Book 4: A Story About The Magik Pencil

When I was seven (1983-ish), I wrote and illustrated (at least) four books. This is the last in a short series of four showing the fruits of my labour in what was undoubtedly the most productive year of my life (so far).

A Story About The Magik Pencil

This is the fourth and final book my folks saved from my childhood. My last book was a lengthy volume, and I thought maybe I’d fallen into the alluring dream-life that is the long-form author. This book proves I didn’t. In fact, I can tell from this short story that all I wanted to do was draw. Once the book itself had been illustrated, I desperately looked for ways to stave off the next writing session (if there even was one). The big idea: keep drawing; piss writing off completely.

My parents must have taken me to McDonalds for a happy meal around the time, because I’ve used a stencil for the lettering on the cover, and the ‘M’ in ‘Magik’ looks a bit familiar. On this, I’ve obviously learned the hard lesson of always using a pencil before using a texta (Texta!). An unforgettable lesson from primary school (but not the only one: we had a temporary teacher for a few lessons — a Greek man — and he taught us the basics of his native tongue. Still to this day I can count to ten and can recite the basic colours in Greek. Weird how some stuff sticks and pretty much everything else other stuff doesn’t.).

I remember clearly that the pencil’s decorations were yellow and red felt. It was a magik pencil, don’t you know.

Also, what is it with me and winged creatures this time around? The ‘crazy’ bird on the inside cover, the fly character (with bowler hat) which is “hiding” on every page, and the robot-lightbulb bird-craft on the title page; what does it mean?

That is not a four ‘n’ twenty pie on the last page, it’s the cat’s empty bowl of milk (see what I did there?). I never even had a cat as a child; I did have an albino crab that I found inside a mussel at the beach which I took home (along with a bunch of seaweed, a handful of sand, and a bunch of hope) and emptied the biscuit jar for. It sat in (and stank out) my parent’s room. It lasted about a week if I recall correctly. Win some, lose some.

Well, that’s it for the series. I Hope you enjoyed delving into the sick and twisted mind of my seven-year-old self. I did! Thanks parents for preserving these precious artefacts for 25+ years! (where the hell did I put them?)

The complete series: