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.


Matt said...


Cheers for posting that, Rob.

Matt Badham

Rob Tevis said...

So how do you get a copy of this? My adopted daughter is Roma and it would be good for her to see this.

Peter Ross said...

This is brilliant. I have been working with Gypsy and Traveller kids in Scotland for years making videos to get these kind of messages across. I love what you have done and think that popular cultural forms are really effective at tackling prejudice and discrimination and blowing apart myths and stereotypes. Hope that you do more of this kind of work.

Michael Duckett said...

very good, accessible and pacy comic, makes you want always to turn to the next page.

Olooriel said...

Just felt a need to say that I absolutely love this. Love the artwork, love the message, and love the fact that you don't stuff that message down the throat of your readers or treat them as some sort of imbecile just because they're kids.

Rob Tevis said...

Hi - I would like to print this in comic form for my daughter. Is it Ok to do so? I will not be selling it and will be only making one.

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