Hunt Emerson wins Sergio Aragonés International Award for Excellence in Comic Art

Hunt Emerson

Hunt Emerson at work

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced Hunt Emerson as the winner of the Sergio Aragonés International Award for Excellence in Comic Art for 2018.

Hunt, who is highly regarded internationally for his work as a graphic novelist, and as a cartoonist for a variety of magazines including Fortean Times and Beano, was announced as winner at the opening ceremony of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, Cumbria.

The award was established last year by The National Cartoonists Society, in partnership with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. The honour, won last year by Dave McKean, is presented annually to an exceptional comic artist, animator, or cartoonist.

Hunt Emerson, who has drawn cartoons and comic strips since the early 1970s and whose award-winning work is the focus of an exhibition in Kendal right now until the beginning of November.

Bloke’s Progress - Cover by Hunt Emerson

Hunt has published around 30 comic books and albums, mainly with Knockabout Comics, including Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Casanova’s Last Stand and Dante’s Inferno. His latest books are Calculus Cat, a hilarious collection of stories about The Cat That Hates Television, Hot Jazz, a collection of jazz-flavoured comics featuring Max Zillion and his saxophone Alto Ego, and Bloke’s Progress, a graphic novel based on the unlikely subject of Victorian art critic and philosopher John Ruskin.

In 2000 Hunt was chosen for inclusion in the exhibition The 75 Grand Masters of European Comic Art by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and the CNBDI, Angouleme.

Josephine by Hunt Emerson

Hunt has been given several comics industry awards, including Strip Cartoonist of the Year, and has been the guest of comics and cartoon festivals around the world.

Alongside his comics work, Hunt has wide experience in hosting cartoon and comics workshops. His work has been seen in countless magazines, ranging from Radio Times to Fortean Times; from The Wall Street Journal to the Beano. He is also a qualified t’ai chi instructor.

Sergio Aragones congratulates Hunt Emerson from his California home

Sergio Aragones congratulates Hunt Emerson from his California home

Sergio Aragonés, congratulating Hunt by video message from California, commented: “Hunt is probably one of the great cartoonists of our generation… I’m so proud he’s getting this Award – it is so, so well deserved.”

Julie Tait, Director of the Lakes Festival said: “Hunt Emerson’s work has delighted generations, from his early underground work and his creation Calculus Cat, through to his comics for Beano, Fortean Times and his incredible graphic novels, such as Bloke’s Progress, which has resonance locally for its focus on the work of philosopher John Ruskin, brought to life through a witty, modern interpretation.

“His work is a delight and his enthusiasm for the comics form, and promoting it, remarkable.”

Read an interview with Hunt about his approach to creating comics and his thoughts on the industry here on downthetubes

• Two exhibitions of art by Hunt Emerson are on show now at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal until 2nd (for his art on display in the Warehouse Gallery) and 9th November 2018 (for his art for Bloke’s Progress) as part of the Festival’s activities. 

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival runs until Sunday 14th October 2018 in Kendal at various venues across the town. Tickets are on sale now from the event’s web site. The Festival will return in 2019, running 11th – 13th October 2019

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