This was a tough one. Parliament had voted against the UK being involved in Syria. At the time of writing this blog (and at the time the comic had to be filed) Obama was/is still waiting for a decision from Congress on US involvement. And in the meantime, Miliband was being accused of playing partisan, opportunistic politics while Cameron was losing the loyalty of his own party. We're told parliament's decision signals the final nail in the British Empire's coffin. That the "special relationship" is no longer special. That Gove thinks everyone who voted against Syrian intervention is a "disgrace". And that the UK signed off on selling chemicals that could be used in making nerve gas to the Syrian government just 10 months ago.
Meanwhile the situation in Syria continues to get worse for the people who live there.
Where do you start on writing a half-page comic that deals with all this? It's a complicated issue and while I'm happy we're not at war with Syria, I can't point you towards a decent solution for what's happening there.
I had a few passes at scripts and ideas for this week. Each getting somewhere closer to something but never quite working. Luckily my editor Dan Trilling kept pushing for a different approach and suggested a wordless piece that dealt with the themes and ideas I was playing with (without dating itself too much). Eventually, I arrived at the idea of symmetry and points/counter-points that visually mirrored my own confusion and inability to arrive at any conclusion.
So thanks to Dan for the extra push this week - it was much needed and made me produce a stronger strip because of it - and for being my editor at the NS the past 40 weeks or so. He's moving on to be the new editor at the New Humanist magazine so this is the last comic of mine at the New Statesman with Dan as editor. A huge thank you to him for holding my hand in my first year of producing a weekly topical comic.
Read more In The Frame here.