Local Artist Richard Dugdale Provides a Humorous Interpretation of Walpole’s Police Log


Suburbia. A land of happily sheltered kids and ridiculously nosy neighbors. Everyone knows that Suburbia can become a breeding ground for homophobia, racism, stupidity, and downright ignorance, but the real question is, how far does it go? Local artist Richard Dugdale has given the answer to this question in his new book “Walpole Police Log Illustrated: Real Calls to Police in Suburbia.” From calls complaining of dragonflies, to cats accused of prank calling 911, the ridiculousness of these reports are brought to life through Dugdale’s creative drawings which you can read more about here.


The inspiration for the book is explained by the artist as being the “Gold” he would find reading the Walpole Police Log, normally a boring venture. And while the calls may be ridiculous, it is Dugdale’s hysterical interpretation of the calls that brings them to life. Using the vague nature of the reports, Dugdale makes each his own, depicting everything from arguments over sandwiches, to calls of suspicious men picking mushrooms along the side of the road. By putting his own personal twist on something usually routine and commonplace; something you merely skim over in reading the newspaper, Dugdale makes not only funny comments but also sharp criticisms of suburban society.


While the book may be extremely funny, Dugdale’s illustrations also serve as biting criticisms of the dynamic within suburban society. Take, for example, his illustration of a rather humorous call about a “suspiciously large truck” that, upon further inspection, was reported by the responding officer to be a delivery truck making a delivery. This report, while humorous, also functions on another level, showing the slightly paranoia or fear-induced ignorance that such suburban dwellers may take on. However, by combining humor and criticism, Dugdale creates a book that even those whom he targets in his criticisms would want to read or look at.

All in all, Richard Dugdale should be an inspiration to all aspiring artists, an illustrator doing what he loves and making his  profession his own, which is part of what being a true artist means.