Why did the U.K. create the largest political comic market?

Can you call somebody an anarchist until someone sees your photos?

In the past year, four of the five highest selling comics in the U.K. are political cartoons. And the fifth, Chris Ware’s Detroit: A Metropolis on the Brink, the darkest work of its kind, at 3.7 million, has been on the British anthologies for several years.

Comics are a rapidly emerging form in Britain. As a result, some consumers have complained. When independent U.K. weekly The Independent printed previews of its new daily comic in the June 13 issue, author and former New Yorker contributor Jeffrey Goldberg tweeted “@theindependentcontinued Cloning” in a commentary on Cartoonist Dave McKean’s Guardian column, called F— the World We’re In.

In light of the controversy, The Independent says that its editors were interested in covering the topic and to carry it through. As new editor James Harding told the BBC, he wants to cover things in comics “and draw a direct connection.” In a highly visible and often hugely public statement, he called his paper’s selection of comics “an opportunity to make a direct connection to British politics” and said “we do intend to run some other [political] cartoons in the future.”

In light of the controversy, The Independent says that its editors were interested in covering the topic and to carry it through. As new editor James Harding told the BBC, he wants to cover things in comics “and draw a direct connection.” In a highly visible and often hugely public statement, he called his paper’s selection of comics “an opportunity to make a direct connection to British politics” and said “we do intend to run some other [political] cartoons in the future.” [The Independent]

For McKean, who is the lead, political cartoonist for The Independent and contributes to The Guardian and The Economist, this was part of a vision for his writing, and some, may find it amusing. But it has prompted the conservative Morning Star to write that The Independent should not be so careful about their editorial choices. The Independent says that the decision is independent and that McKean has signed off on the material, as has Gail MacKinnon.

And then there’s Berlin’s Cartoonist collective. The group’s radical politics and abrasive humor have made it a cause for amusement and consternation, including being threatened by a Nazi anti-Semitic group and then, last September, getting permission from the Israel Defense Forces to cover them on the Gaza flotilla, the Free Gaza Flotilla.

But perhaps the most celebrated example of this kind of satirical journalism is that of Robert Hughes, who was in 1987 awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the Daily News cartooning category for his anti-Bush, pro-Putin cartoon, The Way We Were. He’s a columnist for The New York Times Magazine, a contributor to NPR and a contributing editor at The New Yorker. The same year, in 1964, he won the Pulitzer for Public Service for a pair of cartoons that noted war.

The Independent is announcing the addition of new series in the coming year. Politics has already drawn serious attention in October of 2016. In September 2016, nine British newspapers combined, and The Independent, went to the presses with a cartoon called Brexit Means WAR.

With great-sister website HuffPost keeping tabs on British government, our commitment here to highlight and give stories and voices a voice in America has become a major reason for our work.

In September 2016, nine British newspapers combined, and The Independent, went to the presses with a cartoon called Brexit Means WAR.

Read what Gary Oldman says about Brexit here.

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