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The November 2011 Buzzer, Pet Peeve Battle and Ed Spence: Buzzer illustrator interview

The November 2011 Buzzer, Pet Peeve Battle and Ed Spence: Buzzer illustrator interview

Ed Spence and Disco Dog
Disco Dog and his illustrator Ed Spence

Another month and another new Buzzer arrives on buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express. This month is a little different for a couple of reasons: Firstly, much of the issue is devoted to a subject that almost everyone has an opinion on, transit pet peeves (aka etiquette on transit). The second reason this month’s issue of the Buzzer is different is because for the first time in Buzzer history (recent history at least) we’ve invited a past illustrator back to do a second Buzzer cover.

I’ve been wanting to talk about how people conduct themselves on the system since I started at TransLink in April, so I’m pretty excited to announce this new campaign, which launch on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/translink.

Starting November 17th on Facebook, anyone can vote on which of eight transit pet peeves is the biggest pet peeve of them all! Each day, day two pet peeves will battle to see which goes on to the next round. During the campaign, we’ll be giving away prizes each battle day to people who like our Facebook page. Prizes include 3-Zone bus passes, gift certificates and much more!

The pet peeves include music being played too loud on transit (Disco Dog), eating on transit (Hungry Hamster), having loud phone conversations on transit (Chatty Chihuahua) and other peeves and their corresponding characters including people not offering courtesy seats to those who need them more. The complete list of characters will be revealed on November 17th when the battle officially starts. If you think blocking the SkyTrain doors so people have difficulty getting off the train is way worse than playing music on 11 on transit, then you’ll want to cast your vote and possibly win a prize for your trouble!

Not a day goes by that I don’t see a comment on Facebook, Twitter, the blog or elsewhere about pet peeves on transit caused by other transit riders. The hope is that the campaign gets people to start thinking more about their actions on transit and possibly change their peevish habits.

Hungy Hamster
Hungry Hamster

Now for that second reason this issue is different. The Buzzer usually has a different illustrator every month. Not only has Ed Spence done a cover before, he did one only two months ago for the September service change issue. The reason for this is because Ed was simply the best fit to illustrate the pet peeves. His comic-strip like illustrations and ability to draw pretty much anything really lend him to the idea of pet personifying etiquette faux pas on transit. It also helped that I received more than a few comments about how much people liked Ed’s work. Ed is actually putting the finishing touches on the last few pet peeves, but he took some time out of his Art filled existence to answer a few questions about his work on this month’s Buzzer and the pet peeve campaign:

There are a lot of different pets and pet peeves to illustrate for this campaign. Where did you draw your inspiration from when you sat down to draw these?
My mind immediately went back to Ren & Stimpy, Sponge Bob, Daffy Duck… all of those classic or classically-inspired animated cartoons that I watched as a youngster.  I tried to capture the same expressive gestures and line qualities that made their character designs so effective.

Have you ever drawn a Chihuahua before?
Not that I recollect.

What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to public transit?
I think it would have to be people who don’t have their bus change ready.  It’s usually me.

What’s been your favourite pet peeve to draw?
The hungry hamster, for sure.  I get some sort of perverse satisfaction out of drawing disgusting things.

Chatty Chihuahua
Chatty Chihuahua

There’s more in this  issue of the Buzzer than fat hamsters and a chihuahua wearing dress shirts and no pants. There’s info about Fall Bike to Work Week as well as the holiday transit service for Remembrance Day. I also included much of the info from the How to take your bike on the bus post.

Since the issue is devoted to transit etiquette, the Back Issues section includes some of the seven suggestions on how to conduct yourself on transit from the June 24, 1949 issue of the Buzzer.

Here’s my favourite suggestion:

#7 Refrain from affectations and conceited airs. Remember that you are riding a distance for sixpence, which, if made in a hackney coach, would cost you so many shillings: and that, should your price elevate you above plebian accommodations, your purse should enable you to command aristocratic indulgences.

If you haven’t seen the new issue on the system yet (SkyTrain and SeaBus almost always have them, but it’s up to bus operators to stock their buses with them), you can always download it as well as past issues as a .pdf. Happy reading and make sure to vote for your biggest pet peeve starting November 17!