Mel Calman was one of the most widely-loved cartoonists of the twentieth-century, and Let’s Compromise and Say I’m Right is the first major selection of his work to be published in many years.
This new selection chosen by his daughter, the writer and broadcaster Stephanie Calman, is the first ever collection of the very best of his cartoons about being in love, falling out of love and wondering what went wrong.
In Who’s Who, Calman listed his recreations as ‘brooding and worrying’. He might have added falling in love – sometimes disastrously.
One thing is for sure – no one captured the triumphs and defeats in the war between the sexes so hilariously and succinctly.
Let’s Compromise and Say I’m Right provides the perfect opportunity to revisit, and laugh along with, one of the great humourists and features a special foreword by Calman’s friend and Monty Python star, Michael Palin.
“I’d recommend this volume to anyone in love or thinking of getting married. Or, more particularly, to anyone out of love and wondering where it all went wrong. These wonderful cartoons won’t stem the tears but they might just produce some choking laughter. And that’s a start.” – Michael Palin
Mel Calman was one of the best-known British cartoonists of the twentieth-century, publishing in ‘The Times’, ‘The Sunday Times’, ‘The Observer’ and ‘The Daily Express’ among others. His work was also widely syndicated in the USA. He published over 20 collections of cartoons and co-founded the Cartoon Museum in London. He died, aged 62, on 10th February 1994.
“Its title perfectly sums up a major theme of his work – the inability of seemingly adult people to get on with each other, with particular emphasis on their problems with love, sex and marriage.”
Stanley Price, ‘The Oldie’
“Love and marriage don’t always go together, said the late glorious Mel Calman… He was like a psychiatrist who made us laugh.”
Camden New Journal
“Opening with a touching foreword by Michael Palin, the book is a stark reminder of Calman’s sharp wit and minimalistic drawing style that underscores the contrary and contradictory nature of relationships… You’ll love it.”
The Cartoonist’s Club of Great Britain
“A small book this may be, it does, though, pack a mighty and occasionally feisty wallop… There is a charming simplicity to the drawing, yet startling, pointed wit to the words… Calman has the ability to write and draw and connect to a universal truth, that love and relationships can, at times, be ever so slightly complicated.”
“An insightful look at the way men and women interact and how communication sometimes gets in the way of understanding… I’ll confess that – just occasionally (obviously) I was shocked into self-recognition.”
“Depicting, with equal degrees of humour and pathos, the nuanced insecurity, self-delusion and malcontent to be found within relationships… This is the appeal of the book, that it takes familiar concerns and irritations, and condenses them into simple pictures which each say so much.”
Never Imitate book blog
“Like the very best of humor, each of Calman’s cartoons tells an entire novel’s worth of story. All the heartbreak, hope, and promise of love and romance is presented in the most spare, understated little pencil scribbles possible… Gentle, timeless, and devastatingly hilarious.”
Available to buy now in paperback: