Friday, 2 July 2010

Go ape

Another old post revisited today so you can see what Nikos and Leo made out of my sketch - see below - which seems incidentally to have been set on Eurostar rather than the Orient Express.

Inspector Simeon began with the toy orang-utan in a top hat and opera cape who my friend Steve Foster used to have sitting by his telephone. My Mum made the opera cape. Steve called him Zak. Zak had a good innings, but when Steve got married it was time to put away nerdish things. I hope Zak found a good home, but I doubt if he’s nowadays so nattily dressed.
The orang-utan in fancy clothing came about because Steve and I had both been tickled by the corny movie version of Murders in the Rue Morgue, particularly the notion of the killer leaving a strikingly clear outline, including flowing opera cape, after jumping through a pane of glass. Wanting to give Jack a “friendly adversary” to balance his not-always-trustworthy mentor, Gus, I switched Zak to the other side of the law and gave him a more distinguished name. So was born Inspector Primo Simeon of the Sûreté.

Somewhere along the way , Simeon lost Zak’s elegant sartorial sense and acquired more of an honest, almost bohemian, style with crumpled coat and floppy painter’s hat. And quite right too. You should never trust a fella who dresses too well.

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