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Vision beyond sight

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 11/09/2012
Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones

DRAWING INSPIRATION: Blind comic artist Richard Fairgray created this drawing of himself and co-writer Terry Jones from the photo we took.

Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones
Jess Etheridge
Richard Fairgray and Terry jones

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Being born blind has not stopped Richard Fairgray from becoming a successful comic book artist.

His career began in 1992 at primary school when the now-Albany resident created a short cartoon about a lonely ghost.

He printed 100 copies and sold them for $2 at his school athletics day.

Twenty years later he revived the tale and gave the ghost several other topics to discuss including Marxist Theory and the art of cooking "a mean stew".

Mr Fairgray was born blind after an optic nerve failed to attach, leaving him completely sightless in his left eye and "3 per cent" vision in his right eye.

His world is two dimensional, flat and his focus is constantly shifting.

"Because I only have one eye I have to form a sense of focus by having this eye constantly wobbling. I can't see that it's wobbling but what it's doing is it's actually taking two photographs and sending them back to my brain.

"I think that's a big part of why I like comics because it's flat, it's a completely flat world," he says.

His art is not always perfect, he admits, with perspective and depth taking a while to get a grip on when drawing.

"Things will look just a little bit off a lot of the time," he laughs.

"I draw comics because no-one else is going to draw them for me and I do my best."

After tens of thousands of drawings - he has created one for almost every day he has been alive - he has created more than just ghosts.

Mr Fairgray and co-writer Terry Jones have long been working on Blastosaurus, a series which follows a dinosaur detective living today.

Now the duo will launch the latest in the series on hardback at Gordon Harris Albany on October 3 and which will be available in book stores.

Mr Fairgray will also perform a live comic drawing demonstration.

Entry is free.

Visit blastosaurus.com for more information.

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- North Shore Times

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