Strike comics are comics made as part of industrial action. Making strike comics is probably the greatest form of political cartooning.
These three collections of strike comics were made by Lydia Wysocki as part of the 2019, 2020, and 2022 University and College Union industrial action for fair pensions and fair working conditions. 27000 printed double-sided leaflets were distributed on the picket lines (1000 per day, 8 days in 2019 and 14 days in 2020; 500 per day, 10 days in 2022) and the comics were also shared on social media. Thanks and solidarity to the Newcastle University branch of UCU for providing the content of these comics based on members’ experiences, and for this slightly-daft-but-incredibly-effective comics distribution strategy.
Free download of leaflet PDFs from 2022 ‘strike 4’ (days 1-10, and Mon-Fri: print double sided on A4 paper, cut to A5 size)
day 1 valentines and pensions day 2 wages and cost of living day 3 the neoliberal uni day 4 NHS health wellbeing day 5 postgraduate researchers day 6 casualisation day 7 reclaim the university day 8 workload day 9 equality UPDATED day 10 student strike
Free download of leaflet PDFs from 2020 ‘strike 3’ (days 1-13: print double sided on A4 paper, cut to A5 size; day 14: print as booklet, A4 folded once to A5)
day 1 welcome back and strike bingo day 2 dis ability and end of week 1 day 3 precarity and working learning conditions day 4 mental health and social invite tue 25th feb day 5 good league table bad league table day 6 how and why to strike day 7 overheard on campus day 8 strategy shark day 9 professional services day 10 week four day 11 playground day 12 you tube day 13 march 12th social day 14 scooby doo mysteries
Free download of leaflet PDFs from 2019 ‘strike 2’ (days 1-7: print double sided on A4 paper, cut to A5 size; day 8: print as booklet, A4 folded once to A5)
Free download of single page PDFs from 2019 ‘strike 2’ (these files are set up to print at A4 size; they should scale to A3, depending on your printer settings) 1 a4 / 2 a4 / 3 a4 / 4 a4 / 5 a4 / 6 a4 / 7 a4 / 8 a4 / 9 a4 / 10 a4 / 11 a4 / 12 a4 / 13 a4 / 14 a4 / 15 a4 / 16 a4
Transparency statement: Making strike comics began as an unfunded independent project as a member of the University and College Union taking part in industrial action. Over subsequent strikes, making strike comics became a larger project as an invited commission from Newcastle University branch of the University and College Union. For transparency, my (LW’s) approach to balancing the solidarity of being on strike (staff are not paid whilst on strike) with the need to continue fair practices in taking on any commissioned creative work is as follows. Half the commission fee is donated to charity (WERS, 2022), and half the commission fee goes towards the ongoing costs of running Applied Comics Etc including tech support and start-up of new projects.