Friday 17 February 2012


This is the end result of my trip to Russia last October. I was invited by the Respect project to talk about comics, listen to, and take part in, discussions on human rights and the problems in Russia, then make a comic for Russian kids that might help. A big ask. But this is a scheme where these 'pocket comics' are given away in their thousands so that's a lot of lottery tickets.

Attitudes to gypsies in Russia are pretty horrible, and share some similarities with attitudes here. As part of the project I met with a local gypsy community leader, Yan, we got on remarkably well, and my lean grasp of Romany even meant we could exchange a few sentiments in the jib (language). This story is a mix of my experiences, stories I've picked up and observations of prejudice in Russia.

I'm not great at black and white politicking, my writing is usually a bit surreal, I think. For this I just wanted to do something simple that left all the thinking with the reader. If any Russian kid changes their mind after reading this it will be their thinking that has achieved that, no instruction from me.

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