Warehouse Cafe and Intro Gallery | Free
I have drawn many many comics since the early 1970s and invented many characters. For this selection, I have tried to find pages that are exciting to look at, are coherent when taken from the rest of a story, and are amusing.
The exhibition offers a selection of pages from the 1980s to the present. The publication dates refer to books by Knockabout and others which often collect stories drawn years earlier.
Max Zillion and Calculus Cat stories, for example, were drawn at various times and published in many magazines and reviews previous to the current editions. Kali’s Nodule is a page from a collection of stories about an old hippie called Pilgrim. Dante’s Inferno and Casanova’s Last Stand are both complete comic books in themselves.
I have drawn Phenomenomix pages for Fortean Times each month since 1984 (I think), but when precisely The Alnwick Vampire was drawn I have no easy method of discerning.
Ratz ran in The Beano for several years in the 2000s but is not currently featured. But publishers DC Thomson still keep me busy with a weekly page.
Between 2011and 2016 I made a series of music recordings with Andrew Cowen (who, sadly, died). Josephine was the first, and Jack In The Green was part of the packaging for that, appearing as prints and postcards. Devising the record designs was as much fun as making the records.
Fight The Power, from which the Peterloo page is taken, is a book featuring chapters by me and two other cartoonists, and written by Sean Michael Wilson and Ben Dickson. The published book has grey tones added digitally.
Firkin the Cat is a comic of sexual satire in Fiesta magazine. None of the pages are suitable for open display, but the cover of a Finnish comic magazine called Myrkky is acceptable!
The Handsworth Beer Festival takes place at my local parish church, presided over by our great vicar, Bob Stephen.
I worked at the Birmingham Arts Laboratory for six years from around 1977, doing design and layout for the Arts Lab Press, and publishing “alternative” comics with a group calling themselves Ar:Zak. This print was drawn for the catalogue of a large 30th-anniversary retrospective exhibition in 1998 at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and has recently been re-shown as part of the Arts Lab’s 50th anniversary.
Intro Bar gallery | BLOKE’S PROGRESS by Hunt Emerson
Between 2005 and 2018 I worked with writer Kevin Jackson on a series of three comics that attempt to explore some of the ideas of John Ruskin, the Victorian thinker, artist and critic. The comics are commissioned by the Ruskin Foundation to present Ruskin’s world to a modern audience who are more likely to read a comic book than “The Stones of Venice”. The tale of Darren Bloke, his encounters with the Spirit of John Ruskin, and the way they changed his life became, on the way, a story of romance and positivity which Kevin and I are very pleased with. We will be in Kendal at LICAF to, hopefully, interest others in Bloke’s Progress and John Ruskin.
This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival