Comics: Draw the Line

Published On February 21, 2017 | By Joe Gordon | Comics, News

Draw the Line launched today, with “more than 100 comics artists and illustrators from around the world launch Draw the Line, a lively, visual guide to positive political action that anyone can take.”

In a time of enormous division, and indeed outright anger (and sometimes hate, I’m afraid) between opposing elements societies in many countries are facing a hard time, the news often seems grim, some who should be setting an example simply lie brazenly (sorry, “offer alternative facts”) and it can leave many feeling disoriented and despondent, wondering what they can do, so it’s a very interesting time for this multi-arts project to launch.

(art from Woodrow Phoenix about homelessness charity Streets of London)

From the official description, Draw the Line is:

“A reaction to dramatic social, environmental and political changes in the USA, Europe and across the world, the Draw the Line project offers more than 100 comics illustrating different ways that active citizens can help to change their community, politics and the world.

Draw the Line is the brainchild of comics artist and activist Myfanwy Tristram, who brought together a cast of international artists, including veteran and award-winning artists like Dave McKean (Sandman, Coraline), Steven Appleby (Normal Life, Loomus), Karrie Fransman (The House that Groaned), Lucy Knisley (Relish, Displacement), James Harvey (Masterplasty, Bartkira) and Woodrow Phoenix (Nelson, Rumble Strip).

“Like many people, I found the political upheavals of 2016 pretty scary, and I was looking for positive ways to push back.”, said Tristram.

“When things are looking bleak, it can be hard for people to picture a better world. That’s where comics artists can come to the rescue, showing people how they can make that change happen.”

Taking inspiration and advice from social, political and environmental movements like Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March and Standing Rock, Draw the Line compiled more than 100 positive political acts. These range from the traditional to the cutting-edge, and the gentle to the radical, but they all share a desire to change the world for the better.

In one image, two women furtively sew labels into clothes in a high street shop, reading “Made in Sweatshop Conditions”. In another comic, a literal gorilla brightens up his beleaguered street with acts of “guerilla gardening”. An absurd tabloid cover blares “Six out of ten migrants are secretly squirrels”, highlighting the need to question “fake news” and check sources.”

(some voices are too easily drowned out – the elderly, those with learning or mental health issues and more. A lovely piece by Kate Moon)

“Comics artist Karrie Fransman said, “Draw the Line is an uplifting demonstration of what a hundred talented comic artists and activists can accomplish with blood, sweat, ink and a belief in justice and equality. We hope these actions will inspire thousands more.”

Renowned cartoonist Steven Appleby said, “Drawings and words together give ideas greater power than either alone. Maybe if humans came together, too, we would all be stronger and happier.”

(while some want walls to control and divide, others create “a wall of kindness”, art by Jaime Huxtable)

Draw the Line: Comics for Positive Political Action launches on Tuesday 21 February at and across social media. Organisers intend to publish a book of the comics in 2017, and welcome interest from publishers.”

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

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