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Bell, Steve 'If' strips (1981 - 2021)

Steve Bell’s If strip

Named after Rudyard Kipling's famous poem in praise of spunk, grit, determination and all-round Britishness, Steve Bell's If ... cartoon strip has appeared in the Guardian since November 1981. Suiting both Bell's anarchic artistic style and the paper's political stance, it consists of a short (usually three-panel) daily episode in each Monday to Thursday edition of the paper, with subjects usually covered in these 4-day-long segments. If... occasionally utilises wordplay and coarse humour - Bell is fond of using the pejorative British word "wanker" & its euphemistic variants. With the Guardian's move to new presses, If... started to appear in full colour in September 2005. Initially, the title was reflected in the concept, with each week presenting a separate stand-alone story such as 'If... Dinosaurs roamed Fleet Street,' or 'If The Bash Street Kids ran the country'. This shifted into a different approach during the 1982 Falklands War, when Bell started to concentrate on two central characters: Royal Navy seaman Kipling and the Penguin he befriends.