Revealing in-depth interview with Peter Berner

May 23rd 2016

Peter Berner is one of Australia's most loved comedians, broadcasters and TV hosts. He is also an extremely talented MC. After almost 20 years in the corporate world Peter engages audiences, reinforces important messages and has been the cohesive glue behind some of the countries best events, ensuring an enjoyable, seamless experience. He is also a published cartoonist. In this exclusive interview [with himself], Peter shares everything you could possibly want to know about the very funny compilation of cartoons "The Book of He".

Where did you come up with the idea for this book?

Funny story: a clown told me I should write a book. Okay, come to think of it, the story isn't funny and to be honest the guy wasn't so much a clown as just an angry man wearing make up. Still, here we are. Okay, I apologise. That was, well truth is, I wanted to create a book that captured that sense of 'quiet desperation' Thoreau wrote about. I can only speak for myself (maybe my experience is not so unique) but I spend a lot of time with doubt as company. I probably should have stuck with the clown story.

Why is the style of the book so simple? Was this delibrite?

I've always been attracted to simple line work, both spoken and drawn. I could list dozens of cartoonists, fine artists, photographers and designers who have influenced me, including any of The New Yorker cartoonists, Shel Silverstein, Saul Steinberg, Saul Bass, Matisse, Picasso and Sandra Boynton. I can spend hours staring at how a line and a dot can convery complex expression. I like the idea of being able to tell a story using the least number of lines. Plus, it's a better hourly rate when you divide the fee by the number of lines used.

How do you work? Do you have a routine?

Some days I'll have an idea first and the drawing follows but more often than not I will start making marks on paper and watch what happens. That keeps the element of surprise and stops the process from seizing up. And vodka. Vodka is good.

Who is 'He'? Is 'He' you?

Yes, He is me. But I also think He is you and He is him and He is her. I suspect there is a little bit of He in everyone. Which sounds a little creepy, but it's not meant to be. The drawings expose bits of the vulnerability and uncertainties that, I think, we all possess to some degree. Some people are better at hiding it. Speaking for myself, I would love to exude a supreme 'Clooney-esque' confidence. But I don't. I'm more He than Clooney.

He never says much, why is that?

He doesn't speak English.

Thanks for your time.

And you, yours.

For further information on Peter Berner or to enquire about making a booking for your next conference or event please contact the friendly ODE team


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Revealing in-depth interview with Peter Berner
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