#2. Letter from Peabody Trust (March 23rd, 2000) With those sample cartoons (Object #1), the rest was easy: Establish a charity, raise some money, recruit volunteers and start doing our work in the local community — and the rest is history! Right? Wrong. Not even close. We took the ‘scenic route’. In fact, in 1998, Kourtney wasn’t thinking about charity work at all — just work! She put those cartoons in her portfolio and submitted Guy Fox to lots of London children’s publications.
“Nope,” said Kids Time Out.
“No, thank you,” said the Funday Times.
The rejection letters piled up.Kourtney even received a rejection from the New Statesman, which was bizarre because she hadn’t sent them anything! (But that’s another story.)
Finally, there was a ‘Not-Quite-No’, from TwoCan Publications, who didn’t want the Guy Fox cartoons, but who offered Kourtney illustration work on their magazines. Kourtney settled into a routine as a freelance illustrator — working from home, drawing cartoons and puzzles for Walt Disney and Nickelodeon Magazines, and sending them off to her art director using a newfangled technology called ‘email’. You might think that working from home, getting paid to draw cartoons would be the perfect gig, but it wasn’t. Sure, sure, it was a short commute and the coffee was first-rate, but Kourtney found it isolating. Meanwhile, the Guy Fox cartoons gathered dust in a drawer. They’d probably still be there had it not been for a tiny classified ad in Southwark Life magazine that said something like this:
HAVE YOU GOT AN IDEA
THAT COULD BENEFIT
YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY?
IF SO, YOU CAN GET
A SMALL GRANT
TO MAKE IT A REALITY!
Kourtney thought, “Hmmm. Come to think of it, the only thing that stands between Guy Fox in the drawer and Guy Fox in print is MONEY.” The ad went on to say that the Millennium Commission was offering small grants for local projects and interested people should contact the Peabody Trust. So, Kourtney contacted the Peabody Trust. A lovely lady named Manjeet Edwards helped her fill in the application. They put together letters of support (thank you, Alan J. McLean, Sandi Bain and Grazina McCarthy), along with samples of the Guy Fox cartoons, and on January 14th, Kourtney sent the application to the Millennium Commission. And then she waited. On 23rd March, this letter confirmed a grant of £2,000 for the publication of the first ‘Guy Fox: History on the Sly’ magazine. At last, Guy Fox could start his educational mission in earnest.