When the political climate starts to go against your own beliefs, it’s very easy to start feeling small and powerless.
This website brings together more than 100 comic artists, each illustrating actions that anyone can take, if they want to make a difference.
Some of them are actions you can take right now. Many of them can be done on the cheap, or for no money at all. Some are suitable for kids. They all have something in common: they are non-partisan steps that any citizen can take when they don’t like the way that politics are going.
Right now, we happen to be in a time when right-wing politics have taken the front seat — but one of the driving principles behind this project has been that, even if the reverse were true, it would still provide a decent toolset for tackling injustice within society.
As a comic artist, it is tempting to feel that one is the least well-suited member of society to bring about change. After all, comics are frivolous, fun, and just for kids, aren’t they?
Of course, they can be all those things. But anyone who has kept an eye on the burgeoning graphic novel and small press scenes lately will have seen a strong undercurrent of persuasive, political work.
It turns out that comics can touch the soul like no other artform. Witness Olivier Kugler, who is drawing straight from refugee camps, putting refugees’ words into beautiful pictures, testifying to these people’s life stories and the conditions they live in now. Of course, they are beautiful pieces of artwork in their own right: that is part of their power. They seem easy to access, quick to read — and then pow. They pack a punch.
Kate Evans, included as a Draw The Line artist, does similar work with her Threads comic, reporting from Calais. Guy Delisle and Sarah Glidden are among the many graphic novelists who show you a first person view as they try to untangle the truth of complex political situations.
‘Political cartoonist’ doesn’t just mean people like Steve Bell any more, turning in a daily drawing for the broadsheets — although that is important work too.
Go and enjoy the illustrations and cartoons from the Draw The Line comic artists. If they do the job we have aimed for, they will inspire and give hope.
Draw The Line started as a very modest project. Myfanwy Tristram, maker of small press comics, envisioned bringing 5 or 6 of her friends on board to make a print comic that they’d sell at festivals and conventions.
The idea must have hit a spark though, because within a few days, it had snowballed into the project you see today, with over 100 artists keen to take part.
We would still like to see Draw The Line in print — just, now as a substantial handbook with significant distribution, rather than a small comic that reaches only a few.
If you are a publisher and you’d like to help in this ambition, please do get in touch. We’d also love to hear from museums and galleries who might like to exhibit the original artwork.