Award-winning cartoonist Martin Rowson will be joining the international lien-up of comic creators at this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Bowness-on-Windermere, with a special presentation to mark the end of Boris Johnson’s reign as Prime Minister – as only he can!
Martin is one of the UK’s leading satirists in a multitude of forms, most notably as political cartoonist for The Guardian, but also a renowned graphic novelist, performance poet and raconteur. To mark the end of Boris Johnson as Britain’s PM, Martin will present his uplifting take on this year in politics and the terrors that lie ahead, hosted by John McShane.
Regular Festival goers will be delighted by this news, after Martin’s hugely popular exhibtion, “What a Fur Cap – The Political Cartoons and Comics of Martin Rowson” at last year’s event, at the Cross Lanes Project in Kendal, which featured some of his most powerful political cartoons, caricatures and comics and present an entertaining journey through the past forty years of politics and celebrity.
A multi-award winning cartoonist and writer, since becoming a full-time professional cartoonist six months after he graduated in 1982, Martin’s work has appeared regularly across the gamut of UK newspapers and magazines, from The Guardian, via Time Out, Morning Star and The Erotic Review, to The Times and Spectator, aswell as The Independent on Sunday, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Index on Censorship, Tribune, The Racing Post, New Humanist, The Modern Review, The Sunday Correspondent, The Irish Times, The European, The New European, Today, Sunday Today, The New Statesman, The Observer and, indeed, almost everywhere you can think of, apart from The Sun and Private Eye.
He has also authored, illustrated or contributed in one way or another to 60 books, most notably Scenes From The Lives of the Great Socialists (1983), Lower Than Vermin: An Anatomy of Thatcher’s Britain (1986), The Nodland Express (with Anna Clarke, 1994), Fuck: The Human Odyssey (2007), The Dog Allusion: Gods, Pets and How to be Human (2008), four volumes of The Limerickiad (2011-2016) and Pastrami Faced Racist & Other Verse (2018). His memoir Stuff was longlisted for the 2006 Samuel Johnson prize, and over the past 30 years he’s produced a series of comic book adaptations, including T.S.Eliot’s The Waste Land (1990), The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1996), Gulliver’s Travels (2011) and The Communist Manifesto (2018). He’s also illustrated books by Will Self, journalist John Sweeney, former MP Bob Marshall-Andrews and Andrew Gimson, deputy editor of the Conservative Home website.
In 2001 Rowson was appointed Cartoonist Laureate for London by Mayor Ken Livingstone, in return for one pint of London Pride bitter per annum (still six years in arrears). He’s also chairman of the British Cartoonists’ Association, has served three times as a vice-president of the Zoological Society of London, is a former trustee of the British Humanist Association and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and holds an honorary fellowship from Goldsmith’s College and an honorary doctorate from the University of Westminster. In the late 1990s, he was resident Cult Books Expert on Mark Radcliffe’s late night Radio 1 show, and his many broadcasts include presenting (and illustrating) a 2005 BBC4 documentary about Ronald Searle and presenting “Life Drawing”, a series of 15 minute “sittings” with interviewees ranging from Ralph Steadman to George Osborne, on Radio 4 in 2017. He also gives frequent talks and recitations, the poet Linton Kwesi Johnson describing one such gig Rowson did at The Laugharne Weekend Literary Festival as “the dog’s bollocks”.
In a full-page editorial in 2017, in response to one of his Guardian cartoons, The Daily Mail denounced him and his work as “disgusting, deranged… sick and offensive.”
• Martin Rowson’s Fond Farewell to Boris Johnson will take place at 1.00pm on Saturday 15th October, at the Lake District Boat Club, as part of this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Bowness-on-Windermere. Festival weekend tickets, including entry to this event, are available now. Head to the Festival web site now for further information about ticket options, or go straight to EventBrite and grab your tickets now
• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will run from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October 2022 – and is online at: www.comicartfestival.com | Lakes International Comic Art Festival Podcast: www.comicartpodcast.uk | Twitter: @comicartfestpod | Facebook: @ComicArtPodcast | Instagram: @ComicArtPodcast
Announced guests for 2022 are, in alphabetical order, include: Charlie Adlard, Dimitris Anastasiou, Mehdi Annassi, Lucie Arnoux, Bianca Bagnarelli, Alison Bechdel, Matthew Dooley, Ulla Donner, Oliver East, Karrie Fransman, Dave Gibbons, Paul Gravett, Kalle Hakkola, Jaime Hernandez, Eva Hilhorst, Bryan Hitch, Stephen L. Holland, Rian Hughes, Marc Jackson, Leomacs, Marine des Mazery, Vojtěch Mašek, Joe McGarry, Luke McGarry, Steve McGarry, Mick McMahon, Bill Morrison, Bex Ollerton, Dean Ormston, Jacob Phillips, Sean Phillips, Mike Perkins, Tim Pilcher, Ram V, Mollie Ray, Tom Richmond, Martin Rowson, Greg Rucka, Andrea Settimo, Katie Skelly, Posy Simmonds, Václav Šlajch, Fiona Stephenson, Maria Surducan, Bryan Talbot, Mary Talbot, Petteri Tikkanen, Jörg Tittel, Twin Cartoons, Judit Vanistandel, Asya Voitenko, and Andi Watson
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