Page 45 Review by Stephen
"100 years of pioneering political women. 404 Ink and BHP Comics have teamed up to bring you WE SHALL FIGHT UNTIL WE WIN, a graphic novel anthology celebrating a century since women gained the right to vote in the UK, and the many pioneering women who are part of the ongoing fight since 1918. We'll be taking a few women from each decade in the last 100 years and telling their stories in colourful, illustrated snapshots. Some stories are well known, some less so, all worthy of note."
Jayaben Desai's entry by Hannah Berry - whose ingenious, wit-riddled and ever so scathing socio-political satire LIVESTOCK comes with our highest recommendation - is succinct without stinting on any detail at all, comes with all the social context you could crave and is astute in its truth that what could be seen as a failure - as a social injustice - at the time, has had a profound impact since.
You might think that a firm whose workforce was 10% Afro-Caribbean and 80% South Asian in the 1970s was the height of positive, progressive, non-discriminatory behaviour, especially during that hideously racist, Enoch Powell era, but "exploitable workforce", everyone. Big bunch of bullies, backed up in the end by a bunch of Tory politicians undermining the strike led by Desai.
Five perfect pages of storytelling, there.
Also, I was delighted that the appalling, unimaginable torrent of misogynistic* and racist* abuse Diane Abbott suffered (and almost certainly still suffers) on social media is turned around into 'The Vindication of Diane Abbott' when on 9th June 2017 she went on to win 75% of the vote in her constituency, increasing her majority by over 11,000 to 35,000, thereby winning the war and hopefully infuriating the white, thumb-sucking men-children online.
That care package delivered to her, too: so kind!
But I wanted to learn more about Diane!
And this, I'm afraid, is where some of the stories fail: they're so painfully short or specific that I was left unsatisfied. You can't adequately vilify or undermine Margaret Thatcher in four pages. Nice try, though!
Let's call this a primer, then, a catalyst to send you scurrying to learn more about those you may hear of for the first time in this 60-page booklet!
And you can learn more, for example, in Talbot, Talbot and Charlesworth's SALLY HEATHCOTE, SUFFRAGETTE and Murphy & Murphy's CORPSE TALK: GROUND-BREAKING WOMEN, CORPSE TALK: GROUND-BREAKING SCIENTISTS.
Wrong cover design, BTW: for comics, there's too little art, way too much typography, and even then you have to concentrate to decipher the title.
*Statistics bear that out in full.