Funny Weather We’re Having at the Moment, Isn’t it Dear?

Funny Weather is now available as an ebook from the excellent digital comix people Sequential. Discover everything you didn’t want to know about climate change (really, it’s scary) for less than three quid!

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Btw, I drew that book cover years before the floods. It’s hard being ahead of the times once the times catch up with you.

Launch Paaaaaarrrrrtttttyyyy!!!!!

That was fun! Thanks everyone for coming. More Bump launch events will be happening around the country this summer.

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The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill

It’s here. It’s scary. My latest cartoon for The Spark magazine says it all.

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A romantic moment.

Here’s Rosa Luxemburg getting passionate with Paul Levi, the future leader of the German Communist Party. I drew this for the sample for the graphic novel, but it won’t make the final cut, so you can see it here instead.

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Funny weather we’re having at the moment, isn’t it dear?

Well, that didn’t take long. I drew this book cover eight years ago.

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I grew up in Weybridge in Surrey. That’s my mum and my sister in that car, so although you’d not know by looking, this picture is based there.

Weybridge today.

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Is there anything you don’t want to know about climate change but probably should find out?

Read an excerpt of the comic here.

Red Rosa

Bump is finished, bar the edits (see the ‘forthcoming projects’ tab) and now it’s time to crack on with the next book.

I’m actually writing a graphic novel for a change, rather than my usual melange of hard-to-categorise cartoons and information. This is going to be all-illustrated, hand lettered, meticulously researched and steeped in period detail, and the subject is Rosa Luxemburg.

She is so cool. Born in 1871, murdered in 1919, liberated, incredibly intelligent, fiery, artistic, a passionate exponent of scientific socialism and an uncompromising critic of capitalism and opponent of militarism – Rosa Luxemburg rocked. And she was gorgeous.

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Red Rosa (my working title. I don’t think they’ll go for my preferred choice: Bloody Rosa) will be published by Verso next summer.

 

 

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Fracking hell…

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A Bank Holiday cartoon

I did this for my forthcoming pregnancy book, but I’m posting it here because everyone needs a snuggle.

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In Remembrance

I don’t remember this happening before. When a UK politician dies, I don’t remember them being elevated to the status of royalty. I don’t ever recall a £10million public funeral with full military honours , Parliament being recalled for an entire day of eulogising and a nice fat expenses cheque for each MP. When Winston Churchill died, Parliament dedicated half an hour to speeches in his memory, then they got back on with the job of running the country.

This. Is. Not. Normal.

And what is particularly abnormal is, that those who opposed Mrs Thatcher – those who would see a valid reason to celebrate her passing, if it also meant the death of the policies she initiated rather than the systematic rout of every alternative political view – have been characterised as mindless, blinkered and thoughtless, when the inverse is true.

The celebrations of Thatcher’s death that have spontaneously erupted across the nation, are sincerely founded in thoughtful remembrance.

The Thatcher years have been especially vivid for me for the past week. I remember my teacher staring disconsolately at the stationary cupboard in November of my ninth year, and explaining that the pitifully small amount of paper there was meant to last the school for the rest of the academic year. I remember six month waits for hospital appointments. I remember waiting for buses that didn’t come.

I was a child. I don’t remember thinking that things could have been any different, but now I realise that they could have been. We could have had health and education systems that were funded like the French (oh! their school meals on the French exchange visits! Fresh bread!) The public transport system on this small island could have been the envy of the world –instead we had a crushing road-building programme that spewed more traffic onto our streets. Britain was rolling in North Sea oil wealth. Imagine how Great it would have been if it had been used for our benefit? But Thatcher handed it to the millionaires and billionaires to squirrel away off-shore.

That’s what it was like for me, a middle-class child from Surrey. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to live in Sunderland, Liverpool or South Wales. Thatcher engineered the elimination of perfectly viable industries purely in order to destroy working-class communities. How dare the media now suggest that these communities are not entitled to their righteous grief?

This is what Thatcherism meant to me:

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The title ‘A New Spirituality’ is nuanced. It refers to the Thatcherite culture of aspiration and greed that engulfed the country, but it is simultaneously a call for a new spirituality to replace that – one based on respect, communality and reconnection with our natural world.

Reviewing it now, I see with poignant clarity how strong a stranglehold Thatcherism still has on our society. On every frame of this cartoon, things are worse now, than they were thirty years ago. Corporations are more powerful. Distraction by digital media more ubiquitous. Single parents are still struggling, and homelessness is rising, and set to rise further as welfare cuts and the bedroom tax hit home. Women are more image-obsessed. Plastic surgery is more prevalent. And climate change is worse. Far worse.

We have had thirty years of hurtling in the wrong direction, losing precious time to achieve a sustainable future.

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It’s a hollow victory to know that ultimately, history will judge Margaret Thatcher and find her wanting.

 

 

In Memoriam

Yesterday was great. I was up, on my computer, and had compiled (well, recycled) a topical cartoon blog post by 10.30 am. Leaving me a whole day to get on with my actual work of graphic novel writing.

Then the news breaks that Mrs Thatcher has died. Which is cartoon gold.

I bring you the following image in solemn remembrance of the days work that I should have done today, but which died, so that you could have this.

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