Wandering the Lakes – with Hunt Emerson

Hunt Emerson
Hunt Emerson at work

The Wordsworth Trust, in Grasmere, Cumbria, will be hosting the Hunt Emerson: Original works from The Ancient Mariner and Frankenstein exhibition between 4th October to 3rd November.

The exhibition links with other exhibitions and comic events surrounding the first Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Hunt Emerson’s association with the Wordsworth Trust dates back to 1997, when his original drawings for Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” featured in an exhibition at the Wordsworth Museum on the poem and its illustrators.  These drawings (61 in total) were subsequently acquired by the Wordsworth Trust and form part of a superb collection of artistic responses to Coleridge’s poem spanning 150 years.

Hunt’s version of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (with artwork by Hunt Emerson and colour by Carol Bennett) was published by Knockabout Comics in 1989.  In his comic treatment, Hunt preserves the full seriousness of the text of the poem, and at the same time skilfully blends the poem’s pace and rhythm with the separate demands of a comic strip.

The Rime of the Ancient MarinerIn 2011 the Wordsworth Trust commissioned from Hunt Emerson a large cartoon strip, telling the story of Mary Shelley’s famous novel Frankenstein. Published originally in three volumes, Hunt skilfully manages to distil the full story into 52 frames.

Hunt is one of Britain’s favourite comics artists, whose distinctive drawing style and approach to visual humour are widely recognised and enjoyed. He has been writing and drawing his iconoclastic comics since the 1970s, and has worked extensively as an illustrator and designer since then, too. He has worked for many major book and magazine publishers, and has published around 30 comic books and albums, mostly with Knockabout Comics – the latest being his superb reworking of Dante’s Inferno (reviewed here). Hunt has worked in advertising, and in the music industry, creating distinctive graphics and logos for The Beat, Ranking Roger, Bemis, The Jazz Butcher, Big Jay McNeely and several others.

Hunt has had many exhibitions, both solo and in groups, and received several comics industry awards, the most notable being his inclusion as one of 75 “Masters of European Comic Art” by the prestigious Centre Nationale de la Bande Dessineé in Angoulême, France.

He continues to create numerous cartoons for a wide variety of publications and has just launched a new website, www.huntemerson.com, where you can view some of his amazing work and buy prints and signed copies of his books.

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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