• If You Can’t Stand the Heat
  • Judy Horacek, 2011
  • Cartoon Book
  • 144 pages
  • Scribe Publications
  • ISBN: 9781921640025
  • Out of print

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Judy Horacek’s beautiful and brilliantly funny observations are modern icons perfectly  distilling the absurdities, foibles, and the dilemmas of contemporary life. Ranging from the minutiae of daily living to large scale global and environmental issues, her cartoons celebrate human creativity and resilience, and are permeated with a concern for justice and a desire for laughter.

If You Can’t Stand the Heat is a wonderful phantasmagoria of ancient fairy tales made new, of penguins, pirates, and angels.


Shortly after I named this collection, Masterchef Australia went into full swing, and every second person on the show was saying ‘If you can’t stand the heat…’  More recently, with the strange Federal election just held in Australia, lots of politicians and political commentators have been saying it.   And that’s why I love it as a cliche, you can apply it all the way from popular culture to politics – just like the cartoons in the book free-range across these areas.

I was also drawn to the title because ‘heat’ has so many different meanings in our society.  The word became a gathering principle for me.   The main ‘heat’ in this book is of course global warming, which is of huge concern to me. I’m hoping that being able to laugh through the terror will help us somehow.  There are plenty of ways that the cartoons in the book intersect with other meanings of heat too, which I know about even if no one else notices.

This is my second cartoon collection with a title that begins with ‘If’.  That doesn’t really tell you anything about If you can’t stand the heat, or the earlier ‘if’ collection,  If the fruit fits, it’s just something I noticed.


Out of Print (can sometimes be found in secondhand bookshops and online)


Scribe Publications Australia  ISBN 978-1-921640-02-5


Collection of Reviews
Readings, September 2010 by Chris Gordon
Climate Spectator, September 2010 by Sophie Vorrath
Australian Women Online, September 2010 by Megan Blandford
Boomerang Books, October 2010 by Dee White