Comic artist Kate Evans is currently working on a graphic novel about the current international refugee crisis, giving a human face to the 5000 plus people living in Calais that the British right wing press has done its best to both anonymise and demonise over the past few years.
“Threads is a piece of cartoon reportage from a very brief stint volunteering at the Calais ‘refugee camp’,” she explains on her official web site. “I hope it helps raise awareness of a truly devastating humanitarian catastrophe.”
You can read the first chapter of Threads. The Calais Cartoon online here on Kate’s web site and she’s adding new pages of the upcoming work to her public Facebook page. The full graphic novel will be published by Verso in Spring 2017.
“850,000 people fled for their lives to Europe last year,” says Kate, whose latest graphic novel, Red Rosa, was published last November. “At least three thousand four hundred and six people died in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Of that great mass of people, a few thousand have washed up Calais, France, trying to attempt the dangerous crossing to England,” she continues. “By the French and British governments, they’ve been hung out to dry.”
Thanks to the generosity of Kate’s crowd funders, she printed and distributed “about 12,000” copies of the cartoon you can now read online. These were taken by grassroots refugee support groups and sold in aid of their regional efforts.
There are just a few left and single, signed copies of the comic can be bought from Kate’s web shop for a measly £2.50. (You can buy all her other recently-released books there, too).
Next week, Kate will be taking the Threads exhibition and comics along to the Hedg-u-cation Festival in Devon over the Summer half term holiday. “Don’t expect any public speaking though (in an official capacity, because, obvs, it’s hard to shut me up),” she says, “because I’ll mainly be kicking back and enjoying this lovely jewel of a gathering with all the kids.”
Kate’s recently-released, much-applauded graphic novel Red Rosa, the graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg published by Verso, has been deservedly selected as a ‘graphic book of the year’ choice by both the Independent and Observer newspapers. It sold out in the UK on the day of its official launch.
Kate is also the author of Bump: how to make grow and birth a baby, a truly groundbreaking ‘choose your own adventure’ approach to fertility, pregnancy and birth, as well as British breastfeeding bestseller The Food of Love.
All art © Kate Evans