Two books coming from Knockabout Press from two of Britain’s finest cartoonists.
BLOKE’S PROGRESS by Kevin Jackson and Hunt Emerson published May 24th.
How Darren found new meaning to life – with help from John Ruskin
John Ruskin, (1819 – 1900) was an art critic – possibly the greatest in any language. Yet his concerns were by no means confined to art. He was a sharp-eyed observer of nature, he had a fascination with architecture and he developed strong ideas about work, wealth and money. He was what we would now call a “holistic” thinker. Thinking holistically obliged Ruskin to examine the society in which he lived. The conclusions he reached made him many admirers (and some enemies). He had impressive fans, including Leo Tolstoy and Marcel Proust. He inspired all sorts of reformers and idealistic politicians, including Gandhi, who said that reading Ruskin on a train one night changed his life. Ruskin was more than just a best-selling writer: lots of people regarded him as a kind of guru or latter-day prophet.
Darren Bloke is an ordinary, hard-working stiff until a lottery win changes – and ruins – his life. He squanders his windfall and loses everything but his beloved dog, Skittle. Then he is visited by the spirit of Ruskin, who shows him the true meaning of Wealth – not how to acquire it, but what is the right way for an honest human to deal with it. Further visits from Ruskin’s spirit take him on a journey into Perception – how to look at the world through a more creative filter, and finally, he learns from Ruskin the true value of Work, and how it can enrich his life above and beyond a pay-packet. Darren discovers the meaning of Ruskin’s favourite saying –There is no wealth but Life.
This comic book is part satire, part economic and philosophical treatise, part love story, part political argument, part psychedelic craziness, and always funny. And, in Skittle, Bloke’s Progress has one of the most loveable dogs in comics!
THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE WORD Seven Silent Comix by Martin Rowson published June 28th.
Wordless comics on the state of the world from the UK’s leading political cartoonist. Martin Rowson’s latest book tackles the state of the world through seven ‘silent’ (wordless) comics. In his iconic style he delves into such eternal woes as lost love, faltering creativity, inequality, gluttony, despair, decay, death and the uncertain hopelessness of life everlasting.
Martin Rowson is a celebrated political satirist. His work has appeared regularly in The Guardian, The Times, The Independent on Sunday, The Daily Mirror, The Spectator and The Morning Star, as well as many other publications. He won the Cartoon Art Trust’s Political Cartoonist of the Year Award in 2000 and 2004, the Political Cartoon Society’s Cartoon of the Year in 2003 and 2007 and was their Cartoonist of Year in 2010. He’s also won the prestigious Premio Satiri de Forte di Marmi International Satire Award in 2006 and the Paddy Power Political Book Award for Political Humour & Satire for in 2015.
He has written and drawn comic book versions of The Waste Land, Tristram Shandy and Gulliver’s Travels as well as Snatches, a novel, and Stuff, a memoir about his late parents which was longlisted for the 2007 Samuel Johnson Prize. His other books include “The Dog Allusion: Gods, Pets and How to be Human and Fuck: The Human Odyssey. The Coalition Book, a collection of his most scathing cartoons about the last government.
In addition to being chairman of the British Cartoonists’ Association, Rowson is also a trustee of the Cartoon Museum, The People’s Trust for Endangered Species and a current Vice-President of the Zoological Society of London. In 2001 Ken Livingstone appointed him London’s first Cartoonist Laureate in exchange for one pint of London Pride per annum, still mostly in arrears.