With the vote on Scottish independence this September getting ever closer, a new online project to provide a platform for politically focused comics created in Scotland has made a call for submissions. Comic Soapbox Scotland is non-partisan in approach and is looking for both short form and longer form work from artists based in Scotland on any social or political subject matter. Set up by small pressers Edward Ross and Gill Hatcher the site launched this week with two pieces on the independence referendum from Stephen Goodall. The introductory image on the right is by Hatcher, co-editor of Team Girl Comic (the latest issue reviewed yesterday here at Broken Frontier) and The Beginner’s Guide to Being Outside from Avery Hill Publishing (also reviewed here last week at BF).
Comic Soapbox Scotland’s aims are described more fully on their site in the following terms:
The Scottish comics scene is clearly thriving at the moment as more and more artists appear on the scene, and as events like the Edinburgh Book Festival and local comic fairs raise the profile of local artists with the public. We think it’s a really exciting time to be a comic artist working in Scotland, and as the vote on Scottish Independence looms, we all have an opportunity to get our voices heard on matters of Scotland’s future and the political landscape we currently face.
Whether we get Independence or stay in the Union, the future of this country will be defined over the coming years, and a vibrant and politically engaged Scottish comics scene would be a powerful tool for talking about our hopes and fears for the future. Comics are a really great medium for engaging with politics and social issues: accessible and engaging, yet so capable of depth and nuance, they offer us a fantastic way to express difficult, and often controversial ideas.
What we want to create is a free and open space for Scotland based comic artists to discuss politics, and we welcome submissions on any social/political theme and in any format, from short gag strips to longer form pieces.
There is, of course, a great tradition of comics and single illustration cartoons being used as an effective tool for political satire, subversive commentary or as a medium for the communication of social issues, and with the vibrant small press scene in Scotland at the moment providing work of the quality seen in the recent Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance Awards nominations Comic Soapbox Scotland will be well worth keeping an eye out for in the near future.
For fuller details on how to submit comics and contact details visit the Comic Soapbox tumblr here.