by Donald Rooum, Colors by Jayne Clementson
Wildcat Anarchist Comics collects the drawings of Donald Rooum, mostly (but by no means entirely) from the long-running "Wildcat" cartoon series that has been published in the Freedom newspaper since 1980. Rooum does not just purvey jokes, but makes the drawings comical in themselves, "getting the humour in the line," provoking laughter even in those who do not read the captions or speech balloons. The chief characters in the strip are the Revolting Pussycat, a short-fused anarchist who is furious and shouty; and the Free-range Egghead, an intellectual who would like anarchism to be respectable but sometimes appears foolish. Governments, bosses, and authoritarians are presented as buffoons, and quite often, so are anarchists. This thoughtful and delightful collection includes strips from The Skeptic and many more, all beautifully colored for the first time by Jayne Clementson. The book also includes a lively autobiographical introduction discussing Rooum's role in the celebrated 1963 "Challenor case," a conspiracy among police officers to discredit non-violent demonstrators.
"Donald Rooum's work offers an emperor-has-no-clothes critique of contemporary power and foolishness." -- Peace News
"It is not only a work of genius, but of great originality, using outrageous knockabout comedy to convey serious ideas ... this strangely effective technique of using utter farce to get below intellectual defences is successful in getting us to face challenges that no mere political pamphleteering could so ... And we anarchists, with our eyes open, must accept that we too can be ridiculous in the passionate pursuit of our ideals." --Tony Gibson (H.B. Gibson), Freedom'
About the Contributors:
Donald Rooum became an anarchist in 1944 and has contributed articles to the anarchist paper Freedom since 1947. He studied graphic design in Bradford, England, and his cartoons have been published in the British press since 1950. His editorial cartoons have appeared in Peace News since 1962. His comic strip "Wildcat" has appeared in Freedom since 1980, and "Sprite" in The Skeptic since 1987.
Jayne Clementson is an anarchist and a professional print designer