A life-long dream come true: Kenilworth cartoonist's creations go from the back of a napkin into a fundraising book

Ron’s skills have developed since the early days when he was inspired by 1940s comics, but his drawings still retain the humour and something of the child-like innocence of those carefree years

A Kenilworth cartoonist’s life-long dream has come true this year when his cartoon creations were published - with royalties from each book sale being donated to charity.

Ron Owen has been watching the world, taking the funny moments, and putting them on paper since his childhood.

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On the Funny Side of the Street gathers some of the resulting cartoons for those who have known and loved Ron - and the book is now more widely available so others can enjoy them too.

Ron Owen receiving his first pre-publication copy of his book

Ron’s skills have developed since the early days when he was inspired by 1940s comics, but his drawings still retain the humour and something of the child-like innocence of those carefree years.

Now in his mid-eighties and suffering from life-limiting cancer, Ron has finally achieved his dream of seeing his cartoons in print.

Many of his drawings are the work of a moment, scribbled on a napkin in a café or similar when inspiration strikes – normally donated to those who prompted them – but fortunately some have been kept.

One of Ron’s nurses, Hannah Blunsdon, contacted BBC Midlands Today on his behalf towards the end of 2021 and the BBC’s Joan Cummings visited Ron at his Kenilworth home.

Ron Owen drawing his cartoons

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Candy Evans of Spring View Publications spotted the story on Facebook and with the help of Ron’s best friend since childhood, Cyril Hobbins, Spring View Publications is proud to bring some of these cheerful images to a wider audience.

“It’s been a real privilege to get to know Ron and hear more about his 80+ years of life in Warwickshire. When we’ve had a chat, I always come away with a smile and his slightly wicked sense of humour comes out clearly in the cartoons we’ve captured in the book,” said Candy.

“For the last couple of weeks Ron has been cared for in Warwick Hospital and I get the impression most of the ward staff now own one of his books – his enthusiasm is infectious,” she adds.

One of Ron's cartoons

The cartoons have always been drawn to raise a smile rather than a profit, so Ron has chosen to donate the royalties from his book to the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) – a cause close to Ron’s heart as his sister-in-law was recently taken to hospital via helicopter.

Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance community fundraising executive, George May, added: “Ron’s book is wonderful, and you can really see his personality shine through his humorous illustrations.

“As the charity relies entirely on voluntary donations, it is lovely that Ron has chosen to donate royalties from his book to support our lifesaving service, and I really encourage people to support by ordering his book.”

On the Funny Side of the Street is available to springview.uk.

It is also in stock at Kenilworth Books in Talisman Square in Kenilworth.