White River resident Dr Jack heals with laughter, dispensing wry, iconic cartoon sketches rather than medicine. His tall, lean bokbaardjie’d frame is a familiar sight around town, pursuing two of his passions – green living and unearthing the history of White River.
The Swanepoel family history stretches right back to the beginnings of White River – his great grandfather Tom Lawrence was the new settlement’s Land Commissioner. Jack’s mum Shirley is a mobile library of historical information, and perhaps that has influenced his great interest in foraging out nuggets of town history.
Jack’s cartoon with John Curtis marking the OAU’s 50th Anniversary in 2013 won an international award in Berlin and his work is familiar to readers of Noseweek, Farmers Weekly, Pretoria News and Country Life and EWN amongst other publications.
But perhaps Jack tells it best in his own words:
Dr. Jack, cartoonist, day-dreamer and failed beard-maintenance products model. House-trained as well as carrier of Nat Dip in Graphic Design.
First nationally published cartoons appeared when he was something like 14 years old. Artist for the National Parks board for 3 years then went freelance. Has free-lanced since 1992. Clients include Pretoria News, Independent Newspapers, Noseweek, Die Burger, and Eye Witness News. Regular cartoons for such mags as Country Life and Farmers’ Weekly, and various industry publications. General Freelance Prostitute of Cartoonery [GeFPoC], selling his talents to anybody who flashes the promise of money at him. Shook hands with a famous person once.
Published six books one of which topped the bestseller list in South Africa for a week or two! Published a calendar too, but sales dropped off sharply after one year. Also dabbles in “serious” art, which nobody takes seriously. Not even him.
Yes, you guessed it – that twinkle in his eye is the reason we’ve voted him one of White River’s Stars. A wickedly sharp eye for the satirical, he makes the whole country laugh from his studio in Plaston.