Gretchen Koch was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, USA, where she was continually lectured by teachers for drawing during class.
She moved to Chicago in 1996 to attend DePaul Theatre School majoring in scenic design for theatre, but then switched to religious studies and transferred to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth to complete her BA degree. After that she moved to Dallas and worked for two years before continuing on to grad school– first doing an MA degree on religion and culture at the University of Manchester (UK), and then completing a PhD in religion and cognition at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.
Having been awarded the degree in 2009, she returned to the states to find the idea of joining American academia not enticing for various reasons, and began a career as a technical writer for software. Needing an outlet to continue commenting on religious and political issues, she started a blog (originally called Cheap Signals, now on the Blog tab of the Giant If site).
She periodically dabbled in cartooning on various subjects, but didn’t begin political cartooning in earnest until November of 2016, when Trump was elected. At that point she decided that perhaps drawing one cartoon that could be shared repeatedly was a better use of everyone’s time than having the same political argument with different people, and switched most of her blogging energy to cartooning instead. Cartooning also revealed itself to be an excellent way to productively express the political rage that had become a daily occurrence.
In 2019 she applied and was accepted to the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, among the ranks of such luminaries as Ann Telnaes, Signe Wilkinson, Matt Wuerker, Pat Bagley, and Clay Bennett, and decided that maybe it was time to get serious about being a visual satirist.
Gretchen’s cartoons typically take a progressive (not Democratic) angle, and favorite topics include religion/church & state issues, moral reasoning, comedy, social psychology, and sociopolitical injustice in America.