You may have heard that Chas Saunders, the original inventor of Godchecker, died a few weeks ago.
Although he was no longer directly involved in the website (having decided to devote his attention to the equally vital subject of Real Ale), Chas was the original Godchecker-in-Chief and will be sadly missed by all the Gods. Particularly the ones he never got around to illustrating.
We’ve had many glowing tributes and kind remarks sent to Godchecker HQ – thanks to everyone who has blessed us with their thoughts. Hopefully we will find a suitable way to honour Chas’s memory on the website in due course. Meanwhile, here is the brief tribute which Peter read out at the funeral of this tremendously missed man…
“Chas was pretty much my closest friend for fifteen years. I first met him while working on a local arts magazine. I think I was trying to cadge freebie illustrations. Of course he was delighted to oblige. He found it very hard to refuse those in need.
“That probably explains one incident early in our friendship. One night Chas was woken by strange noises coming from downstairs. Fearing the worst, he crept down the stairs in the dark clutching a big stick, and discovered a scruffy bloke skulking in the shadows of his studio. It was me using his photocopier at 2 o’clock in the morning.
“When I first met him, he was immediately likeable, a beaming genius with an eccentric twinkle in his eye. Yes, Chas really did have an actual twinkle in his eye. Maybe it sounds odd to say it, but he always seemed just that little bit more alive than everyone else. He had that magical spark of puckish curiosity. He was like a cross between Gandalf the wizard and the four Marx Brothers. He even had magic powers. For example, his miraculous ability to catch houseflies backwards while playing the drums.
“I discovered early on that it was impossible to stop him talking. For the next fifteen years I gave up trying. His mind was constantly bubbling with ideas and anecdotes and the invention of personalised board games. It never stopped. If no-one was around, he would scribble it all down instead. And usually post it through my letterbox the next day in an envelope marked URGENT SPIBBLE. Strangely enough I loved every second of it.
“Chas was interested in pretty much everything – provided it was invented before 1965. Or made of wood. He was a tremendous source of offbeat knowledge. His tales of disreputable jazz-drinking voutaroonie beer cartoonists struck some kind of bizarre chord with me. We spent the next ten years joined at the creative hip producing weird and wonderful projects — and having tremendous fun doing it. Happy memories of prototype Godchecker games tested to destruction over a bottle of cheap wine I will cherish forever.
“Chas was a wonderful human being: warm-hearted, generous, and totally loyal. He was always willing to lend a hand — or in extreme cases help shove an iron-framed piano up a flight of stairs, and he gave his friendship one hundred percent. He only asked in return that everyone around him be happy, fulfilled and as merry as possible. That’s quite an appropriate philosophy for a man who drew cartoons for a living, I think.
“I’m terribly sorry he’s gone. Chas was a huge influence on my life. He inspired me, made me laugh and introduced me to real proper ale. Most importantly, he helped me realise that it’s perfectly acceptable to be yourself, no matter how many people stare at you on the bus. Luckily he has left us with rich memories and a lasting legacy of the entire human condition in cartoon form.
“So farewell to the world’s one and only Grimblemaker. You did the Gods of Beer and Jazz proud. Cheers Chas.”
Donations can and should be made to the National Autistic Society