Daily Mail

Prince Harry reveals he 'loves' comics and much prefers them to books in chat with Falklands veteran turned Dennis the Menace cartoonist

 

By Gemma Mullin for MailOnline

8 November 2014

- Prince Harry made the admission to cartoonist and veteran Will Kevans

- It was at an art exhibition following opening of the Field of Remembrance

- He told former the Welsh Guardsman he loved comics and asked the price

- Mr Kevans was exhibiting his book which depicts his time in the Falklands

- Harry was interested in drawing he did of Welsh Guard on RFA Sir Galahad

- The cartoonist joined the Army Arts Society after leaving the army in 1985

- He hopes his new book will help others overcome the traumas of war

 

Prince Harry has revealed that he 'loves' comics and would choose them over books after speaking with a Falklands veteran.

 

The royal, who has an A Level in art, made the admission to cartoonist and former Welsh Guardsman, Will Kevans, following the opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

 

The confession comes amid speculation that Harry, 30, a Captain in the Household Cavalry, might return to flying Apaches after he finishes his current posting in a desk job.

He told Mr Kevans, 51, who also draws Dennis the Menace for the BBC cartoon series: 'I don't read many books but I love comics.'

 

The veteran - now a member of the Army Arts Society - had been attending an exhibition which coincided with the ceremony in London on Thursday to showcase his drawings.

 

'I had no idea Prince Harry would be attending and it was a real surprise,' said Mr Kevans, who went out to the Falklands on the QE2 liner in 1982.

 

After leaving the army in 1985, Mr Kevans joined the military arts group, which was set up after the conflict to encourage soldiers to develop their skills and deal with the psychological trauma of battle.

 

He told MailOnline that drawing cartoons was something he was always passionate about.

 

'When I was at school I wasn't very academic and I was always drawing cartoons or caricatures of my teachers - the army was something that I needed.'

 

His work has included drawing characters for children's cartoon programmes as well as designing games including the Scooby Doo computer game.

 

In recent years he has turned his hand to drawing war-related cartoons and decided to create a book that depicted his experiences of being in the Welsh Guards during the Falklands War.

 

'It's a graphic novel which has taken two and a half years and was quite emotional as it was the first time I had contacted some of the guys I worked with for about 30 odd years,' said Mr Kevans, whose company was attached to 40 Commando.

 

He was at the exhibition with a copy of his book and several other pieces of his artwork, including a scaled down version of a First World War scene he had depicted.

One of the characters of a soldier from Will Kevans book 'My Life in Pieces: The Falklands War', which caught Prince Harry's eye. It shows the kind of uniform the soldiers had to wear in cartoon form

An extract of one of the comic strips from the graphic novel, which took the veteran two and a half years

Mr Kevans said he was surprised to see the royal at the exhibition and pleased he connected with the work

 

It was this that caught the prince's eye as he strolled over to have a chat with Mr Kevans. 'He came over and asked how much it was and I said "£150 but I will do you a discount" and he laughed.'

 

The prince also had a look at his book 'My Life In Pieces: The Falklands War' and was impressed by his drawings.

'I think it struck a nerve with Harry - he's a young lad and a lot of us were still reading comic books when we went off to war so I think people can relate to it.

 

'My style is a bit Dennis the Menace so when I finished the book I wasn't sure how it would be received but it seems to have gone down very well.'

Will Kevans (pictured centre with his arms folded) and his army colleagues before the Falklands War in 1982

One of the drawings of the ships sailed by the Welsh Guardsmen during the war by the artist, who also draws Dennis the Menace for the BBC cartoon series and Scooby Doo for the computer game

Mr Kevans said creating the book was an emotional experience after he contacted fellow veterans he hadn't spoken with for over 30 years

The book tells the story of a group of Welsh Guards 'thrown into the unknown and the untold tales from Two Company’s advance on the mainland towards Port Stanley'

Mr Kevans hopes that the book will help other veterans to overcome psychological trauma that it can cause

The book 'struck a nerve with Prince Harry' when he viewed at the exhibition. The artists had not been expecting the royal guest and Mr Kevans said he was 'very surprised'

Will Kevans in his Welsh Guards uniform in the early 1980s while he was a serving soldier

 

He added: 'Harry also spotted a smaller drawing I had done of the Welsh Guard on RFA Sir Galahad and we had a chat about that. I was really pleased Prince Harry connected with it.

 

'I told him about an incident that happened to us where we saw one of our soldiers pass away and we chatted about his regiment, The Blues and Royals, which are very closely connected to the Welsh Guards.'

 

Mr Kevans, who is also a singer-songwriter, said it was wife that was the driving force behind the book and feels it has been a form of therapy.

 

'I felt now was the time to do it. We're getting older, most of us are in our fifties and some have passed away.

'It's almost normalised it [the war] now. There is a lot of humour in the book and I hope that it will help people deal with it.'

 

A percentage of the book sales are being donated to Combat Stress and SAMA Wales (South Atlantic Medal Association, Welsh Branch) and Mr Kevans has already raised almost £4,000.

 

Prince Harry, who quit the Army Air Corps in January for a desk job organising military events including the Invictus Games for wounded warriors, has been speaking to veterans at various events over the last week.

 

He told Flight Sergeant Lee Renard, a veteran of three tours of duty in Iraq and 11 in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2014, at a reception at Buckingham Palace that he 'enjoyed flying and missed it'.

 

Another Afghanistan veteran, Flight Lieutenant Lance Levin, a Chinook helicopter pilot from 27 Squadron, RAF Odiham, said: 'He said he enjoys his flying and would like to return at some point.'

 

However, royal sources have so far suggested that is unlikely, although they have not ruled out the fourth in line to the throne doing some other role involving flying.

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The piece of artwork by Will Kevans, depicting a scene from the First World War, which Prince harry was interested in buying and Mr Kevans joked he would give him a discount.  The original is 10ft by 4ft in size.

One of the characters of a soldier from Will Kevans book 'My Life in Pieces: The Falklands War', which caught Prince Harry's eye. It shows the kind of uniform the soldiers had to wear in cartoon form

An extract of one of the comic strips from the graphic novel, which took the veteran two and a half years

Will Kevans (pictured centre with his arms folded) and his army colleagues before the Falklands War in 1982

One of the drawings of the ships sailed by the Welsh Guardsmen during the war by the artist, who also draws Dennis the Menace for the BBC cartoon series and Scooby Doo for the computer game

Mr Kevans said creating the book was an emotional experience after he contacted fellow veterans he hadn't spoken with for over 30 years

The book tells the story of a group of Welsh Guards 'thrown into the unknown and the untold tales from Two Company’s advance on the mainland towards Port Stanley

Mr Kevans hopes that the book will help other veterans to overcome psychological trauma that it can cause

The book 'struck a nerve with Prince Harry' when he viewed at the exhibition. The artists had not been expecting the royal guest and Mr Kevans said he was 'very surprised'

Will Kevans in his Welsh Guards uniform in the early 1980s while he was a serving soldier