Cancelled! - so I had to self- publish my cartoon review of 2020

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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2021 6:02 pm

Cancelled! - so I had to self- publish my cartoon review of 2020

Post by Stella »

In Summer 2020, the editor of the cartoon annual, "Britain's Best Political Cartoons ", who I'm sure some of you know, expressed his wish to include my cartoon "Endgame" in his anthology for 2020.
I was eligible, because at the time it was published, I was the regular political cartoonist for the Morning Star (an actual national daily newspaper, even if it only has a 20,000 circulation).
(The Best Political Cartoon anthology is only for press cartoonists, not online).

He also reasoned that it was an important cartoon - certainly the only one on the topic ( GRA2004 reform) which had been published nationally, and certainly the only cartoon which almost caused the end of the newspaper which published it. ( the TUC threatened the Morning Star with de- funding if they did not retract, apologise, and cancel me).
However, he was informed by Random House ( Penguin Books) lawyers that my cartoon was far too controversial, so he had to kow- tow to cancel- culture himself.
No "speaking truth to power" allowed at Random House!

I was keen to get all the political cartoons I'd been doing about the lockdowns, women's rights, the panic-demic, etc, so at the end of November 2020, I published my own cartoon review , " 2020, The Year We Were All Cancelled "!
I used Ingram Sparks, and employed a middle-man editing outfit to edit and upload everything for me.
After 6 months I just about scraped back in sales what I invested, but of course as a naive first- time publisher, you spend on unecessary fripparies, such as PR which was so useless that I could- and did - get better results doing my own!

It was great fun producing and publishing my book, my very first attempt, and not something I ever thought I would do - for 40 years I have been illustrating other people's work!
My book was well received in the feminist world, and I hope people will continue to buy it in the future as a souvenir of "the strangest year of our lives".
As well as cartoons, I include a short section on other cartoonists who have been no-platformed. I am well aware that our difficulties with free speech in England are mild compared with our fellow artists in less democratic countries. After all, I have not been disappeared, I am now the political cartoonist for

But everything is relative, and we have to fight for free speech on our own ground, in our own way.
I don't wish to use the forum to advertise, you can order my book through all the online booksellers. Simon kindly reviewed it in Jester earlier this year.
But I only suggest that we use our relative freedom to support cartoonists and artists who suffer cancellation, imprisonment, and worse. You might like to look at:
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