my other work but then they would lose the style that people love

Jake Davis: To create a mini series or graphic novel. If only there more time… more hours in the day would be useful.

Noe Melián: A better “inking”. If I tell you the truth, I make my draws very detailed with a pencil, and then I pint them with the computer. This takes me half of an hour and there are moments that I’m not happy with the result, which could be better if I could use the inking for computer. But this would take me so much time, and it won’t be good for our followers to post the image one day after the race. 
Héctor García: I wouldn’t change anything, I’m loyal to my style, the same as a decade before.
Jorge P: Cartoon illustration banner on the garage maybe? I would like to draw such portraits again in the same but more cheeky way than I did in 2012 Korean Grand Prix. Just imagine. And I want to make previews for some GP like Silverstone, which has so many stories. I left them for future works.
Adaco: I always try to look for the best for every season. My dream would be making the series in 3D but still having the cartoon style, but this would be a far goal for me.

F1Toons – Rathbone

Q: Do you have any funny story with any fan with your cartoons?
Rathbone: Not really, although I do often post cartoons and have fans point out that I have spelling mistakes in them which is always amusing… I blame it on being dyslexic!

Jake Davis: When people commission a new illustration of themselves, they want it to look like them. For example, if someone looks like a caveman and they want to look like Brad Pitt. Or for example a lady would like a commission but she would like to look thinner and with bigger boobs. And then they wonder why it does not look like them anymore?!… The human race baffles me.

Noe Melián: As a funny story, I adore a comment of a chibi for the 2014 Bahrain  Grand Prix, about Esteban Gutiérrez face down. That made me laugh a lot. Also on Twitter there are some followers who are really funny. 
Héctor García: A lot, impossible to choose one. For example, when a cartoon is good, that makes a lot of conversations and jokes in forums where I go, even at the comments on my GPToons Facebook’s page. 
Jorge P: Someone took my printed cartoon to kimi, just wanting to get an autograph on that. Kimi thought that was a present for him. Later the fan girl said to me that she had to said to Kimi, ‘it’s not yours. Please just sign on it!’ And she took back the cartoon once Kimi signed on it leaving him empty handed!
Adaco: I remember specially when I introduce myself to Álvaro Bautista’s team that the rider was with his mechanic, the most curious was that the rider was explaining to his mechanic who I was and which work I was doing, even which was his attack… It was a shocking moment for me.

Speedy Hedz – Jake Davis

Q: What is the best thing a fan told/give/make to you?
Rathbone: I am very lucky to have a few people who have followed me from day one and go the extra mile to get my work seen. The best thing for me is every time someone shares my work and introduces my work to someone new.

Jake Davis: A few people have made collages using my work on Twitter… That is it for the moment. I still have not had any knickers flung at my feet as I walk down the street.

Noe Melián: The best “compliment” that people could let me are on the comments, or at the tweets after each race, telling me that they can’t wait to see my chibi. It’s impossible to describe what do you feel when there are so many people waiting to see your work. But the best moment was when Pastor Maldonado post the “chibi” of his victory on 2012 on Twitter!
Héctor García: I don’t remember specially one, but there were a lot of things. 
Jorge P: Oh, one fan girl made a fabric pouch which looks like Kimi’s face I draw. She gave that to me as a gift and that was really great. Funny thing is, when I have to seal the pouch, Kimi’s face shrunk and it look like a frustrated expression.
Adaco: No doubt that the affect from the fans, but there is a fan here at Barcelona that she’s always making a banner or a toy of a MiniDriver or MiniBiker for F1 and MotoGP. But the best thing I think is met which is for now my actual girlfriend thanks to my cartoons.

Q: As you read on the news, last weekend Jim Bamber, father of the F1 cartoons, passed away. Which was your reaction when you read that?
Rathbone: I tweeted at the time that I was genuinely sad. I always hoped one day that Jim would have commented on my work. That would have been a dream come true as he inspired me to pick up a pencil when I was a kid. My thoughts are with his family at this time.

Jake Davis: Obviously great sadness, as I have followed his work for years through Autosport magazine. But also a feeling of responsibility on my shoulders, to keep his legacy of Formula One cartoons thriving and entertaining for the fans.

Noe Melián: It’s really sad that someone who dedicated all his life to make draws with humor with the sport that we love left us. I hope that at least he inspired so many people and made laugh the other part.
Héctor García: I knew it late, two days later, and it was a low blow for me. I knew months ago that he retired, but I didn’t knew that his healthy was so delicate.
Jorge P: It feels awful I cannot see his brilliant works anymore. But he left plenty of pages for us, maybe I always remember the scene of some races for his cartoons. It’s most touching things that such a great artist can do to others.
Adaco: I felt a big deep inside me. Jim’s designs inspired me so much and my objective was reaching only a 1% of what he was. It’s so sad that he left us, but the legacy that he left us to the other designers is something that we must consider. If it wasn’t for him, who knows if we could think about making humor with our favorite sport.

F1 Chibis – Noe Melián

Q: Did Jim’s creation inspired or affected on your cartoons? In case of affirmative, explain us why.
Rathbone: Of course. I don’t think there is a single F1 cartoonist, or cartoonist in general that wouldn’t have appreciated or been inspired by Jim’s work

Jake Davis: I have always admired the fluidity and simplicity of Jim’s drawings, yet he captured so much more. And he never ceased to make me laugh! Thank you Jim.

Noe Melián: No, it wasn’t that case. Although I would love to. 
Héctor García: Totally, his style is a big part of the creation of my cartoons. As a drawer and humorist is one of my biggest influences, his cartoons and draws motivate me to draw more and make it better on that way. 
Jorge P: Yes really lot. I’ve been liking all styles of F1 cartoons and Jim’s was absolutely a special one. He has never hesitated in expressing his opinion, and did that in the way which made people fascinated with his wit and sense of humor, without any rigidity. This is why I admire him. I think that is the essentials of cartoon’s way of telling some issues. He will be remembered always.
Adaco: There is a special detail in all Jim’s designs that I bought to the Minis: The beauty is on the simple things. You don’t have to make a great art design to make something beautiful and it’s something that I always thought about it of the big master.

Q: What is the message that you would like to give to your fans, old and news thanks to this interview?
Rathbone: it’s really cool to be working alongside some other great artists on this piece. I just want to say thanks to everyone who follows me and supports my work. There are several people who have supported me and promoted me from day one, and who go the extra mile to show my work to others. They know who they are and I will always be extra thankful to you guys

Jake Davis: Even though the King is dead, there are so many talented illustrators and cartoonists to carry on the legacy and continue to make people smile for years to come.
Noe Melián: Just say one thing: thanks, because you give me wings every weekend.
Héctor García: It’s not only important to feed our mind, you need to feed your spirit too, so that’s why you need to smile and enjoy the things you love, and also the motorsport. 
Jorge P: OK, enjoy your race, enjoy every weekend, if there is anything you feel funny or good, tell me and tell others. I will tell you mine. Thank you for smiles!
Adaco: The best is always about to come and I hope they can enjoy not only with my work, with the work of my other friends too. We’re a big family and if it wasn’t for all our fans, none of us would be here today.
Apart of his interview, these designers united for a very special reason: Giving the last goodbye to a genius like Jim Bamber, and this is why our characters are together on a very emotive photo to say goodbye to Jim. Maybe the master left us, but his legacy will be forever.

Thanks to the cartoonist who collaborate to this little tribue to Jim Bamber, someone who won’t be forgotten and someone who, wherever you are, you will be inspiring us.

Yesterday, today and forever, thanks Jim!