Naturally, at least a few cartoonists drew Atena even before Comic Riffs kicked off this campaign. Others have taken up pen and brush in direct response to our Open Call to (Artful) Arms. And some, like “Zen Pencils” creator Gavin AT, were willing to add #Draw4Atena to comics they were working on.
“After reading Atena’s story, I was disgusted and appalled as anyone would be,” the “Zen” artist tells The Post’s Comic Riffs. “At first, I didn’t think to draw a cartoon about it, but after reading her speech and the quote that I eventually used, it really made me want to do something.
“My whole website is, ‘Cartoon quotes from inspirational folks’, and you can’t get more inspirational than Atena.”
And so in Gav AT’s visual response, we see Atena taken away last August by members of the Revolutionary Guard, shortly after she posted on Facebook her illustration of members of parliament as monkeys and cows (mindlessly voting to curb birth control); we then see her jailed at Evin Prison, making art from the materials at hand, as creativity blooms even in captivity, the cell no match for the sense of self.
“I believe that if someone chooses art as their subject,” the comic says, directly quoting Atena, “but do not criticise the issues of their society, they have betrayed themselves, their conscience, and their society.”
Here is an ongoing roundup of cartoons — in support of Atena amid the #Draw4Atena campaign — that criticize the farcically unjust issue at hand:
Two panels from “ZEN PENCILS” (Gavin AT):
DAVID POPE (Canberra Times):
STEVE ARTLEY (ArtleyToons):
TOM TOMORROW (“This Modern World”):